Abbey Bike Tools spent more than two years testing and developing their first chain tool which is called the Decade. Why? Because they didn’t want to release a chain tool that would just become obsolete the next time someone introduced a new drivetrain. And they didn’t want it to wear out in less than 10 years. Now that SRAM AXS has come along, the Decade is already paying dividends as a new mid plate ensures that it is SRAM AXS compatible.

Interchangeable mid plate on Abbey Decade allows for SRAM AXS compatible chain tool
Standard mid plate with SRAM AXS Flattop chain places driving pin too low. The AXS mid plate holds the chain lower for perfect alignment.

The issue with SRAM AXS comes down to the fact that the Flattop chain rollers are 0.01″ larger than an 11 speed chain, which means the driving pin on the chain tool will be too low on the chain pin. Shown above with a standard mid plate and a SRAM AXS Flattop chain, you can see that the driving pin sits low on the chain pin and won’t properly drive it out.

Interchangeable mid plate on Abbey Decade allows for SRAM AXS compatible chain tool
Standard mid plate with standard 11 speed chain showing perfect alignment.

Abbey was busy selling their SRAM AXS compatible mid plates during the show and didn’t have any to demonstrate when I came by, but you can see above that the same mid plate used on the top photo allows for perfect driving pin alignment with an 11 speed chain.

Fortunately, the Decade has replaceable mid plates which are sold for $25 each, with the Decade tool itself selling for $175. Abbey’s founder Jason Quade also mentioned that this brings up a potential issue with existing chain wear indicators and chain whips as well (SRAM responded to this by mentioning the Pedro Chain Checker Plus and Chain Checker Plus II are both AXS compatible).

When asked about the need for an AXS compatible chain tool, SRAM confirmed that some older chain tools will be incompatible with AXS. While Abbey has the jump with the ability to quickly manufacture new mid plates, SRAM gave us this list of AXS compatible chain tools below:

SRAM AXS Compatible Chain Tools

  • Abbey Decade (with AXS plate)
  • Park 3.3 (technically many 3.2s are compatible as well as Park Made a manufacturing change to work with AXS, but not all 3.2s are compatible which is why they renamed it the 3.3)
  • Pedros Apprentice 1.1
  • Pedros Pro 3.1
  • Pedros Apprentice 1.0 and Pro 3.0 will work by retrofitting a new bridge
  • Even some Pedro’s Multi Tools are AXS compatible with the complete list here
  • PRO chain tool
  • Shimano TL-CN29
  • Shimano TL-CN28

AbbeyBikeTools.com

13 COMMENTS

  1. It’s likely that you can file down the intermediate plate in your current tool to accommodate AXS chains. Though I have to say the propriety AXS standard chaps my ass. I’m certainly not in rush to adopt it.

  2. The chain tool (and chain checker) incompatibility by SRAM AXS was a huge miss for us. At the time of launch, a compatible chain tool did not exist. We lucked out by a super old and clapped out CT3 would work with the larger roller, but not having anything at launch? Big bummer.
    We also just got an Abbey Decade, and for the first time ever for an Abbey tool, we were a bit disappointed with the quality. It has more play than the Shimano CN-34 and the handle is too short to wrap our hands around. And it’s far too heavy to be in a race-day set. Just unfortunately disappointed.

    • Completely opposite experience regarding the Decade tool here. I was at first a bit worried at the shorter thread engagement length vs other tools such as Campy’s, but there is next to no play in the handle. It’s TIGHT. Lowest effort required to push the pin out. Just smeared Krytox on the threads (because that the pro thing to do) and it was good to go. Only downside is I have to keep another tool on hand for chains designed for fewer than 9 speeds.

      • I’m glad that you’ve had good experiences, but it takes a ton of effort for us as well. It’s not BAD by any means, but not as nice as some other options out there.

    • Abbey’s are pretty bad at ergonomics but everyone keeps saying they are the best, which I doubt what is wrong in this industry? They are not bad, but being priciest with bad ergonomics is just overrated.

  3. The chain wear is the more important issue here. One SRAM has conveniently been quiet about. Ya know it’s one thing to come up with a new chain specification, but another to make it *just* different. Now I see why they don’t put any numbers to the change. They would understandably look like a******s, kinda like the whole 28.99 bottom bracket bs. You can’t publish one stupid spec and then omit specs for all your other products.

    So…where’s your chain wear indicator, SRAM? Oh, yeah, the chain is extra durable now too, so it would take a different measurement approach too. Annnd…since they don’t think anyone will need one they’ll wait until much later to release it.

    • As someone who has two bikes with BB86 shells, I completely get DUB 28.99. The small bearings needed for 30mm spindles in that shell fail much more frequently. Thats largely why SRAM has continued to have to offer duplicate crank ranges, 30mm and GXP. By dropping the spindle diameter to 28.99 mm, they get the benefits of a 30mm (hollow, alloy spindle instead of solid steel), but can run large enough bearings in the bb86/92 shells for acceptable durability. It’s a lighter crank for those that previously needed 24mm for durability, and it cuts their crank skew count in half, a win-win.

      • Well, I have never worn out 6806 bearings, becasue the balls were ti small. Just the cheap seals one finds in SRAM PF30 BBs in addition to the nylon cups makes the combo “unbearable”… SRAM has decided to become an island of their own, isolatig themselves from all standards trying to ure cusotmers into one trap after another…
        Sure as hell I am NOT going to sll AXS to any customer. Nor will I sell DUB.
        Get a good aftermarket crank (ie Rotor) an stick with 11 speed for road and you will have plety o un while riding your bike.

  4. That photo shows the AXS chain in what I would consider an inverted alignment, with the flat-top side toward the tool.
    Perhaps the misalignment is the same if flipped, but it’s dumb that they didn’t use the “normal” side of the chain in the tool to prevent this question.

    • It does not matter which side of the chain faces in. There is a notch in the chain tool that the roller sits in and the 12-speed AXS chain rollers themselves are larger than 11-speed rollers so they will not line up correctly in that notch.

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