Just In: Torque wrench, bottle opener, energy chews and more

The latest stuff that's landed on our desk

CDI Computorq3 torque wrench

Modern high-end frames and componentry push the boundaries of light weight and durability further than ever and a high-quality torque wrench is no longer an option; it’s a requirement.  Shops looking for a pro-level tool can look to the Computorq3 from CDI, a division of legendary toolmaker Snap-On.

Users program the desired torque setting on the digital display and a trio of LEDs plus an audible tone lets you know when you’ve reached the target torque (as well as when you’re close and if you’ve gone too far).  The included NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)-traceable certificate of calibration also promises that what’s on the display is what you actually did and the internal CPU stores the last actual torque reading, too.  Claimed accuracy is two or three percent of readings from 20-100 percent of full scale.

Our tester features a usable range of 2.71 - 27.10Nm (24 - 240in-lb) and the 1/4” ratcheting head rotates in both directions and tilts up to 15°.  A generous 38cm overall length (15”) provides plenty of leverage, too.  Other models offer ranges of 13.6 - 135.6Nm (120 - 1200in-lb) or 33.8 – 338Nm (300 – 3000in-lb). 

In addition to putting this thing through the wringer firsthand, we’ll also be dropping this off at our favorite local shop to get their feedback, too.  At this price, we’re expecting a lot.  Stay tuned.

Price: US$532.24

Enduro BB30 bottom bracket bearing tool

The CDI Computorq3 torque wrench may be expensive but at least it comes with an impressive feature set to match and a certifiably impressive level of accuracy.

The BB30 bottom bracket standard is fast-growing in popularity so the frequency of worn-out bearings will certainly be on the rise as well.  Enduro now adds a BB30-specific edition to its range of bearing service tools that shares the same high-quality machined and anodised aluminum construction and well thought-out design. 

The dual-purpose tool can both remove old bearings and install new ones and is compact enough to fit in most home tool setups.  Instructions are easy-to-follow and straightforward, too, meaning that yes, even you can likely tackle this job at home.  Go ahead; have it with that pressure washer.

Price: US$140.00

Effetto Mariposa CarboGrip and CarboMove

Effetto Mariposa's CarboGrip and CarboMove aim to be useful aids both for clamping carbon bits and for removing them if they seize.

Effetto Mariposa takes a different approach to adding friction on clamped carbon parts with its new CarboGrip.  Instead of a paste loaded with tiny plastic spheres, CarboGrip is a resin spray that you apply to parts right before installation.  Once it sets up, Effetto Mariposa claims that you can easily clamp parts to their recommended torque spec without fear of slippage and the compound prevents corrosion and seizing, too.  In addition, it isn’t water-soluble so riding in the rain won’t wash it away (plus it might provide a better seal to prevent water intrusion into the frame for those living in wetter climes). 

If you’re on the other side of the coin and find yourself with a seized carbon post in your high-end frame, Effetto Mariposa also introduces a new CarboMove part removal spray.  CarboMove supposedly acts as both a penetrating lubricant and powerful solvent to eat away corrosion.  Just spray it on, allow it to seep in and soak for 24 hours and hopefully it’s done its magic by then.  According to Effetto Mariposa, CarboMove won’t do any damage to carbon composites or metals, either.

We don’t currently have any seized posts in the fleet so it’ll be hard for us to test this one firsthand but we wonder if it’ll also work on metallic frames and posts (nor do we know if it will work better than any number of penetrating fluids already on the market).  Either way, it’s a reasonable cost for something that could potentially save an afflicted user thousands of dollars.

Price: US$19.95 (CarboMove, 200ml or CarboMove, 75ml)

Park PMP-5 Dial Adjust frame pump

The Park Tool PMP-5 Dial Adjust frame pump might prove to be a boon for shop owners as only one size is needed.

Park Tool’s new PMP-5 Dial Adjust frame pump will undoubtedly be a big hit among shop owners as they’ll no longer have to carry multiple sizes.  The innovative indexing design adjusts in length to fit most frames, the switchable head accommodates both Presta and Schrader valves and the pivoting T-handle affords the necessary leverage to inflate high-pressure road tyres

Since it’s a Park product, the PMP-5 will also carry the usual unconditional lifetime warranty and it should be reasonably easy to attain small replacement parts down the road. 

Price: US$23.99

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews

Honey Stinger's new Organic Energy Chews are loaded with goodies but also exceptionally tasty.

Honey Stinger’s Organic Energy Chews incorporate the company’s favored carbohydrate sources, honey and organic tapioca syrup, but in a new chewable format.  According to Honey Stinger, the honey and tapioca syrup provide a sensible blend of glucose, fructose, maltose and sucrose for both quick and long-lasting energy, and the 100 percent organic ingredient list is also gluten- and dairy-free. 

Most importantly, our sample pack is über-tasty with an agreeable texture that won’t get stuck in your teeth. 

Each 50g (1.8oz) package will pack 160 calories, 1g of protein, 1g of fiber, 0g of fat and 100 percent of the US FDA’s recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.  Honey Stinger will offer the Organic Energy Chews in cherry blossom, orange blossom and berry flavors.  Yum.

Price: U$1.89 per packet

Soma Crystal Polypropylene Bottle

The Soma Fabrications Crystal bottle is made from FDA-approved food grade polypropylene instead of LDPE.

There has been a lot of attention paid in the general media lately about the dangers of drinking out of certain types of plastic containers due to chemical leeching.  While the LDPE #4 plastic widely used in bike bottles is already considered safe, Soma says the FDA-approved food grade polypropylene in its new Crystal bottle is even better at keeping contained fluids free of weird aftertastes.

Regardless, the bottle walls feel surprisingly sturdy yet are still easy to squeeze, and the top is impressively leak-free (darn near Specialized-like, in fact).  Fit quality in some of the cages we tried was a little funky and the bottom isn’t entirely square but if that’s the price to pay for bearing children with the proper number of appendages, it seems at least worth a shot.

Price: US$7.99

Ahrens Wisecracker Lite bottle opener

Like beer after a ride? Ahrens' new Wisecracker Lite replaces a headset spacer to provide a built-in bottle opener.

Ahrens’ Wisecracker Lite is somewhat unusual for us in that it not only does nothing to improve your bike’s performance but actually adds weight (albeit only 14g).  Nevertheless, some riders will undoubtedly consider its cleverly integrated bottle opener a ‘must have’ accessory anyway.  Simply replace one of your standard 1 1/8” headset spacers with this widget and enjoy hour after hour of your favorite frothy beverage.  Ah… tasty.

Price: US$15

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