Hello tool nerds. Rather than disperse the tool goodness amongst our general tech coverage from
2022 Sea Otter Classic, I figured “why not keep it together as an ode to those that wrench?”
Cool Tool Tuesday, Sea Otter Classic edition.
This gallery takes a look at new and interesting tools shown at Sea Otter that I haven’t already covered in recent galleries focussed on new tools for 2022 (yes, there are always a lot of new tools coming out). If you haven’t already, be sure to check out
part one and part two of what’s new in the world of cycling tools.
Altangle Cycling is a new US-based company with some truly innovative ideas. The Hangar is a highly portable repair stand with a unique twist – it uses a door frame.
Once assembled (no tools required) the Hangar fits onto any door frame with a header. It’s impressively secure, and the weight of a bike pulls it even tighter. The rack has a 25 kg weight capacity.
The clamp offers a short height and can be switched between clamping front-to-back or side-to-side (shown). The front-to-back option is likely better for aero post shapes, while the side-to-side method solves the rocking motion you can experience when clamping D-shaped seatposts. It also means the bike can be clamped either across the doorway or through it.
The clamp opens super wide; wider than most.
The bike angle can be easily adjusted with the bike removed from the Hangar. Those pins ensure a completely slip-free experience. The Hangar sells for US$249.
Also released at Sea Otter is the Altangle Hangar Connect. It combines the same clamp as the Hangar with a short extension that clamps to almost anything you wish. This product costs US$185 (including clamp). Or it can be bought as a package with the Hangar for US$350.
Clamp bikes wherever you want with the Hangar Connect. Use it to add an extra arm to your repair stand, clamp a bike to the side of a van, or use a fence post as a workstand base. This is a product that I think many will find unique uses for.
The Altangle A2 is an adapter head that threads onto a CO2 cannister. I was worried about the failure mode, but apparently I’d need to be superman to shear the head off a CO2 cannister, and even then, the plastic lever would fail well before that. They’re sold as a pair for US$10.
Altangle has the capability to produce custom A2s, although the minimum order requirements will keep this option to larger brands only.
Jagwire has a couple of new disc brake tools that I recently covered in a past Cool Tool Tuesday. The latest from the company is the Sport Zip Tie cutter, a flush cutter that holds onto the trimmed bit. This one retails at US$22.
CeramicSpeed has just announced a degreaser designed specifically for breaking down bearing grease. It’s non-toxic, biodegradable, and absolutely rips through grease in a way I’ve never experienced before. The bottle features a dropper function as you don’t need a lot of this stuff to get the bearing prepped for fresh grease.
And speaking of fresh grease, there’s that too. This grease is the same stuff that CeramicSpeed has long offered in plastic syringes, it’s now just sold in new packaging.
Crankbrothers has long offered the M19 multitool. Now it’s the M20 and comes with a tubeless tyre plug prong. The bacon-strip style plugs sit in a case that attaches to the back of the tool.
This large can of Quick Drying Chain Degreaser is highly pressurized to blast off everything it’s pointed at. From what I can tell it’s very similar in concept to Finish Line’s Speed degreaser, but Muc-Off has it in a larger can that should last longer.
Park Tool has updated its flagship Team Issue portable workstand. This is the new PRS-26 (US$410).
The PRS-26 is the first tripod-base workstand from the blue tool company. As Feedback Sports has shown, the tripod base better handles uneven surfaces. Not pictured is the centre column that’s keyed in a way that prevents twisting between the upright and base.
The PRS-26 offers a clamp holder for compact storage.
The base is secured with just a simple knob.
The clamp itself remains unchanged from the PRS-25. This is a good thing as it’s a great clamp that works safely with a wide variety of tube shapes. While fairly expensive, the new stand appears to combine some of the best elements between Feedback Sports and Park Tool stands.
If the Sea Otter Classic was a drinking game, then “supply chain issues” and “tubeless tyre plug” would be problematic phrases. That said, Park Tool’s new US$37 tubeless plug kit is designed to use thicker plugs than most and features a handy little pusher which works to hold the plug in place while you pull the insertion tool out. Worth noting, there is no easy way to mount this tyre plug kit to a bike.
Park Tool has been sneaking threads into many of its new bottom bracket sockets. And they’ve now released the matching holder (optional use!) to go with those threads. For those wondering how this works, the frame bottom bracket shell would sit between the socket (left) and where that washer and spring sit (right).
The idea of the new Park Tool BBT-RS is that so many T47-style bottom brackets now offer only minimal tool engagement depth. This threaded holder means the tool is held securely under torque. Better yet, the tool can also be used with Octalink, ISIS, and (most) square taper bottom brackets.
Park Tool’s bottom bracket socket range has grown substantially in recent times. Currently they offer tools for almost everything except for Colnago, Hope, and e13 bottom brackets. I’ve said it before, but T47 was supposed to be an answer to press-fit woes, and yet, the industry managed to make a mess of it with a myriad of new tool requirements.
The new PS-1 is designed to help with setting disc brake pad clearance while the wheel is out. It’s also stiff and strong enough to help with pushing pads and pistons back into bores (something a homemade tool probably can’t handle). This little tool caused a small storm on Instagram because it appeared to copy a tool previously made by ToolBoxWars champion Brad Kelly. Brad seems to be laughing about the situation (which he didn’t start), especially given he doesn’t claim to be the inventor of it.
Topeak now has a small range of three-way/Y-wrenches. The somewhat unique feature of these is that the blades have a spinner sleeve on them. That spinner sleeve makes turning the wrenches a pleasure, but it may also impact their reach into deeply set fasteners.
Topeak had two new torque wrench kits on display. The larger of the two includes the Torq Stick 4-20 Nm and a regular ratchet which should make it a rather handy home workshop in a box. The smaller kit is a little more limited on torque range (2-10 Nm), has fewer bits, and misses out on the bit-ratchet. Both kits include a little bit-holding palm spinner (the round object).
The Mountain Digital 2Stage is capable of inflating suspension shocks and tyres (it features a volume switch as its base), and does it all with the accuracy of a digital pressure gauge.
I’ve covered the Topeak PrepStand eUp Pro before, but this is the first time I’ve actually tried one. Its a folding hydraulic-assist repair stand that provides 16.7 kg of lifting assistance. That’s enough to make light work of an e-bike. The internal mechanism is effectively just one very big dropper seatpost.
The wide base is designed to carry a whole lot of weight.
The clamp design is somewhat comparable in concept to what Park Tool has made popular. Not a bad thing.
This foot pedal activates the hydraulic cylinder for raising or lowering the bike.
Wolf Tooth has once again expanded its range of multi tools. This is the new 6-Bit, designed as a handy little “everyday carry” (EDC) item. The key chain is secured with a ball detent, and the tool is locked closed when it’s docked.
Release the keychain and the tool can be flipped open, revealing a series of double-ended bits (4 mm standard). These interface with the flip head that can handle up to 40 Nm of torque. This little number is US$40. I think I’ve found my new fidget tool.
Wolf Tooth is now offering a new handle to go with its range of thru-axles. The handle is available in a variety of colours, but this being Cool Tool Tuesday, there’s of course a hidden trick …
The handle hides a couple of double-sided bits which dock with the hole in the outside of the handle (visible in previous photo). Wolf Tooth include four bits with the handle, and you can pick the two most relevant to your needs.
The handle has both a 5 and 6 mm hex key which fit into a special receiver (supplied) that hides a holding O-ring. Officially Wolf Tooth designed this US$30 handle to work with its thru-axles, but other axles that features an O-ring at the head should work (such as Trek).
Wolf Tooth has added another option to its 8-Bit tool system (tool sandwich). Wolf Tooth previously offered a large tyre lever with a rim bead bending hook on the opposite end. Pictured is the latest option: a tyre lever, rotor straightener, and 8 mm hose nut tool.
The other side of the same tool. The tyre lever offers a small depression for your thumb.
Wolf Tooth recently added a waterproof grease to the range. In reality it’s unlikely to offer anything unique over other popular synthetic greases.
Abbey Bike Tools’ Saw Guide is something I’ve covered before. Pictured is a newly updated version which now also works to cut handlebars and offers a whisker more clearance for the thickest of carbon saw blades. If you bought the first version, note that the updated clamp (green part) can be bought separately.
Sometimes unique applications mean even the humble socket can be improved upon. This little 13 mm chamferless socket is designed to offer a precise fit with the low stack pressure relief valves found on new Fox 36, 38, and 40 suspension forks.
As seen in James’s first Sea Otter Classic gallery, Lezyne has a new Pocket Torque Drive which is meant to be a torque wrench that you can always have with you on a ride. Photo: James Huang.
CushCore’s new Bead Bro is another new tool that James covered a few days ago. It’s said to be your “third hand”, locking one section of the tire in place so that you can wrestle the rest of it with a tire lever without worrying about the other end popping off the rim. The concept isn’t totally new, with motorcycle tool company Motion Pro having offered something similar for a number of years and more recently there have been a few bicycle-specific tyre levers which aim to achieve similar. Still, this one looks well thought out. Photo: James Huang.
PrestaCycle is now offering a range of pocket-sized torque wrenches. Pictured is the TorqRatchet Deluxe (top) and TorqRatchet Pro Deluxe (bottom). The new Pro Deluxe model offers a scale that’s vastly easier to read across its 2-10 Nm range. The clever design works as both a regular bit-ratchet (hold the red part) and a torque wrench (thumb on the black end). These are a well-priced and compact option in the torque wrench space.
PrestaCycles’s new Prestalever III tyre lever has two very different ends for installing and removing tyres. The installation end offers a blunt and tube-safe shape. While the removal end is designed to unhook the tyre and then be flipped upright for rapid removal. The tool then hides a few other features, too.
The thin removal end makes it possible to use multiple tyre levers at once to overcome truly tight tyres.
The new PrestaCycle tyre lever even features a thread for a tubeless tyre plug tool. PrestaCycle has designed its own tyre plug prong to fit. The tool also hides a valve core tool and even a method for undoing chain masterlinks (requires positioning the chain just right on the chainring).
The new PrestaRatchet III Multi-tool has me somewhat amped. As shown, US$30 gets you a well proven bit-ratchet with a handle that has many of the new tyre lever features, a ride wallet, tubeless tyre plugs, and S2 bits.
I’ve never hidden the fact that I believe Dynaplug’s patented tubeless plugs are a superior option. The company has been busy designing a new way to store its plugs at the end of bars which doesn’t add any length and remains super quick to access. They are currently finalising details and plan to have both a mountain bike and drop-bar version of this covert product. Tiny grub screws (a stubby hex key will be provided) are used to retain the threaded insert into the bar. I’ll cover this exclusive first tease in a bit more detail in another Sea Otter Classic gallery.