Real World Cycling suspension tools - Just in

Plus outboard bottom bracket cup tool

Recently arriving at BikeRadar's US office were a collection of suspension and bottom bracket tools from Real World Cycling, the US distributor for Enduro bearings and fork seals.

Designed for shop mechanics or even home wrenches who regularly do suspension work, the CNC-machined, aluminum reversible seal and wiper press tools are designed to press new seals into fork lowers reliably, easily, and safely and without fear of damage. You can use one for wiper seals and the other for main oil seals, and both ends feature bushing pilots to help ensure they're pressed in straight.

Real World Cycling offers tools to fit 30, 32, 35, 36, and 38mm-diameter stanchions. Prices range from US$45.95-49.95 but the tools appear to be very well made. They're reassuring hefty and and are produced in Tucson, Arizona.

BB cup tool 

Also included in our shipment was Real World Cycling's US$59.95 outboard bottom bracket cup tool, similarly made in the US. It employs CNC-machined and laser-etched aluminum to provide a precisely fitting – but non-marring – grip on splined bottom bracket cups from Shimano, SRAM, FSA, Campagnolo, and others.

Unlike most splined bottom bracket tools that use a cup-type layout, Real World Cycling's tool is a flat plate that can be flipped over depending on the particular cup setup, in order to prevent frame damage. The ovoid shape is designed to fit comfortably in your hand but also accepts a 3/8in ratchet or torque wrench.

The key feature of real world cycling's new bottom bracket tool is the offset spline pattern, which is intended to protect frame surfaces from damage without compromising purchase on the cup - simply flip the tool over until you get the ideal fit:

The offset spline pattern is the key feature on the teardrop-shaped BB tool

"By making the tool reversible, the wrench can be centered on the cup regardless of where the manufacturer decided to put the wrench grooves on the cup," said company owner Chris Streeter. "The wrench force is in line with the cup body so the typical tendency of sockets to slip off has been eliminated."

"The tool is extremely ergonomic," he continued. "It’s a natural fit with the hand and has ridges and a texture designed to work even with greasy hands. It’s great for spinning cups on and off by hand, by ratchet drive socket wrench, and by orienting the tool at a 90-degree angle a torque wrench can be used for proper installation."

That the tool fits well in your hands is especially good, as the unconventional design precludes the use of a ratcheting driver to remove stubborn cups quickly – a possible disadvantage we'll be evaluating shortly now that winter has finally arrived in Colorado. We've got a long list of overdue maintenance chores to check off so stay tuned for an in-depth review in the coming months.

For more information see the Real World Cycling website.

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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