The BBQ Pedal Wrench is a hand tool built specifically for the professionals – for whom grabbing a 8mm hex wrench to then find you need a 6mm adds up to lost profit.
Even pedals from the same brand will commonly use either a 6 or 8mm hex or a 15mm wrench flat – and yes, Shimano, Look, Time, Speedplay and Crank Brothers are all guilty of this. Quite simply, this tool combines the three most common pedal tools into a single, elegant wrench.
It’s a tool that best belongs in the hands of demo fleet drivers, bike fitters and bike shop sales guys getting test bikes ready. That said, there’s a growing number of mechanics and home-based aficionados who appreciate quality tools – like fine pieces of art.
Sandwiching the chromed steel construction is highly comfortable and naturally grippy stained American oak wooden handle. The replaceable, swiveling 6/8mm hex bit is made of hardened stainless steel, and is slightly oversized to more securely lock into the commonly wacky tolerances found in pedals.
Measured from the tool’s end to the bottom of the open-end spanner, the 280mm length is short for a pro-grade pedal wrench. However, use the hex ends and the opposite is true – this is a massively long hex wrench.
The hex end swivels, allowing you to undo pedals at various angles, and then straighten the whole wrench for fast spinning
Undoing pedals with the hex wrench means you get the full leverage – including using the wide-set pedal wrench as a flat handle to push against. Once the pedal is snapped free, you then swivel the wrench and quickly spin it until the pedal is free (or, in the opposite scenario, tightened). For hex-equipped pedals, I haven’t found an easier or quicker method to undo or install pedals with.
It's not the longest open-end pedal wrench out there, but it's perfectly sufficient for all but the worst jobs
Unfortunately, it’s a shade less glorious when it comes to the 15mm open spanner end (an increasingly uncommon fitting). If long leverage is needed for that rusted 20-year old pedal, then you may need to dust off the longer ‘workshop’ pedal wrench.
Additionally, the extreme hex end (when using the 15mm open wrench) has a relatively sharp edge – it’s not enough to cut you, but it’s close. This is only a concern on properly stuck pedals, and something we're told is already being remedied with current batches.
Durability has been impressive, with the tools tips showing zero sign of wear yet. Like other Abbey tools we've used previously, tool tolerances are superb, and you certainly can't blame this tool if the wrench flats or hex socket rounds.
Regardless of how good this tool is or how long it will last though, the price is a hard one to look past (especially the UK price). Speaking to BikeRadar, Jason Quade, the man behind Abbey Bike Tools admitted – “I was hoping to hit a far lower price originally. We hit a couple of major snags on the way to production though and they all added significant cost. We could have cut corners to hit a price, but that's what other tool companies do.”
This explanation may not suit everyone, but it speaks volumes for the quality and construction of this no-compromise US-made tool. Whether that's enough to justify the expense is up to you, and it's likely not, unless you earn money from your tools.