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Old 11-23-12, 10:36 AM   #1
gerv 
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Home wrenching tools: buy or rent?

I have a couple of tools I use rarely.

My Park spoke tension meter has been useful, although not as essential as I thought when I first bought it.

Also have a Stronglight crank puller that I paid $50 for two years ago. Haven't used it since, but it was very helpful in getting that crank off. At the time I couldn't find anyone who had one.

My reason for asking this is that I now need a headset press and an cup remover. But I'm more inclined to drag my frame down to the bike co-op and use theirs.
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Old 11-23-12, 10:43 AM   #2
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If you have the opportunity to rent those tools, I'd go that way.

Cone wrenches and similar, I'd buy.

I've bought a few tools, such as a couple of the oddball Free Wheel removal tools that I don't really expect to use, but want to have readily available just in case.

Strike a balance between price, frequency of use and budget.
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Old 11-23-12, 10:43 AM   #3
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Yea the CoOp , since you have it available to use is a Good thing..

Never heard of Bike tool rentals other than being used inside a CoOp.
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Old 11-23-12, 11:52 AM   #4
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It's a question of balancing the cost of the tool vs.the value you'll receive from it.

It makes sense to buy small tools that will see everyday use, but at some point the cost of the tool gets high, and the frequency of use gets low, so ownership doesn't make sense. You're lucky to to have a co-op nearby, and I wouldn't think twice about taking advantage of it.
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Old 11-23-12, 12:25 PM   #5
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Choice #1: The co-op.

Choice #2: Be patient, and find them used. I have bought a lot of specialized tools used. One typical source is the bike shop that is closing (seems like a couple a year close around here). At least 75% of my tools were acquired used, along with my work stands, my tool boxes, parts storage, etc. There is also a guy on ebay that sells his versions of a cup remover and cup setting tools at a pretty reasonable cost.

+1 Budget trumps everything. Keeping my spending down to something reasonable is always a bit of a challenge.

Now the co-op in my area is not very convenient (40 miles away), has very limited hours (just open 4 hours in the evening, three days a week), and has a pretty skimpy selection of tools. Part of the challenge of living in a smaller population area.

If you do not have a need for that Stronglight puller, you should be able to resell it on ebay for about what you paid for it.

Last edited by wrk101; 11-23-12 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 11-23-12, 01:52 PM   #6
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Special tools????----Unless it's some kind of carbon wonder bike....all you need is a pin punch,a c-clamp and 2 pieces of wood to replace your headset.

Or you can make the tools for a couple bucks....a piece of copper pipe,some all thread and some fender washers.Take a drift and remove the crown race and tap the new one back on.

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Old 11-23-12, 01:56 PM   #7
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A flat punch, a block of wood and a hammer and you are done. Well you could do the fancy way as mentioned above and use a c-clamp with 2 peices of wood.

People really over think the simple things when working on a bike. Unless you are going to use those tools numerous times, just go to coop or use the cheap methods which work plenty fine.
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Old 11-23-12, 02:08 PM   #8
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A flat punch, a block of wood and a hammer and you are done. Well you could do the fancy way as mentioned above and use a c-clamp with 2 peices of wood.

People really over think the simple things when working on a bike. Unless you are going to use those tools numerous times, just go to coop or use the cheap methods which work plenty fine.
Yeah... and I'd be totally willing to give this a shot if this was a $20 frame. And especially if there was no other resource.

As for my Stronglight puller, I figure I'll hang on to it.

I actually don't mind having a few special tools around. I just don't want to have thousands sunk into my home workbench. Gets to be a real pain if I have to move or when I kick the bucket and my offspring have to offload all those fancy tools.
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Old 11-23-12, 02:13 PM   #9
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I wouldn't hesitate to use the simple tools even on a fancy 500-1000 dollar frame. Its about technique and finesse. If it was a carbon frame then no, i would not use those tools but aluminum or steel? Heck yeah.
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Old 11-23-12, 02:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerv View Post
I have a couple of tools I use rarely.

My Park spoke tension meter has been useful, although not as essential as I thought when I first bought it.

Also have a Stronglight crank puller that I paid $50 for two years ago. Haven't used it since, but it was very helpful in getting that crank off. At the time I couldn't find anyone who had one.

My reason for asking this is that I now need a headset press and an cup remover. But I'm more inclined to drag my frame down to the bike co-op and use theirs.

How many headsets do I need to install and remove for you to get that tension meter?

That is only slightly sarcastic (I am reasonably local)
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Old 11-23-12, 07:22 PM   #11
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I don't have a headset press. I use blocks of wood and bang the cups in. If this sort of stuff makes you cringe, please don't read this post.

It's better to bring your bike to a bike shop for these jobs. I do it only because I'm too impatient to bring it over. If you remove everything first, you make it easy for the mechanic, so he won't charge you much at all.

Oh, you have a coop? Even better. It's a no-brainer, unless you think you'll be wrenching on a whole lot of bikes. Then you should buy the tools, new or used.
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