The ‘David Coulthard of BMX’ (*cough*) a.k.a. Bas Keep recently launched his new English transition/ramp-riding brand, Tall Order, and we’re finally getting to see some samples emerge from Taiwan of what kind of products they’ll be pushing. So let’s start with the frames, of which there are two; the 215 and the 187 (the names derive from the respective standover heights in millimeters… in case you were wondering) the 187 is the smaller of the two with a shorter standover height, chainstays and top tube options and the 215 is the more ‘adult’ sized frame with slightly longer TT’s, standover and rear end. The custom slanted seat clamp is a great little brand signature for these clean looking frames, as is the return of the BB/stay junction gusset on the 215 (think along the lines of the old Wethepeople Omen frame) I can’t say I’m too enthusiastic about the lack of a top tube gusset on either frame as that’s where I always break my frames but maybe that’s just me. My favourite part in the Tall Order line isn’t even a part, but we’ll get to that at the end. Walk with me… Continue reading
The BMX multi-tool is a product that hasn’t been around for a great deal of time and unlike the skateboard equivalent, it hasn’t yet found a ‘perfect’ archetypal design. DK’s first incarnation of the Random Wrench was a great first go despite it being a tad large and rather cumbersome; like a car’s cross wrench. Fast forward a few years and there are now a plethora of various multi-tools designed to aide with quick fixes like Merrit’s Trifecta tool or a full strip-down with Shadow, Eclat or Animal’s offerings. While attractive, I personally never bought any of these tools because they simply don’t just fit in your jeans, they still require a backpack and if that’s the case, the tools I already have are sufficient… difficult to find amongst the loose chilli peanuts and ominous black fluff at the bottom of my bag, but still… sufficient.
One day in my old workshop I sat down and put some thought into a small pocket multi-tool that you could pop in your 501’s and forget about until you needed it. I came up with a first draft. It included a 6mm allen key, a spoke key, a tyre lever and for no good reason, a 10mm spanner (who uses a 10mm for anything other than holding a cable pinch bolt in place?) It looked good. A few days later I found an almost identical, albeit slicker, design on Zodiac Engineering’s Instagram account. Dumbstruck that someone had already beaten me to it, and that I would probably never own one due to them being out of stock, I retreated to lick my proverbial wounds.
Last week while researching various BMX retailers (read; procrastinating on Dan’s Comp) I stumbled across the Stolen Piece multi-tool, of which until that moment, had eluded me completely. Bar a couple of finishing touches and a 5mm hex bit end instead of a 1/4″ one, it’s almost exactly the same tool as Zodiac made, and all for 20 bucks.
While you’d have a hard time getting your wheels off with it if you have pegs, it’s absolutely amazing for pegless riders like myself as most wheels, stems, cranks, seats and clamps all typically run off of 5 or 6mm bolts these days. The tyre lever and spoke key are also welcome features, trashing your rims or tubes without either can be a total nightmare and result in a very long and wholly miserable walk home, but even if you are stuck walking home, at least you have a bottle opener to help drown your sorrows. The spoke key is where this tool excels though, the typical ‘slot’ type 3-sided key adopted by many has been ditched in favour of a 4-sided one (like the yellow Spokey ones) which has a greater surface contact area to prevent the rounding-off of nipples. It’s solid, steel construction makes it practically bombproof and what’s more is that the Piece tool has been in my back pocket since I started typing this review and I’m still yet to get a numb left buttock. ‘Nuff said.
Fits: 3.45mm (.136″) nipples
Colors: ED Black
Weight: 2.7 oz
Damn, Shadow‘s all new Multi-tool is finally available. After previewing it at Interbike 2001, the guys at shadow spent another year making sure this is the last tool you will ever need for your bike. The fact that it features an actual hammer is a huge selling point for me. god know how many times Ive had to use a brick or a some other random blunt instrument to fix something on my bike whilst out riding street.
“This is the moment everyone has been waiting for! The Shadow Conspiracy Multi-Tool is now available. Featuring an investment cast, forged, and CNC steel construction, this package includes just about every tool you need to work on a modern day BMX bike and then some!
Includes: chain breaker, 17mm deep socket, pedal wrench, 10mm wrench, spoke wrench, tire tools, 8mm hex, 6mm hex, 5mm hex, 1/4″ hex, 7/32″ hex, hammer, and most importantly, a bottle opener.”
These badboys are available worldwide now, hit up your local Shadow dealer to find out where you can pick one up today!