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  1. #1
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    Does A Real Good Headset Wrench Exist Anymore?

    Greetings,

    I'm in need of a real good headset wrench that sicks on 32mm aluminum top nuts. Yeah.... I've gone through the Park ones, the 32/36 and the 32/15. One is loose on the 32 adjustable cups, the other fits snug. I need something for top nuts though. Something that actually fits snug.
    I've tried various brands of large Crescent type wrenches, but they are still kind of loose. Stanley's Max adjustable has been the best of the lot, but it still has some play.

    I was considering Parks pro headset wrench, but after seeing how poorly it fit in a shop, forget it. That's the problem with Park tools, they are irregular. The may have a great warranty and all and you can send it to them at your expense, but so what, I just want a wrench that fits out-of-the-box and doesn't get bigger after a few uses. Something made of good steel like the classic Eldi No. 61 Pedal wrench, but in a 32mm size. http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/...dal_wrench.jpg It doesn't look like much, but it's super strong and doesn't change shape.

    Any suggestions on a great headset wrench would be appreciated. I only need the 32mm. I remember the Campy one being OK many years ago..... but it may have changed.

  2. #2
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    Just curious. Are you using the wrenches on an old headset that perhaps is worn. I've never had a problem with a wrench not fitting well.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    Just curious. Are you using the wrenches on an old headset that perhaps is worn. I've never had a problem with a wrench not fitting well.
    Do you mean you've never had a problem with any headset wrench or an adjustable crescent-type one, or both?

    It's for a new Tange headset. It came with the frame. I've never been a fan of the Al ones because it's rather soft, but it's there! Steel ones have been okay with the park ones. I only use one bike that has a adjustable cup other than this new one, and it never really needs to be taken off much. I'm not confident at all the Al nut will last using an adjustable wrench on it.

  4. #4
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    My brand new Park 36mm headset wrench is loose and measures 36.1mm with a caliper. Laser cut didn't help. bk

  5. #5
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    bk..........I don't what's up with Park these days..... or maybe I just never noticed or cared about the irregularities in their tools. ? I guess the Laser-cut thing is a marketing "tool" oops .....

    I recently went through 6 of their MT-1 multi-tool's. Each one was all over the place in irregular sizing. I gave up on that.

  6. #6
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    My favorite headset wrench is from Stronglight:



    It's much more secure than the standard open-end wrenches; I've never marred an aluminum cup using it. They're sold in pairs, with one slightly offset so the handles don't interfere with each other. The only caveat I can offer is that they won't fit over the Super Record aluminum spacer, so when I'm working on a Super Record headset I use a Campy wrench on the threaded cup and the Stronglight wrench on the locknut.

  7. #7
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    That looks nice. Is it made anymore or where can one be found?

  8. #8
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    These used to be very good - unless they're playing Star-Wars with their misspelled "Lazer" again:

    Park HW-2


    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/tools/headset.html

    And this one looks quite promising:

    http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...m_id=SN-HW36/8
    Last edited by Panthers007; 05-13-09 at 05:55 PM.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  9. #9
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    Senior Member AEO's Avatar
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    you sure it's not a 30mm headset?

    10" adjustable wrench will fit up to 32mm
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  10. #10
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
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    I have the HW-2 and a Tacx 32mm headset spanner. I believe the model is listed variously as T4310 and TL4310.

    http://www.tacx.com/producten.php?la...&lvlSubSub=221

    I didn't notice these as being as widely distributed in the US as Park spanners, but I purchased mine from PWC.

  11. #11
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garthr View Post
    Greetings,

    I'm in need of a real good headset wrench that sicks on 32mm aluminum top nuts. Yeah.... I've gone through the Park ones, the 32/36 and the 32/15. One is loose on the 32 adjustable cups, the other fits snug. I need something for top nuts though. Something that actually fits snug.
    I've tried various brands of large Crescent type wrenches, but they are still kind of loose. Stanley's Max adjustable has been the best of the lot, but it still has some play.

    I was considering Parks pro headset wrench, but after seeing how poorly it fit in a shop, forget it. That's the problem with Park tools, they are irregular. The may have a great warranty and all and you can send it to them at your expense, but so what, I just want a wrench that fits out-of-the-box and doesn't get bigger after a few uses. Something made of good steel like the classic Eldi No. 61 Pedal wrench, but in a 32mm size. http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/...dal_wrench.jpg It doesn't look like much, but it's super strong and doesn't change shape.

    Any suggestions on a great headset wrench would be appreciated. I only need the 32mm. I remember the Campy one being OK many years ago..... but it may have changed.
    1) Stop using crappy AL top nuts
    2) The park tool is FINE for 32/36, the shop version anyways

    Stop trying to find a solution to a problem that doesn't need to exist. Or maybe you can join us in the 22nd century with a threadless setup. Consider it
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  12. #12
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    Man, operator's getting cranky these days.

    I agree with poor headset wrench quality, but I have cheesy Park SpinDoctor (which I suspect are LIFU). I just gave up on Aluminum headsets. Give me a heavy-ass steel Tange any day.

  13. #13
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    It's a 32mm nut, the Stein wrench's from Bike Tools Etc. are only sold in 36 an40mm. Stein lists one in 32mm from here http://www.jastein.com/Tools_for_Frames_Forks.htm , but the distributors listed are wholesale.

    One of my other bikes has an American Classic Trilock headset, which uses no wrenches, but it's not made anymore otherwise I would try to get one. It's a great HS. http://www.bikepro.com/products/head...clas_hset.html





    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    1) Stop using crappy AL top nuts
    2) The park tool is FINE for 32/36, the shop version anyways

    Stop trying to find a solution to a problem that doesn't need to exist. Or maybe you can join us in the 22nd century with a threadless setup. Consider it
    The headset came with the frame, it's a Tange Passage Aluminum. I don't like Al top nuts either. I'll just get a steel nut from the steel version of it.

    Respectfully.......The 22nd Century is threadless? Is that true? Has everyone ditched their threaded forks, bought new threadless ones just so they can buy a threadless stem and headset? I do not believe that is the case.

    I'll never use threadless for the simple fact that your adjustability is limited to how you cut the fork when you put it together. Sure, one can leave inches on the fork exposed, but I don't consider that a good idea. You can use a threadless stem raiser, but it looks really bad. Why do I want adjustability? Needs change. Bodies change. It's limiting to think the stem height must be set time of purchase, then if you want it higher you must buy an add on raiser or a steeper angle stem? That's wasteful. Good for the parts sellers, not for the owner.

    Quill stems and threaded headsets aren't perfect. Neither are threadless. For a steel framed bike, I see no reason not to use a quill. Just because many people use a threadless system doesn't mean it's good for me or anyone else. People often want the latest..... just because it's different.... not because it's any "better".... as that word is relative to the user. Threaded headsets have been around a long time.


    There's a comparatively small few in the Western Retail culture that think what's good for "us" is good for everyone. Worldwide.... threaded headsets and freewheels rule the day because it works for them.

    I'm glad I can choose threaded or threadless.

  14. #14
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellyho View Post
    Man, operator's getting cranky these days.


    Anybody that spends any time on any forums soon learns that most forums have at least one "operator."

    They're knowledgeable as hell, but caustic, abrasive, insulting, curmudgeonly, cantankerous [choose your adjective].

    In my experience, the best thing to do -- and newbies, sadly, don't always figure this out -- is to TAKE all the information they impart and LEAVE all the rest ... or laugh at it.

    Calling them on their style (not what you did) is a counter-productive waste of time.

    Personally, I learn a lot from the guy....

    Cheers, "operator"

  15. #15
    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    Aren't threadless headsets a solution in search of a problem? I can understand the weight savings, etc. But an older bike with a threaded headset? Why switch? What are the real advantages? The only one I can see immediately is: not needing a large wrench and being able to get by with allen keys, and maybe the bearing play adjustability is simpler, but that is all I can come up with.

    I like being able to adjust mine from time to time. I've got about 60mm I can work with.

    My tange falcon is still in excellent shape (although it is steel I believe), just repacked it a few weeks ago.

    Also, I agree with operator, the park tool seems decent less than a few 10th's of a mm larger than 32mm. And laser cutting is only as good as (the cutter) and (the programmer).

    And, operator's cool, his comments are hilarious (and informed). I'm going to try to revive a really old thread now!

  16. #16
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    Good tools are becoming more rare, and not just bike tools. My brother's an airline mechanic and he can't get the quality, thin, strong and precise tools anymore. Even Snap-On has changed they way they make their tools.

    Park shop tool hw-2, from the ones I've seen, are as irregular as the rest of their tools. For $35 I'd expect a dam good tool. Maybe operator has a good one, and maybe if I had a bunch to sift through I could find a precise one..... but I don't have that choice. Bike tools etc is looking into seeing if a 32mm Stein is still available.

    http://www.biketoolsetc.com/Product_Images/SN-HW40.jpg
    Last edited by Garthr; 05-14-09 at 11:17 AM.

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