Feedback Sports has spent the past few years crafting a reputation in the cycling world for manufacturing innovative bike stands and accessories, for both road and mountain bikers. Nestled in the foothills of Golden, Colorado, Feedback is in the same office park as companies like Yeti and Spot Brand bicycles, and works closely with both professional and amateur enthusiasts locally to make products for riders that work “in the field.” Last year Feedback announced a departure from their usual product line with the introduction of two bike maintenance tool kits: the budget-oriented Ride Prep kit ($109.99) and a more robust Team Edition kit ($249.99). The company is also offering the individual tools in those kits for sale. The kits practically flew off of the shelves before the holidays, and for good reason.
Feedback Sports was gracious enough to provide us with the Team Edition tool kit, which includes the following goodies:
- Fixed 3-Way TORX T25/27/30
- Fixed 3-Way Hex 2/2.5/3mm
- Fixed 3-Way Hex 4/5/6mm
- L-Hex 8mm
- L-Hex 10mm
- #0 Phillips
- #2 Phillips
- 6mm Flathead
- Schrader Core Tool
- Presta Core Tool
- Valve Extender Wrench
- Spoke Wrench
- Chain Pin Press
- Rotor Truing Tool
- Crank Arm Cap Tool
- Steel Core Tire Levers
- Brake Pad Spreader
- 15mm Pedal Wrench
- 15mm Axle Nut Wrench
- Bottom Bracket Wrench
- Cassette Lockring Wrench
- Cassette Pliers
- Cable Cutter
- Cable Crimper
- Dual Sided Pick
All of these bike tools are thoughtfully tucked away into a zip-up TPU nylon tool case with extra hooks and additional slots for your own tools. The case also handily converts into a hanging tool kit with the aid of a strap and break-apart rod. This, of course, fits nicely on any Feedback bike stand and will make you want to grab a beer and wrench until you fingers bleed.
I spoke with one of the designers of the kits at Feedback, Mike Guinta, who dedicated substantial brain-power into maximizing what each tool was capable of. He put some serious thought into these products. For example, you can parlay 25 (or more) functions out of the 19 included tools in the Team Edition. All of the tools have a genuine professional feel to them, from the soft comfort rubber of the larger hex wrenches, to the ergonomically pleasing grip of the three-ways, to the svelte finish of the rotor truing tool.
The Ride Prep kit is half the price, but I would argue that for both the amateur and pro-level mechanic, the 9.8lb Team Edition kit is a far better value based on the thorough quiver Feedback has put together. Like many of you, I already own a few of these tools, but to have them all in an organized case, matching, easy to find, and of such high quality is a bike wrencher’s dream come true…especially when on the go. Even the best bike mechanic I know commented that he would love to have one of these for his own bikes. It’s that good.
The beauty of the Team Edition is that you can leave it in your trunk and be prepared for virtually any unexpected mechanical at the trailhead, or take it on a weekender to Moab for those inevitable accidents, or set up an assembly in your garage to task away for hours on a rainy day. The possibilities are almost limitless with this tool kit.
It would be tedious to explain the function of every single tool, and since many of them are self explanatory to an educated reader, I think it is more beneficial to describe what I consider to be the 10 signature tool groups that embody this collection.
1. Cassette Pliers
Arguably the piece de resistance, this ingenious gadget will undoubtedly revolutionize how we swap out cassettes. This was the brainchild of Mike Guinta, and I complimented him on the sheer genius it took to literally reinvent the conventional tool to do this chore. I find myself removing cassettes several times a season, and these pliers make it so much easier than a chain whip.
2. Three way wrenches
A staple for any bike mechanic, these nine Allen and torque keys are the bread-and-butter workhorses for almost every bike project you can dream up. I literally used them hundreds of times in this test period. They have a professional heft that oozes precision and inspires you to keep working away until every bolt is snug and exact.
3. Bottom Bracket Wrench
I currently own an older style of this same tool, which is flat and not designed to fit into the palm very well. Though most of my bikes are press fit (unfortunately), this tool provides more leverage and feels like a legitimate wrench. Admittedly I was not able to really test this, but the quality is amazing and it is an essential item for most riders who work on their bikes.
4. Steel core tire levers
Stiff in the middle with relatively flexible outers, these beauties are a hidden laborer in the war against failing rubber. Over the past few years, I have personally been responsible for decimating a crapload of cheapo plastic lever counterparts, and the Feedback tire levers proved to be virtually indestructible, yet pliable enough to get the job done without marring precious carbon hoops. They snap together for storage, which is a nice touch, but I really like how large they are because they fit in the hand better and provide more authority when wrangling a stubborn tire on or off a wheel.
5. Rotor truing tool
A thingamajig that many of us thankfully avoid the need to use often, it sure is handy to have a rotor truing tool when you need it, especially one like this that invites you to roll it over and over in your hands. I warped my front rotor a bit on my DH bike last season, and this little gem helped me square it away in less than a minute. I checked all of my other rotors too simply because I like the way this tool feels. Having the ability to true your own rotors instantaneously keeps you out of the shop and on the trail.
6. L-Hex 8mm and 10mm wrenches
What makes these big-boy tools so wonderful is the soft, rubbery grip combined with the leverage you get from the L-hex shape when trying to loosen stubborn pedals or cranks. I swap out my chainring a few times a season depending on where I am riding, and my old hardware store 10mm key simply cannot complete with the L-Hex 8mm in this kit. The dual sided 8mm L-Hex makes fast work to remove most modern pedals that don’t have a slot for a conventional pedal wrench.
7. Cable cutter and crimper
A good cable cutter is worth it’s weight in gold. I have an older table mounted cutter that does the trick, but it is not sharp (and cannot be sharpened easily) and thus frays my cables more times than it should. These cutters have soft grips, are large and comfortable, and make cutting and crimping easy. Anyone in need of an old table mounted cable cutter?
8. Dual sided pick
Anyone that has taken apart suspension to replace the seals and service the oil knows the value of a good pick. I have another set of picks from a leading competitor, and the quality is identical. What sets this tool apart is the dual sided function and the feel of the fat, ergonomic handle. It is nice to be able to flip this over and work on the seals without putting one pick down and fidgeting for another.
9. Presta/Schrader valve core removal tool
I have been using an ultra-cheapo Presta valve core removal tool for so long now I did not realize how nice it it is to have a dedicated tool for this that isn’t so easy to lose. If you have your wheels set up tubeless with sealant, having the ability to remove the valve core is far easier than unseating the tire bead to pour in more sealant every few months.
10. Pedal wrench
Normally, I would not consider a tool so valuable since I own a $5 pedal wrench that has served me well for the past few years. However, during this winter testing period when trails were often muddy and I wrenched as much as I rode, I wound up swapping pedals on road bikes, fat bikes, trail bikes, DH bikes, and an XC bike so much that it reminded me how handy a good pedal wrench is. I was pleased to have the Feedback pedal wrench, because it was easy to find and use, and felt oh-so-good in the hands.
The Case for a Good Case…
Not to be overlooked is the deliberate attention in the quality tool case only available with the Team kit. At 13 x 11 x 2.25 inches it is ultra-portable and easy to open for parking lot emergencies. It also comes with an extender rod that keeps it open if you elect to hang it on a bike stand or hook it on your garage wall. There are several empty slots for your own tools and bits, and two velcro straps that were designed to keep it snug on a stand (although I discovered these straps were the perfect place to secure my digital shock pump). The TPU material seems to be somewhat water resistant and fits well when folded in a small section of a trunk or even under a car seat.
Try as I may, I struggled to come up with anything I did not like about the Team Edition kit. There could always be more tools in any kit, but this product omits nothing that isn’t germane to basic preventative maintenance. What’s missing? Not much. A bottle cap opener and chain checker would be a nice touch if they could incorporate them into the tools included…but I’m nitpicking at this point.
If you have fallen in love with the sport of mountain biking, chances are you will spend the next few years purchasing tools piecemeal for the various jobs you inevitably will want to fix. Investing in a high quality, comprehensive, tool kit up front actually saves you time and money over the long haul and puts virtually every tool you need at your disposal immediately. The Feedback Sports Team Edition is hands down one of the best kits I’ve seen, if not the best, that is currently available. Even if you already own a few of these wrenches, it is nice to have them all in one place in an organized, portable case. If you like working on your bike(s), you should have this kit close to you at all times.
Thanks to Feedback Sports for sending this Team Edition tool kit over for review! Check out some other photos of tools in this kit below: