This SA designed bike tool is genius

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The Ryder Innovation Groove Tool. A simple idea - very well executed (Photo: Ryder Innovation)
The Ryder Innovation Groove Tool. A simple idea - very well executed (Photo: Ryder Innovation)
  • A locally designed multi-tool, that you’ll always want to carry.
  • This bicycle tool can get to all those hard to reach bolts and screws.
  • Lightweight, durable and much safer to ride with in your pocket.

On your first ride and your thousandth ride, you’ll probably use a bike tool.

The modern mountain, gravel and road bike might be excellently built, with wonderfully evolved components, but cyclists will always want to fiddle.

Whether it is moving those brake levers or altering the angle of your shoe cleats, everything needs a tool to be adjusted.

gravel bike
The Groove Tool carries its tool bits inside, keeping them away from dirt and moisture (Photo: Ryder Innovation)

Metal tools can be a hassle to carry

The multi-tool is a popular gift of great utility for the cyclist in your family or circle of friends. Most tools are entirely metal, exposed to contaminants, moisture and not always that affordable.

But what if there was a South African designed bike tool that was inexpensive and brilliantly usable? I’ve been using exactly such a tool for the last while.

I have a fleet of bikes, using cycling’s three different wheel sizes: 26-, 27.5 and 29”. My DIY mechanic abilities are also remarkably uninspiring. It means that I don’t do those routine pre-ride checks before my weekend rides on a Friday evening.

The result? Knees that signal their discontent due to shifting shoe cleats. Axles that need fastening after long technical descents due to my poor line choice. And the occasional saddle height adjustment because all riders, myself included, suffer from seat post OCD.

bike tool
Used in the 'L' shape, the Groove Tool has great leverage (Photo: Ryder Innovation)

Everything you need - out on a ride

I dislike carrying a metal tool. They are heavy and uncomfortable in a jersey pocket. And at times, you struggle to reach that bolt you want to adjust, or lack the leverage to turn it.

The Ryder Innovation Groove Tool has been everything I always wanted: simple, powerful and mostly plastic. At first encounter, the Groove Tool doesn’t look like much. It has a simple cylindrical silhouette with two magnetic tool ports.

Once you open it and see what is inside, it becomes evident this is a tool designed by a very experienced rider.

Inside the Groove Tool, you have mounting trays for four tool bits, which are double-sided. That means eight tool ends in total, covering almost any screw or bolt that you would need to turn or adjust.

Ryder Innovation’s Groove Tool has six allen keys and two screwdriver tips. You simply slide out the bit you need, close the Groove Tool top cap again, and mount it in whichever tool driver port you require.

The Groove Tool is long enough to give you adequate leverage used in the ‘L’ configuration. And if you configure it as a ‘T’ driver tool, it has impressive reach – especially if you want to fasten loose bottle cage bolts.

bike DIY
You can get at all those tricky bolts and scews, with the Groove Tool. Without scratching your frame (Photo: Ryder Innovation)

Plastic has less risk than metal

It’s clever and works a treat. Most of all, it’s convenient and safer to carry than a metal tool. Over time, there is negligible rust risk as all the tooltips are homed inside the Groove Tool’s plastic body – which is sealed.  

‘Why is it safer to carry?’ I’ve had my quota of self-inflicted mountain bike crashes, and the landing dynamics are deeply unpredictable.

When you land on your side or back, a metal bike tool can cause significant bruising. The Groove Tool’s plastic body reduces impact risk when things do go awry and you land awkwardly.  

Is it perfect? No. For those nearly seized or rusted-to-ruin bolts and screws, you’ll need a traditional all-metal tool or something with even more precise leverage. But the Groove Tool isn’t designed for heavy duty bike maintenance.

This is an adaptable, easy to carry bike tool for trailside adjustments, immune to the ravages of many seasons of winter riding.

Best of all, it’s proudly South African and at less than R300, a steal of a deal.

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