Wolf Tooth Encase Bar Kit
Uncle Gomez sent me a fun little stocking stuffer this year for our inter-office gift exchange. We didn’t have an office party this year…Unless you consider last weekend’s Fatter By The Lake event a holiday party (which I was unable to attend, despite a kind offer to carpool with fellow bike pilot, Dustin Marsh). Gomez sent me a set of Wolf Tooth’s new Encase Bar Kit. Thank you, Gomez! In return, I sent him a pair of Rapha Winter Bibs. I’m still waiting for the runway photos of Gomez strutting the planks in his new bibs. So until that happens…here is a first look at the Wolf Tooth Encase Bar Kit tools. I will feature a longer review after a few months of action.
The Wolf Tooth Encase Bar Kit 1 Tool System is a tidy little tool kit that stores away in your handlebars. Each sleeve offers a set of tools to address that unwelcome trailside mishap. I appreciate Wolf Tooth’s design to incorporate unused space on your bike. The Encase system is two bar end sleeves each holding a toolset. On one side you will find a multi-tool with multiple interchangeable tips to tighten (or loosen stuff). The other sleeve contains a tire plug kit and an integrated chain tool. Each sleeve is rubberized to keep the tools firmly in their place during your rip sessions. Since I received this thoughtful gift during the dark months of winter, I plan to use these on my Fat Boy’s handlebars. Let’s take a look at what’s included in the Encase Bar Kit.
The multi-tool has eight slots containing an interchangeable tip. I really like how they fit into the tool body held fast by magnets and a small O-ring. The engineering is thoughtful right down to the recessed edges of the body where the O-rings snuggly fit.
This design feature ensures the O-ring doesn’t slide around on the body of the tool. The body holds eight tips offering multiple options for a total of 14 tools. Here’s the breakdown:
- · T-30 Torx
- · 5 mm
- · 6 mm
- · 3 and 2.5 mm
- · 2 and 4 mm
- · Flat-head and Phillips screwdriver bits
- · T-10 and T-25 Torx
- · Spoke wrench
- · 8 mm
All of the tips insert into the head of the 8 MM bit that pivots on a hinge allowing you to access your bike from different angles and to apply proper torque.
The second piece to the Encase puzzle is the Tire Plug Kit including the plug tool, bacon strips (plugs), and a chain tool. The term puzzle suggests something challenging and confusing. There’s nothing confusing about the well designed and machined toolset.
I’m only using the word puzzle here because of the cool way the pieces fit like a jigsaw. Tire plugs are one of those tools you hope to never need. Through some stroke of luck, I have avoided needing to use a plug kit over the years, but I like knowing that I have it in the event I’m attacked on the trail by some evil adamant. Some trails are unforgiving in their opportunity to sabotage your ride. The Encase system’s plug kit will keep the evils at bay, or at least tame it a little.
I pulled a few of the tools apart to see how they fit together and how the multi-tool feels under a load. I used the 5 mm for the front wheel through-axel on my Fat Boy. The long and stout tool body feels good in the hand and does a nice job of managing the thru-axle job. Preferring to transport my bikes in my vehicle, I’m constantly taking my front wheel off and on. I’ve been using a 3-way Park Tool to take care of the thru-axle. The Park Tool works fine, but I plan to use this moving forward due largely to its stealth factor and ability to efficiently tighten the axle. I quickly found a use for one of the Torx bits as well to transfer my SRAM Garmin mount from one bike to another. I can see how the Encase will be a handy set-up for the many miles ahead.
So, there you have it. While I hope I never have to use these things on the trail, I’m super stoked to know that I have nearly everything I need for a trailside meltdown. Check back on fat-bike.com for a mid-summer update on the Wolf Tooth Encase Bar Kit.