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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 02-23-11, 10:35 PM   #1
dnuzzomueller
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Tools that you just "Discovered!"

For me it was using a fourth hand for the first time: Fourth Hand

Anyone else recently discovered a tool that just made their life much simpler?
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Old 02-23-11, 10:54 PM   #2
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I used to use my Cal-Van snapring plier a lot in the old days. It was useful for getting quill stems around the corners on drop bars, and installing/removing bar-ends on mountain bikes. Both those scenarios are less frequent, but it's a great tool when the situation arises.

Another good one: large Sterilite under-bed storage bin with wheels. It's a big shallow rectangle and makes a good catch pan when cleaning bikes with a brush and sudsy water.

And another: Quick-Wedge split-tip screw starter, great for wheel building on conventional double-walled rims.

I also like the flex-head long-handle Craftsman ratchets because in 90 mode, they work as speeders if you're not up against too much resistance. The 1/2"-drive model's great for spinning bottom brackets in & out, for example.

Stanley nitrile gloves are also great when working on messy greasy stuff. You can get those at Fred Meyer.

Other nominees: Park Tool's new dummy pedal. Dualco handheld grease gun with long tip. Makita 10.8v cordless drill/driver with a 1/4" square-drive adapter and hex-bit sockets. Li-ion cordless Dremel. Rubber band. Piece of tough nylon twine I found by side of road, that I can hang a bar & stem from while the fork's out.
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Old 02-24-11, 05:24 AM   #3
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Kool Stop Tire Bead Jack. This really comes in handy on those odd occasions where you have a really tight fitting tire and rim combination. http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...4&category=199
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Old 02-24-11, 05:32 AM   #4
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I havent just discovered the Pamir Hypercracker. I wish I could find one though.
It is an essential tool for roadside spoke replacement but totally unavailable.
I have used some of the modern equivalents but they lack leverage and are 2nd rate.
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Old 02-24-11, 07:02 AM   #5
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Long-handled breaker bar from Lowe's. I work on a lot of old bikes with seized or nearly-seized bottom brackets.
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Old 02-24-11, 08:45 AM   #6
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this 1/2 drive tool I had to borrow from my brother



I knew such tool existed but never dreamed I would need one to work on a bike.
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Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape
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Old 02-24-11, 08:50 AM   #7
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Hell yeah! ^^
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Old 02-24-11, 10:52 AM   #8
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Simple piece of stout wire with a hook bent on each end. Holds the chain together while you work the chain tool to re-connect.
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Old 02-24-11, 11:43 AM   #9
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VIM Tools HBR5 Mini-Ratchet - A compact ratchet with fine ratcheting teeth (52 clicks per revolution) which drives both 1/4 inch square drive sockets and 1/4 hex drive bits. It has a thumb spinner on each end and can be easily used one-handed, including reversing the ratchet. Just the right size for me; gives enough leverage without being too long.
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Old 02-24-11, 12:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
Simple piece of stout wire with a hook bent on each end. Holds the chain together while you work the chain tool to re-connect.
Chain compressor. Had something similar for ages.

Other "recent" tools I've found are:

Pedros Vice Whip

Expensive but so much easier than chain whips.

Crown Race remover

Best race removal tool I've ever used.

Chris King External bearing tool

Expensive but not too much worse than the Park wrench and it works better.
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Old 02-24-11, 03:23 PM   #11
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lithium ion 12v/10.8v drill for reflectors. lock ring pliers, roto/swivel ratchets. stem/spacer/handlebar stack holder. made from a piece of steerer tube and an old threadless stem. pop the top cap off the headset and ram the tool down and it pushes the fork out and holds the stem and spacer stack. 29 million ratchets with pre attached bits(hex bits, bb tools, sockets). cheater pipes made from seatposts and pumps. use old grip tape or scrap cut offs for extra grip
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Old 02-24-11, 03:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
this 1/2 drive tool I had to borrow from my brother


Nice! Did something similar witih a long a$$ pipe and 1/2 sockets. But unfortunately, we were drunk, and we were turning it the wrong way. Hahahaha.
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Old 02-24-11, 06:59 PM   #13
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2 Rafter hooks, 2 ratcheting cargo tie downs, a bungee and an eye plate with 2 redheads. About $30.00 and it all makes a great hanging work stand that easily accommodates recumbents and DF's. Open access to both sides of the bike and no clamping pressure anywhere. All for about $35.00. bk
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Old 02-24-11, 07:44 PM   #14
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I like discovering non-bike applications for my bike tools. I have used my pin spanners for somany different things I have lost count. Most recently to fix a leaky faucet. I also recently managed to fix an out-of-plumb hanging closet door with an old hub locknut.
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Old 02-24-11, 10:18 PM   #15
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Retail merchandising "hang tab" used as brake pad toe-in tool. Light Adhesive on one side so it sticks to the rim, just a scoesh thinner than a credit card, built in hole for hanging, less than a dime a dozen. Ideal for a mechanic who builds lots of bikes.
http://www.southernimperial.com/1-62...bs-p-2677.html
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Old 02-24-11, 11:04 PM   #16
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Just discovered that one of the guys I work with is a real tool.
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Old 02-24-11, 11:13 PM   #17
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I use these vice grips to adjust my brakes, just clamp them on the pads and tighten the cable, works great.
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Old 02-25-11, 12:22 AM   #18
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One of my favorites is a teenager to run back down in the basement from the garage or vise/versa when I need a different tool I forgot. "Oh, and grab a beer from the fridge for me when you go by too"
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Old 02-25-11, 07:04 AM   #19
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great tools. I have a different sort of chain holder/compressor somewhere but when I needed it last week it was AWOL. I seldom need a crown race remover but this one looks real nice does it fit 1"/ 11/8" / and 11/4"??

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Chain compressor. Had something similar for ages.

Other "recent" tools I've found are:

Pedros Vice Whip

Expensive but so much easier than chain whips.

Crown Race remover

Best race removal tool I've ever used.

Chris King External bearing tool

Expensive but not too much worse than the Park wrench and it works better.
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Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape
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Old 02-25-11, 07:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triplebutted View Post
Nice! Did something similar witih a long a$$ pipe and 1/2 sockets. But unfortunately, we were drunk, and we were turning it the wrong way. Hahahaha.
never drink with your friends while wrenching. as you can see one had be very careful about which wayt oturn this as I had to go through the BB to access the adjustable cup. so you really have to stop and think about which way you are turning
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Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape
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Old 02-25-11, 09:38 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
great tools. I have a different sort of chain holder/compressor somewhere but when I needed it last week it was AWOL. I seldom need a crown race remover but this one looks real nice does it fit 1"/ 11/8" / and 11/4"??
It's basically a bearing splitter for automotive use. You can get them in different sizes but the one that I linked to fits all size of bicycle steer tubes from 1" to probably 1.5". I have 2, a $5 version from Harbor Freight (I wouldn't recommend that one) and a more expensive version like the one above. The Harbor Freight one is rather dull and doesn't catch under the race that well. I did grind it down to sharpen the blades which helped but it's still a pretty crude tool.

Some "tools" I forgot:

A nickel. Use it for setting the front derailer gap above the crank.

An old plastic bus pass...the ones that San Francisco sells for their buses is ideal...for setting the gap on disc brake pads. Put one on each side between the pads and rotors, then adjust the caliper so that it is parallel to the rotor. Squeeze the brakes a couple of times to align the caliper and then tighten every thing up.

Park master link pliers.
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Old 02-25-11, 09:52 AM   #22
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Home Depot carries Husky tools including various 1/4" ratchet sets, cheap. I have a set with a full range of small hex and screw driver bits, as well as small hex sockets. Cost me $5, love it. Way more convenient than allen keys.
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Old 02-25-11, 12:09 PM   #23
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Does this forum count?

This is actually my first experience with a bike forum and I`m finding that there is a lot of expertise available here and in particular from a dozen or so of the people who are posting regurarly.
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Old 02-25-11, 12:19 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOS View Post
I like discovering non-bike applications for my bike tools. I have used my pin spanners for somany different things I have lost count. Most recently to fix a leaky faucet. I also recently managed to fix an out-of-plumb hanging closet door with an old hub locknut.
"Snaffles caps off most anything!"

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Old 02-25-11, 01:03 PM   #25
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This is actually my first experience with a bike forum and I`m finding that there is a lot of expertise available here and in particular from a dozen or so of the people who are posting regurarly.
Yep, this Forum should count. I have learned so much from people here. I originally joined the BikeForums while recovering from a broken leg and could not ride, but the Forums has increased my enjoyment of cycling immensely. I also discovered Sheldon Brown's site while hanging around the Forum.

I have even had people send me items cost and post free.

Thanks again Hillrider.
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