Union Foundry: Rotafixer T0001-0A Jun 21, 2010

Joshua Kampa from Open Bicycle and Aaron Panone from Aarn Works Design have joined forces in Sommerville, Massachusetts under the guise of Union Foundry. They believe that elegant design serves as its own Raison d’être, or reason for being. This ideology is exemplified by their first project, the Rotafixer T0001-0A.

When I first received this painstakingly-designed packaging in the mail, I thought it was some sort of proprietary cog. After a minute, I figured it out and man, I’m impressed!

Check out some more information below!

From the Mylar envelope to the hand typed and signed letter and even down to the chipboard packaging that was stamped with the Union Foundry logo, it’s easy to see that this project is from the minds of creative and passionate individuals.

The CNC-milled and polished rotafix lockring wrench is a fraction the size of traditional lockring wrenches. By using the same rotafix method you’d use to switch cogs, you can now take off your lockrings. This would be an ideal tool to use while touring on a track bike, or even to the track for racing.

To ensure your bottom-bracket isn’t damaged by your track chain, the guys at Union Foundry commissioned another Massachusetts-based company, Penfield to make a flannel protector cloth.

Here’s Union Foundry’s letter to me.

Thanks so much guys! Let’s all hope that they put this into production! Confused as to how rotafixing works? Check out the Wikipedia page.

  • Thanks, John. We really appreciate the love.

    We did a limited first run (0A) of the T0001 for all of the early adopters out there. The tools are all packaged up and available for purchase through Open Bicycle. The second manufacturing run will start directly from in-store and web presale after we sell out of the limited edition. There’s also a video on our website that shows the rotafixing technique for everyone who is unfamiliar with how it works.

  • Q.V.

    This is such a simple idea, yet BRILLIANT!
    I love this! I’m going to get one ASAP.

  • Craig

    this is such a fucking good idea. huge props to Joshua and Aarn – absolute geniuses.

  • Austin

    Super sweet idea. If they put them into production at a fair price i will definitely get one

  • jeff

    oh wow. GENIUS!!

  • Gordon

    This is pretty awesome. I’ll def pick one up if they’re nicely priced…

  • swoo

    wow, really great idea, I’m pretty sure everyone’s thinking ‘why didn’t I think of that?!?!’ haha, it’s so simple yet seems effective!

    mad props!

  • Marty

    Why do they call the company union foundry?

    It’s a machined part, not cast.

  • yo Marty,

    the UF name came from the the idea that the company was more of a catch-all for our various ideas- kind of a place to pour out crazy concepts and see what crystallized….

    as far as pricing goes, it’s like a hand-built frame vs a Pake or something- we could have made a thousand in Taiwan or China and they would have been cheaper but the quality and economic effects of the tool would have been different. We wanted to make a product that emphasized craftsmanship and face-to-face human relationships over transactional-based conventional capitalism practices.

  • great idea!

    just wanted to mention the name of the guy who invented the rotafixa method (the name rotafixa comes from the rotafixa chaingang, the first website to bring the method to the masses)

    The technique was first used by Vanni Pettenella (in italy we call it the pettenella method) a track gold medalist and mechanic/frame builder, who as john mentioned in another post passed away a short while ago.

    camilla’s video on him


    Great ideas, people getting together and doing stuff. This rocks.


    $80!?!! JOKES! Maybe if it came with a perfectly machined matching lockring. Thanks, but I’ll pass on the extra charge to be your friend.

  • whiskeypony

    when i am out there riding around and i’d like a different gear, i shift. i don’t have to get off my bike and take off my wheel and i don’t have to get my fingers dirty and i certainly don’t have to spend $80 on a lovely shiny thing to help me ride in a different gear. just sayin.