The Mechanic's Special - Interbike 2018

Sep 19, 2018 at 21:18
by Mike Levy  
Interbike 2018


Efficient Velo Tools, or EVT for short, puts out a bunch of professional-level mechanic's tools that are manufactured in their Portland, Oregon, workshop using local materials. It's their Right Arm repair clamp that's pictured above, a heavy-duty clamp designed to fit Park Tool’s common cylindrical-interface - just slide the original clamp out and slide the EVT unit in place. Why would you want to do that? The Right Arm's jaws are very short, meaning that you might not have to mess around with your seat height as it requires just two inches of exposed seatpost. The leather-padded faces are shaped to work with any seat post that's out there, too, up to a 110mm cross-section like used on some aero triathlon and time trial bikes.

There are only three moving parts to the Right Arm (the handle and the spring-loaded clamps), and the handle spins on a sealed bearing that makes the whole thing feel buttery smooth. Like their other tools, the Right Arm is designed for professional shop use, and at $350 USD for the unit, I bet that it'll be mostly shops that end up pulling the trigger.


If you're into the Right Arm clamp, I think you'll be into this neat contraption as well. To the right is EVT's EZ-Lift repair stand that uses a counterweighted pulley system to make raising and lowering heavy bikes a cinch.

Here's how it works: The cylindrical counterweight is hidden inside of the stand's vertical tube, and a cable runs up through the tube, over the pulley at the top, and then back down to the Right Arm clamp. Once it's got ahold of your bike's seatpost, you just unclamp the head and let the counterweight do most of the work. Right arm, man.
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It provides 18lb of lifting aid, which might not sound like much, but it was enough to make the old, heavy bike on the stand feel as if it weighed about 10lb. Ever had someone spot you during a failed max bench press? They barely need to lift the bar with just their fingers to allow you to easily raise it up, and it's the same idea here. The Right Arm clamp slides up and down on massive brass bushings, and EVT says that the mechanism ''is air-damped to control speed.''

Want one? It's $2,000 USD, weighs over 200lb, and there's a three to four month wait time, but it does come with an ''unparalleled lifetime warranty.'' I know that the PB workshop, AKA my workshop, doesn't need one of these, but I also don't care. I want it.


Interbike 2018
Interbike 2018
This gadget might be for you if you're the kinda person who must know that their tires are at the exact pressure you want them at.


I spent far too long geeking out over tools in the EVT booth, so here's one more to check out: Their Bleedin' Gauge. There are plenty of plastic tire pressure gauges out there with a digital display, but EVT took a far different route with theirs. The body is CNC machined, and it uses an analog gauge that's available in five different ranges to best suit your bike. Have a fat bike? Then you'll want the 0 to 15 PSI model. The other ones read 0-30, 0-60, 0-100, and 0-160 PSI.

The gauge gets its name from the bleed screw on the side of the body, with the idea being to over-inflate your tire by a bit and then bleed it off slowly until you're exactly where you want to be. It's also rebuildable without any tools, and the filter (to keep sealant from gumming it up) is just a simple cotton ball. If you think that this little gadget is going to be pricier than your plastic gauge, you're not wrong; it's $110 USD. There are no electronics to mess up, batteries to wear out, or LCD screen to die, so while it's not inexpensive, it should last a long, long time.



Interbike 2018


And speaking of not really needing but really wanting, here's Off Street Only's hand-operated shock dyno. There are no computers involved here, but the idea is to let mechanics mount up a shock to check things like damping adjustment range and resolution, IFP clearance, any friction or sealing issues, and even aid in new air can installs.

It's made to be bolted down to a sturdy table, and the steel handle is long enough to give even a weakling like me enough leverage to run a shock through its stroke.


Interbike 2018
Interbike 2018
You can configure OSO's hand dyno to fit any common shock.


Pretty much any shock will fit on OSO's hand dyno, and it comes with different shock pins and all the hardware to test anything from a pint-sized air shock to a massive downhill damper. There's even an adapter kit to fit the proprietary shocks that some Specialized bikes use. This is not an inexpensive unit, so you'll probably need to be a real suspension dork (I mean that endearingly, of course), and work on a lot of shocks, to justify the $949.95 USD price tag.


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I don't need it, but wouldn't the PB workshop look pro with this thing bolted onto the edge of my workbench? Maybe I do need it.



Interbike 2018


You get one guess as to where Whistler Performance Lubricants is based. Hint: It's just down the road from PB HQ in Squamish. There are a ton of lube options out there, but WPL puts the focus on bio-based and bio-degradable products from renewable sources, and they say that they skip any harsh chemicals. Their catalog includes both wet and dry chain lubes, fork seal lube, grease and degreaser (they hate each other), bike wash, and even suspension fluid.

WPL cites three main ingredients, starting with natural anti-oxidants that are sourced from plants. Next up is oleochemicals; yeah, I had to Google that, too. Apparently, these are compounds derived from plant fat and oils. And here I didn't even know that plants could get fat.

The last one is seed oils that WPL says are triglyceride oils (??????) extracted from canola, hemp, and corn, and they're supposed to provide a base oil that's said to be superior to synthetic and petro-based products. Sounds like a hell of a lot of science to me.
Interbike 2018
Whistler Performance Lubricants offers everything you'd need when it comes to lube and grease for your bike.



73 Comments

  • 149 5
 This dyno and a modded Fox X2 could make for the most pretentious espresso hand press ever... ho much rebound do you want on your espresso sir?
  • 15 1
 Low speed compression set at max is how I like to run my espresso. It gets the most out of it.
  • 1 0
 Someone already did something simmilar. I don't remember but I think Sohobikes had one with a DHX2.
  • 13 0
 @WAKIdesigns just make sure Greg Minaar never gets close to those adjusters. You'll never get an espresso going Smile
  • 7 3
 @mentalhead: not for naturally washed, light roasted African beans. Those like less LSC and more HSR. High LSC is suitable for Ecuadorian beans gathered at high altitude, early in the season. Also don’t preload them too much with the tamper.
  • 1 0
 @P3N54: I'll take one Luca Shaw please.
  • 56 3
 All this talk of mountain biking tools and no mention of Lopes?
  • 18 1
 I think it is because this article was meant to highlight the lesser known tools.
  • 1 0
 what happened
  • 12 2
 @FinnCable: Successful racer is expected to be as cool off the bike as Jeff Kendall-Weed but turns out to be a normal person with strengths and weaknesses and gets endless shit for it.
  • 12 0
 I was a mechanic at a shop when Bret was still employed by that shop. We used many of his EVT tools and they where all top notch. The craftsmanship on these tools was amazing. I would place his tools on the top of the mountain. The best and worth every penny.
  • 1 0
 True that. We have the EVT stands as well as air chucks and they all work every single time, without fail.
  • 11 0
 For my high school diploma project I researched the use of vegetable oils as damper fluid. Not the most extensive research, but I ended up running my monarch on corn oil for a couple of months and it worked great. The best part was the popcorn smell when I changed the oil
  • 9 0
 Damn you Swedish school systems
  • 13 0
 How do I edit that shock dyno video so it has some Barry White playing in the background?
  • 12 0
 I don't need any of those tools. But want them all. Maybe I could justify the pressure guage...
  • 5 0
 Love me some EVT stuff, but that pressure gauge is probably the least-justifiable tool they make. These are almost as nice (not CNC'd, but still all-metal) for about 1/10 the price: www.ghmeiser.com/bicycle-gauges.htm
  • 1 0
 @ChristophColombo: decent, but they don't last. my friend's falt out broke and the needle on mine won't stay put anymore.
  • 1 0
 fabric makes an analog one too, although I can't comment on quality
  • 3 0
 @loganskis: Sure, but the point is that you could buy ten for what the EVT version costs. You're not losing anything in terms of function - they're both very accurate and both have a bleed valve - so in order to justify spending 10x more on the EVT, you'd have to be sure that it will last 10x as long. Even if you're only getting a year or two out of an AccuGauge (and I suspect that most don't die that quickly), that's still 10-20 years that the EVT gauge has to last you.
  • 3 1
 @ChristophColombo: But how many gauges are you contributing to the landfill and how does that make you feel. I would rather spend a little more to make less waste to have to deal with.
  • 1 1
 Here's a question. Why hasn't someone come up with a gauge that has say, a 15-30 psi gauge that goes up in 1psi increments. Wouldn't be too hard. Just use the same spring as a 0-30 And set the gauge that it only picks up a reading at 15psi. Just a thought...
  • 1 0
 @ChristophColombo: I’ve gone through two of those awful things in a month. They’re junk, and nothing more.
  • 1 0
 @ChristophColombo: you have to factor in the cost of frustration for having something you rely on break. Also are you going to buy something over and over if it breaks? I like to buy things once and have them for a real long time. I bet that gague would last 10-20 years, and if it didn't, i think EVT is a company that would repair or replace it.
  • 10 2
 I don't really understand the point of a shock dyno that doesn't measure anything. I can stroke my shock and feel if there is any anamolies in the damping without a giant lever.
  • 4 1
 I kinda thought that. Without any read outs, what does it actually tell you?
  • 3 1
 You beat me to it. I guess they didn't claim it is a dynamometer, just a dyno, with no meter involved. Anyone can do what this tool does with the shock still in the bike frame.
  • 9 1
 This will be mainly used in suspension shops. Many places have forks and shocks sent into them for service without a bike attached to it, so having that hand dyno gives mechanics a way to bench test a shock to check for damping before and after a rebuild.
  • 6 0
 @Mister-Lost-Bike-Shop: But what are they checking exactly? "Yep, feels less boingy" Without metrics it's just about random feel, and what does that accomplish?
  • 3 0
 @maxyedor: Throw it on there when you first get it to feel what any issues may be. Customer thinks they just need a basic air can service, but there's evidence that it needs a bleed.

Post service throw it on there to make sure it feels OK, no clunking, binding, etc. Good QA process is important, even when you're ultra qualified. Smaller shops can't afford a proper dyno, but some of them are very good suspension techs.
  • 2 0
 Cane Creek have something similar at the end of their assembly line. You can at least see if the different damping circuits do anything and if there is any unwanted noise etc.
  • 2 0
 @maxyedor: It'll let you know quickly if there is consistent damping across the full stroke. And you can check that the adjustments are working properly.
And you don't have to have the bike present.
  • 3 0
 All good points but I guess it still frosts me because I still have yet to see anyone selling or using a real instrumented shock dyno for bicycles except deep inside the OEM's or Fox. Yeah I know they're expensive but hey should be able to make/adapt one for bikes. I bet they could sell it for $2-5k. You'll see them that cheap in the race car tools catalogs. Not tool that's going to be in every bike shop, but would certainly get them out there to some places. Its time we saw what these shocks are really doing. Your average Saturday night dirt track racer expects dyno charts with all of his shocks, I know many of us are as serious as those guys.

Again nothing against this tool I'm just frustrated by how primitive our shock tech understanding still is.
  • 2 0
 Its a masterbation joke, for those who missed it
  • 1 0
 @preston67: ive been so tempted to put my shocks on the instron tester at work
  • 6 1
 I'll probably buy that gauge. The SKS, Toepeak and Schwalbe digital gauges are absolute junk. I've been through a number of all of them and always see them piled up in the warranty bin at the LBS.
  • 1 5
flag joshdodd (Sep 20, 2018 at 4:19) (Below Threshold)
 Thing is, doesn't an analogue gauge add a level of uncertainly and readings that cant be exactly replicated by any other gauge? Its the reason I've always used a digital gauge in the first place.
  • 5 0
 @joshdodd: Opposite. Good quality analog should be quite precise, you can easily adjust in .25 psi increments on a 30 psi analog. With any gauge you should calibrate it to make sure it's accurate. Even better if the MFR does it for you. Watching that needle while you bleed it down to proper pressure is an efficient way to get it right.

I'm assuming you know difference between accuracy and precision. I'm probably an ass.
  • 2 0
 @JustinVP: Agreed completely. I have a lot more faith in a $10 analog gauge than its $40 digital counterpart.
  • 1 0
 @JustinVP:

Yes, I see your point. I’m not saying it won’t tell you when you’ve dropped 1 psi accurately, maybe even down to 1/10th. Only that 30 psi on one analogue gauge won’t reliably be the same as 30 psi on any other analogue gauge?
When I set my suspension pressures I always have to be sure I use my own (analogue) shock pump or else l get different results and a bike that behaves differently.
  • 7 0
 Just a pleb Over here with my feedback stand and meiser gauge. I think I am okay with that...
  • 9 3
 Such a peasant!
  • 4 0
 I feel like a lot of high-end tools are just fancy versions of a normal tool, put in a nice case, with no functional difference other than how they feel in the hand. But these EVT rigs are entirely different from that--cool.
  • 4 0
 We use the OSO dyno in our shop; it's amazing and you can use it to fine tune any adjustments, especially with tune, bottom out and air volume changes. And that new SR Suntour Tri-Air shock is the icing on the cake!
  • 6 1
 lol i could almost get the parts for that shock dyno quoted at a machine shop for the same price
  • 2 0
 Seriously. And that gauge can be made with McMaster parts for much cheaper too.
  • 2 0
 @taquitos: Let's see it! Build up a digital pressure gauge with McMaster part no.'s.

Not doubting, I'd genuinely like to see it and don't know exactly what it would involve.
  • 2 0
 "almost".

Now if you can just find someone to design it for free haha.
  • 1 0
 same price? im pretty sure you could do is significantly cheaper than $1000..
  • 2 0
 @yourDentistsDentist: I could design it on a napkin in 5 minutes and CAD in an hour at most. Just a lever with exchangeable mounts
  • 4 0
 @PedalDesigns: Unfortunately the best option I can find on McMaster for connecting to presta is a whole bike pump. Besides that: 3846K6 (0-30 pressure gauge), 62135K14 (exhaust control valve), 4464K352 (NPT coupling to get the gauge on the valve). That is a total of $35.92. If we throw in the pump (6028A23) just in order to cut the hose off it and reuse it with the parts listed it would bring the total to $68.32. Of course with buying a pump the way to do it would be just put the 0-30 gauge on the pump and put the exhaust valve in line with the pump hose. Then you'd be able to use it as a pump and to bleed off pressure. So for $68.32 you could have the same product as them with the added functionality being able to pump up your tires.
  • 1 0
 @yourDentistsDentist: fusion 360 is free for hobbyists. i could make the whole thing at work on the CNC for like $150 worth of aluminum from mcmaster in the space of an afternoon. hell if you really wanted you could make it look almost just as nice with some careful layout and a Drill press
  • 1 0
 I'd like to see an option for that EVT lift without the counterweight pulley (to save $$$)

Without the pulley system you could probably use a narrower tube. It'd be pretty easy to mount a 1.5" HREW tube in a garage for a nice solid repair stand.
  • 2 0
 is there any proper solution for a bikestand with something like a fork clamp? just for lazy people like me, who don't want to unscrew anything connected to the fork when checking headset bearings or something like that?
  • 1 0
 Just put it in a hub stand or tyre stand
  • 1 0
 I worked at a shop that had all EVT clamps and there is nothing like it. You never worry about scratching a frame or clamping something too tight. It really is a beautiful piece of a workbench and I keep thinking I should start saving for one
  • 3 0
 WPL is awesome, the guys at DVO said this the stuff they use to build their personal shocks. It really does take performance to a different level.
  • 1 0
 X2 - their fork and chain boost product is 2nd to none - Good for the planet, family owned and Whistler based, what else do you need to know?
  • 2 0
 I want the counterweight stand for my cargo bike. The family bike shop has some and they are nice. Kind of overkill for anything else though and I wonder what happens if you put a sub 18lb road bike in it.
  • 1 0
 It floats?
  • 4 0
 Stoked WPL updated their bottles, the first gen one was not the easiest to apply on the fork and shock. Super legit product!
  • 3 0
 The EVT stands are pretty nice.

I made my shock dyno out of $20 of threaded black pipe.
  • 3 0
 I bet that hemp oil would mellow my suspension right out. But then I would have to deal with the munchies.........
  • 3 0
 more article like these please!
  • 2 0
 Yes. I love these specials, whether it's mechanic's setups on the WC and EWS circuits or trade show coverage.
  • 4 1
 What a waste of aluminum for that Dyno crap...
  • 3 0
 Can the oils be used to fry donuts?
  • 3 1
 yeah ill stick with the topeak guage for $30
  • 1 0
 Man! That EVT looks so nice! I want one right now!
  • 1 1
 Never thought I'd want a 110 dollar pressure gauge . . .but I do . . .That's how you know you've been at this too long
  • 1 0
 Right arm repair clamp? What happens if I’m a lefty Eek lol

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