Tool of the Week – 7 February 2018

We’re back with another, unfortunately increasingly mistitled Tool of the Week. Things are getting busy around here, which is great, but sadly it meant missing out on the last couple TotWs. But nonetheless, here we are again.

This week we’re proud to introduce you to the 1621/2ABI Double-Sided Ratchet. Simply put, it’s a ratchet with a double-sided head so you can keep your two most commonly used sockets or bits installed at the same time. We sell them pre-loaded with a 14mm socket and an 8mm bit so you’ve got one tool always at the ready for both style of square taper crank bolts. In the photo below you can see we’ve got it setup with a 14mm socket on one side and a 15mm on the other, a good setup for any shop that sees a lot of cruisers or hybrid bikes.

Speaking personally, I used to keep multiple ratchet handles at my bench all the time because it was a good way to keep track of my sockets. Every so often the socket or bit I’d need would be lost in the depths of my tool box and it became easier (and faster) to just keep a socket handle attached to each of them. Keeping the extra handles around added unnecessary clutter and slowed down the speed of my repair work, so having something like this back when I worked in shops would have been a blessing.

As always with the Tool of the Week, you can get yours for 10% off the normal price.

Tool of the Week – 3 January 2018

Our first Tool of the Week for 2018!

Those that have a need for it will immediately recognize it and either already have one or have been wanting one. Those that don’t might question if it’s really necessary. What is it? The mountain bike tread cutter we designed in cooperation with Schwalbe.

MTB Tire Tread Cutters

Why cut up brand new tires? Well, simple: because you’re chasing every tenth of a second possible down the race track.

While the variety of tire treads have certainly grown and the tread designs themselves have gotten better there are still a few limitations. One can only bring so many tires to a race, and manufacturers can only optimize for a finite set of conditions. In other words, even if tire manufacturers made an ideal tread for every set of conditions, how can you as a rider be expected to have the right tire with you come race day?

Further, conditions change. You might show up to a race a few days ahead of time to check out the course, get the lay of the land. How much do you trust the forecast? On Thursday the weather report might say a wet, nasty weekend. Come Saturday and Sunday it might actually be nothing but blue skies and hero dirt. But you only brought mud spikes…

Enter the 2730/4BI Tread Cutter. Customize your tires for the trail and conditions you’re facing. Don’t stress about losing straight line speed for cornering grip. Don’t worry anymore about how quickly the trail is drying and how squirmy the tall lugs on your heavy mud tires are.

OK, but what about for the rider that’s just out for a good time? The rider that doesn’t have an endless supply of tires at home to cut up for a single race weekend. That rider can find use out of this tool as well in freshening up older tires that are worn a bit.

If your tires have rounded off tread lugs a little snip with these will get those edges nice and crisp again, breathing new life into an old tire.

Designed in conjunction with Schwalbe tires the tool features a built-in depth gauge to ensure a consistent cut around the tire. The hardened tool steel pincers will last and the double-material handle is comfortable to help you get through all that trimming. Take 10% off through next Tuesday.

Tool of the Week – 27 December 2017

Our final Tool of the Week for 2017 is our Universal Bearing Press — an all-in-one kit designed to safely press in cartridge bearings.

The kit is contained in our SOS-foam case and includes drifts for the most popular bearing sizes, plastic adapters to protect the finish of whatever you’re pressing bearings into, and two handles, one with a quick-release system for speedy use.

The drifts included in the kit fit the following size bearings: 608, 1526, 6000, 6001, 6802, 6803, 6804, 6805, 6900, 6901, 6902, 6903, R6, 28×17 (Hope), BB30, and all Press-Fit standards.

As always, take 10% off of the Tool of the Week for this week only.

Tool of the Week – 20 December 2017

We’re a little late getting this out this week, our apologies. It’s been a bit busy around the Unior USA office lately.

Regardless, this week’s Tool of the Week is our 193HX-US T-handle hex wrench set. It comes as a set of 8, or if you’d prefer to buy individually that’s a possibility too. Sizes from 2.0mm to 10mm are available. We also offer 3.0mm-5.0mm with a ball-tip on the long end, and we have a variety of Torx sizes to pick from. Check out our Hex & Torx Tools category to find them all.

T-handle Hex Wrenches

All of them share the same basic construction: a comfortable dual-material handle which, if you’ve seen the handles from other tool brands, is obviously the highest quality in the business. No flash lines. No gimmicky texture to make up for cheap materials. Just a quality part that feels good in the hand and is plenty durable. After all, these are the same T-handles you’ll see in automotive shops across the world.

The shanks are chrome-plated chrome-vanadium for strength, and the tips are black-oxide coated to ensure corrosion resistance as well as a precise fit since the black-oxide layer leaves the tool dimensionally unchanged, unlike plating or painting. Try our tools and you’ll notice how much better they fit than the rest.

As this week’s Tool of the Week, all Hex & Torx T-handles are 10% off. Try them and see what Unior is all about!

Tool of the Week – 11 December 2017

1600CN Pro Home Kit

This week’s Tool of the Week is our 1600CN Pro Home set.

OK, it’s multiple tools, but bear with us. In one kit you’ve got nearly everything you’ll need to handle most maintenance tasks on most modern bikes, even those equipped with disc brakes. The cornerstone of this kit is the case and the SOS foam cutouts, which will help you to keep everything organized and quickly remind you when that wrench you lent your buddy hasn’t been returned yet.

The case, split into two halves, contains three Y-wrenches covering the three most common Torx sizes and 2-6mm hex wrenches. It has a Shimano-compatible cassette lock ring tool and our cog wrench for when it comes time to change to your climbing gears. A chain tool & chain measuring tool is included to help keep things fresh, and there’s an external bottom bracket tool (16-notch) for when the time comes to service that as well, or if you’ve got Centerlock rotors with external lock rings, you’re still covered.

The top half of the kit has a pair of master link pliers for quick removal of those. A few disc-specific tools in our piston press and rotor truing wrench ensure your brakes aren’t dragging. Our portable wheel truing gage is included along with our all-in-one spoke wrench for quick fixes. For those pedals that require an 8mm hex wrench, one of those is included as well. A pair of screwdrivers, one straight and one cross-tip are nestled in up top for adjusting limit screws, and lastly there’s a pair of our glass-fiber reinforced tire levers for those stubborn flat fixes.

We call this our Pro Home set because it’s the basis of a great tool kit for most pro mechanics, yet still compact enough for the home mechanic who might not have a whole shop to work out of.

The 1600CN Pro Home Set is 10% off this week. Take advantage of this offer while you can!

Tool of the Week – 4 December 2017

This week’s Tool of the Week is the 1609/2BI Bottom Bracket Wrench. It’s called a bottom bracket wrench, but in reality it does a few more things. Multi-tasking is good!

It’s primary purpose, as the name implies, is to install and remove 16-notch bottom brackets. Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo, FSA, Chris King, and others all use this pattern. It’s machined to close tolerances so as to not mar the finish on your bottom bracket, and the offset handle is distanced just far enough so your knuckles clear the frame but not so far as to create unnecessary cam-out, causing the tool to slip.

The 1609/2BI also fits external Centerlock disc rotor lock rings for all those 15 & 20mm thru-axle wheels. And lastly, it includes a little wrench for the preload caps on Shimano Hollowtech-II cranksets. This handy tool has a strong magnet embedded in the backside to keep it attached to the main handle when not in use.

My trusted companion, the multi-tool

Prior to joining Unior USA I spent the last 7 years traveling the world working for professional road and cyclocross racing teams. Three things never left my pockets: my cell phone, my wallet, and a multi-tool.

I always insisted on traveling with my full toolbox. My job was to be prepared and if the team had a really bad day I wanted to make sure I had the tools to repair or replace anything that needed it. But for quick, on-the-startline adjustments, nothing beat the convenience of a trusty multi-tool. Carrying three or four hex keys and a couple screwdrivers everywhere wasn’t going to happen.

The problem most multi-tools seem to share is that they’re made to be cheap. The hex drivers are sloppy in their tolerances and the size distribution within the tool always left me wanting, moreso lately. Shimano, for instance, has moved a lot of their limit screws to a 2.0mm hex instead of the more traditional Phillips or JIS style head. The business end of the bits within Unior’s multi-tools are made to the same high standards as the rest of the Unior tool line. No more stripping bolt heads when you realize your stem is a little to the left just before your ride!

Unior makes 4 multi-tools, all with a different selection of bits to pick from. The EURO6 features 3, 4, 5mm hex, a T25 Torx, and Phillips and slotted screwdriver bits. This tool will allow you to make most adjustments on most bikes. For those riding newer bikes with higher-end componentry the EURO7 is a great choice as it foregos the Phillips and slotted bits in favor of more hex keys, including the 2.0mm that’s becoming more prevalent in derailleurs.

EURO7 Bicycle Multitool

The EURO13 and EURO17 are the larger multi-tools in the line, both featuring integrated chain tools and valve core tools. The EURO17 also includes spoke wrenches for the most common spoke nipple sizes. These two tools are perfect for bikepacking & gravel events where you’re likely to be in a bit tighter of a bind should something go wrong.

Unior EURO17 Multi-tool

Take a look at the Unior multi-tool lineup and make sure you’re prepared.

Stay on top of wear and tear with Unior chain tools

The bicycle, at its essence, is a pretty simple machine. You push on the pedals, the cranks turn, the chain transfers that power to the rear wheel, the bike moves. S-i-m-p-l-e.

Breaking down any machine to its basics is a great way to identify what’s critical to its operation. Here we see that without the chain the bike doesn’t do what it’s designed to do: move. It makes sense, then, that we’d want to pay attention to the condition of our chain. As with any mechanical device, it’s subject to wear, and a worn chain leads to other issues that can cause our bike not to function as it should.

A new chain has rollers that are half an inch apart. Cassettes and chainrings are designed to match with teeth spaced at that same half-inch. As the chain wears the intra-roller distance grows and the result is a chain and cog that don’t mesh well anymore. This can lead to the chain skipping over the teeth of the cog under load or poor shifting. The best way to combat these problems is to make sure the chain is replaced before it’s excessively worn.

Chain Wear Indicator - 1644/2

Unior makes two tools for measuring the wear on a bike chain: the 1643/4 and the 1644/2. Both give a measurement of how worn the chain is as a percentage, and most manufacturers recommend replacing a chain at a 0.6% increase in length.

Unior 1647/2ABI-US Chain Tool

When it comes time to replace that worn chain we also have a selection of tools available to remove the old chain and install a new one. If your chain has a master link you can open it with the 1720/2DP Master Link Removal Pliers. To remove a chain without a master link, and to size and install a new chain, look to our 1647/2ABI and 1647HOBBY/4P chain tools.