If you work on your own bicycles, you know the allure of purpose-built bicycle tools.
The right tool simplifies the job, whether it’s a spoke wrench shaped to fit the hand as well as the nipple, or a threaded-headset wrench thin enough to tuck onto the adjustable cup under the locknut yet strong enough not to distort after years of use.
The right tool is a powerful repair solution–and an equally powerful reminder of every successful repair session.
Maybe that’s why I keep tools I may never use again: an Atom freewheel remover, a Helicomatic wrench/bottle opener.
Bicycles come and go, especially when your care of them spans decades.
But tools? Tools remain.
And a new tool–because there is always a new tool–is even more alluring.
Sometimes it’s because you finally have the right socket to remove a new-fangled bottom bracket cup. Sometimes because the tool is so well made it encourages you to luxuriate in the sheer quality of the thing.
And sometimes a tool is the NIFTIEST THING SINCE THE LAST NIFTIEST THING because the maker added something clever, something unexpected, something that once you see it you must have it.
That’s why I want the Pack Wrench from Wolf Tooth.
Yes, it’s a versatile piece of aluminum, supporting a number of attachments. Yes, the redesigned handle is comfortable. And yes, it’s super light.
But none of those facts are really important to me.
I’m way more likely to use Wolf Tooth’s attachments with breaker bars and torque wrenches at home and work. And I don’t haul around a ride mechanic’s kit on race day–which is why the light aspect is nice.
But look at the shape of this tool. Note the dogleg to the right of the flower-shaped hole–a 16-notch 44mm bottom bracket and/or centerlock rotor tool–in the picture.
The apex of the triangular dogleg points to zero on a chain line measurement gauge.
Position the dogleg over the seat tube near the chainrings and hold the wrench perpendicular to the bicycle frame.
The straight ramps of the dogleg automatically position the gauge over the centerline of the frame regardless of the seat tube’s diameter.
If you have a single ring, read the gauge as it passes over the middle of the ring. Two chainrings, halfway between them. Three rings, over the middle of the middle ring.
A chart to the right of the gauge matches chain lines to nine hub widths.
All of which means if you have shifting or chain retention issues because of an errant chain line, you’ll know.
This laser-cut gauge is convenient, accurate, easy to read and takes up zero additional space on your tool wall.
You can’t lose it unless you lose the much larger wrench it’s etched on. And you know what that means.
The Pack Wrench is a keeper.