Park Y Tool / Tri-Tool / Hex Wrench

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I pulled my bike out of my bike bag yesterday and put it together.  It was  a minor nightmare.  I have flown, 100’s, maybe close to a 1000, which is a sort of crazy number to think.  Nearly everytime, my bike is fine.  Yesterday, my rear wheel was a little tweaked and my rear skewer was bent over at a 45 degree angle.  I know, why didn’t you take the skewers out?  Laziness was the answer, or maybe more accurately, being super short of time when I was leaving Seattle.  I pretty much, normally, always do.  Plus, I jacked up my internal Di2 seat tube wire by trying to jam the seatpost in without connecting it to the battery that is in seatpost.

So, that took way longer than I’d anticipated.  But, it got me thinking about how great a Y tool is.

Some people call it a tri-tool, or a hex wrench, but I think when it first came out from  Park, it was called a Y tool.  (Calvin, correct me on this if I’m mistaken.)  Maybe that was just the slang name for it.  Whatever you want to call it, it is a great tool.  My number one go to tool.  I use the 4/5/6 mm tool 5 times as much as the 2/2.5/3, but I’m using it more and more.  Another from Park have 4/5/and T-25 torx wrench on it.  I don’t use that one much, but I’m sure I’ll be using it more and more.

Anyway, the Y tool is my favorite all-time bike tool in history.  When Park first “invented” them, I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I come up with this idea?  How simple.”

The first time I remember using a Y tool was probably in the late 80’s.  I would have guessed that was close to the date when they were first around.  But, looking it up on Google, I found a 50th anniversary edition listed.  That amazes me.

I use the 5mm on the tool the most.  It is amazing how long one will last before it wears out.  I’m not really sure I‘ve ever really throw one out because the corners get rounded.  I’m pretty sure I never have.

When Thomas Frischknect first came over to the US, to start his MTB racing career with Ritchie, he was staying with me in Boulder.  He had never seen a Park Y tool.  He was thrilled with the tool.  He wanted to figure out how to buy 100 and take them back to Switzerland to give to his friends, etc.  I don’t exactly remember if we ever got the 100 tools for him, but I’d imagine that he got them and spread the joy.

Anyway, small things, easy to overlook, are the things simplify life and make it more enjoyable.  I try to appreciate this little things, that help make my life easier.   The Y tool is definitely one of them.

Park has changed up the design of the tool over the years, but the tool is essentially the same.

Park has changed up the design of the tool over the years, but the tool is essentially the same.

 

The Campy T wrench was a go to tool back when I rode Campagnolo parts.

The Campy T wrench was a go to tool back when I rode Campagnolo parts.

 

All these Campy tools have a place in my heart.

All these Campy tools have a place in my heart.

 

17 thoughts on “Park Y Tool / Tri-Tool / Hex Wrench

  1. Bolas Azules

    Put the ‘Y’ the ‘T’ and an old ‘peanut butter wrench’ in a shadow box and hang it on the wall. . . that would sell come Christmas time.

     
  2. Big Dave

    Yeah. I’ve rounded the ends of my Y tool more than once. A quick hit with the grinder, a heat treat with a MAPP torch, and a dip into some ice water make it like new again. Just picked up the Torx version. We’ll see how well that one holds up.

     
  3. Slater

    One of the better inventions in cycling. My parents bought me one to ham-fistedly learn to work on my BMX bike when I was around 10 years old. I just replaced that one (18 years later) with the 50th anniversary edition, absolutely beautiful tool.

     
  4. Randy

    Ah, the Campi pregnant 5m allen wrench! I still use all that stuff when I work on my old bike(s). I actually don’t much like the Y tools, but it’s because I’m short. With a short stem the tool’s unused parts always hit the handlebar when I’m trying to tighten the stem bolts. Same problem with the bolts on my Thompson seatpost.

     
  5. glenda Taylor

    When I trsveled with 3 other women to one of the first races I ever did, the only tool we had wasthe Y tool and we each ad one !

     
  6. Gordo

    That set of old Campy tools was pretty much all you needed to work on a Vintage Campy bike. Aside from Crank puller, headset wrench’s and peanut butter wrench.

     
  7. Dog

    No one has mentioned the “peanut butter” wrench. Otherwise known as the super record crank bolt remover tool during the 80’s. So awesome, you could make a nice PBJ with it after finishing the crank work.

    The only thing that sucked, is if you removed your cranks too often, they’d (the chain rings) would start creeping closer and closer to the chain stays .

     
  8. peter k

    Leyzne makes a new Y tool that comes with replacement allens in 2. 2.5, 3 and 4,5,6. The wrench portion is longer than the Park tool too

     
  9. Bob Hayes

    The Campy stuff is somewhat nostalgic except I have spent two days trying to install a different saddle on my 1972 Paramount. No idea how I used to actually use that offset tool!&$”@&$

     
  10. OGS

    I am sorry Steve but I am just not buying “close to 1,000 trips” thing. Did you actually try to count it? Like, how many times did you fly with your bike this year? 100? I bet it’s closer to 20.

    You flew, with your bike, close to 1,000 times? That’s a flight every single week for 20 years with no breaks.

    By the way, had you flown 1,000 times in current climate of $50 luggage fee per flight, that means you spent $50,000 in luggage fees alone!

     
  11. Mark Stonich

    Park has been around for 50+ years, but not the “Y” wrench. Jim Johnson brought the prototype to a Lake Country Cyclists meeting, late ’70s or early ’80s. I told him I thought it would never sell as everyone already had their hex tools. 2 years later I owned 3 of the 4,5,6.

     

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