For this week’s post, we are bringing you our Top 4 most underrated, and undervalued tools. These are the tools that you’ve always seen as overpriced or superfluous, but we explain their true benefit and why they pay off in the end. You may notice, we don’t recommend one brand for every tool. This is for two reasons: one, as a small business, we are not tied to any tool company or brand; and two, there really is no brand that wins out in durability, usability, and price for every tool they make. But you don’t have to believe us, come down and check out the different options yourself at Cycle Portland.
Picking Your Tire Lever
Pedro’s vs Park Tool
Quality makes a big difference, even for some of some of the smallest tools. Design and plastic composition in tire levers become apparent after changing even one or two and become amplified after a few hundred tire changes. The Pedro Lever slots in the groove much better with a wider and better designed profile. The stiffer cross section mean less flexing and breakage when taking off a stiff tire.
Choosing Your Multitool
You’ll notice a couple things you’ll notice when you finally need to pull that multitool out of its deep, dark corner of your saddlebag. First, you’ll notice the length and design of the handle. Getting the leverage to really tighten down that offending nut often takes more than a one-inch handle. Second, you’ll notice the construction of the whole contraption when it starts to loosen up and fall apart. For whatever reason, the bolt fastening method of those cheap-o tools will rattle apart after about five uses. The Crank Brothers set is a lifetime tool. Spend the money and you won’t regret it.
When picking a good set of hex tools to start your toolset, what are the important things to look at? Long handle for leverage and hard to reach places, connected with metal vs plastic, having a ball-style on one end. Between tightening crankarms, removing stuck pedals, and accessing hard to reach brake bolts, long handle hex wrenches are indispensable. Combine that long handle with a ball-style end and you’ll able to tighten any bolt on your bike stress-free.
Note: Know what to use the ball-style hex for and what not to! Its perfect for adjusting a tough-to-access brake calliper or bottle cage. Just don’t try to lossen a rusted bolt as your more likely to round out the bolt head.
Why You Can’t Do Without Cable Cutters
Why should you invest in a genuine cable cutter rather than using snips to cut your cable housing? Trust us, you will regret every minute of your experience trying to cut shifting cable with snips. Shift housing is made up of long metal wires that run the length of the tubing. Attempting to cut these with snips leads to terrible cuts, poked fingers and a lot of frustration. Take it from us, it’s a $20-$35 tool that is worth its weight in gold!