Friday 4 January 2013

Review: Pedal Aid

Among the hoard of riches bestowed upon me by adoring family and admirers during the festive season this year was one gift that, at first, mystified me. Made of bright yellow box-section steel with a rubbery blue handle at one end and a slot at the other, I originally believed it to be an unusually over-engineered toy that fired foam discs of some sort, the sort of thing that people give me thinking it'll amuse my ferrets (they're wrong; the ferrets are only amused by things that bleed when bitten). Then, I threw gender-based stereotyping to the wind by having a look at the instructions that came with it in order to find out what the hell it was.

'Twas a Pedal Aid, as produced by Bill's Bike Tools of South Lanarkshire, no less - and I'm still wondering why nobody has ever thought of producing such a tool before. The idea is simple: it slips over the crank, holding it securely and allowing torque to be applied when removing a pedal without risking damage to any part of the bike or to the knuckles which, when attempting to remove very tight pedals that have pressure-welded themselves into the crank (ie, most pedals), frequently end up being smashed hard into the workshop floor when your hand slips. If you prefer to use an allen key or have pedals that won't accept a spanner, there's a hole for precisely that purpose at the back of the tool. It works every bit as well a promised - I tested it on the pedals of my neglected, 50-miles-a-week-all-Winter-and-no-maintenance get-to-work hack and had 'em off in seconds without any problems at all.

Summing up: I can't find any fault whatsoever with the Pedal Aid. It is, in my opinion, one of the greatest inventions in human history and, being made of quality materials and with no moving parts, it's a tool that will last a lifetime; at only £14.99 there's no reason not to buy one. What's more, Bill's Bike Tools say they aim to introduce a whole range of new tools - if their future output proves to be as good as the Pedal Aid, you can be certain that your investment will help make the lives of future bike mechanics very much easier.

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