Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Some call it God's country. I call it Acton, Maine
Bikes: Too Many - 7 or 8
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Generally any tool Park or Pedroes makes will give good service. What kind of tool collection are you aiming for? Take along on the ride tools or stay at home and hang on the wall tools? The only real hint I would give would be to know how to use the tool you buy properly. A spoke wrench in the wrong hands can create more trouble than the original problem. An allen wrench used with abandon can strip bolts and often make the bolts snap off inside the bolt hole.
For the home shop
~A good floor pump
~Tire Levers - good ones that you feel comfortable using. I like Whl Smith wheel peelers. My daughter and others think I am wierd. I guess they are an aquired taste so to speak.
~A solid set of L allen wrenches. I use the Pedroes set at both benches and at home.
~ A complete set of open/box end metric wrenches 8mm through 19mm at the least
~A set of good crescent wrenches - 6". 8" and 12"
~Pliers - regular, needle nose, and pump
~Good screw drivers - One big one with a flat blade. The rest with small to medium blades
~A good cable cutter. Felco, Shimano, Park and Pedroes - all decent. But Felco IMO rules.
~A chain break. Do not skimp on this one. Get a good one. Park, Shimano both make good ones, as do others. Generally, if it costs more, it is a better chain break. But I will say the Cyclo one I bought in the 70's served me well for over 15 years. It is a tool that can easily be ruined by being hamfisted. Use them carefully.
~A good utility knife
~Individual spoke wrenches, not a multi spoke wrench ( I like the Spokeys brand from Delta)
~A cassette removal tool and/or the Free wheel removal tool needed for your wheels. The Cassette tool is for cassettes and the Shimano rotors on their disc brakes if you have that type. Pedroes makes one that will work with both.
~At least one chain whip. Two if you want to remove cogs from a free wheel
~ A decent 3/8 socket set and wrench to turn them. Deep sockets with 8 point engagement will bite better and not round out the bolt heads as easily as 16 point. Don't buy the sockets from the 77 cent bin at Walmart.
~a 1/4 and a 1/2 adaptor for the socket set. Some sockets used for shocks only come in 1/2 inch drive. And some 1/4 bits are very useful. For instance, the T25 torx bit for disc brakes.
~A good file set. Small rattail, a small flat, and a brute to clean up the nasty burrs from .....
~The Hacksaw - I use blades with a finer tooth count. Lasts longer and makes cleanup easier.
~ A bike stand would be nice, but not necessary. Hanging the bike from hooks or rope can work. That is all I had to work with for the years I was not in the industry.
~Wheel Truing Stand - Again a nice add on, but not necessary for keeping the wheels tweaked if you have bikes with brake pads. If you have a desire to build a set, then a stand will definitely help.
~A decent 4" or preferably larger bench vise
~Bottom Bracket tools. With all the new varieties of BBs and the variety of old ones, it is impossible to say which ones you should have.
~Headset wrenches if you have threaded headsets on any bike
~Cone wrenches. Whls MFG double sided ones are shop grade and cheap.
The list is by no means complete. I am writing this in the haze of just getting out of bed and I am sure I am missing something. The list could be pared down quite a bit if all you are interested in is keeping things tweaked between visits to the local LBS.