Abbey Bike Works Crombie Tool >> $40
While I’ll always contend that a mechanic’s most important tool is his or her noggin, the wrenches, levers, cutting edges and other items that fill our toolboxes and cover our workspace walls cannot be underestimated.
For a pro mechanic the goal is to carry as little as possible while still getting the job done. For shop mechanics it’s a little different. They have more time and more resources, so their work must be that of a maestro. A team mechanic is more of a triage surgeon.
When a tool comes along that helps both the race and the shop mechanic, you know that its manufacturer is onto something. This is the case with Abbey Bike Works’ Crombie Tool. It’s a cassette lockring tool. What makes the Crombie a bit special is that it fits over quick-release nuts. This speeds up the process of changing cassettes significantly.
Jason Quade of Abbey Bike Works named the tool after a mechanic friend, Jeff Crombie, who works with the SpiderTech pro cycling team. Crombie noticed that cassette lockrings were rattling loose over rough roads and started checking them as part of his daily bike inspection. This required that he remove the quick releases though. Thus was born my new favorite tool. It’s a refinement to be sure, but a significant one in my opinion.
It also didn’t hurt that Quade laser-engraved my name on the sample he sent for testing. The Crombie costs $40 for the standard, dual-sided version reviewed here. Quade also offers an SL version with a hollow handle that saves 100 grams for $45 and a single-sided, Shimano-only tool for $35. All versions are made in Bend, Oregon, from 17-4 stainless steel.