It’s that time of year again when the talk turns to, “what on earth do I buy such-in-such for a gift?” I have done my best to list a few things that are super affordable but are super handy. I own at least one of all these tools and can attest to their functionality. I also know where they can be purchased so if you need help finding them, stop by and see me.
Bondhus L Handle hex keys - Talk about something I use every day. It would be very difficult to know how many of these wrenches I own. My tool boxes are full of them and I find carrying a couple in my bike tool kits are super awesome. One of the most useful tools a bike mechanic can own.
Portland Design Works 3wrencho - I ride quite a few bikes with bolt on hubs and this is a nice take along tool. The most important detail here is to make sure to tighten the hubs with this wrench before putting it in your bag so you know you can loosen them if needed. Comes raw or plastic coated if you are worried about your fancy rims when using as a tyre lever.
Park Tool SW-0 - We still build a lot of wheels here at County Cycles. It’s a skill that is becoming more uncommon every year as companies make more and more pre-built wheels. I have yet to find a more comfortable spoke wrench that works as well. Also available in the SW-1, and SW-2 to cover the most common spoke nipple sizes here in the states.
Stein Mini Cassette Lockring Driver - Now here is an unusual tool that can save a tour. Carrying a cassette lockring tool and a chainwhip is not very practical. Enter the “hypercracker”. This little guy uses the drivetrain chain for the chainwhip and it works like a champ. I wound a spool full of fishing line into my hub on day one of a tour so as to not really be able to coast. That evening I popped the cassette off, removed the pound of string and coasting issues solved. That made me a true believer.