Whether out for a ride, or working on your bike at home, many people use multitools to accomplish the job. They are handy, since they house a number of tools in one package, but might not always be the easiest to use. Most commonly, they are in a rectangular block and open up from either end to give you the tool you need. They are usually either small and have a few tools, or bulky, and have more tools than you’ll ever need, especially while on the bike. What if there was a sleek package that fits nicely in your saddle bag or jersey, is easy to use, and have the tools you need during your ride.
Enter Fix It Sticks.
Founder Brian Davis came up with the idea while working on his front derailleur. He loves the torque of his handy three-way hex wrench at home, but it was impractical to take with on the bike. That’s when he came up with the concept for the Fix It Sticks.
Brian was kind enough to send a prototype set to try out, and I found them to be useful tools. When you’re working on your bike, the current standard for most bolts are metric hex/Allen bolts. You do find a few flat head or Phillips screws, but the majority are hex bolts. The sticks came with #4, #5, and #6 hex bits, and a flat head screw driver. When you are out on the bike, you usually don’t need anything more than that. Most likely, you have your seat binder, stem, bottle cages, and possibly even your derailleurs covered. If you need anything else, you probably need a more specific tool. Each stick is about 4 inches long and about a half inch wide. The tubes on the stick are round with a larger hex shaped section in the middle. The middle portion of the sticks are drilled to match 1/4 inch hex shanks of the bits (a slight change from the prototype). Put them together, and you have a T-handled tool, similar to a three-way tool you might have at home. The bits are pressed in so they will not fall out. A tool without bits won’t help you when you need it.
The first task I used them on was to install some bottle cages on a new bike. After finding the right size hex head to use, it was a snap. I used the individual stick first to spin the bolt down quickly while it was still easy to turn. I could have made it a T-handle right away, but this was a little faster. Once it got tighter, I added the other stick, and was able to finish tightening the bolts. Next, I used it to swap the stem and bars from my old road bike to the new bike. Again, it was a matter of finding the right bit, make the T-handle, and start spinning. I still used my torque wrench to finish tightening everything up, but the tools came in handy.
On the road, they easily fit in my saddle bag, and a Speed Sleev I was testing out. They were perfect for the Speed Sleev actually, since they slid nicely into one of the elastic slots, and were not nearly as bulky as my other multitools. At around 51 grams, weight weenies can even carry these and not feel weighed down.
The Kickstarter has already started, and a $25 pledge or higher will get you a set of these sticks. Standard color is an anodized orange, but certain levels will get you a special edition green. Currently, the standard sticks will be a #4, #5, #6, and flathead bit, but options for a second set at #2, #2.5, #3, and #1 Phillips bits, or a the ability to choose your combinations of any standard ¼ inch hex shank. The sticks are made in Wisconson, and Davis is trying to keep everything as local as possible, down to the tooling bits and the minimal packaging.