You can always count on the Problem Solvers booth at Frostbike for two things: clever new products, and feats of skill. Or in this case torque. You know there is always that battle between mechanics of the use of a torque wrench vs. the calibrated arm? Thanks to the Problem Solvers dorque test, the potential for mechanics to tighten a bolt to a specified torque was finally put to the test. PS had confident mechanics choose their weapon (3 way, multi tool, or L wrench) and then try to tighten a bolt to 5.6 Nm. Me personally? I was a bit under on the first go, then nailed it on number two. I suppose that’s better than going over?
While the dorque test was an easy distraction for the mechanically focused among us, in typical Problem Solvers’ fashion there were a few new products that are definitely worth a look…
It’s hard to keep up with the new standards coming out of Shimano lately, but if you didn’t know the I-Spec mounting has changed for 2015. Found on the XTR M9000 brakes, the new I-Spec II uses a new design that holds the shift bracket underneath the brake clamp. So PS did what they do best and created a new MisMatch adapter that allows SRAM MatchMaker shifters to be mounted to Shimano XTR M9000 brake levers. Available in April, the MisMatch adapter family will range in price from $39.95-49.95.
Hardly reinventing the wheel here, but PS now has their own line of headset top caps with integrated spacers. Available in 5 or 10mm versions with or without the PS logo, Top Caps will sell for $19.99.
Tired of plastic bar plugs that fall out of your bars? The new PS Bar-End Plugs use a double elastomer with a compression plug design to make sure they stay put. Available in black or silver, a pair of plugs will retail for $12.99.
The big surprise at the booth was this sketchbook which is tailor made for the bike dorques of the world (myself included). The book is chock full of “semi-useful” reference materials like BCD measuring charts, gear calculation tables, stickers, protractors, engineer ruled graph paper, and the musings of the Problem Solvers staff. With a retail of $29.99 this would actually make a pretty awesome gift for your favorite bike nerd.
Finally, you aren’t much of a bike nerd without your own work shirt. The new “Workshop-Appropriate Torso Cover” blends a traditional Dickies work shirt with an integrated DIY Name Tag and pockets that are optimized for pen holding. Outfit your torso for $49.95.