Many of the bike tools we use today have been around longer than bikes themselves, so one would think Park Tool would have a hard time coming up with new and better bike tools. And yet, here are three new tools from Park Tool that’ll leave you wondering, why didn’t someone do this sooner?
CP-1 Chain Whip Pliers
Before the CP-1 Chain Whip Pliers, removing a cassette required a slightly awkward chain whip and a cassette removal tool. As many a home mechanic can attest, these tools can be awkward and a danger to knuckles everywhere. Park re-thunk the idea of a chain whip and came up with these cool one-handed pliers to securely hold the cassette while leaving a second hand free to comfortably remove the lock ring. The CP-1 is easy to use and grips cassette rings between 9 and 24 teeth. This tool easily fits in any home or shop kit and features rugged construction using forged steel. The CP-1 also sports Park Tool’s familiar dual density grips for maximum comfort.
Using the CP-1 is pretty intuitive: grab the cassette at the small cog and, using your other hand and the appropriate cassette tool, remove the lock ring. Tada! Task done. Yeah, some chain whips can be a pain, especially cheap ones. The CP-1 does cost more than those basic versions ($53.95 MSRP), but then again for those who need quality tools, these are probably worth the premium price. And for the bike shop, where time is money, the CP-1 makes the job just that much quicker and easier.
UP-SET: Utility Pick Set
My next little favorite from Park is their UP-SET (clever name). This is actually a set of three utility pick tools and no, they are not used to pick your nose or teeth. The three all-metal picks each come equipped with a powerful rare earth magnet on one end and a sharp pick tip on the other. This set of three picks come with a straight, 90-degree bend, and hook end. This should cover pretty much all the “pick” bases when it comes to servicing a mountain bike.
I really like this kit as the picks have stronger tips than most I’ve used. Each one is very sharp, perfect for picking out those small annoying little seals found in brakes and suspension components. The hook and 90-degree bend picks are indispensable when it comes to removing the seals off bearings without causing damage. The straight pick I find great for straightening cut hoses and shifter cables.
The powerful rare earth magnet end is useful when it comes to feeding spoke nipples through rims. Drop the nipple into the rim and then use the powerful magnet to drag the nipple to the spoke hole. Neat huh?
The UP-SET sells for $29.49, and comes packaged in a neat, small cylinder. Wrapping that one up as a gift will keep anyone guessing.
Park Tool #106: Work Tray
Ok, so a work tray isn’t really all that exciting or new. But if you happen to own a Park portable repair stand, the Park #106 Work Tray is a perfect compliment to your PRS-25, PRS-21, PRS-20, PRS-15 , PCS-10, or PCS-11 repair stand. Even if you don’t have one of these models, chances are you can still attach this tray to your stand using the Park Tool #106-AC or 1707.2 collar (sold separately.)
The #106 tray has proven to be a great addition to my PRS-25 stand. For only $33.95 this tray adds room to hold many frequently used tools. With two deep pockets, the tray holds small nuts and screws safely when dissembling a bike or component. Added holes along the periphery organize hex keys or screw drivers. The extra deep side pocket holds lubes and other aerosols. Though it’s not immediately apparent, there’s also a towel bar plus a pair of small hooks to add a plastic garbage bag if you feel the need.
Personally I love this tray. If I had to gripe about anything, it would be that I need more space for dedicated tools, like a hanger for my cable cutters or specific spaces for my most used allen keys. Other than that, the addition of the #106 really makes working on a bike easier, keeping my most needed tools right next to me.
A quick thanks for Park Tool for sending down the gear for a review.