Monday, 22 June 2009

On a surprising source of bike tools

Some time ago, I stumbled across a surprising source for Allen keys for bikes. I am the proud owner of a number of pieces of furniture (mostly bookcases) from Ikea. Most of these came with with Allen keys, which I kept in my pack rat-ish manner. However, I only realized a few months ago that these Allen keys fit the "common" bicycle hex bolt, as used to attach many accessories onto bikes.
Ikea Allen key on the left, multi-Allen key set of on the right

It is not that I lacked a decent folding Allen key set (pictured above), but that I frequently forget which is the commonly-used size of key. Also, the Ikea Allen key is less bulky, can be used more easily in some of the tighter corners of a bike and its shape allows it be rapidly cranked if necessary. Finally, you can use it to tighten the bolts on the multi-Allen key set.

The Ikea Allen isn't in my tool bag as a replacement for the multi-Allen, but as a complement. At the price in dollars (nil), weight (minimal) and volume (negligible), it works very well.

1 comment:

Margo and Chris said...

Good point... I like to carry one extra allen key for checking racks and water bottle fastenings... IKEA's is lightweight and the price is right!