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Verdict: 
Extravagant chain keeper built to look good and last forever
Weight: 
123g
Contact: 
www.ilsoigneur.cc | www.wearebutter.com
Butter b1 chain tool
7 10

The Butter b1 chain tool won't split links on your chain. In fact it doesn't do much for your chain at all. What this chain tool - more accurately called a chain keeper - does is is hold the chain away from your frame while you take the back wheel out, acting like a dummy cog.

This is all it does and at £31.50 it does it extravagantly. But this is a handy piece of kit that prevents your chain from scratching your frame. Use it while you're transporting your bike in a bag and it helps the chain stay on the chainring which further helps protect your thin lightweight race frame from getting gauged by the sharp edged links.

So what makes it so expensive? Well, it is CNC-machined from solid billet aluminium, laser etched and anodised; it looks and feels like quality. It is also from Colorado, made in small batches and the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty. They will replace any part of it for free if needs be but they seem to think you won't ever require it (or the postage won't be worth it?).

You can get cheap alternatives and you could even argue whether you need a tool like this at all, but if you do have a nice, expensive frame and you do travel with it in a bike bag then this is a nice little thing rather than something that just does its job.

 

Using the device is simple, with the rear wheel removed and the rear mech in top gear, slide the square peg into the drop-out, locate the chain into the nylon pulley then turn the large metal block-like bezel to tighten on to the frame. Simple.

The Butter b1 chain keeper is expensive but then it is a bit of a luxury item designed for those with precious bike frames. Its job overshadows the seemingly high price for a basic tool. The lifetime warranty and quality of manufacture should make this something that you keep for ever(ish).

Verdict

Extravagant chain keeper built to look good and last forever.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Butter b1 chain tool

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Designed to be the best quality chain keeper and I must say I haven't seen a better one.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Designed, machined and assembled in Colorado, USA. Machined from billet alumnium, Delrin chain gutter, stainless steel hardware.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

it does a simple task well but it only works in the top 2 gears.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

life time warranty is included and free replacement parts should you ever need it. This thing is built to last a long, long time.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10

The large bezel is easy to turn and secure the device to your frame.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Okay, if your aren't going to use it that much it is a luxury item that is more than twice the price of other similar types of tool.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It did its job.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

It is totally over engineered and really shows off to those who like the little details.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It is a bit pricey and I would like it to come in a little storage pouch.

Did you enjoy using the product? My bike liked it more.

Would you consider buying the product? It would make a nice gift.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

If nice tools give you a tingle, then this sort of thing is for you. This is a basic product made into something special but at a comparatively high price.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 179  Weight: 75

I usually ride: Condor pista  My best bike is: Condor Pista fixed. Look KG241, Jean Thomann vintage

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, bare back

 

5 comments

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The _Kaner [751 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

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DavidC [140 posts] 2 years ago
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Many people do need such a device — these are very useful when cleaning the drivetrain and when transporting a bike stowed in the back of a car — but a perfectly good one can be found for a fraction of the cost of this model. The plastic one I purchased 15 years ago is still in fine condition.

Avatar
Trull [81 posts] 2 years ago
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This is a silly tool, if you are transporting your pride and joy then you need to protect the rear forks as well - so if they extended this to be 130mm and ran a QR through it then it would be a chain grabber and prevent crushing the forks too.

The CTC mention a 100mm pipe that can do the job up front, so why not make a rear one? unless that means you still have to box up a second time for the rear wheel, so again this idea seems silly to me.
http://www.ctc.org.uk/cyclists-library/bikes-public-transport/bikes-air

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ajmarshal1 [411 posts] 2 years ago
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Morgan Blue do one for a fiver. I've got one and it works. Handy for cleaning too.

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sorebones [139 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
ajmarshal1 wrote:

Morgan Blue do one for a fiver. I've got one and it works. Handy for cleaning too.

Spot on. Really useful bit of kit for cleaning the bike or transporting in the back of the car. Simple design that should last a lifetime and at a fraction of the cost