One23 is a brand that you've probably never heard of, but it has a vast catalogue of bike components and ephemera to choose from and flicking to the 'Tools' pages you'll find this cheery multi-coloured Hex-Key Set.
The set has all the hex-keys, or allen keys if you like, that you'll need for the majority of home bike fettling - 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10mm, all kept together in a plastic holder to discourage them from drifting around the shed as tools are want to do. Ball-ended on the long side for angled usage in hard to get to places and quick fingered tightening and undoing these One23 tools are quite noticably set apart from the usual workshop fare by being brightly rainbow coloured.
More than just a pretty gimmick having technicolour tools is a handy feature in a couple of ways. Firstly it makes them easy to spot in a dark dingy cluttered workshop or shed environment amongst a mess of greasy black and dusty rusty spannerage, and it's particularly useful should they ever leave the house and be used in the field, for sudden pre-race tinkering for example, where dropping a tool in the grass or boot of the car can lead to a flustered and sweary panic whereas a bright red allen key is easy to spot.
Secondly, and more useful than you'd think, the brain soon figures out which colour relates to which size and reaches out accordingly, no more picking up the black 4mm because it looked the same size as the black 5mm from an arms length away, you just reach for the royal blue one. It's quite a simple bit of genius and wrenching by colour becomes second nature in no time if you have half a brain, oh, and aren't colour blind.
The shafts are painted rather than the anodized finish we've seen on the far pricier versions of these, which leaves a thick layer of colour over the tool body but there hasn't been an incident yet where the thickness of the paint has interfered with the tools efficiency by not allowing it to get deep enough into a bolt, although the paint finishing isn't the greatest and some of them are now scratched thanks to toolbox tussling.
Hard use in the home dealing with the standard variety of old, baggy, new and dirt packed allen bolts hasn't distorted, bent or worn the heads of the One23 tools, even the little ones, which are always prone to wear on cheaper toolsets which can lead to rounded bolts and potty mouth.
The one teeny criticism is that the way the keys are coloured isn't perfect. Painted so that they line up in a pretty rainbow sequence when slotted in the holder it means that some similarly sized allen keys are similar colours, the green of the 10mm is a bit close to the turquoise of the 8mm and the purple of the 4mm is of similar hue to the pink of the 3mm. in reality it's not a real big issue as the brain makes a quick colour + size calculation but it could be something to think about if you're tonally challenged.
A good quality value set of allen keys that will cope with most home hexing, with the added bonus of being in full technicolour that makes them easy to find and use.
road.cc test report
Make and model: One23 Hex Key Set
Size tested: na
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Ball End, CP Finish - Coloured Protective coating, 1.5/2/2.5/3/4 /5/6/8/10mm hex keys, plastic holder.
They look to be well made tools, although the paint finish is pretty rough around the edges and can scratch.
They did their job well, fitting allen bolts snugly.
So far they're wearing well, with no tool-head wear, although the painted shafts are showing their tough life.
Excellent value for a set of decent and cheery allen keys.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They undid and did up bolts with no issues or rounding off.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The colours, the price.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The colour distinctions between neighbouring keys could have been more obvious in a few cases.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No need, any friend that saw them, wanted them.
About the tester
Age: 42 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he’s not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he’s not doing either of those he’s pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he’s agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours doesn’t. He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.