Bicycles

Ultimate Bike Tool carries over two dozen tools in a small, flat package

Ultimate Bike Tool carries ove...
Local Motors plans to develop the Ultimate Bike Tool design and sell it in its store
Local Motors plans to develop the Ultimate Bike Tool design and sell it in its store
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Local Motors plans to develop the Ultimate Bike Tool design and sell it in its store
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Local Motors plans to develop the Ultimate Bike Tool design and sell it in its store
The Ultimate Bike Tool was designed by V-Lab
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The Ultimate Bike Tool was designed by V-Lab
Ultimate Bike Tool
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Ultimate Bike Tool
Ultimate Bike Tool prototyping
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Ultimate Bike Tool prototyping
Local Motors 3D prints the tire levers with a MakerBot
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Local Motors 3D prints the tire levers with a MakerBot
The original design used open clips to secure the bits, but an update keeps them from falling out with closed-face slots
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The original design used open clips to secure the bits, but an update keeps them from falling out with closed-face slots
The Ultimate Bike Tool includes tire levers clipped to a metal multi-tool
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The Ultimate Bike Tool includes tire levers clipped to a metal multi-tool
The tool turns into a screwdriver when the adapter and bit are put in place
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The tool turns into a screwdriver when the adapter and bit are put in place

The Ultimate Bike Tool stuffs more than two dozen wrenches, tire levers and driver bits into a slim package. It's the latest design to rework the 3D multi-tool into a flat, packable chassis, joining others like the Nutter bike tool and Tuls card tools. It is quickly moving from prototype to reality.

When you're riding on a two-wheeler with limited cargo space, you want to keep things as light and small as possible. In designing a new bicycle/motorcycle tool, Croatian design firm V-Lab set out to mount and carve as many tools as it could onto a small body. It did this by virtually eliminating wasted space – nearly every edge and cut-out on the metal chassis serves as a tool or an extension of a tool.

The design might have ended up in the annals of design-renderings-never-built had it not been for a meeting with Local Motors' design community manager Nyko DePeyer. After taking a trip to Croatia and seeing V-Lab's idea, DePeyer brought it back to Local Motors' micro-factory for prototype development.

The tool turns into a screwdriver when the adapter and bit are put in place
The tool turns into a screwdriver when the adapter and bit are put in place

The Ultimate Bike Tool, as it's called, includes dual 3D-printed tire levers secured around a metal body. The cut-outs in the body not only allow the tire levers to snap together, but offer 12 different wrenches. One tire lever has a holster of six driver bits, and the other holds the adapter for mounting them. The adapter can mount to the two slots on the tip of the metal body to create a long, thin driver that can maneuver into tight spaces. It can also mount at a 90-degree angle for increased torque. The body also includes two open wrenches and four spoke wrenches. The obligatory bottle opener finishes off the toolset.

DePeyer built a steel prototype last month and has been tweaking the design since then. The latest prototype uses a lighter aluminum body in place of steel. DePeyer has also smoothed out a few earlier mistakes and changed the open-top bit clips to sturdier, more secure bit slots. Local Motors is close to having a retail-ready tool, which it plans to sell in its store. It is inviting people to offer feedback on the project's Web page (linked in our source). There's no word on pricing yet.

We've included Local Motors original prototype video below because it provides a detailed look at the different tools in the Ultimate Bike Tool. You can see how this rough version has improved in the video update published last week.

Source: Local Motors

V-Lab Universal Bike Tool Prototype

7 comments
wle
um all those little fiddly driver bits are just going to fall off and get lost either in the saddle bag/seat bag, or when you try to use the thing most of the open end wrench functions have no use on any bike under 20 years old more useful would be pliers, scissors, etc but then it becomes a swiss army knife basically oh where is the chain tool? wle
pmshah
Wonder what kind of hand protection one would need to prevent hurting your palms while using this tool.
Andrew Priest (Aushiker)
I am with WLE. Those tool bits on the tyre lever don't look too smart to me. I wouldn't consider this the "ultimate" bike tool for that reason only. I am less concerned about the chain tool as it wouldn't be a decent one in a tool this size anyway. I prefer to carry a quick link instead.
wle
yep also agree with pmshah how would you even use it without cutting your hand on all the sharp edges? but at least it has a bottle opener.. good luck selling it maybe i don;t give the world enough credit for having enough fools wle
wle
oh forgot to make fun of the ''printed'' tire levers i have had plenty of unprinted tire levers break. i'm sure these are at least 'somewhat' stronger than, say, cardboard. wle
Tomislav Vela
All the edges will be rounded... :) The plastic parts will be made out of molded plastic, these were 3D printed just for the prototype. Bit holders will be tight and the tool will be sold in a pouch or some kind of hard case like for glasses.
idesigncars
@wle @pmshah @andrew priest, this tool is still in development. The renders are an initial design based on the experience the designers have with bicycles. Quick Release is not universal throughout the world, and in many places affordable bikes still use old fashioned hardware. Many of the bikes in Croatia have old hardware, and that is where this tool was initially developed. As the guy behind the prototyping, and a fromer competitive cyclist myself who has about 15 different bike tools, I see a lot of potential in this design. Gizmag picked up the story early-- iwe have only built 2 functional prototypes and this point in time. A thrid was made but the prints didn't come out right. Your feedback is meaningful and it sounds like you have lots of experience yourself. IF so, and if you are willing, we would love to have you collaborate and share your feedback on the tool on Local Motors so that you can help make it a better tool that WILL sell. So far this is in the early stages of development, but Local Motors is a co-creation platform and this Tomislav and Marko put the idea on Local Motors to help see the concept come to fruition but they too want to make sure it is a successful tool. Hit the link above and share your thoughts. Can't wait to interact over on LM.