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Old 08-01-08, 12:54 AM   #1
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Professionally install or buy a tool kit?

Hey everyone. I just bought the last pieces to complete my first track bike. I don't have too much experience with assembling a bottom bracket, a headset and chain but I've read and few articles and watched a couple videos. My question is, would it be a better idea to take the bike in to my lbs and have them install the headset and bottom bracket for around $40-50 or should I spend that $50 on a complete upgraded tool kit?

I have am a little uncertain on how much I would need to torque the bb. Also, the head is an FSA Orbit CE integrated headset. I bought my carbon fork second hand and it also had a crown race installed on it. Do I just insert the sealed bearings into the frame cups, add the top cap and lock my stem?

I was looking into this set for $50

Last edited by awsnaps; 08-01-08 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 08-01-08, 08:52 AM   #2
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I always recommend that people learn to wrench on their bikes. It is more satisfying, for me at least, to do the work yourself. You will also be more likely to perform regular preventive maintenance if you have your own tools and do your own work.

Having said that, if you are going to have to face any surfaces or press bearing cups in place that is probably best left for a shop to do, particularly if you don't have the tools or experience. You can seriously damage or ruin a frame if you don't do this or do it wrong. Your frame may not need to have any prep work done on it and if that's the case I'd say get a kit and give it a go. If you do run into a problem and can't figure out what to do just put your tools down and take it to a shop for assistance. Once you get that problem resolved go back to work and finish your build.

Aside from the tool kit, one other thing I would recommend is a decent home repair stand. There are going to be times when you feel like you need three hands anyway and if one is already busy trying to hold the bike frame you're just that much further behind.

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Old 08-01-08, 10:45 AM   #3
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Go to the shop for the bearing installations. I bought my tools as I needed them, but if you have the money now, a set like that is a good buy. You should also get a repair stand, a small bench vise, a spoke tensionmeter and a pair of vise-grips.
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Old 08-01-08, 11:19 AM   #4
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Those two specific things. BB and Headset CAN be done at home but most off the shelf tool kits don't come with headset presses.

However you say you have a integrated headset, and the BB is most likely something standard.

I say give it a whirl. Try it yourself. If you really can't figure it out.. then that's what the LBS is for.

Happy wrenching.
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Old 08-01-08, 11:26 AM   #5
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I too, always recommend for people to learn how to do their own repairs...

I used to work in bike shops and so have a pretty good compliment of tools to do virtually all repairs, but I doubt most civilians would have the time, space, or motivation to do this, which is what makes them civilians, and not bike repair gods...

Think about it this way - how long do you plan on doing cycling? If it's more than five years (perhaps your lifetime?), why wouldn't someone consider learning how to fix a bike?

To me, it's like not knowing how to cook for yourself - you're gonna eat for a while - probably your whole life, so why not learn how to do it properly?


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Old 08-01-08, 11:29 AM   #6
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The only thing I don't do myself anymore is bottom brackets. I can get them in, but they ALWAYS make noise when I do it, and I don't like squeaky parts.
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