|Cycling Gloves help Grip the Opinel Lock Ring on this New Knife. A Multitool Screwdriver also is Handy|
Most of you have long known about Swiss Army knives. Unfortunately, they generally are bulkier and heavier than is ideal for a cycling accessory and they have lots of junk you probably won't use on a long cycling day trip. My wife loves them, but her purse isn't something I'd want to carry around even in a trunk bag.
Thanks to the bicycle blog world, I ran across a bit about Opinel knives on the Velo Orange Blog. I've purchased Velo Orange products in the past and found them to be reasonable values for the money they cost. They're better for the cyclist who is prepared to do a bit of fiddling and improvising than for someone satisfied with only a "turnkey" solution.
However, they introduced me to an excellent accessory for cycling or hiking. The Opinel knife has been around since well before the parents of anyone reading this were born. It's simple, and elegant. It's won lots of design awards. It is inexpensive and light. So I got one. It is everything people have said and Wikipedia has a good summary of it. It is VERY sharp as received. However, I did encounter a downside that I was alerted about by a few of the reviews. The locking mechanism on a new knife is pretty hard to engage or disengage. Presumably, this will get better with time. I suspect that if the knife locking worked too easily when new, it'd get sloppy before long. In that way, perhaps it has more in common with a Brooks Saddle than might immediately come to mind.
In the meantime, I quickly discovered that cycling gloves and a multitool make quick locking and unlocking a breeze. NOW you know what gloves and multitools REAL design goal was - to enable the famished cyclist to easily whip out his/her simple but elegant knife to slice up bread, fruit, or cheese (or to make some tinder for a quick campfire). C'est bon! Who says the French no longer make quality cycling items? Everything you need in a pocketknife and nothing you don't.