Ice Toolz 62D1 All-in-1 Master Link Tool Review

As a long time master link user, Campagnolo peen chain hater, and an S&S coupled frame owner, I was really excited to get my hands on a set of these.  In my eyes it was a way to reduce the amount to tools I needed to have and also pack when I go on trips with my S&S bike (this is because I remove the chain every time). 

The Ice Toolz 62D1 All-in-1 Master Link or Missing Link Tool

The Ice Toolz 62D1 All-in-1 Master Link or Missing Link Tool

DESIGN

The design of the tool is simple, and the unit is well constructed.  The hand grips are soft and feel great in the hand.  The tool is smooth and changes from "Open" to "Close" modes with ease and precision.  Overall it really seemed like a great tool.  However, there is a significant design flaw.  Ice Toolz must have not tested 11 speed Master Links, because this tool will not work in "Close" mode with them.  The end of the tool is not narrow enough to fit in between the rollers.  This resulted in me not using the tool as intended to install my KMC 11 speed chain.  It still works but it's a lot more effort to pull the master link into position that squeeze it as intended.  On the flip side the "Open" function works great, but due to the struggle on the "Close" end of things, I would recommend looking for a different tool. 

The 62D1 opens the links no problem.

The 62D1 opens the links no problem.

The 62D1 does not fit in the 11s to lock it into place.   The chain opening is too narrow for both tips to fit

The 62D1 does not fit in the 11s to lock it into place.   The chain opening is too narrow for both tips to fit

Below is the work around I used to close the chain.  You can move each tip to outside of the Missing Link and instead of squeezing to lock the link into place, you pull the handles apart.  This works pretty good, but it does take some extra effort as squeezing is far easier that pulling.  Also, you have to be careful as the tips can slip out due to the lack of grooves for the rollers on the chain to sit in.  

The 62D1 Work Around.  Does not work that well because the tips can slip out easy since there aren't cavities

The 62D1 Work Around.  Does not work that well because the tips can slip out easy since there aren't cavities

PRICE

Because the design flaw, it doesn't really how much you buy these for, it's still too high.  I was able to get mine for a smoking deal direct from Ice Toolz, but I still feel ripped off because of the fact they don't work how they are supposed to with my 11 speed drive train. 

CONCLUSION 

Overall, this tool misses the mark.  As more companies are moving towards and pushing 11 speed and narrower chains, Ice Toolz better do right by the consumer and update their outdated tool.  My next purchase, and what seems to be a far better option will be the Super B TB-3323.    

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Rapha Super Lightweight Jersey Review

I've wanted one of these jerseys for a long time, and now that I'm living in hot & extremely humid Taiwan I decided to pick one up.  I've had a problem overheating since I moved here, and most of my jerseys seem like plastic bags on climbs.  For reference going forward, I've owned two other Rapha jerseys in my cycling career: the Classic Jersey and one of the Club Jerseys. 

Rapha Super Lightweight Jersey 

Rapha Super Lightweight Jersey 

FIT

I was actually really disappointed with the fit on this jersey.  My classic jersey I picked up a few years ago in XL, while it had nice length, was boxy and baggy.  My club jersey in L fits almost perfect, with the length being a little short, but workable.  So I decided to order the Super Lightweight in L to match the club fit.  However, it's actually quite far from it.  The Jersey is wicked tight in the arms and waist.  Also the back length is incredibly short (it's supposed to be 27"-29" and is actually 26").  The pockets are so high you almost have to have double jointed shoulders to retrieve anything from them.  I thought I was losing my mind and quickly threw on my club jersey to make sure I hadn't packed on too many kilos since moving overseas.  It was still perfect, meaning the fit is quite different for the Super lightweight Jersey.  I like tighter jerseys, but I also like to be comfortable and not feel like I'm in a wetsuit or trying to force my carcass into a set of full-body spanks.  Anyways, I would say that it's important to try this on beforehand if you can.  I wasn't too excited about paying double import duties in Taiwan so I didn't send it back, but if I get another I'll be sizing up to the XL.

Quite a bit shorter than the spec'd 27" to 29".  BTW my club jersey in Large measures 28.5" 

Quite a bit shorter than the spec'd 27" to 29".  BTW my club jersey in Large measures 28.5" 

QUALITY 

The initial quality seems quite exceptional.  True to Rapha form all the seams are thoughtfully placed in non-irritation areas, and everything seems to be buttoned down and stitched nicely.  One complain is that this thing snags pretty easy.  I think it's actually due to the material selection, and being that it's lightweight the knit is not super tight.  It's pretty annoying though, as every ride adds another it seams (PUN intended).  

Quite the drag to always snag....

Quite the drag to always snag....

FUNCTION

Rapha set out to deliver a jersey for the hottest most humid days, and I've put it to the test.  The other day it was 106deg F in the city with 80% humidity.  I noticed the jersey did run significantly cooler than my others.  The air flow is continuous and it really works with the jersey to suck the heat off your body at speed.  The full zipper is great for climbs.  I find I usually don't drop the zip all the way, but 3/4 or 7/8.  It forms a nice parachute that helps with heat removal when going slower.  I feel the pockets are a little small in this jersey compared to my others.  It's really hard to get things in and out of them which can be frustrating.  

CONCLUSION 

Overall this is a nice jersey.  Again I recommend trying one on first.  The short thing gets me, but I tend to like a bit longer jersey anyways as it keeps the jersey from riding up.  I find myself pulling the back down a lot and readjusting the cargo in my pockets.  However, it does the job it's meant to do and is a great jersey for hot weather riding.  It also provides a great alternative to some really poor styling from other brands.  The minimalist design and anti logo bombardment that Rapha is known for really makes this a nice choice.  The list price can be a bit hard to swallow, but if you are patient you can pick one up on sale for about the same price as most other jerseys.  

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Park Tool HTR-1B vs Ice Toolz E181 Reamer Review

This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time.  As a person who over analyzes every purchase I've ever made, I can understand how important reviews are for the modern day consumer.  My goal is that some of the things I say will help add more information to this community and possibly help people make decisions on what products they should use.  All my reviews are 100% honest based on my own experiences.  

The first 4 frames I built I used an Ice Toolz E181 Reamer.  It is a decent tool, but I wish I would have saved my money.  While the Ice Toolz reamer did the job, you can tell it was not quite manufactured to the highest standards.  

One of the most frustrating things I noticed was the threaded rod for the guide cone came out of the upper handle at a slight angle.  This meant that the facer never sat flat on the HT, and only a few teeth would always do the cutting.  It also meant the reaming was not done exactly perpendicular to the Head Tube.  While this never caused a problem, it annoyed me every time I used it.  I will say that this was not because the threaded rod was bent, but actually because the hole was drilled at an angle in the handle.  Trust me I tired to fix this issue.  

One thing I did like about the Ice Toolz E181 was the fact the handles unscrewed from the handle body.  This was nice for storing the tool as I would only break it out every month or so.  The case was actually a pretty nice touch too, something I wish my Cyclus and Park tools had as most of my tools are not hung on a wall.   

Ultimately the Ice Toolz E181 did work, and maybe I just received a bad unit that slipped through QC.  However, if I could go back in time I would have probably just saved one extra paycheck for the PARK HTR-1B, which I actually end up buying on Ebay for about the same price.

1" HT Reamed and faced with the Ice Toolz Reamer.  This is the 3rd frame it was used on.

Ice Toolz Reamer, you can see the chip accumulation in one area.  This is the only part of the tool that touches the HT as a result of inconsistent manufacturing. 

The PARK HTR-1B is a far better tool.  It's built a lot better and you can just feel that when you pick it up.  In addition, the lower guide cone design is 1000X better. This makes reaming/facing a lot smoother with less effort.  One thing I don't like about the HTR-1B is the handles are welded.  For someone who always seems to not have enough tool space, it would be nice if the handles could be unscrewed for storage.  This is a tool I'm not using all the time since my volumes are fairly low, so I usually like to tuck it safely away in my tool box.  The cutters and the HTR-1B are quite nice, and they do a good job of making round holes for easy HS pressing.  In reference to the cutter there are no anti-rotation features on the reaming cutter and it can slip from time to time, which can be a little annoying.  I think Chris King takes the correct approach by splitting up the two operations.  It might take a bit longer, but the end result is improved.  

Park HTR-1B with the Chris King 44mm HT Reaming Kit

The Park tool HTR-1B with the Chris King 44mm HT Reaming tools.  This is a perfect combination for a clean cut on a 44mm Head Tube

Although there are a few nuances, the Park HTR-1B is a well designed tool for the professional builder and I highly recommend it for hobby builders as well.  Although you will save initially with the Ice Toolz setup, you will ultimately pay for it in the end.  Plus the resale value on the Park is a lot higher if you decide that framebuilding is not for you. 

For those of you need a 44mm solution, look no further than the Chris King 44mm HT Reamer.  It's probably the best setup out of any reamers on the market.  The quality of the manufacturing is top notch, it's become one of my favorite tools.

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