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Old 09-07-10, 10:55 AM   #1
FZ1Tom
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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
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Old 09-07-10, 10:58 AM   #2
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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
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Old 09-07-10, 11:00 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 09-07-10, 11:01 AM   #4
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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:

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Old 09-07-10, 11:13 AM   #5
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jan, that photo makes me absolutely sick with envy...
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Old 09-07-10, 11:26 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 09-07-10, 11:34 AM   #7
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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
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Old 09-07-10, 11:41 AM   #8
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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
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Old 09-07-10, 11:43 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 09-07-10, 11:50 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 09-07-10, 11:53 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 09-07-10, 12:01 PM   #12
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A bench grinder and a good vice are nearly indispensable tools... and they don't have to cost that much.
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Old 09-07-10, 12:11 PM   #13
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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.

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Old 09-07-10, 02:32 PM   #14
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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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Old 09-07-10, 02:42 PM   #15
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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'
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Old 09-07-10, 04:12 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 09-07-10, 04:20 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 09-07-10, 04:31 PM   #18
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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.
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Old 09-07-10, 04:32 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 09-07-10, 05:17 PM   #20
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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
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Old 09-07-10, 05:26 PM   #21
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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.
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Old 09-07-10, 05:51 PM   #22
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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!!!
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Old 09-07-10, 05:59 PM   #23
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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!!!
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Old 09-07-10, 06:30 PM   #24
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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
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Old 09-07-10, 06:44 PM   #25
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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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