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  1. #1
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    My newly designed (awesome) bike tool - feedback welcome!!

    Hi BikeForums, I hope everyone is having a good thursday morning!

    I wanted to run my new design bike tool by everyone for some feedback. A disclaimer, I have recently posted the project on a crowdfunding website, but won't include the links here so I don't spam you guys. If you want the link you can PM me. (there are some fun videos on the campaign!).

    I am actually looking for some good feedback from the community - I am based in Atlantas so anyone in Atlanta if they are interested in checking it out, let me know I would be happy to meet-up!

    At any rate, I am a designer and biker form Atlanta, and my goal on this project was to make a great bike tool that has some real, high-quality tools but is extra slim and can be stored right inside your phone case! What I came up with is a phone case that has a swappable tray containing the tools you need for quick bike repair. All the tools are 440C Hardened Stainless, and very durable. Here is the list of tools:

    • Two tire irons
    • Pedal/Axle wrench
    • Flathead screwdriver
    • Phillips screwdriver
    • 6 Allen wrenches (1/16, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm)
    • 4 Box wrenches (5.5mm, 7mm, 8mm, 10mm)
    • two spoke wrenches (.127 and .130)
    • Three glueless tire patches
    • Roughener for tire patch application
    • Bottle opener (for the end of the ride!)


    Here are some photos of the product, it weights 80g total, but packs a lot of tools into a super slim space that is really convenient to carry. Ultimately I would like to add a handlebar mount accessory if my crowdfunding campaign is successful so you got your nav and tools all in one! Anxious to hear the community's feedback, thoughts and questions!




    Attached Images Attached Images

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    I like the idea of a multi-tool in a package that is thin, flat, with smooth outside edges. That avoids some of the less desirable characteristics of typical bike multi-tools, which are a potential small hazard in a pocket in a fall, and which are always "lumpy" in a pocket to some extent.

    I'm less enthusiastic about it being a phone case. I wouldn't like needing a new bike multi-tool because I got a different phone. And maybe I already have a case I like, maybe a case with an extended battery for longer rides.

    So my own individual preference would be something that fits neatly in the pocket, maybe smoothly right next to a phone, but separate from the phone.

    As it is, I use a medium seat pack and keep the lumpy multi-tool in there.

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    Hey Athens80, I like the idea - it would not be a far cry to convert this into a stand-along bike tool. I wanted to make it something that was super easy to carry, and since everyone always carries their phone, attaching it to the back seemed natural for me. I am working on another tray that is also a battery back-up, but your comment makes me think that maybe the new battery backup tray should still be able to accommodate the tool tray so you could utilize both! The thickness might get a little bulky at that point though.

    Thanks for the feedback!
    Last edited by adcomp; 03-20-14 at 09:52 AM. Reason: typos

  4. #4
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    As a disclaimer, I am not a particular fan of multitools. Different people have different needs and those needs tend to evolve with time. However, I think that one serious weakness of the proposed tool is in the screwdriver functionality. Most people need to reach deeper and be apply a decent torque without struggling. Here just a lip service is payed to that functionality.

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    Execution looks pretty good, but the concept I don't get at all.

    Why would someone want to carry around heavy, steel tools attached to their phone? This fundamental aspect of the design just makes no sense to me. The phone is used often, the tools rarely, so why are they linked?

    Why would someone want a phone case for a sporting application such as cycling that is ill-suited to the demands of the sport? The case offers no protection against moisture, nor does it protect the face of the phone against impact.

    I see where you're going with the tool design, but the kit is too heavy and I wonder how useful the tools will be in those configurations. A pedal wrench?? That's just odd; the direction of pedaling action serves to keep the pedals snug, so I see no use for such an item. The box wrench tool offers no leverage, and really, how many modern bikes even have nuts? The allen tools look too short to reach into bottle cages. Once the allen keys have proper dimensions, it's not going to be as slim as the prototype you have pictured now.

    Yeah...I'm just not feeling this design at all, and in fact, find it remarkably awkward and a vexing concept. At the core, relating an expensive phone to hand tools simply doesn't make any practical sense to me, but then to do it without protecting the phone is just crazy.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  6. #6
    "LOGIC!" lopek77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    Execution looks pretty good, but the concept I don't get at all.

    Why would someone want to carry around heavy, steel tools attached to their phone? This fundamental aspect of the design just makes no sense to me. The phone is used often, the tools rarely, so why are they linked?

    It's for cycling application...We carry our phones on each ride...makes perfect sense to me. You either don't take any tools for your rides, or you are a weight weenie.

    Why would someone want a phone case for a sporting application such as cycling that is ill-suited to the demands of the sport? The case offers no protection against moisture, nor does it protect the face of the phone against impact.

    I see where you're going with the tool design, but the kit is too heavy and I wonder how useful the tools will be in those configurations. A pedal wrench?? That's just odd; the direction of pedaling action serves to keep the pedals snug, so I see no use for such an item. The box wrench tool offers no leverage, and really, how many modern bikes even have nuts? The allen tools look too short to reach into bottle cages. Once the allen keys have proper dimensions, it's not going to be as slim as the prototype you have pictured now.

    You would be surprised if I tell you that pedals sometimes undo themselves for some crazy, and hard to understand reason.

    Yeah...I'm just not feeling this design at all, and in fact, find it remarkably awkward and a vexing concept. At the core, relating an expensive phone to hand tools simply doesn't make any practical sense to me, but then to do it without protecting the phone is just crazy.
    We get it...it makes no sense to you. You just have to know that your needs are not always the same as the rest of the cycling population...
    This designs is not perfect, but it will work for many. Things I don't like about it - iPhone case - I'm an Android guy, and Android market is much bigger than iPhone market. Replacing it with every new phone purchase is also not a perfect idea. Not sure about the functionality of the tools, but we have to remember that its for emergency... If some repairs can be done with a rock, stick or piece of wire - why anyone would think that bike specific tools are useless?
    "The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult."
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    A pedal wrench?? That's just odd; the direction of pedaling action serves to keep the pedals snug, so I see no use for such an item. The box wrench tool offers no leverage, and really, how many modern bikes even have nuts?
    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post

    We get it...it makes no sense to you. You just have to know that your needs are not always the same as the rest of the cycling population...
    This designs is not perfect, but it will work for many.
    Pretty wrong, lopek77. Everybody needs leverage and there will be nearly no nuts that you can unscrew with that tool. Standard nuts are in use nowadays on cheap children's bikes but I doubt a kid will buy and carry around that multitool. For axles on better bikes you need several wrenches of different sizes, to access bearings, but there is virtually nobody who will engage in doing that on the road. Standard pedal wrench is extra long for enhanced leverage - there is hardly anything serious that you can do with a short one.

  8. #8
    "LOGIC!" lopek77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
    Pretty wrong, lopek77. Everybody needs leverage and there will be nearly no nuts that you can unscrew with that tool. Standard nuts are in use nowadays on cheap children's bikes but I doubt a kid will buy and carry around that multitool. For axles on better bikes you need several wrenches of different sizes, to access bearings, but there is virtually nobody who will engage in doing that on the road. Standard pedal wrench is extra long for enhanced leverage - there is hardly anything serious that you can do with a short one.
    I guess I'm a strong guy, and I never had any issues with any bolts, even when used cheap tools. I also didn't see any multitool in my local stores or even online that have cone wrenches in it. We talking about emergency repairs - not overhauling the bike on the side of the road.
    A lot of modern - read "cheap" bikes have nuts, and that is the only problem with small, no leverage, or just flimsy tools. Oh...and on Kids bikes, but they are not cheap as you saying. My 7 yo sons Specialized bike was over $250...that is no cheap by any means.
    "The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult."
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  9. #9
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Generally after working on my bike my hands are covered in filth. I don't want my iphone covered in filth.
    I also don't want to strip my little baby bolts by using impossibly thin tools.
    And I especially don't want to wait for the rain to stop before fixing my bike because I can't take my iphone out of its plastic bag.

    PS, will you offer these useless things in gold for people with gold iphones?

    PPS, I don't own an iphone.

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    One, it's for iphones.
    Two, too short, absolutely no torque.
    Three, my cellphone is the last thing I reach for when I need to fix something on my bike.

    I've used many gimmicky multitools, the most effective ones are the ones with long 3 inch hex tools commonly designed by lezyne, park tool, etc.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Send samples and let us try it. Oh, maybe 100 samples will do.

  12. #12
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    I can't wait for the OP to turn his attention to what I really want, a headlight with integrated CO2 dispenser!

    Or, you know what, since I always ride with my shoes, how cool would it be to have integrated water bottles built into my shoes!

    Gloves with dual integrated mini-pumps?!

    Helmet with built-in energy gel tray?

    Wow!
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  13. #13
    "LOGIC!" lopek77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    I can't wait for the OP to turn his attention to what I really want, a headlight with integrated CO2 dispenser!

    Or, you know what, since I always ride with my shoes, how cool would it be to have integrated water bottles built into my shoes!

    Gloves with dual integrated mini-pumps?!

    Helmet with built-in energy gel tray?

    Wow!
    Funny, but mean also. This guy is trying to create something new and useful...that is pretty good. No need to make fun of it.
    "The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult."
    Reading without understanding is useless

    "Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial." - go figure lol

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    Funny, but mean also. This guy is trying to create something new and useful...that is pretty good. No need to make fun of it.
    Yeah, you're right, I suppose...my apologies to the OP.

    I suppose that, at this point, since the fundraiser worked, the project is a go, but honestly, I have to say that I believe this is headed for a big fail.

    I could assume that because it was funded, that someone thinks having a bike tool set integrated into their phone case is a good idea, but no one has explained WHY, and really, I'd like to know. It makes ZERO sense to me, and I can't imagine any situation under which such a contraption would be the smart choice.

    Maybe if the phone case were moisture and impact resistant so that you could stick it in your jersey pocket without worry, I'd be half-way to understanding, but then I'll also fail to understand why carrying around 80g of extra weight with your phone when off the bike makes any sense, and if indeed it does not, why putting your phone in a case with tools just to go riding makes any sense...

    I use a seat bag and a 25g multi tool, a Ritchey CPR9, which is easy to use and works for my bike and the types of needs I have in terms of likely roadside repairs, by which I mean I don't have any nuts on the bike, and my pedals are extremely unlikely to come loose. Even if I wanted to get rid of a seat bag for my stuff, why would I want to add 65g of tools-- okay, call it 55g since I do have a pair of plastic tire levers that integrate neatly into the mounting system of my Scicon bag-- that I can't be separated from my phone, creating one big, heavy lump of weight to drop into a jersey pocket rather than farming out lower weight tool alternatives and phone across two or three pockets?

    Am I missing something?

    No, I'm sorry, but this is really quite high on my list of dumbest ideas I've seen in 2014. (Should that be capitalized? Dumbest Ideas I've Seen in 2014, or DIIS 2014.)
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    I should add that, for someone who needs to work with nuts, that you're local auto parts store probably has little, 4.5" anodized alu adjustable wrenches that weigh very little (a WAG would be 30-50g) and could drop in a pocket or bag with ease.



    Pair that with a conventional multi-tool and you've got a usable little tool kit...or JB weld it to your wallet if that makes sense to you. Oops, sorry.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    Where is the chain tool?

  17. #17
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    If you understand how tire mounting works and want to save on weight, you do not need any levers as you can dismount and mount tires with bare hands only. It is faster with levers but not dramatically. And yes, I do it with heavy-duty winter studded tires as well, from time to time as an exercise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    ...It's for cycling application...We carry our phones on each ride...makes perfect sense to me. You either don't take any tools for your rides, or you are a weight weenie....

    ...You would be surprised if I tell you that pedals sometimes undo themselves for some crazy, and hard to understand reason....

    We get it...it makes no sense to you. You just have to know that your needs are not always the same as the rest of the cycling population. This designs is not perfect, but it will work for many.
    It doesn't make much sense for most of the "cycling population".

    Many pedals use allen keys (in that case, the pedal wrench included in the kit would be redundant). Pedals don't fall-off for most of "cycling population" except very rarely. If this keeps happening to you, it would be much more useful to check that before they fall off anyway.

    I'm not sure what could could do with only one "axle" wrench (there are usually two sizes of cone nuts on a bike). It doesn't make sense to have to put the phone into a fussy case for every ride (and it doesn't much make sense to carry bicycle tools around with your phone always). It makes no sense to have to worry about your phone (damaging or getting it wet) when you are just interested in fixing your bicycle.

    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    Things I don't like about it - iPhone case - I'm an Android guy, and Android market is much bigger than iPhone market. Replacing it with every new phone purchase is also not a perfect idea.
    So, it "makes no (not much) sense" to you either.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 03-30-14 at 09:09 AM.

  19. #19
    "LOGIC!" lopek77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    It doesn't make much sense for most of the "cycling population".

    Many pedals use allen keys (in that case, the pedal wrench included in the kit would be redundant). Pedals don't fall-off for most of "cycling population" except very rarely. If this keeps happening to you, it would be much more useful to check that before they fall off anyway.

    I'm not sure what could could do with only one "axle" wrench (there are usually two sizes of cone nuts on a bike). It doesn't make sense to have to put the phone into a fussy case for every ride (and it doesn't much make sense to carry bicycle tools around with your phone always). It makes no sense to have to worry about your phone (damaging or getting it wet) when you are just interested in fixing your bicycle.


    So, it "makes no (not much) sense" to you either.
    I didn't say I love it or I hate it. All we need to do is to give the guy our honest opinion. The biggest issue that creates negative feedback will be in the name of the thread - My newly designed (awesome) bike tool - feedback welcome!!.

    I would buy it as a gadget or for a gift if it was more universal in design. It's NOT a useless tool set. Don't understand why folks are so angry about someone like the OP. Not every idea will work out, but I see it as a good start. I always take my phone AND my bike tools with me...
    "The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult."
    Reading without understanding is useless

    "Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial." - go figure lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    I didn't say I love it or I hate it. All we need to do is to give the guy our honest opinion. The biggest issue that creates negative feedback will be in the name of the thread - My newly designed (awesome) bike tool - feedback welcome!!.
    You dumped on chaadster for providing his "honest opinion".

    (chaadster's criticisms make more sense than what you liked about it.)

    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    II would buy it as a gadget or for a gift if it was more universal in design. It's NOT a useless tool set. Don't understand why folks are so angry about someone like the OP. Not every idea will work out, but I see it as a good start. I always take my phone AND my bike tools with me...
    It's a gimmick (and a waste of money).

    It's a bad phone case. That it's a bad phone case makes it a not very good tool kit. The fact that it's tied to a particular phone model makes it a waste too. Also, you are either stuck carrying your tools with you always or having to install/remove your phone into/from the case for every ride (which seems very fiddly to me). A "more universal" design would make it too big in some cases.

    There isn't any compelling reason to associate a bicycle tool kit with a phone.

    The "pedal" wrench is close to useless (and not needed by pedals that use allen keys). If your pedals keep falling-off, then carrying a pedal wrench isn't really the way to deal with that odd problem.

    The "axle" wrench is close to useless too because you need two of them (since there are two cone nut sizes and you can't really adjust a hub without two wrenches).

    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    I always take my phone AND my bike tools with me...
    Do you carry your bike tools when not bicycling?

    You already (presumably) carry tools and your phone on a bike ride without this particular thing. So do many other people. This does what people already do in a worse way.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 03-30-14 at 10:30 AM.

  21. #21
    "LOGIC!" lopek77's Avatar
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    I assume that this additional case that holds all the tools can be easily detached. And yes, to answer your question, I carry some "pocket tools" with me all the time. This set includes common bicycle size allen wrenches. It helped me couple times to help others on the trail when I was walking. I'm sure I'm not the only one who carry some stuff thinking about helping strangers on the trails.
    I think that bottle holder tool set would be a better idea instead of phone idea, but then, since I take extra tube with me, it would be not as handy as OP want this to be. I still would need additional bag to store it.

    I never had an issue with pedal coming off on my "modern" bikes, but "old" style pedal wrench have to be use on many kids bikes. My son almost crashed when pedal came off on his Specialized Hotrock bike. I checked every bolt, brakes and pedals before we left for a cycling vacation, but somehow he lost one of them riding 10-15 mph...very scary!
    IMAG0096.jpgIMAG0097.jpg
    Last edited by lopek77; 03-30-14 at 12:27 PM. Reason: added pictures
    "The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult."
    Reading without understanding is useless

    "Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial." - go figure lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    I assume that this additional case that holds all the tools can be easily detached.
    Not a sound assumption. "Form fitting" phone cases tend to be a bit fiddly to put-on/take off.

    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    And yes, to answer your question, I carry some "pocket tools" with me all the time. This set includes common bicycle size allen wrenches. It helped me couple times to help others on the trail when I was walking. I'm sure I'm not the only one who carry some stuff thinking about helping strangers on the trails.
    This doesn't "answer my question". I asked whether you carry bicycling tools (including a "pedal" wrench) while not riding. And, if you are already carrying tools, you don't need to have them in a phone case (a case that forces/limits you to a particular phone and particular tools).

    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    I think that bottle holder tool set would be a better idea instead of phone idea, but then, since I take extra tube with me, it would be not as handy as OP want this to be. I still would need additional bag to store it.
    Yes, this doesn't address carrying an extra tube (or a pump). A fair number of people carry a tube or pump in their jersey pocket. For those people, the phone case could work. For people using a seat bag, a minitool would work better (since they could just leave it in the seat bag) and the phone case wouldn't work well at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    I never had an issue with pedal coming off on my "modern" bikes, but "old" style pedal wrench have to be use on many kids bikes. My son almost crashed when pedal came off on his Specialized Hotrock bike. I checked every bolt, brakes and pedals before we left for a cycling vacation, but somehow he lost one of them riding 10-15 mph...very scary!
    The fact that this tool kit happens to have a "pedal" wrench is mostly irrelevant to your story here.

    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    We get it...it makes no sense to you. You just have to know that your needs are not always the same as the rest of the cycling population...
    What doesn't make sense is why you think your needs are more representative than chaadster's of the "rest of the cycling population". Your needs are what they are but they seem unusual (not representative at all).

    Why is chaadster's "honest opinion" invalid and yours not?

    And while no one has any issue with what-ever your needs happen to be, it still doesn't appear that this phone case is either a necessary or a particularly good way filling your needs (or anybody's needs).
    Last edited by njkayaker; 03-30-14 at 12:59 PM.

  23. #23
    "LOGIC!" lopek77's Avatar
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    Sure...You kind of repeating my points...whatever you say my friend...
    "The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult."
    Reading without understanding is useless

    "Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial." - go figure lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    Sure...You kind of repeating my points...whatever you say my friend...
    Woosh! If you think it's a bad idea, why did you have a problem with what chaadster said?

    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    We get it...it makes no sense to you. You just have to know that your needs are not always the same as the rest of the cycling population. This designs is not perfect, but it will work for many.
    "Working for many" doesn't appear to be true at all (it's a gimmick that would work worse than what is already available). You don't appear to agree with yourself.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 03-31-14 at 07:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Woosh! If you think it's a bad idea, why did you have a problem with what chaadster said?
    You misunderstood my opinion. I was both criticizing AND pointing what I like. We either talking about my original opinion about the product, or opinion about the opinion... I got really confused what you really want. Let's stick to the bike tool topic. I don't need third party to relay and mix opinions.
    Again...its a great idea, nicely done product and great presentation. With that said, I know it will reach only to a very small pool of potential consumers, and many of them won't see the value, practicality and usefulness of this product.
    I hope we done with this.
    "The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult."
    Reading without understanding is useless

    "Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial." - go figure lol

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