Home Fitness & Exercise Ryder Innovation Groove Tool – Review

Ryder Innovation Groove Tool – Review

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The Ryder Innovation Groove Tool held in both hands.

The Ryder Innovation Groove Tool is a light and cheap South African bicycle tool. Can it be effective and durable too? Lance Branquinho put it to the test.

The bicycle is a wonderfully reliable and simple form of transport and leisure device, but things do go wrong, mechanically. For simple fixes, like tightening bolts and screws, a lightweight multi-tool is the go-to solution for most riders.

But multi-tools are compact, which reduces the leverage force of their individual tool bits.

Key features of the Ryder Innovation Groove Tool

  • Construction: Plastic casing, nickel tools.
  • Weight: 80g (100g loaded)
  • Tool bits: Six Allen keys, two screwdrivers, two torx drivers

Why I bought the Ryder Groove Tool

A multi-tool doesn’t replace your bike mechanic’s workshop. You can’t perform major component repairs, trail side, with a multi-tool. But the multi-tool is very handy if a brake requires repositioning or a shoe cleat has worked loose.

Ryder Innovation is a South African brand, making it extremely competitive in price. They designed the Groove Tool as a lighter, slimmer, smarter alternative to conventional metal multi-tools.

What’s in the box?

The Groove Tool comes with its ten individual tool bits in a separate transparent plastic case. Do not lose this, as it’s a useful way of keeping those bits from going missing at home.

The assortment of tool bits are as follows: six Allen keys (sizes 2 to 6), two screwdrivers (star and flat), and two torx screwdrivers (T10 and T25).

Setting up

The Groove Tool has a carrying capacity of five tool bits, and it comes with ten. Product planners at Ryder have included the tool bits that cyclists most frequently use. I ride with Allen keys 4 and 6, supplemented by both torx screwdriver bits.

The Groove Tool’s selection of bits is adequate for most light adjustments and mechanical interventions you might have to make.

Simply take the tool apart into its two pieces and load the internal storage tray with your preference of tool bits, before sliding it all back together again. Put it in your pocket and you are ready to ride.

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Using the Ryder Groove Tool

Unlike a conventional multi-tool with fold-out bits, you can use driver (‘L’) or wrench-type hold (‘T’) with a Groove Tool. This is part of its ingenious design.

Its slim proportions make the Groove Tool much better at seeking contact with screws and bolts in those hard-to-reach locations – something which often bedevils the conventional metal fold-out multi-tool.

I’ve scratched many bike frames while trying to make a traditional metal multi-tool do what it was not intended for, a scenario that never arises with the Groove Tool. You can watch a video of the Groove Tool in action here.

What we like about the Ryder Groove Tool

All cyclists like ‘light-weighting’. At only 100g, the Groove Tool weighs less than a conventional multi-tool, and that’s with five tool bits loaded. Its plastic casing is also safer in a crash.

Any rider who has crashed, while carrying a steel multi-tool in their pocket, will attest to the pain of an imprint bruise, or worse, puncturing due to a tool bit penetrating skin.

The other advantage of Ryder’s Groove Tool is its corrosion resistance. Metal multi-tools will rust over time, as riders use them in wet and muddy conditions. With its plastic construction and an O-ring seal, the Groove Tool will not corrode – even after years of use.

Where the Ryder Groove Tool can improve

The Groove Tool’s plastic construction isn’t robust enough to withstand a huge amount of force. Overdo it, and you run the risk of breaking the bit mounts when wrestling with components that have been over-torqued. Don’t mistake the Groove Tool for a proper metal tool if you need to leverage a rusty or foolishly over-tightened component.

Conclusion and score

Ryder’s Groove Tool was designed by riders for light touch adjustments and trail or roadside repairs. Its reach and adaptability are terrific.

The safety aspect of cycling with a plastic tool in your pocket, and not being at risk of a puncture injury or nasty bruising after a crash, boosts rider confidence.

There is the Groove Tool Pro for riders requiring a chain breaker and better overall design aesthetics, which costs a bit more.

Light, clever, usable, and affordable, the Groove Tool offers excellent value for money. It also proves that South African cycling product designers can engineer world-class products. And at only R250, it’s a steal.

The Ryder Groove Tool rates 4 out of 5.

4.0 out of 5.0 stars
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