One thing many riders appreciate is simplifying the process of their ride. A lot of that involves making sure we have the proper gear for said ride, because forgetting the simplest of things can make or break that experience you were longing for. Tools are one thing you should always have with you, but swapping them between bikes or even just plain forgetting them in your front seat will do nothing for that loose bolt or broken chain. Mineral has a couple of somewhat different, but simple alternatives with their Mini-bar and Barstow tools that may be worth looking at….
When things come apart, sometimes you need something a little more substantial than the typical multi tool. When trying to tighten a crank arm or it’s freezing out and you really don’t want to take your gloves off, having something that fits in your hand more like a shop level tool can make all the difference. Mineral has developed a couple of tools that appear to share the benefits of both a shop and compact multi-tool with their Mini-Bar & Barstow tool systems, and a Kickstarter campaign just launched to get them into production.
The Mini-bar is a multi-tool that gives you the compactness of a multi-tool, but the handling and leverage close to that of a shop tool with its T-handle design. The bits are your garden variety, easy to acquire 1/4 inch bits that are magnetically held in place in BOTH the holder and Mini-bar tool so things don’t just fall out when you’re trying to fumble with them. The tool’s size and construction appear to be able to easily access an 8mm crank arm bolt and be substantial enough to tighten it or say a loosen pedal without bending or putting that semi-permanent tool imprint in your palm. The Mini-bar comes stocked with
scotch nine bits including 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 8mm, a torx T25, and phillips, and flat head screwdriver.
The Barstow is a clever design that works with the Mini-bar, (or any 4mm hex), just like a chain tool should, but has a nifty little spot for holding a link. There is nothing like being under tree-cover trying to search the depths of your hydration pack for the other half of your chain link that you know has to be there (that you find accidentally… 3 weeks later).
The Barstow chain tool is designed to well… stow away! It will fit inside most typical road and mountain bike bars keeping it secure but always within reach. To remove it you simply loosen the hex bolt and when done, snug it back down.
Check out the video to see the Mini-bar and Barstow in action, and if the ending makes you cringe, don’t worry, the solution is just below…