It started at the King Cage. Ron and friends had a bent loop on display. I assumed it was a paper clip or paper weight, something to help all these framebuilders weigh down their invoices and order forms. Turns out, it was the simplest key clip I had ever seen. Oh and don’t worry, it is titanium. Ten dollar ti, I couldn’t turn it down.
Ron showed me how to use it a handful of times before I realized just how ergonomic it was. My brain was used to things with moving parts, sprung gates… carabiners and similar contraptions. This was a rotation of the wrist and a twist, nothing moved and everything worked. It was beautiful. I showed anyone and everyone. Later, Ron told me that he sold all of them and that lots of people said it was because of my demonstration. At that moment, an idea sparked: why not go around and collect everything that could hang from my new key clip?
Here’s What I Found
Wolf Tooth Components had their 6-Bit tool. I ride to work everyday, why not have a key chain multi-tool?
Paragon Machine Works had bottle openers and pipes to order alongside your framebuilding tools for your personal vice.
Horse had his beautifully machined bottle opener, pry bar, and bronze ornament. If you know the game of curation in the EDC world, you know $25 for all of these tools is an absolute must. I’m a sucker for a pry bar (see: rock climber with no nails), this one replaced the boring gas station kiosk variety that previously swung from my keys. He also had knives on display, unpretentious and kindly crafted.
Two honorary mentions: We Are One Composites had bottle cap stem caps for the taking, and Paul Components was handing out commemorative bottle openers.
Here’s My Review
They all work. There isn’t much to be said. My favorites would have to be the King Key Clip and the Horse tools as they come from the smallest makers and have the most artistry to them.
I’ve never been a fan of complex contraptions that come apart, break, or are generally unreliable. The Wolf Tooth tool is pushing into contraption territory, but for everything it does… I’ll take it. Simplicity is sexy, MADE had it in spades.
Framebuilders are capable artists, and seeing some of the side projects they had on display was a lovely glimpse into the lesser known parts of their skill sets.
I went to MADE, and all I got were key chains.
Check out the related articles below for more of our MADE Bike Show coverage!