Pedro's Tools Review

PEDRO’S TOOLS REVIEW

MULTI-TOOLS, TIRE LEVERS & VISE WHIP

Words & Photos by Robert Johnston

Since 1989, Pedro’s has been supplying riders internationally with bike specific fluids and tools. From the humble beginning of their SynLube – one of the first chain lubricants that was capable of maintaining the smooth running of a mountain bike in the muddy conditions of the PNW – Pedro’s has grown to offer a comprehensive range of products that should satisfy both personal and professional bike workshops alike.

Pedro’s kindly supplied me with a range of their multi-tools, tire levers and their Vise Whip to try out and see how they compare with the extensive other options on the market.


Pedro's Tools Review

MULTI-TOOLS
Pedro’s offer a number of multi tool options to suit every rider need. Supplied to test were the RX Micro series, offering three different sizes of tool depending on the riders preference – the RX20, RX9 and RX6, with the number referring to the number of different functions on each tool. All of these tools are backed by a life-time warranty and a rust-free guarantee, meaning they may just be the last multi tools you ever need to buy.

The RX20 is the most comprehensive tool in the range, in theory providing every tool that your usual mountain or road bike should ever require. At 160 grams, the tool is not ultra light, however it’s reassuringly solid in the hand, and it’s profile is impressively slim given the features that are present, at just 19.5 mm thick at its fattest point. One side is “leg friendly,” in that there are no sharp edges to dig in if you were to fall on the tool. which is nice to have for the days you don’t ride with a pack. The integrated Micro Tire Levers make for a comfortable grip when you have to push hard on the tool, and are surprisingly sturdy given their small size – they’ll still flex a little when you’re pushing hard on the bead of a downhill tire, but less than you may expect. When not in use, they snap onto the side of the tool neatly with a reassuring click. There’s a little recess in the levers to fit a quick link, which could save the day if you remember to stick one in. The flat blade screwdriver has multiple uses due to its long and slender profile, making for a very effective disc brake pad spreader in an emergency. The chain tool features a Shimano crank cap tool, which is not what I would consider an essential, but is certainly cool to see included for those Hollowtech II die-hards. As an integrated chain tool, it does the job for trailside repairs adequately. Although requiring you to spin the rest of the tool to move the pin does make it slightly trickier to use than other designs. At $45.99, the RX Micro 20 is not super cheap, but with a lifetime warranty it’ll likely pay for itself many times over when compared to soft and poorly constructed tools. Overall, the RX Micro 20 is a great offering for those looking to venture far from the car and into the wilderness.

If you’re not looking to be the MacGyver in your riding crew, Pedro’s offers two lower profile multi-tools of the same high quality. The RX Micro 9 and RX Micro 6. Separating the two is the inclusion of the 2.5 mm and 8 mm hex keys and a T30 Torx. This is the major difference in the weight of the RX6 (70g,) which is 25 grams less than the RX9. The profile measures a good bit smaller on the RX6 as well. Pedro’s shaves 2mm off the thickness and 7mm off the width. Both tools are 81.5mm long, which maintains a useful standard of leverage. Micro Levers, available in multiple colors, can be fitted to either tool, but don’t come included as standard, so add on $4.25 to the price of either tool ($35.99 for the RX9 and $25.99 for the RX6) if you think they’ll be required. Both tools maintain the RX20’s solid, quality feel in use, but for me I’d prefer to take the bigger tool to save a frustrating walk back to the van. Chatting to a couple of roadie friends, they highlighted that even the RX9 was slightly over equipped for their needs, so there’s absolutely a place on the market for the minimalist RX Micro 6, just not in my bag.

Pedro's Tools Vice Whip Review

VISE WHIP
The Vise Whip is a clever take on locking pliers. The tool is designed to locate onto the teeth of a cassette. Pedro’s specially designed the Vise Whip to save bloody knuckles that can result from a slipping chain whip.

When I first saw this tool, it had me scratching my head a little as to the need for its existence – having had less than few issues using a regular chain whip over the years. It seemed as if it was solving a non-existent problem.

I was soon proven very wrong, however. My colleague had been complaining for weeks about his seized cassette, saying he’d tried all sorts of ways to get it loose to no avail. This was the perfect time to give the Vise Whip a proper testing. Low and behold, I managed to free the seemingly immovable lock ring. The beauty of the Vise Whip is the way it locks on and then allows the user to concentrate on the proper location of the lock ring tool. It really does make things a whole lot less awkward.

The Vise Whip is compatible with 1-12-speed drivetrains, with a capacity to take up to a 23t cog. It’s construction, much like the multi tools, is reassuringly solid (using tool steel), so again this should be a one-and-done kind of purchase. You would hope so though, after looking at the price tag. At $65, the Vise Whip is a large chunk of money for such a specialist tool. However, for someone who regularly pops their cassette on and off, the Vise Whip could save a lot of pain and cursing. It’s particularly suited to a bike shop, where suddenly I would consider it foolish to continue to use a regular chain whip knowing that such an elegant solution exists.

Pedro's Tools Vice Whip Review
Pedro's Tools Tire Levers Review

TIRE LEVERS
The Pedro’s Tire Lever has held a bit of a legendary status in my eyes over my mountain biking lifetime. I found myself in the possession of one when I was a total grom, and it survived many hack tire changes in my garage. Sadly, years later it vanished one day (no doubt, stolen by a friend who was jealous). Fast forward ten years, and I was intrigued to see how the modern day Pedro’s lever would compare to my fond memories.

Thankfully, I was not disappointed when facing the lever up against one of man’s greatest challenges – removing a Schwalbe DH casing tire from a tight rim. No, the Pedro’s Tire Levers did not give me Popeye strength, but the design and sturdiness of the Pedro’s lever is certainly exceptional. I never felt that it’s about to snap in my hand (a feeling that I know all too well). The slightly hooked and tapered end slides under a bead easily, whilst their width allows for some efficient unseating. The ergonomics could perhaps be improved a little, with the lever feeling a little sharp and boxy in the hand, but its size means that there is always a comfortable way to grip it ‘n’ rip it. At $5.00 and coming with a lifetime warranty, these seem like a smart buy to me, for any level mechanic. If the banana yellow isn’t to your tastes, Pedro’s offer the levers in their equally bright pink, green and orange colors too.

To see the entire line of Pedro’s Tools, visit Pedros.com

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