by Marc Basiliere
May 30, 2014
Can a ready made toolkit meet all your wrenching needs?
Won over by organised and comprehensive mini-shop…
As one who has accumulated a healthy workbench over the course of 25 years’ of cycling, the idea of a ready-made tool kit is a bit of an anathema. After all, how could something assembled by an unknown designer best preferences been built over years spent in shops, digging bargain bins, and picking up tools to meet pressing needs? In short, when Lezyne’s Port-A-Shop arrived last autumn my initial thought was nice… but not for me.
Combining polished and Torx wrench sets, pedal wrenches, patch kits (both instant and glue type), tyre irons, and a chain tool into a tidy zippered case, the Port-A-Shop lives up to Lezyne’s lofty aesthetic standards. Beyond being pretty, every piece is also reassuringly solid feeling. Scaled larger than most pack-along tools, the folding wrench sets are better suited to light workshop use and the chain tool is one of the nicer compact models I’ve tried. A zippered pocket provides space for quick links or other small specialised items and a number of zip ties can be stashed inside as well. For those who have trouble opening bottles, three separate bottle openers are incorporated. For downhill (or just stubborn) tubeless tyres, a steel pair are incorporated into a pair of pedal wrenches.
Stashed in the car boot, the Port-A-Shop has come in handy more times than I can count. At the trailhead and in boys’ weekend hotel rooms the kit has been called upon to fix the mechanical of the day- and has yet to come up lacking. When a flatpack desk became wobbly work, a polished aluminum lightbulb went off and Lezyne’s hex set came to the rescue. Packing for races and flights has also been greatly simplified- rather than running in late-night circles assembling the essentials, all are in one place and ready to go.
Downsides are few: Some wire cutters would be nice for emergency cable changes and trimming cable ties (the universal bodge). The non-cheap but not-unreasonably price keeps the Port-A-Shop from being an impulse purchase. Luckily, there’s enough space in the package to include a few personal faves. Having lived with one for half a year, Lezyne’s all-in-one has demonstrated its value and quickly become one of my favourite (packages of) tools. It turns out that the Port-A-Shop is for me.