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  1. #1
    creaky old bones FZ1Tom's Avatar
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    How much you think you've invested in tools?

    Put another way - how much is perhaps too much?

    All my wrenching experience is with cars and motorcycles - frankly, I think of the three, motorcycles are the easiest to work on. Mainly because they take mostly metric socket tools, so with that and some tire changing equipment and a brake bleed kit you can do virtually everything necessary.

    I've discovered that bicycles are uhm, a bit different. Just because they can

    I'm officially putting a Park Tool AK-37 kit and a PRS-9 home stand on my Christmas/birthday wish list.

    For working on 80s/90s/current bikes what else would you suggest.

    Finally, what does everyone else have? Pictures and stories encouraged and enjoyed!

    Tom

  2. #2
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    most of my smaller tools were purchased while I was a shop mechanic so I just always thought of them as cost of beint a 'pro'. I got a good deal on my Boantrager stand and since I am not on my knees anymore I don't care what it cost.

    now when I have to go and get something done like a HS pressed in or a BB faced I realize I do not have enough tools
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo SOLd, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis SOLD, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti SOLD, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe SOLD, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  3. #3
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    It depends on what you want to do. I bought a 80gallon 6hp upright compressor, a MIG and I'm looking for a small media blasting cabinet and a plasma cutter.
    That and many thousands worth of tools makes bike tools look very inexpensive.

  4. #4
    Mostly Mischief jan nikolajsen's Avatar
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    Well, I got some Park Tools and some Pedro stuff and other tidbits; all very useful and utilitarian and such, but, when I want TOOLS I open up this box:


  5. #5
    Gone World Hepster 23skidoo's Avatar
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    jan, that photo makes me absolutely sick with envy...
    77 Trek TX300--78 Trek TX-300--79 Trek 510--83 Trek 520--83 Nickel Plated Trek 400--86 Trek Elance 400--75 Gitane Interclub--73 Viscount 'Death Fork SS--76 Viscount Aerospace Pro--80's Diamant Verbinnen--80's Basso--90's Montagner SS--84 SR Explorer MTB

  6. #6
    FBoD Member at Large khatfull's Avatar
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    Let's see, aside from standard tools, sockets, screwdrivers, wrenches, hex keys, pliers, etc., (all bought at Harbor Freight/Northern Tool):

    Park pedal wrench.
    Park compact chain tool.
    Park PCS-10 workstand.
    Hozan lockring tool.
    Park pin spanner.
    Cyclepro cone wrenches (used).
    Park Suntour freewheel, Shimano freewheel, and Shimano lockring tools.
    Feedback Sports truing stand.
    Pedro's spoke wrenches.
    Ultrasonic cleaner for parts.
    Park crank puller.
    MKS pedal cap wrench.

    Things I'd like to add:

    Real cable/housing cutter.
    DIY headset press (threaded rod, washers, etc.)
    DIY headset cup remover.
    Cable fourth hand tool.
    Derailleur alignment gauge.
    Dish tool.
    Spoke tension meter.
    Few more freewheel tools (specifically Suntour 4-prong).
    Bench grinder converted to "polishing center".

    Cost? Don't know, don't want to know. The Hozan lockring tool was the spendiest thing for what it is but it sure works really nice.

  7. #7
    creaky old bones FZ1Tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khatfull View Post
    Let's see, aside from standard tools, sockets, screwdrivers, wrenches, hex keys, pliers, etc., (all bought at Harbor Freight/Northern Tool):

    Bench grinder converted to "polishing center".

    Cost? Don't know, don't want to know.
    Khatfull,

    I don't know about the bench grinder part (I don't have any place to put one anyhow), but I'm thinking that a cheapo solution would be to find some small buffing wheels to fit a basic Black&Decker corded drill (that's what I do have). Harbor Freight just might be the place

    Jan - I should have known those Campy folks would have made and sold a tool set like that. Almost enough to send me to strong drink, and its only lunch time!

    Tom

  8. #8
    Senior Member toytech's Avatar
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    I have invested about 500 in bike tools (at pennies on the dollar, thanks craigslist) automotive tools, closer to 6 figures since I owned an auto repair shop for a while and have been wrenching 25+ years
    "Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day."--Harry S. Truman

  9. #9
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    How much is too much? It depends on how many bikes you plan to work on. I work on quite a few bikes, so I have quite a few tools. I have used flip proceeds to fund tool purchases. I probably have a couple of thousand in tools right now (replacement cost well above that as many of my tools and workstands were bought used). I would rather not add it up.

    High on my list for any serious home bike mechanic:

    A high quality chain tool: I use the Parks Tool CT-3.

    A high quality cable cutter: I use the Shimano TL-CT10. I've got a cheap Spin Doctor one as a backup.

    A good pedal wrench. I really like my Inline Offset pedal wrench. I've got a couple of them.

    Good cone wrenches.

    A selection of various cassette, bottom bracket and freewheel tools. Buy what fits your current bikes, and add to them as you need other sizes/types.

    A good crank puller.

    A good bike repair stand.


    A variety of basic hand tools, that most people already own.

    I have picked up several tools used, either ebay or Craigs List.

  10. #10
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen View Post
    Well, I got some Park Tools and some Pedro stuff and other tidbits; all very useful and utilitarian and such, but, when I want TOOLS I open up this box:

    jebus... that is beautiful.

    I am pretty well set up at my shop as there isn't anything I can't do and am now looking at purchasing / building an alignment table and frame jig and setting up a second frame building shop here in the city.

  11. #11
    FBoD Member at Large khatfull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FZ1Tom View Post
    Khatfull,

    I don't know about the bench grinder part (I don't have any place to put one anyhow), but I'm thinking that a cheapo solution would be to find some small buffing wheels to fit a basic Black&Decker corded drill (that's what I do have). Harbor Freight just might be the place

    Jan - I should have known those Campy folks would have made and sold a tool set like that. Almost enough to send me to strong drink, and its only lunch time!

    Tom
    Tom, I currently use all my spinny polishing tools in an 18V cordless drill that I simply hold down on the workbench with one hand, and hold the part with the other. I've been thinking of a way to clamp the drill in a vise and rig a footswitch (old cable, housing..hmmmm.). God..Help...Me.....Please.

  12. #12
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    A bench grinder and a good vice are nearly indispensable tools... and they don't have to cost that much.

  13. #13
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    khatfull - was just looking at your "looking for" list and if they weren't already in use I think I have everything you want except the Sugino seatpost.


  14. #14
    Senior Member mudboy's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd pretty much kill for a set of Campy frame taps/facing tools (TiN, of course), but the chances of my finding one is slim. Second choice would be a set of VAR tools, which are even rarer. I'll have to make do with the made in Taiwan stuff that's on eBay.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Roger M's Avatar
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    How much invested?...not nearly enough. I only started wrenching on bikes regularly a few months ago. I have been work on cars and motorcycles for many years, so my collection of automotive related tools is pretty good. I only have a few tools for cranks, BB, freewheels, and some spoke wenches. I took some old cheap open end metric wrenches to the bench grinder and made some hillbilly cone wrenches. I built my own stand, and am working on the a wheel truing stand. I met someone that offered to give me a tool for thread the head tube. I will get it from him asap.

    I don't have the extra funds for a bunch of tools, but I try to buy one tool every other time that I visit the LBS.

    'Brick by Brick'

  16. #16
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger M View Post
    I don't have the extra funds for a bunch of tools, but I try to buy one tool every other time that I visit the LBS.

    'Brick by Brick'
    On a budget? Start watching your local Craigs List and pick up used tools instead. I picked up a nice Minoura work stand (MSRP $300 +) off the local Craigs List about six months ago for free. Why was it free? The guy had taken the mast apart to do some maintenance and could not figure out how to get it back together.

    Good deals on high end work stands in particular seem to show up C/L regularly, although most are not free. I recently picked up a Parks PRS2 workstand (double arm professional stand) off C/L for a nice price. You can't have too many good work stands.....

    I have also picked up several tools on ebay, picked up a Parks Tool axle vise yesterday, for $5 delivered. I picked up my Shimano cable cutter there as well, along with a couple older style Parks crank pullers (TA on one side, standard 22mm on the other).

    Find a couple of flip bikes to feed the bike fund, and use some of the proceeds on some nice tools.

  17. #17
    car dodger norskagent's Avatar
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    I started with a basic generic bike tool kit for ~$75 or so, but have slowly added to it through craigslist and individual purchases. If you are very patient and willing to "pop" on a buy (as they say on pickers), you can really score on craigslist. I have bought 2 vintage collections of bike tools this way, both with old campy and park tools, which allowed me to thin out my generic tool collection.
    1989 Schwinn Paramount OS
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    "I've consulted my sources and I'm pretty sure your derailleur does not exist"

  18. #18
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I have a LOT of tools and never enough. I'm constantly buying them.

    I have decided not to buy tools for working on frames. I just don't need them often enough. But I have a Park TS-2 truing stand, which I adore.

    More:
    2 dishing tools (bought second when I lost the first)
    cone wrenches
    pedal wrench
    headset wrenches
    fixed combination wrenches
    sockets and ratchet
    adjustable wrenches
    hammers, mallet
    workbench
    vise -- gotta get a better one
    zillions of pairs of pliers
    scillions of screwdrivers
    third hand for brakes
    lockring wrench
    allen wrenches
    floor pump
    Park dropout straightening tool
    jeweler's loupe
    cable cutter
    chain tools
    lots of freewheel extractors
    chain whips
    drill
    soldering iron
    brass bristle brushes
    shimano cassette lockring extractor
    crank extractors
    8/10mm brake wrench
    pin wrenches
    spoke wrenches
    tire levers
    files
    bike stand
    hanging scale
    tape measure
    axle vise
    analog, non-dial vernier caliper

    This is NOT a complete list. My workshop is too messy for me to see everything.

    I have no idea what I've spent, but clearly, it's many hundreds of dollars, over 35 years or so.

    Bill, thanks for the tip on the chain tool. I'm not happy with any of my chain tools lately.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  19. #19
    Senior Member r0ckh0und's Avatar
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    Before this past Spring I had about $200 invested in tools. Then this Spring I replied to a CL ad for a shop quality workstand and truing stand. The seller was a retired bike mechanic who had lost his vision. I asked if he had any tools to sell and he replied that he had tried selling them previously on CL and all the replies want specific tools. He had two rollers with a stacker on one and two stackers on the other loaded with bike and mechanics tools. I bought it at his asking price and flipped the bigger set of boxes and mechanics tools for a small profit and basically got a nice set of tools and a set of boxes for free. Purchased another tool set off CL around the same time with boxes, workstand, truing stand, numerous tools and several other items. I recovered about 2/3rds of that so far and again kept majority of the tools.
    Certified thread killer


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  20. #20
    creaky old bones FZ1Tom's Avatar
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    Great replies, great ideas! Do keep in mind though, that I live in a 1br apartment - I either have to work on bikes in my bedroom, or my living room/kitchen. Come to think of it though.....I wonder if the CEILING FAN is strong enough to hang a 25# road bike or (gulp!) a 34# hybrid from? I know the 550 paracord and hooks will hold. It is a big fan with lights and all...hmmm

    Tom

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen View Post
    Well, I got some Park Tools and some Pedro stuff and other tidbits; all very useful and utilitarian and such, but, when I want TOOLS I open up this box:

    I am missing the axle vise, but have the chainline tool. Did you know Campagnolo used to make a square section chainline tool? very cool, nickel plated, I wish I had one. About 6 mm square in section 450 to 500 mm long. I have collected over the years the various bits to do all threadings save Swiss fixed cups.

    I agree it is overkill for the tasks, but it is such a pleasure to use...

    I would like an old shop Park bike stand, and I missed on ebay long ago a cast iron wheel truing stand, I forgot to bid and before I signed up for a snipe service... Really hard to come by... I have never seen another since.

  22. #22
    Fuji Fan beech333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r0ckh0und View Post
    Before this past Spring I had about $200 invested in tools. Then this Spring I replied to a CL ad for a shop quality workstand and truing stand. The seller was a retired bike mechanic who had lost his vision. I asked if he had any tools to sell and he replied that he had tried selling them previously on CL and all the replies want specific tools. He had two rollers with a stacker on one and two stackers on the other loaded with bike and mechanics tools. I bought it at his asking price and flipped the bigger set of boxes and mechanics tools for a small profit and basically got a nice set of tools and a set of boxes for free. Purchased another tool set off CL around the same time with boxes, workstand, truing stand, numerous tools and several other items. I recovered about 2/3rds of that so far and again kept majority of the tools.
    I remember those. Great deals!!!
    Seeking a 165mm Sugino Super Mighty track crankset.

  23. #23
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    I'm sure its more than I think it is. In bike specific tools its probably $2,000 or so as I have Campy items like a fork race cutter, BB facing/tapping tool and wheel dish tool. My Elite Pro stand was around $300. At an average of $10 I have ~$150 in freewheel tools!!!
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  24. #24
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Less than $150 in bike tools and repair stand.
    Bike Tools occupy the bottom drawer of a 3-drawer tool box.
    The stand is the cheapest imaginable and about worthless.
    I am fortunate to buy the worn tools from LBS when he gets new ones.

    Bike Tools:
    Stand $40
    Pedal wrench $12
    Crank puller $8
    Third hand (from "bike nashbar" around 1981) $3.50
    Chain whip $6
    Chain tool $5
    Cartridge bb socket $5
    Cassette lock ring tool (Campy and Shimano) $10
    BB open-end wrench (34 and 36mm) $7
    Spoke wrench (the circle) $0 found in a seat bag of a purchase
    1 pack of 2 WalMart tire levers $3
    1 floor pump, Zefal from WalMart $20
    Presta adapter $1

    Non-Bike Tools I already had, though I picked up a second set of Allen wrenches
    2 sets of Metric allen wrenches, from very small to the crank arm bolt size
    1 Taiwan set of Sockets/Ratchets, metric
    1 Metric set of combination wrenches
    Channel-locks
    1 Needle-nose pliers w/cutter
    Hammer
    Hack saw
    Single edge razor blades
    2 Reg, 2 Phillips screwdrivers

    The savings, I guess, went into a seat bag for each of 6 bikes I ride regularly
    Zefal bag, $10
    2 CO2 cartridges, $8
    Inflator $10
    Presta adapter $1
    Tube $5
    5mm hex key $3
    WalMart tire lever $1.50

    38.50/bag, figure $40x6=$240

    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

    I'm not a doctor, but I watch them on TV.

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  25. #25
    Mostly Mischief jan nikolajsen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by repechage View Post
    I am missing the axle vise, but have the chainline tool. Did you know Campagnolo used to make a square section chainline tool? very cool, nickel plated, I wish I had one. About 6 mm square in section 450 to 500 mm long. I have collected over the years the various bits to do all threadings save Swiss fixed cups.

    I agree it is overkill for the tasks, but it is such a pleasure to use...
    I'll keep my eyes open for an axle vise for you. The only item missing in my set is the chainline tool, as you noticed. Mine is English threaded, which is what I use the most being into Dutch bikes. But, that said I wouldn't turn down a set of Italian BB guides and double taps...

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