Friday, October 11

Salute to France

Cycling Gloves help Grip the Opinel Lock Ring on this New Knife. A Multitool Screwdriver also is Handy
As in many other areas of life, we continue to discover new goodies that work well on our bikes. Recently, I discovered one that, while it remains new, makes good use of full finger gloves and the multitool that most cyclists carry with them.

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.


Ian Brett Cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ian Brett Cooper said...

I prefer my trusty Victorinox Climber. The Opinel may have a better quality and safer blade, but the Victorinox is an okay knife and does lots of other stuff too. And it's smaller than the Opinel. I keep it in my pocket attached to my keys.

RANTWICK said...

I have a thing for jacknives. And flashlights. That is a sweet looking knife, perfect size. I have a sweet Leatherman knockoff I really like, but it is kind of bulky and heavy.

Steve A said...

The Opinel is very nice indeed. My only regret is that the stainless blade might be better for a wet and salty place like Ocean Shores, but the carbon steel is sharper. Either is almost a jackknife opposite of the Victorinox. Some will like one and some the other. I didn't realize it when I did the post, but Opinel did a Tour de France special knife. I'm not sure what a racer would use a knife for during a stage race.

cafiend said...

In the old days of Le Tour, when the riders were basically turned loose without supervision or support, one might use the knife to intimidate other competitors or to gut and skin a small animal he had killed for food along the way.

GreenBici said...

Great knife. Very useful. I bought a couple, one for myself and one as a gift to my nephew.
Enjoy your tool!
Peace :)

limom said...

It's French!
I want one.

Menseffects said...

It's really a lovely knife. Thanks for sharing with us great blog.
Out the Front Knife

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