I’ve got a love-hate thing going with my new bike tool. Hate because of its outrageous price of $70. Love because the tool, the new Pica+ from Crank Brothers, is undeniably primo and top of the line.
How can a tool possibly be worth that kind of money? It has hexheads, torx, phillips, a chain tool, and the other standard parts for tightening bolts and fixing rattles. But unlike similar tools that might cost $20 or less, the Pica+ is forged from aluminum and “investment cast steel” (good stuff, apparently), and like most things from Crank Bros. it is a thing of high quality and, some might say, beauty even.
But $70? I know. But I did not yet mention the tool’s most unique trait, namely its indexed feature, which clicks each wielded component into place. Each wrench or driver you flip out locks into place, making a repair far less fiddly and frustrating than with a cheap, floppy tool. As a bonus, the company gives a 5-year warranty against any defect.
Using the Pica+ takes some getting used to. Crank Bros. packed a lot into a small space. After using it, getting it back to its folded, compact shape was like trying to make a Transformers toy “transform” for the first time, a little puzzling. But after a few uses, I had it dialed.
Overall, the tool is not for everyone. “Premium” says it all here. But its high price is really all I can say against the tool. And we did find a few online retailers selling the Pica+ for under $60, making it a bit more justifiable.
—T.C. Worley is a contributing editor based in Minnesota.