Quick Review: Fix It Sticks
We haven't had a lot of reviews focused on shop tools, but today I'm broaching that subject because the wrenches in question, called Fix It Sticks, are undeniably great. And rule #1 on TriRig.com is that if I think something is truly awesome, and even tangentially related to triathlon, I'm gonna write about it.
The Fix It Sticks are a true success story that began life on Kickstarter as the brainchild of cyclist Brian Davis. When Davis looked at the market's offering of mini tools, he noticed a few common problems. These gripes are easy to articulate, because I've long been annoyed with them myself. First, the small form factor of your typical mini/multi tool makes for low torque wrenching. Even the larger ones simply can't deliver the goods, and just end up adding weight and bulk to your ride. This is connected to problem number two: size. The mini tool has to be "mini" because full-size tools are just too big for a saddle bag. Everyone would love to have a box full of wrenches on them at all times, but it just wouldn't fit. And finally, moving parts often make mini tools a pain to use. This is the biggest problem in my opinion. Hinges and moving parts make it difficult to really use the wrenches as intended, because they're constantly flopping over in an undesired fashion. Once I got used to my trusty T-handle shop tools, the mini tool became the pariah of my garage.
Because they're designed to use off-the-shelf bits, you can order Fix It Sticks to be exactly what you need.
The Fix it Sticks solve everything on that list in one brilliant stroke. Fix It Sticks are solid aluminum carriers for standard 1/4" hex bits. Oh, and in case you didn't notice, they're anodized bright orange, an aesthetic choice we definitely support here at TriRig. Each Stick has two bits, one permanently pressed into place on each end. In the center of the Stick, a 1/4" through bore allows another Stick to temporarily slide in to form a T-handle! If that's complicated to understand in written words, just have a look at the pictures, which will make perfect sense. Davis' Kickstarter fans obviously understood the pitch too, pledging more than 250% of his $18,000 funding goal earlier this year.
The Kickstarter fun is all over, and now the tools are available to the masses at FixItSticks.com. You can grab them in several different configurations, or even come up with your own if you like. My personal favorite is a three-stick setup, containing 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, and a Phillips head screwdriver. Those six bits can do about 95% of everything you'll ever need to do on a bike, and the T-handle construction gives you enough torque to do it out on the road, no matter where you are. I highly recommend these beautiful little parts. They're smart, elegant, and that orange anodizing is simply irresistible!