After receiving the Abbey Bike Works Crombie tool last September, Abbey went from obscurity to the top of my tool board as my favorite cassette lockring tool. Well built, beautifully machined, and smart, the Crombie tool was an instant hit that has led Jason Quade to continue producing new tools. The latest batch include a chain whip partner to the Crombie, a Dura Ace 9000 compatible BB socket, and a one-size-fits-all hub truing stand adapter.
Just like the Crombie tool, the newest additions to the toolbox do not disappoint.
As a companion to the awesome Crombie tool, the Whip It chain whip is designed to have the Crombie stored inside of it for transport. Built with a 10 speed chain, the Whip It is compatible with anything from 6-11 speed cassettes, and features a round, 12 inch long, stainless steel, ergonomic handle.
At the end of the Whip It’s handle, there is a plastic bushing designed to act as a sleeve for the handle of the Crombie tool. Admittedly, there is nothing to hold the Crombie inside Whip It, as Jason mentioned that he made a prototype that used magnets to retain the Crombie inside, but the difficulty to manufacture them out weighed their small benefit. Jason designs his tools for Pro race mechanics who often fly with their tools so space and weight is at a premium. As such, their tools are usually carried in briefcase style boxes with sleeves for the tools that would keep the Crombie in place inside the Whip it.
A detail of the Whip It that would be easy to overlook, is the fact that there is only one pin holding the chain in place. To Jason, and any mechanic really, durability of the tool is extremely important and by only using one pin, there are fewer points for potential failure. As such, the chain is pinned to the body, looped out on the top section, then back inside the tool at the top, and then pops out again just below the pin. I’m not sure if it had anything to do with it, but functioning as a chain whip the Whip It grabbed the cassette easier and stronger than just about any other that I have used. Pretty clever.
The Whip-It comes in two versions, one for single sided Crombie tools that use a 3/8″ handle, and one for the 1/2″ handle of the dual sided Crombie tool, each for $40.
If you haven’t heard, with Shimano Dura Ace 9000, the bottom bracket tool standard is apparently changing for English threaded BBs. We’ve also heard that this will be trickling down across the whole line, so it’s probably time to update your tools if you haven’t done so already. Abbey Bike Tools’ BB socket addresses the issue with the best of both worlds with a 9000 compatible socket on one side, and the “most brands” everything else standard including Hollow Tech II on the other side.
One huge benefit of the new tool standard? Because of the design, and size of the BB shell, the inner stub of the 9000 socket can be made 24mm wide – which you can’t do with a tool designed to work with GXP. That means when you’re wrestling with a seized BB on some tri bike, if the tool starts to slip off the shell it will bind – keeping your tool on the BB and your anodized BB cup nice and pretty. Since the tool is no longer slipping off on stubborn bottom brackets, it improves the tool life as well. Both sides of the BB socket have a 3/8″ socket drive for use with torque wrenches to meet the specified 35 ft/lbs of torque. The BB socket is machined from a 7075 billet and hard anodized, and as Jason says, built in America (Bend, OR), by Americans even! You can pick up a BB socket from Abbey for $55.
Continuing with the trend of naming tools after his mechanic friends, Abbey’s thru axle hub truing stand adapter is named after Josh Geiszler who got his start building wheels for Williams. The Geiszler is a stepped adapter that is compatible with every thru axle currently on the market – 12×142, 12×150, 15×100, 20×110, and 24mm Maverick.
There are a myriad of ways you can use the Geiszler, depending on the situation. For wheel building, using the threaded rod to hold everything together you can build the wheel without worrying about the adapters falling out. Also, since they are accurate to dish off of, having them locked in place makes wheel building even easier. If threading the tool on and off is too time consuming, you can slip the two pieces into the hub and use the truing stand as the compression to keep them together. Finally, with a bit of ingenuity and the right M6 bolt and washer, you can semi-permanently attach them to the truing stand so you never have to worry about having the right adapter. The Geiszler will retail for $45.
Since Jason is currently focusing more and more on his tools, Abbey Bike Works has transitioned to Abbey Bike Tools. All of the tools featured here are currently available along with the Crombie, Crombie SL and Single sided Crombie.