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Old 10-02-05, 08:56 PM   #1
askrom
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Socialism and Bike Tools

About half of the bike tools I might ever use are the kind of tools that I might use once a year or less. Crank extractors, bottom bracket tools, freewheel tools, pedal wrenches, etc. I feel like an idiot paying good money for tools I will almost never use. And, of course, Rule Number One at almost every LBS is WE DON'T LEND TOOLS.

Has anyone heard of or tried a commie-style system whereby a group of handy cyclists share tools amongst themselves? Something bigger than just a couple of friends, something more formally organized. Could be a nice way for, say, a club to save the members some money.
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Old 10-02-05, 09:05 PM   #2
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There's a co-op in Berkeley, CA where they let you use a workstation with a workstand and a cabinet full of tools.

I prefer to have my own tools and I don't loan them to anyone.
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Old 10-02-05, 09:32 PM   #3
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I remember at Arizona State there was a bike co-op that had work stands, lots of tools and 2nd hand parts, and was staffed by volunteer students, they took donations. I went in a few times, but over the years I've just collected the tools I need most.
The problem I see with sharing tools on a large scale basis is that the tools you need the least often are also the most expensive tools; like truing stands, taps and facing tools, headset press, rear derailleur hanger, torque wrenches, etc. They’re also the most delicate and subject to abuse. I wouldn't want to share them.
The other tools, cone wrenches, hex wrenches, even specialty wrenches like spanners, headset wrenches, etc, are cheap and last forever with light use, making it plausible to own a set. Every time I need to do a repair I don't own a tool for I buy it, spreading out the expense and building a great collection. For example, you can buy a crank puller for about $10-15 depending on style, and you’ll never need to buy another one unless the technology changes or you get pissed and hit it with a hammer.
You may be interested in the following links
http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/freebike.htm
http://www.austinyellowbike.org/ (be sure to check out the very cool picture gallery)
http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in...p/t-68083.html
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Old 10-03-05, 06:28 AM   #4
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There may be some co-operative groups that share bike tools but I expect their experience is like all co-operatives/communistic groups. A few lazy,careless or dishonest members eventually ruin it for everyone.

There is a bike shop in Pittsburgh that has a few work stands set up and allows customers to come in and work on their own bikes at no charge for using the stands or tools. I don't know his experience with losing small tools that someone either takes intentionally or just drops in a pocket and forgets to put away. You have to pay for parts, of course but his prices are low even for those. In any event, he is running something close to a charity rather than a serious business.
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Old 10-03-05, 08:57 AM   #5
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Another thought on tool use is that the frequency of use is reflective to some extent on the frequency and completeness of the maintenance you do. The bottom bracket tool in my tool cabinet rarely gets used, but the cone wrenches, crank puller and cassette tool get worked out at least twice a year for each bike. That type of use easily makes up for $35 to $50 that might have been spent on all of those items combined. It allows me to have the bike repaired and serviced based on my schedule, not the LBS schedule. AND, I know it's done right!
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Old 10-03-05, 09:15 AM   #6
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I find that the cost of cheap tools is usually less than the cost of having the maintenance/work done at a shop the very first time. Even if I only use it once (never the case...), I still come out ahead. My Pedro's 13mm/15mm combination cone wrenches have probably been the best investment I've ever made. Every wheel I own can be overhauled with them. I use it almost every weekend.
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Old 10-03-05, 01:35 PM   #7
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Park's vision is that "no home should be without a headset press and within easy reach"
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Old 10-03-05, 02:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufvelo
Park's vision is that "no home should be without a headset press and within easy reach"
headset press=rag+hammer+smooth touch
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Old 10-03-05, 02:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by askrom
About half of the bike tools I might ever use are the kind of tools that I might use once a year or less. Crank extractors, bottom bracket tools, freewheel tools, pedal wrenches, etc. I feel like an idiot paying good money for tools I will almost never use. And, of course, Rule Number One at almost every LBS is WE DON'T LEND TOOLS.

Has anyone heard of or tried a commie-style system whereby a group of handy cyclists share tools amongst themselves? Something bigger than just a couple of friends, something more formally organized. Could be a nice way for, say, a club to save the members some money.
This guy has 2 park stands and 1000s of tools for you to use while in the shop.
Kraynick's Bike Shop
http://www.panoramafactory.com/kraynick/

You could probably use these folk's tools as well:
http://freeridepgh.org/html/earn.html

It is a huge pain to not get a tool back. I hate it.
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Old 10-03-05, 03:12 PM   #10
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I have a standing offer to San Diego area Forumites who wish to borrow specialty bicycle (e.g., freewheel extractors, chain tools, bottom bracket wrenches, "third hand" brake compressors, wheel truing stand) or automotive (e.g., rear disc brake piston retractor, OBD-II scanner, manual oil extractor, timing light) tools. Also, I believe the UCSD bike shop lets folks borrow and use tools on-site.
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Old 10-03-05, 05:12 PM   #11
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Not local to you but if my city, pop.1,000,000 has this, I'm SURE just about every other city has one!

http://www.flora.org/re-cycles/en/index.shtml

BTW: I sympathize with the LBS. It's just too difficult to keep track of stuff that leaves your sphere of influence...

Last edited by af895; 10-09-05 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 10-03-05, 06:32 PM   #12
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I'd sooner lend someone my bike than my tools. I can fix pretty much anything they do to the bike, but I don't like discovering tools that I need are missing because someone didn't return them. I have no problem with someone bringing over their bike and using my tools but they can't take them home.

When I used to be serious about golf and someone not so serious would ask to borrow my clubs I would say "sure, ..and can I borrow your wallet? ..I promise not to lose it, ..and I'll get it back to you in a couple of days tops.."
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Old 10-03-05, 06:41 PM   #13
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dbq:

1) that's a great way to ensure you get stuff back - collateral! "You give me your driver's license & VISA, you can borrow my Park Tools BBT-2." You also find out how seriously in need the person is...

2) (not so) Senior Member? LOL! You rock man.

Last edited by af895; 10-09-05 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 10-03-05, 08:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufvelo
Park's vision is that "no home should be without a headset press and within easy reach"
Mine's in a cordura bag, but still easily accessible.
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Old 10-03-05, 08:27 PM   #15
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I spend about 15 hours a week and sometimes much more helping people at a place call the Tinkers Workshop in Berkeley california, this a a noneprofit mostlly focus on education and giving a second chance to the ones with a little bad luck, I voluntier teaching Bike mecanics and helping in diferent projects (use to tech industrial design) but is also sawing classes, biodiesel making, advance gardening for small self sopport households among other things.

anyway feels amazing to help people that really need their bikes, from little kids to the typical hippie chicks plus the many hardcore comutters.

sadlly as somebody mension above is always the bad apple that makes everybody pays for it, so the tools are lock up, they use to get "Borrow" all the time and never come back.

anyway bike tools don't cost that much,you just don't need to buy campi or hozan, heel you don't even need to buy them new, specially if you take into account how much they last, so if you gather 10/20 people and buy the basic things you will be fine,, also many specific bike tools can be replace with more comun items with out much detriment on the quality..(maybe we need to make a tread about this and gather the "Popular know how" of the comunity)
for example I have a Campanolo headset press but i can do pretty much the same installations with a soft mallet and at the most some old headsets (as spacers) and punches (can be modified bolts, rods,,,etc)
something like facing or chssing treads on a bottom bracket require specific tools, that even if I have my own shop I will not use that much.(plus if you know about bikes, you always have old friends that work at good shops with all the super fancy tools.

like many "bike mecanics" in Sur America will say,,yes I'm a Plummer and a bike mecanic,,,why..?
because I only need to buy one set of tools to do the two jobs, believe i see them doing it and the results are usually better than most mecanics I work here in the states, maybe because they really care and they are use to make things last for a long long time.. .

Last edited by ricardo kuhn; 10-03-05 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 10-04-05, 02:49 AM   #16
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i'm not in the US, but here in Edinburgh i go down to this place http://www.thebikestation.org.uk/
seems like they have a 'bigger' agenda with a socialist spin. the only tools i own are an adjustable spanner, mole grips and some allen keys (well maybe a few more than that) but no specialist stuff. i like going down there to work on my bike 'cos it's nice to chat to others doing the same thing, free tea and coffee, free barrier cream, free oil and grease, free advice, cables and bearings at cost, selection of very, very cheap second hand parts, a few hours working on my bike costs a couple of £........they only do three public worksop sessions per week and the rest of the time they do other important stuff, helping disavantaged people out, recycling bikes, promoting cycling. personally i think places like this is all anyone could need, well this and ebay....hurrah for the socialists, hurrah for the proleteriat!
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Old 10-04-05, 05:20 AM   #17
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One of my favorite bike shops has a place in the back where you can work on your bike. They have all of the tools you could need. If they aren't helping a customer, they'll even come over and lend a hand.

They also make great espresso!

The only other answer I can think of is to buy more bikes! Then you will ALWAYS be working on one!
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Old 10-06-05, 08:12 AM   #18
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I live in NYC. I paid R&A in Brooklyn $16 a few weeks ago to true a wheel, only to find it wobbly again a few days later (never going there for repairs again). I then paid $20 at another shop to re-true it, who did a great job.

I can't true a wheel, but I can certainly do almost any other kind of bike repair, with the right tools. Between paying $20 to have a BB installed, or paying $10 for a BB tool and a chance to have fun tinkering on my own bike, I'd choose the latter.

So that's what I'm doing. Sure, I'd rather borrow a tool and pay nothing, but when wieghing the options of paying the LBS vs. buying the tool, the expense of purchasing and using my own equipment doesn't seem bad at all.
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Old 10-06-05, 08:39 AM   #19
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In Los Angeles, we have the Bicycle Kitchen

http://www.bicyclekitchen.com
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Old 10-06-05, 09:57 AM   #20
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Anyone know of any good places in Toronto?
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Old 10-06-05, 10:01 AM   #21
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Anyone know of any good places in Toronto?
Look into this: http://communitybicyclenetwork.org/?...5be8666b585cad

EDIT: a good site for locating your local bike coop:

http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/freebike.htm
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Old 10-06-05, 11:29 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider
There may be some co-operative groups that share bike tools but I expect their experience is like all co-operatives/communistic groups. A few lazy,careless or dishonest members eventually ruin it for everyone.

There is a bike shop in Pittsburgh that has a few work stands set up and allows customers to come in and work on their own bikes at no charge for using the stands or tools. I don't know his experience with losing small tools that someone either takes intentionally or just drops in a pocket and forgets to put away. You have to pay for parts, of course but his prices are low even for those. In any event, he is running something close to a charity rather than a serious business.

Great shop...I can't remember his name, but I stop in every time I'm in the 'burgh. Lots of courier-types fixing their (non-fixie) rides there. Any part in the world, if you can find it.
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Old 10-06-05, 02:43 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slagjumper
This guy has 2 park stands and 1000s of tools for you to use while in the shop.
Kraynick's Bike Shop
http://www.panoramafactory.com/kraynick/

You could probably use these folk's tools as well:
http://freeridepgh.org/html/earn.html

It is a huge pain to not get a tool back. I hate it.
Jerry Kraynick's shop is the one I was alluding to in my post above. As I said, Jerry is running a charity almost as much as he is a business.

Freeride is aimed at getting disadvantaged kids to earn a bike for themselves by working on and repairing donated bikes. It's sort of a job training program.
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Old 10-06-05, 03:49 PM   #24
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My friend and I have a lot of communal property. I have most of the tools. He has the workstand and the employee discount.
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Old 10-07-05, 01:11 PM   #25
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The Broadway Bicycle School on Broadway in Cambridge, Mass. USA, allows anyone to work on their bike for pretty high rates per hour using the school's tools and equipment and, for an additional charge, expert advice. They helped me replace a headset once.
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