You won’t find it in bike shops. It doesn’t bristle with 1,001 cool tools—theres no fish gutter, chainbreaker or Navy Seal-approved knife at all. It isn’t crafted from either carbon or titanium. You could call the Gorilla Grip (aka, "Bondhus HF7M") downright retro. Less charitable types might deem it outdated. Me? I carry one everywhere I go. With its sticker price of $15 USD, I can afford to.
This is what the Bondhus HF7M has to offer: seven well-made hex keys, sized 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8-millimeters. While there’s no shortage of similar tools out there, few actually match this one's bullet-proof quality.
The handle is nearly indestructible, there’s little to no slop in the keys and the keys take a hell of a beating. Bondhus claims their “ProTanium” high-torque steel is 20 percent stronger and offers twice the wear resistance of “normal” tool steel. Similarly, their “ProGuard” corrosion-resistant finish is touted as being five times more effective than their competitor’s finishes. Big claims, sure, but there’s something to the whole Now 20 percent tastier!
spiel. I owned my first Bondhus for more than 15 years and only parted ways with it when I yard-saled one day and the thing flew out of my jersey pocket. Despite more than a decade of being abused, it was in nigh perfect condition.
For what it’s worth, the tool comes with a lifetime guarantee—if it breaks or bums you out, send it to Bondhus and they say they’ll give you your money back.
I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve watched riders grunt and curse while they tried to loosen a stubborn pedal with their fancy multi-tools. Short handles and stubby 8-millimeter hex wrenches are not your friend when it’s time to get serious about removing a pedal or crank arm that someone has helpfully tightened with a breaker bar. That’s when I pull out the lowly Bondhus and get the job done.
In short, it’s simple. And it works. For years. It’s also affordable—no more than $15 at your average hardware store (or on Amazon.com). Yes, Park Tool offers the very similar AWS-10 and AWS-11 tools. Both are good options, but the Bondhus features a more useful spread of keys. The AWS-10 maxes out at 6-millimeters and there are plenty of pedals out there requiring an 8-millimeter key. Similarly, while the AWS-11 offers up both 8 and 10-millimeter keys, it doesn’t sport a 2 or 2.5-millimeter key and there are cases when those two come in handy. The Bondhus is kind of the Goldilocks bowl of porridge… just right.Pinkbike's Take:
|The tool's great shortcoming? The lack of T25 and T20 torx keys. Five years ago that didn't matter. Today, given SRAM's love affair with the star-shaped fittings, it means I have to drag another tool along on the ride. That sucks. A chain breaker wouldn't hurt either. Still, I always reach for the Bondhus. Reliability and durability count for a lot in my book. - Vernon Felton|