Ultimate Bike Tool carries over two dozen tools in a small, flat package
Local Motors plans to develop the Ultimate Bike Tool design and sell it in its store
The Ultimate Bike Tool stuffs more than two dozen wrenches, tire levers and driver bits into a slim package. It's the latest design to rework the 3D multi-tool into a flat, packable chassis, joining others like the Nutter bike tool and Tuls card tools. It is quickly moving from prototype to reality.
When you're riding on a two-wheeler with limited cargo space, you want to keep things as light and small as possible. In designing a new bicycle/motorcycle tool, Croatian design firm V-Lab set out to mount and carve as many tools as it could onto a small body. It did this by virtually eliminating wasted space – nearly every edge and cut-out on the metal chassis serves as a tool or an extension of a tool.
The design might have ended up in the annals of design-renderings-never-built had it not been for a meeting with Local Motors' design community manager Nyko DePeyer. After taking a trip to Croatia and seeing V-Lab's idea, DePeyer brought it back to Local Motors' micro-factory for prototype development.
The Ultimate Bike Tool, as it's called, includes dual 3D-printed tire levers secured around a metal body. The cut-outs in the body not only allow the tire levers to snap together, but offer 12 different wrenches. One tire lever has a holster of six driver bits, and the other holds the adapter for mounting them. The adapter can mount to the two slots on the tip of the metal body to create a long, thin driver that can maneuver into tight spaces. It can also mount at a 90-degree angle for increased torque. The body also includes two open wrenches and four spoke wrenches. The obligatory bottle opener finishes off the toolset.
DePeyer built a steel prototype last month and has been tweaking the design since then. The latest prototype uses a lighter aluminum body in place of steel. DePeyer has also smoothed out a few earlier mistakes and changed the open-top bit clips to sturdier, more secure bit slots. Local Motors is close to having a retail-ready tool, which it plans to sell in its store. It is inviting people to offer feedback on the project's Web page (linked in our source). There's no word on pricing yet.
We've included Local Motors original prototype video below because it provides a detailed look at the different tools in the Ultimate Bike Tool. You can see how this rough version has improved in the video update published last week.
Source: Local Motors
About the Author
Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.
All articles by C.C. Weiss
all those little fiddly driver bits are just going to fall off and get lost
either in the saddle bag/seat bag, or when you try to use the thing
most of the open end wrench functions have no use on any bike under 20 years old
more useful would be pliers, scissors, etc
but then it becomes a swiss army knife basically
where is the chain tool?
Wonder what kind of hand protection one would need to prevent hurting your palms while using this tool.
I am with WLE. Those tool bits on the tyre lever don't look too smart to me. I wouldn't consider this the "ultimate" bike tool for that reason only.
I am less concerned about the chain tool as it wouldn't be a decent one in a tool this size anyway. I prefer to carry a quick link instead.
Andrew Priest (Aushiker)
also agree with pmshah
how would you even use it without cutting your hand on all the sharp edges?
but at least it has a bottle opener..
good luck selling it
maybe i don;t give the world enough credit for having enough fools
forgot to make fun of the ''printed'' tire levers
i have had plenty of unprinted tire levers break.
i'm sure these are at least 'somewhat' stronger than, say, cardboard.
All the edges will be rounded... :) The plastic parts will be made out of molded plastic, these were 3D printed just for the prototype. Bit holders will be tight and the tool will be sold in a pouch or some kind of hard case like for glasses.
@wle @pmshah @andrew priest, this tool is still in development. The renders are an initial design based on the experience the designers have with bicycles. Quick Release is not universal throughout the world, and in many places affordable bikes still use old fashioned hardware. Many of the bikes in Croatia have old hardware, and that is where this tool was initially developed.
As the guy behind the prototyping, and a fromer competitive cyclist myself who has about 15 different bike tools, I see a lot of potential in this design. Gizmag picked up the story early-- iwe have only built 2 functional prototypes and this point in time. A thrid was made but the prints didn't come out right.
Your feedback is meaningful and it sounds like you have lots of experience yourself. IF so, and if you are willing, we would love to have you collaborate and share your feedback on the tool on Local Motors so that you can help make it a better tool that WILL sell. So far this is in the early stages of development, but Local Motors is a co-creation platform and this Tomislav and Marko put the idea on Local Motors to help see the concept come to fruition but they too want to make sure it is a successful tool. Hit the link above and share your thoughts. Can't wait to interact over on LM.
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