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Tool REVIEW

Two Tools and a Floor Pump from Pro*

Words Cam McRae
Photos Cam McRae
Date Jun 29, 2021
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*Pro is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shimano

It's probably a symptom of age, but I'm beginning to appreciate quality tools almost as much as nice bike parts. Good tools have much to recommend them; they often last a lifetime, they can save time and they often pay for themselves many times over in labour costs. I purchased the box end wrenches on my tool bench over 30 years ago, and they work perfectly and still look great.

Low quality tools on the other hand can create more problems than they solve. Soft hex wrenches can round out fittings, at worst ruining parts, and at best causing extra work and headaches. It's often difficult to find good quality versions of certain tools, like Y wrenches and L-bend hex wrenches. I have a nice set of T-handles but I hadn't found a good set of L wrenches until I read Uncle Dave's piece on the Wera 'hex plus' tools he's been testing. I bought a set immediately after reading his praise and they have exceeded my expectations. They are excellent tools at a reasonable price, if you follow Dave's advice and buy the right set.

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Three double-headed bits can be in use at a time, while three more rest in their magnetic nests. An 8mm hex, which fits onto the end of a 6mm hex bit, press fits into the middle of the tool.

Pro Team Delta Wrench

There are mechanics who don't appreciate the modest Y-wrench in hex form. The one I use most has a 4,5, and 6mm hex heads, but as mentioned earlier, these are rarely good quality implements, which makes the smaller version of 2, 2.5, and 3mm virtually unusable. What I have always coveted is a high quality, customizable Y tool with interchangeable bits. Pro saw that need as well and they produced a tool that meets a lot of my needs.

This is a hefty multi-pit tool that feels very good in hand. It's heavy enough to be impractical to take on a mountain bike ride, but I'm not sure why anyone would want to do that anyway. In your garage, workshop, converted cupboard, or reclaimed dungeon it's very useful indeed. There was a time when I was turning wrenches for a living, and had the excellent eyesight of a younger man, that I could glance at a fitting and know the size. Now I'm slightly better than 50:50, and I dislike having to reach back to the bench for the correct tool. With Pro's Team Y-Wrench you will likely have to simply spin the tool in your hand to get the correct size or type.

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All bits out on display. The only tool missing is a Torx T10, and there are 3 superfluous Torx bits in sizes 20, 30, and 40, which I have yet to encounter on a mountain bike.

Most cockpits I have worked on recently can be dealt with using a T-25 Torx, a 5mm hex for the pre-load bolt in that pushes on your top cap, and 4mm for most everything else. Except or grips. Most lock-ons use either a 2.5mm hex (please make this stop!) or a 3mm (so good!). Which leads me to suggest that a 4-way wrench would be even better, but let's not be greedy. It wouldn't likely feel so sweet in your hand or have such easy access to the bits.

The bits! These are well-thought out for the most part. They are double-sided keeping the total number down, are held into the body of the tool with magnets that are strong enough to hold securely, but not so strong as to do battle with you. Once you've selected the bit you need and removed one that is redundant for the task at hand, you need to simple press it into the empty receiver which has a ball-bearing keeper. This operation can be a little awkward. The receiver holds so well that it can be tough to remove fittings even before your hands are greasy, and insertion sometimes requires pressure on the floor or bench to get the bit to seat perfectly. I expect this to improve over time and I'd rather have them slightly too tight than too loose, which is often difficult to correct.

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Y-wrenches fit nicely in your hand, for one-handed utility and ample torque and control.

The sometimes-maligned Y-Wrench has much to recommend it IMHO. It is easily to manipulate in relatively close quarters with a single hand, and can be torqued much higher than a T-handle or L-wrench used with the fitting on the long end. With this tool, a huge advantage is that your odds of not having the right tool for a mountain bike are very low indeed. Which leads me to one element I find strange with this tool. It shipped to me with two 5-6mm fittings, which isn't the worst idea because 5mm heads are often well-represented on bikes and while 6mm heads are becoming less common, axles often accept this size. What I'm getting at is that it makes sense to sometimes have 6mm and 5mm heads deployed at the same time.

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This is a great tool for bike assembly, and in particular for cockpits, but it's not meant to come with you on the ride. It also lacks a feature I would welcome; one ratcheting head.

When I looked at the website however, it's clear that there is only supposed to be one 5/6 combo and in its place should reside a Torx T30 and T40. I certainly can't say I have an accurate survey of all bicycles, but the only Torx fittings I've encountered on mountain bikes that I recall are T25 and T10, the latter for SRAM brakes mostly. You'll also find a T20 on the other end of the T25. It may be that these three sizes are well-represented on E-Fat Bikes (Fat E-Bikes?) or single-speed gravel grinders, or maybe even dual-suspension tandems, but for mountain bikers they are a waste of space. If they do exist on other bikes, and are actually useful, that's great, but that still leaves an absent T10. This is hardly a deal breaker but it isn't ideal either.

Otherwise I have been very pleased with the quality, hardness, and size-accuracy of every fitting I have used, and this is a tool that immediately went into my heavy rotation. If I was a fussy guy, and I am, I'd ask for at least one head to ratchet, but the simplicity of fixed heads is hard to argue with.

Team Delta Wrench Features as outlined by PRO

  • Premium Y-Wrench tool with 13 bits
  • Laser cut, extra durable heat-treated, hardened steel bits
  • CNC machined alloy body
  • Larger body for increased leverage
  • Hex: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (actually there is an 8mm as well - but don't tell PRO)
  • Screwdriver: PH2 and SL3
  • Torque: T20, T25, T30 and T40
  • PRO Team Tools are 12-speed compatible

Team Delta Wrench...

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A bonus with these tools is that they can work together. The interchangeable torque heads fit into the drivers of the Delta Wrench, but you'll have to use the fittings supplied with the Mini.

Pro Mini Torque Wrench

I have a nice digital torque wrench that almost never gets used. I keep it in a case, which makes it a pain to access, and it just slows down whatever it is I'm trying to speed up. As a retired bike mechanic, I'm also likely a bit overconfident in my ability to hand tighten fittings to an adequate torque setting. And yet I always feel better about a completed job when I have checked the torque numbers, and for certain jobs, like tightening shock or pivot bolts, I'm more careful about nailing torque numbers.

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All the bits and one torque head fit into the handle of the tool.

A torque wrench without the hassle would be a beautiful thing, which seems to be just what Pro was thinking with this Mini Torque Wrench. Rather than having to read a dial or a digital display, you only need or feel for the tool releasing when the chosen head reaches it's preset Torque value. The three bits are set to 4,5, and 6 Newton Metres* of torque. These numbers won't cover every fitting on your bike, but they will do a good job for most frequent tasks, like checking your stem and seatpost bolts, changing a rotor, or adjusting and then tightening your brake calipers. You'll need a higher torque value to do many tasks however, like installing your derailleur, cranks or pedals

* the force of one Newton on a one meter long lever

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The small pistol shape works very well in tight spaces.

Clearly this is a tool meant for efficiency and ease of use, because for many mechanics this won't replace a quality digital or analog, click-type torque wrench or even a beam-type instrument. For those who want to know there torque values are close for performing basic tasks, this could be a valuable addition to the bench or tool kit. It's not cheap, at 65 USD, but when you consider Pro's Team Torque Wrench retails for 250 USD, it might seem a little more reasonable.

Mini Torque Wrench Features

  • Compact 3.5-Inch Design
  • Magnetic Handle Closure
  • Preset 4, 5, 6 Nm Inserts
  • Six Tool Bits
  • MSRP $65

More info here...

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Pro's Team Floor Pump has an analog gauge, but it's actually more expensive than the digital model.

Pro Team Floor Pump

I've had a spotty history with floor pumps with analogue gauges. Until recently I hardly owned one that was even accurate enough to bother looking at. My experience with Topeak's Joe Blow Mountain X made me realize that an accurate non-digital gauge is a possibility for a quality floor pump. The tricky part is that the mechanisms that translates air pressure into numbers, a Bourdon Tube, are often quite delicate. If you have a floor pump with an old school gauge, you are going to want to treat it nicely to keep it reading well. You can reset the Bourdon tube but it's much better to keep it working properly.

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The universal head works very well and nothing needs to be changed when you go from Presta to Schrader valves.

This pump has continued the accuracy trend and I happily rely on it for relatively small adjustments to tire pressure. This process is helped along by the dual stage gauge. The first 40 PSI have a larger scale than the roadie increments beyond that reading, making accurate pressures possible even at the low end

The barrel splits the difference nicely between a narrow gauge high pressure pump and a high volume MTB only cylinder; you can reach your desired pressure quickly without having to jump on the handle.

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The dual-stage gauge is a handy feature for MTB or gravel types.

  • Dual Gauge Technology
  • Alloy Pump Body
  • Universal Head for Presta or Schrader
  • MSRP $115
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The flat-topped aluminum handle is very comfortable in the hands and the base accommodates large feet for excellent stability.

For 115 USD this is a very nice pump, but many riders are going to prefer the accuracy of a digital gauge in the era of pressures in the low 20s or even in the teens. Armed with a good hand. held gauge for fine-tuning your pressure, this is a great pump to have around.

More on the Team Digital Floor Pump here...

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Comments

martin
+1 Cam McRae
Martin  - June 29, 2021, 5:25 a.m.

For a small torque wrench/screwdriver, I've found the CDI TorqControl  (TLA28NM) to be almost perfect. Adjustable anywhere from 2-8Nm, comes with a calibration report and date, and it can be used with regular hex bits from any tool. I even use a hex-to-1/4 adapter for a few small socket bits. I think I paid it like 60$ cdn from MEC a few years ago.

The Shimano/PRO is smaller though and could be useful for tighter places, or even bringing on the first new-bike-setup rides.

Reply

DanLees1978
+1 Cam McRae
Dan Lees  - June 29, 2021, 7:28 a.m.

The last 104BCD (and maybe the odd BCD Pre-direct mount) Shimano Crank Bolts were Torx T30, so that's probably why they have the T30.

Dunno about the T40.

Reply

velocipedestrian
0
Velocipedestrian  - June 30, 2021, 3:47 a.m.

I've had those, and the pivots on my old 5 Spot are t40.

Reply

denomerdano
+1 Cam McRae
Deniz Merdano  - June 29, 2021, 7:51 a.m.

All the suspension hardware on Scott Bikes are Torx T30 and rest of the bike is T25. 

Which I am a big fan of...

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - June 29, 2021, 9:56 a.m.

I knew I'd get some answers! Sometimes it pays not to do your homework!

So only the T20 and T40 are entirely useless for mountain bikes. That's an entire bit. Mine originally came with an extra 5/6 (by accident?) which is great because you can have both deployed at the same time.

Reply

shoreboy
0
Shoreboy  - June 29, 2021, 4:23 p.m.

My bike has T30 and T40 pivot hard wear. So I guess not so entirely useless.

Reply

Kevin26
0
Kevin26  - June 29, 2021, 7:04 p.m.

I came here to post about Scott, and how they're annoying haha. 

Y handles are my go to, can spin them fairly easily and still put a lot of torque, I use a 4/5/6 constantly, that Pro wrench has me wanting to upgrade from the basic park tool one

Reply

Gunnar-man
+1 Cam McRae
Gunnar-man  - June 29, 2021, 9:13 a.m.

Shimano caliper bolts( holding the two halves together) are T30

Reply

andyf
+2 Cam McRae Kos
andyf  - June 29, 2021, 9:18 a.m.

I have Beck stuck in my head after reading the story title.  "Two turntables and a microphone..."

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - June 29, 2021, 9:54 a.m.

LOL. You're welcome.

Reply

DancingWithMyself
0
MuscogeeMasher  - June 29, 2021, 2:55 p.m.

I only use y-type wrenches for quick bolt checks of the bolts that could hurt me (e.g., steerer tube, axles) and things like suspension pivots.   I've looked high and low for a y-wrench I could put wera bits into that were selected for my bikes.  No luck.  Wish someone would make one and sell it without bits.  

Fix-it sticks makes a "fixed" t-handle (doesn't come apart) and you can find them without bits.  For me, the T-handle with wera bits selected based on your bike is a pretty nice tool, although it doesn't fit in some spaces quite as well as a y-wrench.  

Also have a Abbey 4-way, but hard to comfortably get much torque, although its great for grips and controls.  Between the T-handle and it, hardly ever have to pull l-wrenches out of the tool roll on trips.  Plus, the T-handle and Abbey stay in the bag with shoes, helmet, etc. in a pouch with my chain lube to help encourage me to do the bolt checks regularly.

Love tool reviews of things that might not be on everyone's radar.  This looks intriguing and might go for if I didn't have my current setup.

Reply

kos
0
Kos  - June 30, 2021, 5:35 a.m.

Does anybody make a 3/4/5 "fixie" like the Park unit?

Reply

Hbar
0
Hbar  - June 30, 2021, 2:46 p.m.

the torque wrench looks interesting. It'd be nice if they made a few higher torque adapters (say 10 N-m for my rear thru axle and shock bolts). 

Also, I was distracted by your flooring. Is that Marmoleum?

Reply

jcinthehouse
0
jcinthehouse  - July 3, 2021, 3:49 p.m.

T40plus is used to tighten Bosch Gen 4 drive units mounting hardware but could get away with T40 in a pinch.

Reply

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