New things we like from Park Tool

New things we like from Park Tool

There are multiple ways to cope with internal routing. The first way is to buy a bike that doesn't have anything routed internally, which immediately solves the problem but bikes like that are becoming increasingly difficult to find so might be more effort than it's worth. Second is to come up with some kind of home-made fix to get those wires, cables or hoses through the frame. Again, absolutely nothing wrong with this one (and we've done it ourselves in the past) but it generally requires a fair amount of trial and error, and if you need to route a bike more than once a year you're definitely going to want something a little less frustrating. Which brings us onto option three: the Park Tool IR-1.3. The 'IR' in the name stands for internal routing, and the '1.3' signifies that it's the third version of the tool, one with a few very helpful upgrades over the previous (called the IR-1.2 would you believe). 

The first new addition for the IR-1.3 is a connector for Shimano's EW-SD300 wires. Even though Shimano's latest generation Di2 disc groupsets (r9270, r8170 and r7170) are semi-wireless and only require two cables - one from each derailleur to the internal battery - if the routing through your chainstay is a bit messy using the EW-SD300 attachment will save you a lot of time and effort trying to force a smaller cable through and out to the bottom bracket junction, then up through the seat tube to the battery. Although at this point it's also worth saying that if you're running the rim brake version of the latest Dura-Ace or Ultegra then everything still needs to be wired in together so this tool will be even more useful!

The other key new addition is the double-threaded barb. This thing is a genuine time-saver, allowing you to attach new cable housing or hydraulic hoses to old cable housing or hydraulic hoses so when you take the old stuff out of your frame you can pull the new stuff straight through - it turns two jobs into one, essentially. What's not to like about that?

Next up is the RTP-1. RTP stands for 'Rescue Tool Pod' and that name in itself gives you a pretty good idea of what this is designed to do. It combines two existing tools - the MTB-5 multi-tool and the TPT-1 tubeless plug tool - into one easy package that's designed to cover most things that can happen out on a ride that might leave you stranded. 

The multi-tool has 16 functions, including 2-6mm and 8mm hex wrenches, a T25 torx key and that all-important chain tool as well as a disc pad spreader and rotor truing tool and a spoke wrench. Pretty much everything you need to get yourself out of trouble on the trails. Add in the TPT-1 to fix any tubeless punctures that might occur and a handy holder which attaches to your frame's bottle cage mounts and this is a tool that will give you peace of mind every time you go out on the bike.