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Crankbrothers Klic HV Gauge + CO2 Pump

Vital Rating: (Excellent)
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Crankbrothers Klic HV Gauge + CO2
 Crankbrothers Klic HV Gauge + CO2 Pump  Crankbrothers Klic HV Gauge + CO2 Pump
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Tested: Crankbrothers Klic Handpump and F15 Mini Tool

Functional and finely crafted tools to keep you rolling on the trail.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: Crankbrothers Klic Handpump and F15 Mini Tool

Quality tools make all the difference when you’re working on your pride and joy, and that holds true out on the trail as well. Finding out that a vital tool is missing or that your old pump no longer works can be all that stands between a rad ride and a long walk of shame back to the carpark. Crankbrothers didn’t want to run the risk of your favorite MTB journalists getting stranded out in the woods, so they sent over a couple of their latest portable workshop goodies for us to test. The results are in!

Crankbrothers Klic HV Handpump Highlights

Crankbrothers F15 Mini Tool Highlights

  • High-volume portable hand pump with hidden magnetic hose, pressure gauge, and CO2 inflator
  • Flexible rubber hose hides inside the body of the pump when not in use
  • Presta/Schraeder valve adapter
  • Magnetic head with twisting collar
  • Folding and locking handle
  • Delivered with a bottle cage bracket mount
  • Length: 260mm
  • Max pressure: 110psi / 7.6bar
  • Weight: 148 grams (verified)
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • MSRP: $55.99 USD
  • Folds flat to fit in small pockets
  • Featured tools: chain tool (8/9/10/11/12-speed compatible), spoke wrench (4 sizes), hex wrenches (2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm), screwdrivers (phillips, flat), T25 torx
  • Case: magnetized, built in bottle-opener
  • Weight: 162 grams (verified)
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • MSRP: $42.99 USD

Initial Impressions

Crankbrothers has a habit of making good looking gear, and the Klic pump and F15 tool are no exception. The mini tool features a slim and sleek casing made out of brushed aluminum that not only looks good but keeps almost all of the tools hidden away for a snag-free storage experience. The case is magnetized to make everything stays in place when things get bumpy.

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The F15 covers off all the bases when it comes to the tools included. 2 to 8mm allen keys, a T25, 2 screwdrivers and a chaintool are standard fare for good pocket tools, and should ensure that you can carry out most trailside repairs that might be needed. To work with a chosen tool, you slide the main body out of the case, flip out the tool you want, then slide the body back in the case leaving just the selected tool open. This gives you a bigger handle to work with, and ensures that the other tools don’t get in the way – a nice touch.

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The tools themselves are polished to a shiny finish, and the general level of workmanship on display is good.

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The Klic HV pump we were sent is the all-bells-and-whistles version featuring a built-in pressure gauge and a CO2 inflator. There are several other versions available if you don’t feel like you need all of that, but even fully loaded, our pump still maintains a relatively small overall size – perfect for almost any type of riding pack.

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The Klic pump gets its name from the way the hidden hose clicks into place via a magnetic lock (which is also hidden by a rotating cover when not in use). The handle locks the pump in the closed position when not in use, and then pivots to almost 90 degrees to provide solid support for your hand when pumping. There CO2 inflator is of the compact, rotating kind and sits hidden away in the handle until you need it.

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On The Trail

The F15 is comfortable in use. The tools are easy to select, and thanks to the way the case holds the unused tools in place while working, there is no risk of interference between the different tools. The case is long enough to provide enough torque even for stubborn bolts, and each individual tool is long enough to reach most bolts on a bike. The individual tools appear to have been manufactured to proper tolerances, as we experience no slipping or other problems while working with the F15.

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The spoke wrench looks a bit unwieldy at first, but is actually easy to work with. The long jaws of each wrench mean that there is less risk of slipping on a nipple, and the overall width of the wrench body provides more than enough torque to work with. The chain breaker is similarly well conceived, with the case and the main tool body combining to create a full-sized tool that is easy to manipulate and breaks any chain with ease.

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The Klic HV pump is light enough to not be noticed in your pack, although our fully-featured version was too long to fit in the small tool compartment of our pack. If space is really an issue for you, go for the shorter, non-gauge version. Of course, the advantage of the longer pump is that it takes less work to inflate a tire, which we had ample opportunity to observe over the past couple of months of testing.

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We especially like the screw-on design of the head which means it stays in place no matter how enthusiastically you flail.

One issue with the design of the gauge-equipped version is that the flexible portion of the hose ends up being quite short (since the gauge sits in line with the hose), which means you end up working quite close to the center of the wheel. It was never a hindrance, but something to consider – especially if you don’t feel like you need that gauge. In terms of air volume, the Klic HV is a small pump and as such, you’ll have to slave away for a bit to inflate your tires, especially if they are of the portlier variety. The Klic provides good pressure though, and without resorting to scientific measurements we’d say it’s up there with the easier ones we’ve used. We especially like the screw-on design of the head which means it stays in place no matter how enthusiastically you flail.

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The gauge is a bit hard to read, due to the small form factor, but it provided a useful guide and we found it to be reasonably accurate when checking against other pumps and standalone tire gauges. The window of the gauge can be rotated so that it always faces the user regardless of where the head ended up when you screwed it onto the valve. On the topic of valves, switching between Presta and Schraeder is as simple as unscrewing and flipping the head.

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The hidden CO2 inflator head is of the simple variety, but no less effective for it. Screw the head onto the cartridge until it comes to a full stop, then place the head onto the tire valve, and unscrew the cartridge by half a turn or so, until the gas starts flowing. A 25 gram cartridge was enough to give us about 20-22 psi in a Maxxis DHR 2.4 WT tire, with no leakage or other problems observed.

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Overall, the Klic provides a satisfying user experience. The hidden, magnetic hose is actually more than a gimmick, it means you can quickly and easily screw the hose onto the valve before attaching it to the pump itself, which makes it easier to work with. The pump handle is designed to make sure the pump bottoms out before the handle, which means you can never pinch your fingers or your palm between the handle and the pump body. The rotating cover for the magnetic hose attachment help keep dirt and debris out of this area to make sure nothing interferes with a good connection. All in all, somebody sweated the details on this one.

Things That Could Be Improved

As mentioned above, the in line design of the gauge means that the hose of the Klic pump is harder to move out of the way of the brake rotor and/or cassette. Again, it does not interfere with the actual operation of the pump, but it does make it a bit more faffy.

We also noticed an incompatibility between the Presta side of the head of the Klic pump and e*thirteen’s tubeless tire valves. Because of the slightly thicker diameter of the main body of the e*thirteen valves (a design feature of that product meant to improve airflow), the head of the Klic pump will not fit. Of course, deciding who is actually “at fault” here can go either way. Crankbrothers could have made the hole in their pump head slightly bigger with a thicker rubber o-ring to make sure it will fit onto any size valve, while similarly, e*thirteen could have made sure they were not violating any “standards” when deciding to make a bigger valve. Be that as it may, now you know.

Long Term Durability

We have had both the F15 mini tool and the Klic pump in our bag for a couple of months now, with no sign of any premature wear or other reliability issues. Crankbrothers backs both products with a 5-year warranty, which should provide peace of mind in case something does come up.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Good tools are a worthy investment that should sit right at the top of the wish list of anybody who is serious about mountain biking. The Crankbrothers F15 features all the tools you might need for trailside repairs in a slim and sleek package, while the Klic HV pump takes all the pressure off putting air in your tires. Both are quality items that are worthy of your consideration the next time you feel the need to shop.

More information at: www.crankbrothers.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord

Specifications

Product Crankbrothers Klic HV Gauge + CO2 Pump
Tool Type On Trail
Features Flexible rubber hose hides inside the body of the pump when not in use
Air pressure gauge
Concealed CO2 inflator head (presta only)
Magnetic head with twisting collar
Folding and locking handle
Presta/schrader valve adapter (fully threaded presta valve bodies only)
Comes with a bottle cage bracket mount
Miscellaneous HV (high volume) version recommended for tires 1.8” wide and larger
Length: 260mm
Pressure: 110psi / 7.6bar
Weight: 186g
Warranty: 5 years
Colors: Midnight, Silver
Price $57.99
More Info

www.crankbrothers.com

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