Cool Commuter Gear: Square U-Lock, Windmill, and Bespoke Multitool
Some cool new commuter gear found its way across our desk this weekend just in time for your back-to-school shopping. We have the world’s most compact U-Lock, a nifty wind generator light, and a crowd designed multitool from Brooks.
The new Vier Lock may be the head slappingnest why-didn’t-I-think-of-that product release we’ve seen. Their four-piece, square lock disassembles into a convenient burrito-sized package that can slide under your saddle, drop in your purse, or get stuffed into your cargo pants with somewhat more ease than its U-shaped bretheren.
Ostensibly no easier to defeat than a similarly sized U-lock – does it matter if it has two junctions or four? – the Vier should provide a more secure option than equally compact cable locks. There are two lengths of interchangeable shackles available for cyclists who need extra reach to get around a wider bike rack or other fixture. The lock is available on Sqarespace for $80.
Thanko Turbine Light and Power Charger
Japan Trend Shop is offering the Thanko Turbine Light and Power Charger for $100 plus $19 express worldwide shipping. This bar-mounted wind generator offers the promise of never worrying about a dead battery after a late night at work. The unit has an integrated light consisting of five LEDs with two illumination settings. The unit also has the ability to store and charge two AA batteries, and has five different connectors including USB, allowing you to directly charge a phone, GPS unit, or your other critical devices. Power generation kicks in when the apparent wind hits 15km/h, and the claimed weight is 124 grams.
There are no numbers available for the light output, or the generation time required to illuminate the lights, run a phone, or charge two batteries. We also don’t know if the lights will run off power stored in the AAs. However, a dependable backup light and wind-based power generation should appeal to commuters looking for the added assurance of having a light and their phone always at the ready, or bikepackers who need reliable power for long, backcountry excursions.
The craftsmen at Brooks turned to their famously loyal customers to design the a new multitool, and after input from over 700 people, are now unveiling the 21 piece MT21 Multitool. The usual assortment of allen keys, wrenches, and the obligatory bottle opener is complemented by a Brooks Saddle spanner for last minute adjustments to your leather tension. Also included is a lovely leather case in Brooks’ standard Brown, Black, and Honey finishes.
The complete list of tools is:
7 Allen Keys / Hex Wrenches: #2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8
-Small Flat Head Screwdriver
-Phillips Screwdriver #2 (Medium Head)
-Phillips Screwdriver #1 (Small Head)
3 Torx Wrenches: T10, T20, T25
4 Spoke Wrenches: #0, 1, 2, 3
1 Chain Tool
1 Bottle Opener
1 Spanner for Brooks Saddles
The MT21 weighs 276g on its own and 296g in its tooled Leather Sleeve (claimed weights). It is worth noting that the Taiwan-made MT21 looks very similar to the Crank Brothers Multi 19, which weighs 100 grams less for the loss of the knife, bottle opener, T20, and saddle tool.