Solid carbon-fibre tyre levers could be yours if you back a project that’s currently running on – where else? – Kickstarter.
We all know that guy. The one who has to have carbon-fibre everything. Frameset: it goes without saying. Handlebar, stem, wheels: obviously. Seatpost, saddle, chainset: check. He probably has carbon-fibre fillings in his teeth.
Well, now he can have carbon-fibre tyre levers too.
Yes, there are already carbon-fibre tyre levers out there – injection moulded carbon-fibre – but we’ve never seen any that look quite so carbon-fibre-ish as these. They’re made from 15 layers of 2x2 twill woven 3K carbon-fibre, and they're very shiny.
“Finally a project making the most boring bike tool something that is beyond cool: a full carbon fibre bike tyre lever,” says Glen Alden, an automotive engineer with a cycling passion. “You know you have always wanted one.”
Have you always wanted one?
“If you are looking for the ultimate in cycling tyre levers, then this soon-to-be-classic is what you will want in your saddle bag,” says Glen.
I might be being slightly tongue in cheek here but, I have to admit, they do look pretty neat. Sorry, but they do! What can I say? I don't want to like them, but I can't help it.
Besides their appearance, why else might you be interested in carbon-fibre tyre levers. Well, they weigh just 12g a pair. For comparison, a couple of plastic Unior levers (£3.50) that I’ve been using for yonks are 32g. Okay, we’re still only talking about a saving of 20g but we all know about the aggregation of marginal gains, right?
The carbon-fibre levers are very low bulk – 105mm x 16mm x 12mm – and they’re said to be built to last forever.
You need to pledge at least US$20 to the cause to be in line for a pair of Alden carbon-fibre tyre levers (usual Kickstarter rules/conditions apply). That’s about £16.30. They're expected to ship in January 2017.
Our man John – clearly a man with too much time on his hands – has this concept called the Hairsine ratio. What the hell’s that? It’s the ratio between the weight saved by fitting a lightweight component and its cost (named after Jon Hairsine, an early British mountain bike racer. When asked how much he'd cut off a new carbon fibre handlebar to trim its size and weight, Jon said, "About five quid!").
Anyway, compared to the Unior levers mentioned above, you’re paying an extra £12.80 for the Alden tyre levers (the Kickstarter price, which is $5 below the RRP) and saving 20g. That’s a Hairsine ratio of 1.6g/£, which isn’t very high. On the other hand, you might think that’s worth it to be the only one in the chaingang who can whip out carbon-fibre tyre levers as soon as anyone gets a flat.
More hard hitting tech news on road.cc shortly.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.