The EnCase System Bar Kit One is Wolf Tooth's entry point to the integrated tool market, and neatly stores essential tools in your bar ends. It’s a clever design and doesn’t void any warranties, but it’s fiddly to extract, awkward to use and may not actually be compatible with your bar. With systems from the likes of Specialized, Granite and OneUp already dominating, the EnCase system needs to seriously justify its hefty price tag – but doesn't quite manage.
What makes the EnCase System different from other integrated multi tools is that it slips neatly into the ends of your handlebar, where it acts as the bar end. There’s no weird modification to make or any extra tools needed to get them in. However, you do need a bar with the right internal diameter.
Housed within one of the two vibration-damping sleeves is an 14-function multi tool that takes hex, Torx and screwdriver bits. In the other is a chain and tyre-plug tool.
The first tool features a spoke wrench, valve core remover, a #3.5 flathead screwdriver, a #2 Phillips screwdriver, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm Allen bits with T10, T25 and T30 Torx bits. All of these bits are secured magnetically to the body of the tool with rubber O-rings for security and noise damping.
The tool has a handy swiveling head, which can be used for extra leverage. On the base is a magnet for convenient storage on anything steel, such as frames, work stands, fridges and passing battle tanks. The usual.
Within the second storage sleeve, there’s the 12-speed compatible chain tool (which plugs into the hex multi tool) and the tyre plugs. These are the usual sword and bacon-strip affair that’s neatly threaded into the chain tool.
One potential issue is that the EnCase System is only happy in bars with internal diameters of at least 17.5mm. Any narrower and you have a very hard time pulling the tools out... I learned this the hard way.
The system also isn't compatible with Syntace Vector, Diety Skywire, Jones H-Bar Loop SG 2.5 or Chromag BZA bars, plus you must have grips with removable bar ends.
The sleeves themselves are made of a rattle-softening rubber with aluminum end caps, and include bonus storage space for a quick link and spare valve core. To keep the tool from rattling at all, there’s a cover you trim to fit your bar. There are also a couple of slivers of heat shrink to bulk up the retaining flanges if your bar is a little too spacious inside.
Even with suitably capacious bars, the EnCase system is not the easiest thing to remove. The indents are pretty sharp and narrow, so it’s difficult to get a decent grip.
Once out, the Allen tool is fiddly – it’s a considerable letdown. While it feels great in the hand and the swiveling head is a brilliant addition, it’s awfully faffy to free the bits from their magnetic prisons. Some bits can be levered up by pressing on one end, but others need to be dug out with fingernails or a flat lever, which isn’t ideal if you’re riding with gloves.
But once they’re out and snicked into the magnetic 8mm Allen head, the tool is a joy to use. The magnet is strong enough to stick a bolt onto the end of the Allen, and the extra leverage from the swivel head makes it easily capable of bigger jobs.
You won’t be reaching for the tubeless repair kit often, but I’m happy it’s included. The sword tool is small and the handle digs into your palm when plugging punctures, but it’s a small price to pay for easy access and concealment.
While £127 is pretty steep for a multi tool, you’ll be dropping a similar figure on OneUp's EDC tool with all the gubbins (plug and pliers kit, tap kit). Also, the EnCase System doesn’t require any warranty-voiding modifications.
Although Wolf Tooth's end caps and storage designs need refinement, it’s great to have such a comprehensive tool sat ready at the ends of your bars. With the EnCase System Bar Kit One, there’s no more rooting around in bags and it keeps you well equipped if you’re riding packless.
If you’re looking to make repairs quickly mid-race this isn’t the tool for you. However, if you like an overnight adventure, want to make the best of every inch of your bike, and don’t mind fighting with the tools' magnets, you’ll be pretty happy with the EnCase System – assuming you're happy with the price tag too.
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