Tomo Ichikawa is constantly inventing clever new bicycle tools and accessories and has appropriately called his company Clever Standard.
Ichikawa first displayed his Clever Standard tire levers that paired to form a quick link remover at Sea Otter 2017. The levers have since become a popular white label item to rebrand, as we’ve seen the Clever levers offered up by companies like BikeTube and KMC.
Ichikawa later debuted his nearly foolproof No Speed Limit chain breaker that we reviewed before Interbike.
At Interbike, Ichikawa and Clever were showing off the company’s latest tire lever that also doubled as a mobile phone stand for your desktop—useful for the days when you can’t be on the bike but want to stream the latest cyclocross World Cup.
Carbon Tactic Chain Rings
At the 2018 Sea Otter Classic, Clever had its latest product on display, and it’s a far cry from the small but useful items Clever first unveiled. Ichikawa and his partners have unveiled a selection of carbon fiber chain rings, under the Carbon Tactic brand name.
Carbon fiber chain rings? Huh? That’s what we thought when we first heard about them before the show. Ichikawa admits that the molded and machined carbon chain rings are aimed at the weight weenies. As they are 25% lighter on average compared to the alloy rings that they replace.
Think weight weenie carbon fiber chain rings means fragile, fast-wearing rings that will need replacing? The company showed off a chain ring that was subjected to 25,000 miles of test-machine-based wear, and it looked nearly new to our eyes. To further extend tooth life, the company has a metallic powder-based coating that contains silicon carbide and silicon tungsten that reportedly offers superior wear to alloy chain rings (perhaps at the expense of chain wear). Of course, add in some mud and sand and the lifespan might change.
The company is offering popular mountain bike sizes for $130, road and track rings for $150 and will even offer wider/narrow direct mount rings for the Easton/Race Face Cinch-based crankset (link to our Sea Otter story on rings). A 44t direct mount ring for an Easton EC90 SL crankset weighs 112g, which effectively includes the crank’s spider. Stay tuned as we put one to the test.
The company is further tailoring its products to the gram shaving crowd. Love its tiny No Speed Limit chain breaker but don’t appreciate the 46 grams it adds to your saddle bag? Clever Standard has shaved 22 grams off its latest version of the chain breaker. Coming soon to a weight weenie’s dreams near you.
See the photo gallery below for a closer look at the carbon rings and Clever Standard's other helpful tools.
More info: cleverstandard.com
See what’s new this year with our coverage of the 2018 Sea Otter trade show.