Tools - workshop
We first saw Lezyne's new range of workshop tools at Eurobike and the Classic Pedal Spanner is the first we've managed to get our hands on. And it's a lovely bit of kit, good looking and functional in equal measure. And not too expensive either. And you can open your beers with it.
We've tested a few Birzman tools over the last few months and generally we've found them to be excellent quality. If you've got into bike fettling and you're looking to set yourself up at home then this 13-piece kit would be a good starting point; all the tools are good quality and you've got most of the bases covered from the off.
Birzman's Digital Torque Wrench is as the name suggests a torque wrench from specialist bike-tool manufacturer Birzman. I know I shouldn't be seduced by appearance - especially on something as mundane as a metal stick for tightening bolts - but I can't help it. With its comfortable black handle, slender metal neck, neat little LED screen and control buttons, plus a dash of Birzman's trademark lime green plastic for good measure, this is a truly lovely-looking piece of kit.
Joy of joys! the Park CT6 chain tool is back, updated to version 6.2. Park stopped making it for a while because of the cost of stainless steel, but now you can once again own one for the princely sum of £20 (a bit less if you shop around). And I'd suggest that you seek one out, because it's a gem.
Thanks to Pedro's Vise whip, from now on my battered and unloved chain whip stays in the toolbox! Retailing at a cool £50 and backed by lifetime warrantee, it definitely falls into the (MARKETING SPEAK WARNING!) prosumer category-hardy enough for the rigors of a busy bike shop but within the reach of home mechanics. On the downside, track and urban fixer aficionados will cry foul since it doesn't entertain 1/8th sprockets and letting slip you've bought one will see the world and their club-mate camped outside begging to borrow it...
Not so long ago we tested Park's TS-8 truing stand and you can have this Feedback Sports Truing Station for £40 less. On paper it's more fully featured than the Park, in reality it's a little more fiddly to use although it's still a perfectly serviceable workshop addition, and decent value.
Essentially a modified digital calliper, Feedback Sports' Chain Gauge eliminates the guesswork when determining chain wear. Compared to a metal chain checker or steel ruler, you're less likely to get errors due to you making a mistake, or tool wear. Being digital it's more expensive, so it will probably appeal to bike shop mechanics more than home mechanics.
A hammer's a hammer, right? Not necessarily. The Birzman Deadblow is designed to take the place of your standard workshop mallet, and there's no denying that it's a classy bit of kit that discharges its hammering duties in style.
If you're the kind of person who likes to tinker then a wheel jig like Park’s TS-8 makes the whole process of fiddling with your hoops a whole lot easier, and building them from scratch a lot less stressful. This stand is aimed at home mechanics. It isn’t particularly cheap but it's very sturdy and simple to use.
The nice people at Birzman say the designs of their bike tools are inspired by nature. Hence, according to their website, the Zacoo Next floor pump design “originates from the Birzman premier 5 degree floor pump” which itself originates from “the trunk of a tree … a true vertical expression of strength and stability.”