2022 nsmb-gift-guide-site-title-graphic week 2
TOOL TIME

2022 Gift Guide - Week 2

Words Pete Roggeman
Date Nov 24, 2022
Reading time

Tools should figure prominently in every rider's wish list. They're fun to give or receive, and who doesn't love making the right addition to the tool bag or work bench? The right tool could also find its way into your pocket, and once you get used to knowing it's there, will come in handy multiple times a day for the rest of your time together. This isn't the only week we'll recommend tools in the gift guide, but it's definitely a theme.

Feedback Sports Team Edition Tool Kit

The Team Edition Tool kit contains 20 tools that perform 26 essential bike repair functions. It's lightweight and portable, and housed in a compact, weatherproof TPU case. For a newer rider with a DIY mentality or someone more experienced in need of a portable toolbox that doubles as an upgrade at home, this kit from Feedback Sports is a strong contender.

$300 at Feedback Sports

flylow-handlebar-tech-flannel--2

It's not a flannel, it's a plaid shirt.

flylow-handlebar-tech-flannel--3

But Flylow calls it the Tech Flannel. Ah well, semantics aside, it's a great shirt.

flylow-handlebar-tech-flannel--4

And comes in many colours.

flylow-handlebar-tech-flannel-

Flylow Handlebar Tech Flannel

Last week I ranted a little bit about the appropriation of the word flannel and the fact that flannel ≠ plaid (one is a fabric, one is a pattern), and most shirts marketed as 'flannels' these days are not genuine flannel. The Flylow Handlebar Tech Flannel is one such imposter, however it is a really good shirt. I've had mine for about nine months and in that time, have worn it on casual rides as a mid layer on cold days (its 100% polyester construction is designed to breathe well) and as an outer layer when swinging an axe and clearing blackberry bushes. It looks good with jeans, too, but I'm not gonna lie, I've been to approximately four events all year when I had to think about what I was wearing, so I'm usually just dressed for chorin'. Either way this shirt is now a staple.

100% Polyester flannel (meaning it ain't actually flannel)

  • Duraflex snap buttons
  • Work shirt fit and styling
  • Two buttoned chest pockets
  • Average weight: 267g

S - XXL // 95 USD (REI members can get a good discount) or 120 CAD at evo

accu-gage.jpg

Accu-Gage Tire Pressure Gauge

We've recommended this one before, but it's an enduring favorite with the NSMB crew and everyone I've recommended it to. I have one in the toolbox at home and one in the truck. They're reasonably priced, accurate, and durable. If you drop it hard enough to mess up the calibration, you can re-calibrate it. This is the perfect gift for your buddy who thinks the 'finger-gauge trick' still works with modern high-volume tires (it doesn't).

$14.57 US on Amazon

Wera hex key set

Wera Multicolour L-Key Set

This Wera Hex key set is a can't miss: if the mountain biker in your life already has a decent hex key set, they'll be happy to have a high quality, portable spare set. If what they have isn't great, this will be their new go-to. Like all Wera stuff, this is a high quality L-key set with colour-coded, convenient plastic sleeve making it easier to find the size you need, and nicer to hold in your hand even when it's cold out. The Hex-Plus profile more surface area and better contact in the head of the screw, and even the Scroogiest home mechanic will smile when they see the ballpoints on the end of each tool.

The Wera Multicolour L-key set costs 44.47 CAD // 35.12 USD on Amazon

Opinel No. 8

If there is one gift you should be giving to someone you care about this year, it better be sharp and can be used against you in a fight.

The Opinel No:8 has been around since the 1890s when Joseph Opinel created a simple yet effective knife for the everyday person. A knife that was made from high carbon steel for extreme sharpness and edge retention. In an era where France was ruled by farmers and trades people, everyone would carry a No:8 around to rip into a nice loaf of Brioche and cured meats and cheeses.

I have 2 Opinel No:8s I use as often as I can. Not always for the way Joseph intended perhaps, but the stainless steel blade version lives in my riding/trail building pack for trailside help. I have taken a stump to the back of one to split wood, have picked splinters out of my hands with the very sharp, pointy end and it is still as sharp and smooth as the day I was gifted it.

My first Opinel No:8 was a self purchase and of the Carbon Steel blade variety. Less interested in getting wet as the blade will corrode and turn black, I keep this one in my tool roll. It gets lots of use opening packaging and flush cutting zip ties on frames. I modified it slightly with a hole on the handle to run a string through. That's easy to do and means I can fish it out of my pocket and tool roll quicker. I also carved a groove in the fingernail notch area for quicker opening. I love owning and using these things. I have gifted countless of them over the years. If someone gave me another one, I’d love it just as much.

They are sharp as hell and remember, a sharp knife, is a safe knife!

26.95 CAD at MEC // 18.00 USD at REI

Opinel

-Words & photos: Deniz Merdano

Wells Lamont Men's HydraHyde Leather Work Gloves

Two years ago I recommended a pair of my favourite work gloves, and they're still my favourites (I'm on pair number 2) but this year I have an additional suggestion for those that work in wet climates or for winter use. The water resistant version of Wells Lamont's fairly ubiquitous work gloves offer a bit more protection from the elements. The originals do ok in the wet, and I treat them with leather waterproofer, but these ones are a bit better and don't require any additional treatment. You can't go wrong either way, but this is my new pair that rides shotgun in my back pocket from October through about March. Treat your local builder, put a pair in your truck, use 'em for wielding tools, mowing the lawn,

21.55 - 31.21 CAD (depends on size)

Related Stories

Trending on NSMB

Comments

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 week, 5 days ago
+4 TristanC Martin Pete Roggeman NewGuy

You're right, the Accu-Guage does a much better job than a finger, stoked with mine.

Also the Wera Hex Plus, I treated myself to a set of bits to go with my micro ratchet set. Always a pleasure to use. 

Reply

TristanC
TristanC
1 week, 5 days ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

I have the Wera Bicycle Set 1, and it's my go-to for minor repairs where I don't want to lug the whole toolbox into the basement. Very similar to what you posted but it comes with the Hex Plus bits. Phenomenal for stems & bottle cages, too.

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 week, 5 days ago
+1 TristanC

Nice! I first saw those a year or so after buying mine, switching the bits has was my Min-Max.

Reply

Timer
Timer
1 week, 5 days ago
0

As much as I like my Wera tool check around the house, I never found much use for it when working on bikes. Changing bits is always annoying and many of the screws turn so lightly that the ratchet mechanism doesn't trigger.

I'd always take the hex plus L-keys over a mini ratchet for bike stuff.

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 week, 5 days ago
0

With the extender handle through the ratchet end of my wrench, the whole thing becomes a T handle. I use it like that a lot for the reasons you mention.

Reply

TristanC
TristanC
1 week, 4 days ago
0

I agree changing bits is annoying, I find poking them out from the back with the pad of my thumb works well but I have slender spider fingers. I use it as a T-handle a lot too, but the ratchet is really nice to have sometimes (water bottle cage bolts & stem bolts mostly).

Reply

martin
Martin
1 week, 5 days ago
0

Do you remember where you bought the Hex-plus bit set by itself ? I haven't found it anywhere in my last round of research! Cheers!

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 week, 4 days ago
0

Chad sold me individual bits, and Knipex pliers while I was there.

Reply

MTB_THETOWN
MTB_THETOWN
1 week, 4 days ago
0

You can get PB Swiss bits, which are even better than the Wera ones, from drpd.cc

For Wera, best source for most stuff is kc tool.

Reply

TomO
TomO
1 week, 4 days ago
0

How do you find the ratchet mechanism on it?  I was thinking about ordering one but wondered if the ratchet has a lot of backdrag?

Reply

TristanC
TristanC
1 week, 4 days ago
0

It's pretty smooth. There's some backdrag, so you can't install a totally loose screw, but it's pretty easy to either put your thumb over the ratchet mechanism so it can't spin backwards. Or, if you're using the extension, hold onto that. 97% of the time it works fine.

Reply

martin
Martin
1 week, 5 days ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

Also seconding the Accugauge and Wera hex key sets! I have few presta and schrader Accugauges and they're great.

For cheaper Wera fans (like me), the black hex set is jthe same quality and range as the more expensive color-coded ones, but I've got 2 sets for 14$/set at BC Fasteners. For those who like to keep their toolboxwars case foam free from grease, they're also easier to clean than those with the plastic sleeves, but probably a lot less fun to give/receive as a gift!

Reply

DanL
DanL
1 week, 5 days ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

On the strength of how many pairs of those Wells Lamont gloves I've bought and gone through after your last gift guide, I'm going to look at the Opinel and the Hydras. Now if only someone could recommend a good tool roll...

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 week, 5 days ago
+1 DanL

Carhartt Tool roll has been very nice to me.

https://www.carhartt.com/gb/en-gb/products/Legacy-Tool-Roll-100822-18

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 week, 5 days ago
0 DanL Kelownakona

Glad you liked 'em. I may revisit one or two we've listed over the years - there are a few things that see almost daily use still going strong (like Glerups slippers) that I feel I can't recommend enough. It's great when you find something that works well and lasts a long time.

Opinels are so cool (and that was Deniz's reco and photos). You can spend a lot more on a knife, but the combination of quality, aesthetics, and tradition is hard to beat. SAK (Swiss Army knife) is one, but they're sort of in different categories.

Reply

DanL
DanL
1 week, 5 days ago
0 Pete Roggeman Kelownakona

The cost for testing is also really appreciated, I like my spiderco delica but it's expensive to 'try' and just does not look as classy slicing salamis and cheeses

Reply

Kelownakona
Kelownakona
1 week, 4 days ago
0

SAK do a lot of single blade options- definitely not in a different category and arguably better.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 week, 2 days ago
0

I only think different category because at a similar price, all you can get in SAK is a Keychain knife - super useful but not really a knife. Spend a bit more and you get a great blade for the price plus some tools. I'm a huge SAK fan. But when you say single blade ootions I don't know what you mean?

Reply

MTB_THETOWN
MTB_THETOWN
1 week, 4 days ago
0

The Wolf Tooth tool roll is nice and big if you want something that holds a lot. May want something smaller if going for just the essentials

Reply

Kelownakona
Kelownakona
1 week, 4 days ago
+1 Velocipedestrian

Opinel always get picked on stuff like this as they are so cheap and so mainstream (like SAK) but there are 100s of  better made/better steel and different designed options that if you decide you want a pocket knife you should be looking at.

Nothing against Opinel but they catch a lot of the recommendations for people who don't know any better. They are basically a folding picnic knife you can buy in the department store.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 week, 3 days ago
0

Of course there are better knives, but at the low price and established value of Opinel you'll struggle to find something comparable that also makes a nice gift, especially if the giver has a nostalgic connection to it, as Deniz does. I've had one for over 30 years and my parents always had one along on spring ski day picnics or hikes, so I get the feeling. And yeah, they're basically picnic knives but that still means they can be useful and cut a thousand things and they're not pretending to be more. And especially not looking like or using the word tactical in the name. 

Your budget is 20 US / 30 CAD. Whatcha got?

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 week, 1 day ago
0

Not sure about prices due to conversion, but Mercator knives are my equivalent.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
6 days, 7 hours ago
0

29 euros is the cheapest I could find. Mercator are well known and good value, but not in the same price league as a trusty ol' Opinel at 2-3x the cost.

Reply

sieneke
Sieneke Toering
1 week ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

How shameless is plugging ones own side hustle allowed here? I agree with Pete that an Opinel no8 (in carbon!) is the classiest of class to have. And anyone should. I happen to know a gal who's quite good in personalizing them. Have a look on this Instagram page! @seenuhkuh. And very friendly gift prizing as well, may I add. ;)

Reply

papa44
papa44
1 week, 5 days ago
0

Fabric make a brilliant pressure gauge with a flexible hose which makes it a perfect interface between à shraeder mini pump and a presta valve rim

https://fabric.cc/products/pumps/accubar-pressure-gauge/

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 week, 5 days ago
0

That's a nice looking piece. Cool that you can use it inline as well.

Reply

gibspaulding
gibspaulding
1 week, 1 day ago
0

Hold up, you can re-calibrate the accu-gage?  Anyone know how?  My quick search didn't turn up anything.

Reply

Please log in to leave a comment.