As new bottom bracket or disc brake ‘standards’ come to market, suitable tools soon follow. For 2016, many brands have bolstered their ranges, offering more tools to do specific tasks with greater ease. Here we present the latest and greatest that we spied wandering the aisles of Interbike.
With a total of 28 new tools, Park Tool is in no risk of losing its place of dominance.
Something we covered previously, the Torque Drivers were Park's most popular addition at Interbike
We recently covered a handful of the new tools, including the Pre-set and adjustable Torque drivers. Park is confident in these new tools, stating the full metal internal construction is different to all others on the market and that they’ve proven to hold the torque accuracy over thousands of clicks. Park told BikeRadar that some of the more common plastic torque drivers show loss of accuracy in just 200 clicks of use.
Built for heavy-duty use, the new FR-5H Shimano-type cassette tool has its own steel handle. It’s clearly borrowing some design cues from the popular Abbey Bike Tool’s Crombie wrench, especially the hollow centre to slip over a quick release’s axle nut. It’s much heavier than an Abbey though, and the head can be unscrewed from the solid steel handle for replacement.
To ease the cassette removal with 12mm thru-axle rear hubs, the FR-5GT cassette tool simply offers a 12mm guide for a straight fit.
Some new workshop tools come as complete kits with organized storage
Built for the shop environment, Park now has a hub bearing press kit, a bottom bracket bearing press kit and an updated disc brake mount facer. All three of these tools come as complete kits in organized plastic cases.
The bottom bracket (BBP-1) and hub bearing presses share a similar design with each other. Included with both are full ranges of bearing guides. One of the nicer aspects is the bottom collar, which just snaps in place without the use of a spring that can pinch your fingers like Park’s HHP-2 headset press that most shops use.
The HBP-1 hub press features a slimmer profile for access between the smallest of bearings. This tool would also work well for suspension frame pivots.
The disc tab facing set goes through another overhaul
Those dealing with disc brake rub, shuddering or uneven pad wear will like the new DT-5.2 disc brake facing set. This new kit is designed to work universally with Post, Flat and IS disc brake mount standards and offers telescoping axles to suit just about every frame and fork standard.
Abbey Bike Tools
Abbey Bike Tools have quickly become a common fixture within the toolboxes of many professional race and shop mechanics. The tools typically fill a void in what’s offered elsewhere or perhaps just do a task better.
Flush fit sockets for suspension work
Take the new Suspension Top Cap sockets. Sold in a set of five, these are a flush-fit socket for use on delicate fork top caps, something that professional mechanics used to achieve by sourcing expensive automotive sockets and grinding them down.
A prototype Abbey press
Still in the works, Jason Quade of Abbey showed us a prototype bottom bracket and headset bearing press. It features an impressive bearing arrangement to isolate tightening torque and pressing. The centering cone helps to keep the bearing or cup perfectly straight and a neat magnetic bottom clip ensures quick use. Quade plans to offer extensions, which will allow the tool length to be extended for even the tallest head tubes on the market.
Efficient Velo Tools (EVT)
The shortest clamp head available; 'seatposts only', says EVT
Brett Fleming of EVT tends to always draw a crowd when he shows off the use of his shop-specific workshop products. Built for the professional, his tools are designed for safer, more precise and easier operation when working on bikes all-day long.
Such a philosophy is seen with the E-Z Light repair stand which offers the ability to attach the short clamphead to a seatpost with the bike on the ground. Not only does this ease the heavy lifting, it provides the ability to hold the bike secure while you free a stubborn pedal or even straighten a handlebar.
The tolerances on his stand are so tight that air pressure helps to control the vertical adjustment, something that is further aided by a 30lb weight that sits hidden within the stand’s column.
Wolf Tooth is getting into tools. These follow Abbey's success in lightweight, travel-focused options
Best known for their wide-narrow chainrings, Wolf Tooth is now doing a small range of lightweight ‘travel’ tools. The alloy-handled chain whip is the lightest we’ve seen, while other tools typically cover multiple purposes.
What do you buy the cyclist who 'owns everything'? A set of darn nice hex keys, that's what
Released a little while back, Silca now has a set of hex wrenches that show an amazing amount of thought. Featuring a nine-stage heat treatment, these are claimed to be an industry benchmark for strength and durability. The box itself is a work of art, offering one-handed opening and operation of all included tools.
The $125 may seem steep for a set of L-shaped hex wrenches, but the guys at Silca revealed these guys truly stressed every single aspect of the design, and it shows.
Be sure to check out the gallery above for a complete look at what’s new. We’ll be rounding up the best new multi-tools and maintenance products soon. Stay tuned.