October 2016 Product Picks: Giro, Cycliq, POC, Bar Fly, Telehex, and PB Swiss

by James Huang

October 8, 2016

This month’s Product Picks covers a diverse range of bits and bobbles for bike and body. U.S. technical editor James Huang has put enough time on Giro’s Factor Techlace shoes for a full review, and he’s also been snapping footage in both Colorado and Italy with Cycliq’s recently revamped Fly6 rear-facing camera and LED flasher. If that didn’t already attract enough attention from drivers, the bright orange hue of the POC DO Blade Half AVIP sunglasses is hard to miss. Roadside repairs haven’t been an issue, either, with two sets of interesting multi-tools on tap, from Kickstarter-launched Telehex, and longtime hand-tool brand PB Swiss.


Click the links below to skip through to a particular review:


PB Swiss BikeTool

by James Huang

PB Swiss isn’t a brand that’s well known in general cycling circles, but many shop and race mechanics will recognize it as one of the better hand tool manufacturers on the market — and in particular, its distinctive individually color-coded Allen wrench sets. As it turns out, the company makes just one cycling-specific product: the aptly named BikeTool multi-tool (often sold under the Victorinox label).

The PB Swiss BikeTool isn't the lightest multi-tool on the market, but it's more usable than many and still very reasonably compact.

The PB Swiss BikeTool isn’t the lightest multi-tool on the market, but it’s more usable than many and still very reasonably compact.

The BikeTool bucks the trend of most portable multi-tools in that it doesn’t use a conventional fold-out design. Instead, it uses a simple 5mm L-key as the base foundation to which any of the eight other bits can be attached via a handy magnetic adapter.

All of those pieces are secured in a small plastic base, and there are even two tire levers included — one on each side. Actual weight is just under 100g.

Our Take:


Long-time users of more typical multi-tools may be put off by the BikeTool’s multitude of pieces, as anything other than a 5mm bolt head will require three separate parts: the 5mm base L-key, the bit adapter, and the bit. That said, I find the arrangement to be rather elegant in its simplicity.

The magnetic bit adapter can be attached to either end of the base 5mm wrench.

The magnetic bit adapter can be attached to either end of the base 5mm wrench.

The standard L-key tool layout will be instantly familiar to even regular home mechanics, and that bit adapter can be attached to either end, meaning you have your choice of a longer reach or more leverage depending on the task at hand. Unlike most all-in-one multi-tools, the BikeTool’s bits can also be replaced as needed (or customized to suit your specific components).

One neat detail is that PB Swiss has left open holes on the underside of each bit holder, meaning you can use the main 5mm wrench to easily push out bits as needed.

One neat detail is that PB Swiss has left open holes on the underside of each bit holder, meaning you can use the main 5mm wrench to easily push out bits as needed.

PB Swiss has a solid reputation for long-term durability, too, so there’s a good chance you’ll get years of use out of this provided you manage to keep track of all the pieces (and don’t break the plastic tire levers, which unfortunately are not easily replaced).

Price: US$40 / AU$TBC / £TBC / €TBC
www.pbswisstools.com


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