We’re once again in the midst of industry tradeshow season, and with that comes a flurry of new cycling products.
Of course, that includes new tools, so while I’m well aware that I promised the next edition of
Cool Tool Tuesday would focus on tool storage and organisation, that will have to wait. I have some cool new tools to tell you about! As the title suggests, this is part two of my coverage of new cycling tools for 2022. Part one pre-dates the Cool Tool Tuesday series but is no less relevant.
While some of the tools covered are designed for DIYers or to go on a ride with you, many others are aimed at the professional mechanic working in a workshop setting – these are likely to simply serve as an interesting insight into what is out there. I’ve been fortunate enough (or my wallet has been unfortunate) to personally test a number of the tools covered, and in such cases, I aim to offer a quick bit of insight into how well they work. Ok, on with the show (and tell).
This unusual looking bit of plastic is a new take on the classic tyre lever. Coming out of the UK, the Tyre Glider (£10) is designed to clip onto the edge of rim and simply be pushed along while it guides the tyre bead into the rim for you. It also features a lever for removing said tyre.
Does it work? Yes, mostly, and it is robust. The ideal customers for this is likely the cyclist who isn’t overly confident in tyre fitting – a large market! The more confident users will find that this tool can be a little lacking on truly tight fitting tyre/rim combinations where it feels a larger handle is required. Meanwhile the rim sidewall must be less than 3.3 mm for the Tyre Glider to fit on – something that rules out a number of the latest carbon wheels.
Tubeless tyre repair tools are all the rage at the moment, in fact, I cover three of them in this very article. First up is Topeak’s Tubi Master+ which aims to be an all-in-one Co2 inflator and tubeless plug repair kit. It comes with a nice soft and grippy velcro-based mount that can be secured anywhere on the bike you have space.
The Tubi Master+ securely holds a 16 gram Co2 cartridge ready for use. A small sprung collar stops the canister from puncturing until you’re ready to use it.
Topeak are no strangers to folding tools. The Tubi Master+ offers a tyre reamer, plug insertion tool, and a small knife. Meanwhile the bottom canister stores a number of gummy-worm-style plugs. The tool feels solid and well-made in hand, but I personally still prefer Dynaplug-style tubeless plugs for their speed and more reliable pressure holding.
Most wheel truing stands on the market were designed with quick release axles in mind. This means you typically need some kind of adapter, rod, axle or oversized-hex-wrench to secure a thru-axle-hub wheel in place. Pictured are some various examples from Abbey Bike Tools (green), DT Swiss (red, bottom right), and Russell Makes (top).
The Russell Makes Truer Skewer is an effective approach to such an adapter, with the centre rod sized for 12 mm axles; the 15 and 20 mm adapters then slide over that (if needed). It’s super quick to fit and holds securely enough in use that you can dish a wheel while it’s in place (dishing tool dependant). I’ve used a bunch of adapters over the years and would often just reach for the large 10 mm hex key instead. The Truer Skewer has quickly proven to be a better solution. This sample came from Australian seller Beaut Bike.
Wheels Manufacturing is best known for three things – machined derailleur hangers to fit just about any bike, fuss-free bottom brackets, and quality bearing presses. The American company recently revamped its lineup of bearing tools – pictured is the Bottom Bracket Press Pro Install Kit (US$185).
This professional-level bottom bracket kit is designed to install all common press-fit cups and bearings into cups. It also comes with a few socket tools to work with the company’s own bottom brackets and a number of others. All the tools included in this kit are available separately, and the company also offers a simpler consumer version for US$95 with smaller press handles and fewer included pieces.
The Bottom Bracket Press Pro Install Kit comes with a number of cup and bearing drifts to suit 22, 24, 29 and 30 mm spindle bottom brackets. The smaller drifts are sized to match the outer diameter of the bearings to allow for pressing past the lip of the holding bottom bracket cup when doing bearing replacements.
The included UNC 48mm 16-notch socket fits the company’s own T47 bottom brackets. “Internal” style T47 has advantages over press-fit, but the design effectively swaps a press-fit cup for a threaded cup, and so there isn’t much room left for secure tool engagement on the spline. This specific socket threads onto the press to ensure it won’t slip off. As you’ll see later in this article, this may be an emerging trend amongst T47 tools.
The new Wheels Manufacturing Headset Press Pro Install Kit (US$185) is designed to do what the name claims. It features massively long handles, a set of universal drifts, and the new Adjustable Press Stop. The 1/2in UNC threaded rod is simply a longer version of what the Bottom Bracket Press above uses.
The Adjustable Press Stop (US$58 if bought seperately) was covered in the previous “ Cool Tools of 2022 round-up.” It’s designed to simply slide along the threaded rod and lock into place where you need – all in the name of speed versus spinning on a second handle.
I’ve since had a chance to use the Adjustable Press Stop and it works remarkedly well. Simply press that large stainless steel button and the internal thread is pushed out of the way. Release the button and it engages the thread and can be turned from there. The Press Stop also works with older Wheels Manufacturing presses that use a 1/2in threaded rod (just beware, not all of their presses do).
The Pedro’s RX Micro 6, 9, and 20 multi-tools have all been updated with the addition of a 2 mm hex key, making them the RX Micro 7, 10, and 21 respectively. The tools are otherwise unchanged.
The RX Micro 21 (US$55) is a somewhat underrated offering in the saturated folding multi-tool market. The tool uniquely features a Shimano crank preload cap tool built into the chain breaker, while the two Micro tyre levers are good enough to remove some surprisingly stubborn tyres. And most importantly, the hex keys fit fasteners nicely.
Pedro’s has updated its flagship chain breaker, the Tutto. The new Tutto II is much like its predecessor but with a handful of new pieces that make it compatible with everything from single-speed through to 13-speed. By comparison, the previous Tutto doesn’t work with SRAM AXS Flat Top or Campagnolo 13-speed.
Like Pedro’s more affordable chain breakers, the new Tutto II features a replaceable chain bridge which not only ensures a long service life, it also means new plates can be made for future unforeseen incompatibilities. For example, Pedro’s made use of this modular design by offering a revised plate to fit its Pro and Shop (consumer) chain tools when SRAM released its AXS Flat Top chain.
The Pedro’s Tutto II has two key features which separate it from other brands of chain breaker. First is the “Retracting Pin Guide” (RPG) which puts a spring-loaded supporting shroud over the tool’s pin – something that helps to push the chain into the tool while also protecting the pin from angular force. The second feature is the “Fit Dial”. This indented turning dial offers four different backing plates for the chain – meaning the tool adapts to the different thicknesses of chain on the market. Such features don’t come cheaply; the Tutto II is priced at US$150. For a cheaper option with similar compatibility and the RPG feature, check out the US$85 Pro Chain Tool 3.2 that I recommended in the recent building a cycling tool kit article.
The Pedro’s Tutto II also does Campagnolo 11, 12, and 13-speed chain peening. This is done by turning the fit dial to the closed position, and then covering the pin with the peening bit that’s stored at the base of the tool.
This nifty flare nut crowsfoot tool is used for torquing hydraulic disc brake hose nuts. Following some past coverage of the Pedro’s Demi Torque tool, it was mentioned to the company that they should offer this 1/4in adapter separately, Pedro’s listened and it’s now available for US$9.
You saw it here first: Pedro’s now has a compact tool designed to aid in the cutting of everything from 1.5in fork steerers to skinny handlebars. The Saw Guide sells for US$60.
Undoing the two small bolts at front lets you change the saw guide’s slot thickness for use between regular metal hacksaw blades and those designed for carbon fibre.
The jaw width of the new Pedro’s Pro Saw Guide is sized generously to ensure easy compatibility with all saw blades that tend to vary in width. That said, the more wiggle room the blade has, the higher the chance of the cut being a hair from perfectly square and even. Chances are you wouldn’t have noticed this if I hadn’t said anything, but the design does allow for gap fine tuning for the perfectionist types (IS disc brake caliper shims are good here).
Bicycle Service Centre, aka BSC Tool, is a relatively new British-based tool manufacturer. The PressFit Bottom Bracket Remover Set is designed to be a quick and hammer-free option for every mechanic’s favourite style of bottom bracket.
The way this tool functions isn’t an original concept, but BSC have found a way to keep it compact and more widely compatible than many other tools. The £92 price tag may scare some, but believe me, it’s surprisingly good value given how many different cup and bearing sizes it works with.
Different crank spindle diameters call for different puller plates to sit behind the respective bearing or cup. The design means these plates are simply held in place with a nyloc nut – I’ve found with use that the common metric nut does need replacing or otherwise it starts to unwind itself.
Tools such as the BSC (and a few others shown) make working on press-fit bottom brackets a far more enjoyable experience. However, the simple flat tab style puller needs a flat surface behind the bearing or bottom bracket cup in order to work. It also needs a flat surface around the outer diameter of the bearing/cup. Between those two limitations there remain a number of frames/BBs that will need a different tool or method of extraction. The topic of press-fit bottom bracket tools is something I’ll return to in a future edition of Cool Tool Tuesday.
So much of BSC’s tool catalogue exists from customer requests. These effective rim diameter (ERD) measuring rods were the request of wheel builder and former Nerd Alert guest Adrian Emilsen.
These rods are effectively a stainless steel version of the old (and discontinued) Wheelsmith ERD Rim Rods. They assist wheel builders with understanding the exact rim diameter (and roundness of that rim) for sizing spokes.
Jagwire has long offered tools that aid in trimming hydraulic brake hoses. The Taiwanese company recently bolstered its range with two new professional-level tools, the Pro Needle Driver (left) and the Elite Hydraulic hose cutter (right).
The two new tools sit above the pre-existing options. Jagwire now offers two levels of needle (barb) driver tools, and three levels of hose cutter. And if those older tools look familiar, that’s because Jagwire also make them in red for SRAM.
The new Elite Hydraulic Hose Cutter seems to cut exactly the same as the cheaper Pro Hydraulic Hose Cutter (bottom middle in previous photo). However it does so with more handle leverage and a shape that’s superior in tight spaces, such as what can be experienced with many integrated cockpit road bikes.
The Pro Needle Driver may just be the new benchmark for pressing in hose barbs such as what Shimano uses (SRAM’s are threaded and don’t need such a tool). The hose-holding clamp offers adjustable tension, while the spring-loaded anvil has plenty of leverage behind it – it just works. This one sells for US$65, but keep in mind you’ll need a second tool to do the cutting.
I kicked off the Cool Tool Tuesday series by writing about my love for ratchets. My absolute favourite ratchet is the Japanese-made Nepros 90T 1/4in, and pictured here are the limited Gold Chrome ratchets. It’s simply a different colour to the ratchets I already owned, but I’m weak like that. And yes, I paid full retail for these puppies.
Regular versus gold chrome. Both are flawless.
Earlier in this gallery I mentioned that there’s a trend of T47 bottom bracket tools gaining threads for secure retention. Well, Park Tool has been steadily releasing new bottom bracket socket tools that mysteriously have such threads in them. The American tool company hasn’t yet promoted these threads or what they’re for, so I guess we’re bound to see something new from the blue tool company soon enough.
Park Tool has released five new bottom bracket sockets in recent months. These two are designed to fit a long list of BSA30 and T47 bottom brackets.
Launched last year, Lezyne’s Dual Insert multi-tools are designed to fit into the ends of mountain bike handlebars. One side of the handlebar holds the tubeless repair plug kit (gummy worm-type plugs), while the other holds the bit-based multi-tool. There are three sizes of that bit-based multi-tool, with each size up providing storage for an extra three tool bits. The bit-holder head tilts by 90-degrees and doubles as an 10 mm hex key – elements of the design are clearly inspired by Wolf Tooth’s EnCase system.
Lezyne has also updated a number of its folding multitools – the range is simply enormous, with some models offered in up to nine variations. From left to right is the V Pro 11, the RAP II Co2 19, and the SV Pro 13. The SV Pro 13 is a new version of a tool I used to carry around all time – a chain breaker and all the common sized tool bits in one fuss-free and stainless-steel folding tool.
More bearing press tools?! Abbey Bike Tools recently updated its Modular Bearing Press. The Quick Nut is a new quick release part for the press that serves much the same purpose as Wheels Manufacturing’s Adjustable Press Stop. And in case you’re wondering, Abbey uses a 1/2in ACME thread which is different to what Wheels Manufacturing uses and is also highly unlikely to be the same thread as your existing press (unless it’s Abbey).
Threads on one side, blank on the other. It’s a remarkably simple and effective concept, although perhaps not the easiest thing to machine correctly.
Have you ever tried to service a bottom bracket bearing to then accidentally break one of the delicate plastic dustcovers? It happens. CeramicSpeed created the “Bottom Bracket Seal and Dustcover Service Tool” for this reason, a tool that aims to simplify the removal and installation of these contactless plastic covers.
Pretty basic in design, the tool is sized to sit behind and evenly pull out the dustcovers found on CeramicSpeed’s own 24 mm and DUB spindle bottom brackets. However similar covers are often found on other bottom brackets, such as Trek BB90 bearings. Sadly it doesn’t seem to work for Shimano’s own bottom brackets.
The tool is then used to press those dustcovers back in with even and supported pressure. The tool also has a Shimano bearing preload tool built into it. At US$49 it’s pretty expensive for what it is, but any high-end bike shop dealing in CeramicSpeed product should find value in it.
I’m not exactly sure how many seperate pieces are in CeramicSpeed’s Wheel Bearing Press Tool Kit. It’s more than any other hub tool kit I know of and that’s probably because this kit is designed to handle both the removal and installation for a huge array of sealed hub bearings across all sorts of hubs.
So many hub tool kits focus on the installation element and ignore the removal. And then the seperate removal tools almost always require the use of a hammer. CeramicSpeed’s design aims to smoothly pull out the old bearings with a similar approach to how a number of newer puller press-fit bottom bracket tools work.
These Delrin cups are designed to rest against the hub shell so that a bearing can be pulled into them. Unfortunately the hammer-free bearing removal only works on hubs with a captured axle (the type that you typically have to hammer out the axle along with one bearing). Hubs with a friction-fit axle will need to have at least the first bearing hammered out – something the kit includes a specific punch for.
Perhaps the best feature of the whole kit is the press head. Like some other high-end presses (Abbey Bike Tools), it turns ultra smoothly on a thrust bearing that greatly reduces the hand effort required to make it work – hence the lack of handles. But where this press head sets itself apart is with a unique quick release action that lets the whole thing quickly slide along the threaded rod and then lock into place under tension. It’s very fast to use.
The kit even includes a little doodad which bolts onto the outside of pesky friction-fit thru-axle end caps to aid in removal. Of cours,e so many different pieces and features add up, and the US$725 retail price is frightening. I’d argue this one is made for the professional mechanic with access to trade pricing. Price tag shock or not, there’s a lot to like about this kit.
And we come to the lucky last tool. This is Canyon’s new Fix 3-in-1 mini-tool.
Away from its neoprene wrap, the tool looks much like any other ratcheting multi-tool.
Of course looks can be deceiving. The tool unthreads to reveal a Dynaplug (licensed and using actual Dynaplug inserts) tubeless repair plug and a Co2 inflator head below it. Dynaplug tools often carry a premium, and this Canyon tool is no different at £62 / AU$95 (currently not available in the USA).
The ratcheting bit-holder is put to use with four double-ended bits. This aspect of the tool reminds of the Fabric Chamber tool I previously reviewed. All of these bits plus a couple of spare Dynaplug inserts fit into the supply wrap.
The 3-in-1 is designed to work with a small range of Canyon’s other Fix products. There are tyre levers and a storage cannister.
That cannister has a few tricks down its sleeve and is designed to securely hold the 3-in-1 tool and a couple of Co2 cannisters. It’s still early days with testing this tool. Expect a short review of it in the near future.
Note: A number of the tools mentioned in Cool Tool Tuesday are not sold through traditional cycling channels and can be hard to find, which is also kind of the point of the series. Access to the tools covered will be easy for those in Europe and the United States. Use a search engine to find the products mentioned.
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