If you can’t immediately see the benefit of eliminating a loose bunch of pointy key shaped objects from your jersey pockets then you probably put yours in your saddlebag or rucksack. The Orbitkey is a great way of keeping the pointy bits safely away from your kidneys but also offers benefits I hadn’t thought about.
The Orbitkey I have been using has a rubber cover, there are a range of colours and you can also get it in leather. Mine has optional accessories of a bottle opener and a USB stick. I’d be interested to know what you all think, and what your personal solutions are. Maybe you put your keys in your saddlebag or somewhere else.
Until recently I kept my keys in my saddlebag with an elastic band round them to stop rattles. Somewhere along the way, maybe partly because I dabbled in a bit of racing where saddlebags are noticeably absent, I stopped using the saddlebag on my race bike and left it firmly attached to my commuter. Then I started keeping my keys in my jersey pocket, obviously still with an elastic band round to keep them from jangling.
One day quite early on with this arrangement I managed to poke myself in the back. I realised if I were to fall it could be quite nasty so I looked at the alternatives. Amongst the quite limited choices was the Orbitkey. It’s a simple idea. Take a length of rubber or leather, drill a hole each end and fasten your keys through it. Orbitkey have executed the idea perfectly.
By using a well designed alloy screw/bolt mechanism with some fancy washers it’s incredibly easy to tighten the bolt to give you the right balance between keeping the keys jangle free and not falling out of the protective sheath, and being so tight that you end up fiddling around with it for ages to get your keys out. To start with I only had my door key and garage key on my Orbitkey, but a recent house move means that I suddenly have several more keys to enable an easy path from where I keep my bike to the shower!
There is a limit to the Orbitkey. It doesn’t take deadlock keys, and certain padlock or locker keys that I was using at work didn’t fit, but may have with some slight fettling. The hole on the key needs to be 4mm or larger and the key needs to be flat and less than 60mm long. Each Orbitkey comes with a D ring to add car key or keys that don’t fit inside the holder. Although this does solve the problem of keys that don’t fit it’s kind of defeating the reason I want one. Maybe you could fit a carabiner or something to get rid of the extra keys you don’t need whilst cycling? I generally keep my car keys separate anyway, and rarely take them whilst I’m out riding, so I didn’t feel this was a problem.
My Orbitkey came with a USB stick and a bottle opener. These are two things I’ve really found useful. I always lose USB sticks, and I can never find a bottle opener when I need one. I used to favour as small a bunch of keys as possible because I don’t like them sticking out in my pockets. There was no way I was adding to that bulk by attaching a USB stick and bulky bottle opener to them. However these Orbitkey accessories fit neatly inside the case and I always have my keys with me (even more so now they are in such a neat package).
Both items have performed faultlessly. The bottle opener is quite a basic one, but with careful application it hasn’t met a bottle it can’t open yet. The USB stick is a very stripped down affair but it’s also quite durable and hasn’t given me any problems yet.
The spec I have tested comes in at just under £40. That’s including the bottle opener and 8gb USB stick. What I have found is that I always know which order the keys are in. My keys are all very similar Yale type keys but even if I close my eyes I can now pick the right one fairly quickly compared to when they were all in the bunch. The Orbitkey also never gets snagged on the pocket material. There’s also something very satisfying about popping the key into the lock and turning it whilst it’s in the Orbitkey holder. It looks very neat and when it’s in my jeans or jersey pocket the keys stay put inside the sheath. You may argue that it’s not a cycling product, but it’s one less thing to worry about and you’ll thank me when you get home busting for a wee and can now get there with time to spare.
Compare prices and buy tools from:
|Chain Reaction||Wiggle||Merlin Cycles||Ribble Cycles|
|Rutland Cycling||Hargroves Cycles||Cyclestore||Evans Cycles|
|ProBikeKit||AW Cycles||Biketart||Cycle Surgery|
|Leisure Lakes Bikes|