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putting together a list of all the tools I need...

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putting together a list of all the tools I need...

Old 10-08-15, 01:12 AM
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T Stew
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putting together a list of all the tools I need...

I posted a while back one of the toolkits you can buy and got some feedback that several of the tools were garbage, it didn't come with some tools I'd need, and also it came with some I didn't need or common things I already have. Seems the thought was just to get what you need when you need it. Well for bike-specific tools I really have nothing except for Topeak Alien II multifunction tool. I do have all sorts of normal tools, wrenches, screwdrivers, ratchets, etc. But since I am new to bike mechanics I don't know what it is exactly that I'll need, so I have been trying to look up each item I plan to replace for an instal/removal guide to see if it needs special tools. I'l eventually have to do that anyway when I get ready to do it, but its somewhat a pain to watch all those videos just to see what tools I may need ahead of time, but I have gone through just about every piece that comes to mind.

I'd like to post up my current list of tools I think I'll need, and see if anyone has suggestion for an alternate tool that may be cheaper, or one that needs to be higher quality, etc. And if I've missed something I'll need please chime in. I basically want to put it all into one order on amazon, but if better prices are elsewhere I'd consider it too but so far amazon seems far cheaper on tools.

Tools depend on the bike components so I'll mention briefly what I am doing. I'm updating 2 vintage bikes to modern (or more mdoernish) components. Basically I will need to strip them down to the frame. 1988 Schwinn Prologue and Tempo. Tempo has all Shimano 105 6 speed components. Prologue is Suntour Sprint 7 speed components. Both will be upgraded to 10 speed, mostly with Dura Ace components (for example Prologue will be 7800 crank, RD, brakes, and 7900 barcons, 79 brake levers). Tempo will be similar but using brand new Campy 10 sp Ergos and brakes with Jtek shiftmate to the rest of shimano components.

Here is a list I put together and amazon prices.

Torque Wrench: VENZO bike torque wrench $50
Chain tool: Park Tool CT-3 $28
Crank puller: Park Tool CWP-7 $13
Bottom bracket tool: Park Tool BBT-19 $20
Shimano Hollowtech II crank arm / cap tool $4
Chainring bolt tool: Park CNW-2 $5
BB Lock Ring Spanner: Park HCW-5 $14
Cassette tool: Park FR-5 $7
Master Link Tool: Park MLP-1.2 $14


Optionally I may need:
Chain whip: Park SR-1 $21
Headset wrenches? Not sure if I can just use normal wrenches...
Tire levers... my veloflex says fingers only and I can use my alien tool in a pinch
Chain cleaning stuff?
Cable cutter? Do I need something better than my various other cable/wire cutters?
Bike repair stand... going to try and DIY this

I'd appreciate any feedback on these items, or suggestions if I missed something I may need.
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Old 10-08-15, 02:06 AM
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Bike tool kit often can be good value for money, the problem with them, is that they are often slow to keep up with changes in technology/bike specs, so may not have the tools you need/have tools you don't.

In your case, you need tools to cover a range of specs, so buying individually makes much more sense than in a kit.

Would move the cable cutters to essentials for what you are proposing, and a stand of some sort would make you life much easier if doing a lot of work on bikes.

Also, although Park are great, there are plenty of other good bike tool manufactuers out there (Topeak, Birzman, Pedros, VAR, Shimano, to name a few), and for things like hex & torque wrenches, they aren't bike specific.

If your not dealing with Carbon parts, would probably miss the Torque wrench out as it's a nice to have, but not essential, and would go with a stand over this.
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Old 10-08-15, 06:44 AM
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Sunlite makes a combination chain whip and lock ring removal tool that's less expensive than the separate tools. It works fine for me.

+1 on the DIY stand. I screwed bike hanger hooks (the vinyl-covered kind) into either end of a piece of 2x4 and hang it from a pipe in my basement ceiling. You could also suspend it from a hook in your garage ceiling. I hang the bike from the lower hook by its top tube or any other part of the frame, depending on the job. Usually, you just need to get the rear wheel off the floor.

A sharp, new pair of decent wire cutters from Home Depot will cut a cable cleanly and also work for non-bike-related stuff.

Try to buy tools in groups for the immediate job you are doing. You should be able to make the minimum dollar amount for free shipping on most orders (usually $35 on Amazon). Avoid planning too far ahead or you may end up with tools you'll never need.
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Old 10-08-15, 01:03 PM
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Since you are stripping some bikes to upgrade them to modern components then I would not invest in the tools needed for the old parts and just invest in the tools needed for the new parts. If you can't remove something with the tools you have then use a LBS or CoOp for the one time you will need a specific tool to remove a component. For the most part this refers to headsets and bottom brackets. It could also include hubs if you are going to be using hubs with cartridge bearings that do not need cone wrenches to adjust the bearing pre-load.

If budget is an issue you can use a loop of chord strung from a hook in a rafter or ceiling beam. Pass the loop over and around the seat and the bike will hang down at angle. This is perfect for everything except high torque jobs such as bottom bracket and square taper crank install...but even in a real repair stand it is best to put the bike on the ground for those jobs as well. There are pro shops here in Belgium that use variations of the chord loop method especially since carbon has become the material of choice for road riding....less chance of the shop cracking the frame or seatpost while clamping or working on the bike.

What crankset will you be using? Will you be replacing the threaded forks with a threadless fork?


For removing a threaded road headset you only need one 32mm wrench. If you are going to continue using a threaded headset and fork then you will need one 32mm headset wrench and one large adjustable wrench or a regular 32mm open end wrench.

Instead of the lockring spanner us a mallet and screw driver to carefully tap the lockring off and then invest the money you saved by buying a good cable cutter...in the long run you will be glad you did. I am still using the cable cutter I bought in the late 80s.

For 10spd the chainwhip is only optional if you do not intend to ever remove the cassette...you won't need it for the install but to remove the lockring it or a variant is required.

Forget a chain cleaning tool, they make a mess...just get a mason jar and mineral spirits...use the masterlink tool to separate the chain and clean off the bike.

A third hand tool or a fourth hand tool is nice to have for working on brake calipers.

I would also recommend you save money on the torque wrench. Unless you are going to be using carbon fiber parts such as h-bars, stem, seatpost then a torque wrench will be superfluous on any of the parts you will be using. Especially since you are going to be using a Hollowtech II crank arm. If you were going with a square taper crank and bb then I would recommend a 3/8inch drive or 1/2inch drive torque wrench for the install of both a cartridge bb and the crankarm bolts.

The prologue and tempo were nice bikes back in the day. Good luck with your project and post some picks when you are done.

-j
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Old 10-08-15, 05:26 PM
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Thanks all for the advice fellas!

Originally Posted by Greenfieldja View Post
Since you are stripping some bikes to upgrade them to modern components then I would not invest in the tools needed for the old parts and just invest in the tools needed for the new parts. If you can't remove something with the tools you have then use a LBS or CoOp for the one time you will need a specific tool to remove a component. For the most part this refers to headsets and bottom brackets. It could also include hubs if you are going to be using hubs with cartridge bearings that do not need cone wrenches to adjust the bearing pre-load.
I don't mind buying a couple tools that I may not have much use for after the teardown to save a trip to the LBS. I have no LBS, dependent on your definition of 'local', and with driving a V10 it would cost me as much in gas (and time). But I will still have a vintage bike in original form (LeTour) and also I plan on expanding my vintage collection in the future (looking at a couple Voyageurs right now for more of a touring setup) so I may end up needing them again anyhow. So anything that I'll need at least a couple times, unless its really pricey like over $50, I'll just get.

Originally Posted by Greenfieldja View Post
What crankset will you be using? Will you be replacing the threaded forks with a threadless fork?

For removing a threaded road headset you only need one 32mm wrench. If you are going to continue using a threaded headset and fork then you will need one 32mm headset wrench and one large adjustable wrench or a regular 32mm open end wrench.
Dura Ace 7800, on at least one if not both. I am debating on trying a lightweight carbon crank like the FSA K-force or SL-k on the Prologue if I can get a good deal on one. But I just might use DA 7800 on both. As of now I plan on using the original forks. But I'd like to replace the 105 headset on the Tempo with perhaps a new Stronglight A7 or other polished one.


Originally Posted by Greenfieldja View Post
Instead of the lockring spanner us a mallet and screw driver to carefully tap the lockring off and then invest the money you saved by buying a good cable cutter...in the long run you will be glad you did. I am still using the cable cutter I bought in the late 80s.

For 10spd the chainwhip is only optional if you do not intend to ever remove the cassette...you won't need it for the install but to remove the lockring it or a variant is required.
I wondered about the lockring spanner but didn't know how hard it would be to remove. I may just buy the combo tool habilis mentioned with a chain whip and lockring in one. I put the chainwhip in optional since I don't need it right away. Yeah if I remove it later I know I'll need it.

Originally Posted by Greenfieldja View Post
I would also recommend you save money on the torque wrench. Unless you are going to be using carbon fiber parts such as h-bars, stem, seatpost then a torque wrench will be superfluous on any of the parts you will be using. Especially since you are going to be using a Hollowtech II crank arm. If you were going with a square taper crank and bb then I would recommend a 3/8inch drive or 1/2inch drive torque wrench for the install of both a cartridge bb and the crankarm bolts.
Well I already have some parts that specify particular torque value such as aluminum chainring bolts. I've been meaning to get one for a while anyhow, seems like I always come across something I wish I had a small torque wrench for so I knew it was tightened properly. I have a large torque wrench already, but that isn't suitable for small torque values. I have been looking at some carbon fiber parts, I got an all cf seat already on the prologue but having trouble justifying cf for many other parts... my aluminum seatpost I got (Thomson Masterpiece) is already lighter than the carbon posts I looked at and I was actually thinking about trimming it down even more.

I'm not strapped for cash that I need to sacrifice getting one tool for another, I just don't want to waste money unnecessarily. I'm frugal.

I've already got a good design I think for a stand, and I'll likely be able to build it with everything I have on hand already. Perhaps I may have to buy a can of spray paint to make it look nicer. I was really looking at the Park Tool PCS-9 but for almost $150 I was comparing it too a harbor freight engine stand that was infinity more heavy duty and half the price. Or for the same price you could get an engine hoist too, that has probably 100 lbs more metal in it plus wheels and a hydraulic cyclinder. Seems a bike stand is maybe $20 worth of material and the other $100+ profit? Ridiculous. I'm thinking of basically just making a bike clamp attachment on the end of my engine hoist.
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Old 10-08-15, 05:44 PM
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There is nothing so special about aluminum chainring bolts that requires them to need a torque wrench for installation. If you were mounting them on CF crank then perhaps, but on an aluminum crank nah.

You can spend a bit of time on making a stand or a bit of money on a purpose built one. Most of the folks I know that have purchased a purpose built repair stand did not regret it and had wished they bought one sooner. I am not going to try to convince you to not make your own, I just know from experience that their are some really nice stands on the market that work exceptionally well out of the box. If you prefer to kludge something together and spend your time tweaking it to get it to work well that is fine too, lots of folks do this.

You seem set on collecting schwinns...nothing wrong with that but there are other bikes out there that were good sport/touring bikes. Also, don't mistake old for vintage. Although the prologue and the tempo were nice bikes back in their day there is nothing all that "vintage" about them. Now a Paramount from the same era or a couple years earlier would be considered vintage.

-j
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Old 10-08-15, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by T Stew View Post
Tools depend on the bike components so I'll mention briefly what I am doing. I'm updating 2 vintage bikes to modern (or more mdoernish) components. Basically I will need to strip them down to the frame. 1988 Schwinn Prologue and Tempo. Tempo has all Shimano 105 6 speed components. Prologue is Suntour Sprint 7 speed components. Both will be upgraded to 10 speed, mostly with Dura Ace components (for example Prologue will be 7800 crank, RD, brakes, and 7900 barcons, 79 brake levers). Tempo will be similar but using brand new Campy 10 sp Ergos and brakes with Jtek shiftmate to the rest of shimano components.

Here is a list I put together and amazon prices.

Torque Wrench: VENZO bike torque wrench $50
You may want a 3/8" torque wrench which goes to 50NM for things like cassettes (people often don't get them tight enough), some crank arms (some come loose with too little torque at which point they deform and require replacement, some have aluminum fasteners which strip or round-off with too much), and maybe bottom bracket cups (you'll want a wrench which works in reverse there)

Elsewhere torque usually isn't important ("snug" scaled for the fastener and corresponding wrench is fine) unless carbon fiber is involved, at which point you may just want a fixed 5 Nm key that's less likely to have part-breaking accuracy problems.

Chain tool: Park Tool CT-3 $28
The CT-5 is fine and fits a small wedge pack for on the road use. You won't need it often, but will be happy to have it if you ever bend a link or break a chain (plus a spare master link or two).

Last Saturday my chain came off my big ring, formed two loops in opposite directions, and went back on at which point it hung up on the rear derailleur. One link bent enough it was catching on adjacent cogs in some gear combinations after I unlooped it. A few years ago I broke a chain. Over 20 years I've only broken 2-3 more although it happens and the right tools are the difference between riding and walking.

Chainring bolt tool: Park CNW-2 $5
I've never needed one, and new nuts often take a hex key.

Cassette tool: Park FR-5 $7
Get the FR-5G with the post. It'll stay parked when you use it with a 1" socket and torque wrench.

Chain whip: Park SR-1 $21
You need a chain whip to remove cassettes which are wear items that eventually require replacement.

Headset wrenches? Not sure if I can just use normal wrenches...
Yes. Normal wrenches may be too fat, and quality ones will be much more expensive.

Cable cutter? Do I need something better than my various other cable/wire cutters?
Cable cutters avoid fraying. The Park is affordable; Felco makes nicer ones.

Bike repair stand... going to try and DIY this
The Park PCS-10 is nice. I have a Spin Doctor at home which isn't - it's a pain to adjust the rotation with a bike mounted and there's no quick release on the clamp. The PCS-10 we have at work is better.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 10-08-15 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 10-08-15, 06:42 PM
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FYI, Harbor Freight is having a sale on torque wrenches, 1/4, 3/8 or 1/2 inch drive, $11.99 with a coupon. I have all 3 and they check out fine on the calibrator at work.
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Old 10-09-15, 05:52 AM
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A good hex wrench set would be a good investment. Something with long arms for extra torque when needed. Most are in the 2mm - 10mm size range. Also a pedal wrench would be good.
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Old 10-09-15, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by habilis View Post
A sharp, new pair of decent wire cutters from Home Depot will cut a cable cleanly and also work for non-bike-related stuff.
Been my experience that wire cutters are great for housing, but cables(especially brake since they are thicker) do poorly when cut with a cutter from Home Depot. The $19 wire cutters I got from there specifically say not for stainless steel. The thinner shifter cables cut fine, but brake cables fray like crazy.
Spin Doctor cutters from Performance are $20. Pedro cutters are $23 on Amazon. For me, this is one of those times when a dual purpose tool doesn't cut it(literally).
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Old 10-09-15, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Le Mechanic View Post
A good hex wrench set would be a good investment. Something with long arms for extra torque when needed. Most are in the 2mm - 10mm size range. Also a pedal wrench would be good.
I've got plenty of hex wrench sets, and haven't had a problem using wrenches I have for pedals so think I'll be fine.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Been my experience that wire cutters are great for housing, but cables(especially brake since they are thicker) do poorly when cut with a cutter from Home Depot. The $19 wire cutters I got from there specifically say not for stainless steel. The thinner shifter cables cut fine, but brake cables fray like crazy.
Spin Doctor cutters from Performance are $20. Pedro cutters are $23 on Amazon. For me, this is one of those times when a dual purpose tool doesn't cut it(literally).
How about Jagwire cutters that have a nice crimper built in? Looks like they got better reviews on amazon than all others...

$26 on amazon


Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
The CT-5 is fine and fits a small wedge pack for on the road use. You won't need it often, but will be happy to have it if you ever bend a link or break a chain (plus a spare master link or two).
I have a chain tool on my Topeak Alien II I take on the bike so I don't need another one to be portable. I could even just use the alien tool in the shop, but I don't want to break it and either render the whole multi tool useless or have to take another chain tool in addition to the multi tool. I'd rather just save that for emergencies and use something a bit more robust and easier to use in the shop.

Also, I'll probably skip the chainring tool as all my new chainring bolts are hex and the ones and I was able to remove one of the sets today without needing anything special.

I'll bump up the chainwhip to required now since I just realized the used wheelset I got for one of my bikes has a cassette on it that I'll have to remove. Any thoughts on the Sunlite combination chain whip and lock ring removal tool that Habilis mentioned?

I'll add a headset wrench to the order as well. They seem to be all multi-fit with different sections for 30mm ,32mm, etc. Sometimes those multi fit ones engage a smaller area on the nut IME and could more easily damage or not work as well. Are those okay or should I look for just a 32mm one? (assuming 32 is the right size).


Originally Posted by Greenfieldja View Post
There is nothing so special about aluminum chainring bolts that requires them to need a torque wrench for installation. If you were mounting them on CF crank then perhaps, but on an aluminum crank nah.
I've stripped plenty of steel bolts in my day. Aluminum is much more delicate. I apparently lack the finesse to judge proper torque. I'd rather be safe then sorry, especially when they specify a max torque. But its no big deal I needed one anyhow for various other projects.

Originally Posted by Greenfieldja View Post
You seem set on collecting schwinns...nothing wrong with that but there are other bikes out there that were good sport/touring bikes. Also, don't mistake old for vintage. Although the prologue and the tempo were nice bikes back in their day there is nothing all that "vintage" about them. Now a Paramount from the same era or a couple years earlier would be considered vintage.
Well that is an entirely unrelated topic to tools. I really could care less about brand names, I just got my first Schwinn for dirt cheap. The Schwinns seem to have a great bang for the buck since they perform well but often are found fairly cheap. After I studied up on them and realized the late 80's seemed to be when they were at their prime I also stumbled on the two others at the same time on ebay and decided to get em both. They all happened to be the same year. So now I am on sort of a mission to collect a few more of their better models from that time period. Paramount isnt much better than the Prologue to justify the huge cost difference IMO so I'll likely never own one. I may be using the wrong term of 'vintage' I was merely referring to the older generation of bikes with freewheels and DT shifters, such as discussed in the 'classic and vintage' sub-forum. I'll be happy to expand my collection later, but right now I really like the 3 I have and with a few upgrades they will be even more useful to me.

Thanks everyone for all the help. I think I've got a pretty good shopping list going.
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Old 10-09-15, 08:23 PM
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Spin Doctor Essential Tool Kit
Will include most of the tools, for $49.

I would second, or third the bike stand, I got it from nashbar on one of those 25% off for a great price, it's super valuable for adjusting derailleurs, brakes and cleaning the bike. Check on craigslist to see if you find a good one
REI recently had a $20 off + the 10% cash back.
I would also buy the parktool cable cutter in the future, replacing cables at home, is very easy and cheap, you can get new cables for $6 whereas my bikeshop would charge $60.
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Old 10-09-15, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
FYI, Harbor Freight is having a sale on torque wrenches, 1/4, 3/8 or 1/2 inch drive, $11.99 with a coupon. I have all 3 and they check out fine on the calibrator at work.
Nice. However, I see them listed at $22 with 20% off. So, closer to $18.

TStew, what is your timeline for these projects? Black Friday is still a ways off but if you can wait until then, you can save a nice chunk of change.

Or, check out the nashbar and performance sites for 25% off sales.
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Old 10-09-15, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
FYI, Harbor Freight is having a sale on torque wrenches, 1/4, 3/8 or 1/2 inch drive, $11.99 with a coupon. I have all 3 and they check out fine on the calibrator at work.
BS. Anyone who knows anything about precision torque tools knows that by definition, even "good" clickable style torque wrenches are NOT capable of checking out fine on a certified bench tester. They can't accurately function over the bottom 25% of their range as a function of design. This is for the "good" clickable types (Craftsman etc.). If you follow tool forums online you'll realize that Harbor Freight torque wrenches are never tested as being close to being within calibration, new off the shelf, don't hold a calibration if sent into a lab for certification, and even for a home mechanic shouldn't be used except as socket wrenches.

There are tools that one can buy at Harbor Freight, but precision tools are amongst those. Any home mechanic or professional shop should save their money and NEVER buy a clickable style torque wrench sold within the bicycle industry (Park, Pedro's, Effetto Mariposo, Ritchey). Even a Craftsman isn't all that much better. However, a Harbor Freight torque wrench checking out for calibration? That's BS on its face. A clickable style torque wrench, by design, is NOT even capable of "checking out" in calibration. They aren't accurate over their range. When you certify a torque wrench, or check one for calibration you examine the tool versus the bench tester at various points over the tool's range. A clickable type torque wrench, by design, is inaccurate over that range. They can NOT even effectively be used over the lower 25% of the range regardless of the quality of the tool. I hate to say it but I'm calling BS. I think the above poster just wanted to validate his waste of money on some socket wrenches he thought were torque wrenches. If they are HF they should never be confused with something you would actually call a torque wrench.

Most torque wrenches are completely inaccurate over the ENTIRE range of the tool. Anyone who knows anything about torque wrenches knows that "clickable" torque wrenches which Park, Pedro's, Craftsman, and Harbor Freight sell have completely wild swings in accuracy over the range of the settings. Beyond that its just a poor flawed design. Most people don't realize that you can't leave a "clickable type" torque wrench SET at a given setting without knocking the tool out of calibration. Most people don't know that you can't and shouldn't use a click-type torque wrench on the lower 25% of its range, as its essentially completely out of calibration by design. Most people don't realize that if you ever set a clickable or dial-type torque wrench down harshly, let alone actually drop one, they are knocked out of calibration, losing what little accuracy they did have. I have a Craftsman click-style dial-type that is much more accurate than a Park, or Pedro's and compared to my Precision Instruments dial-type I consider it a socket wrench. Its about useless as a precision tool. There is a reason that the Pro's Closet has been dumping a bunch of broken inaccurate Park clickable torque wrenches on eBay. The hilarious thing is that all the buyers are just spending $60 to buy blue socket wrenches, that are essentially useless as precision tools to measure torque. Sadly, most of those are broken to begin with. I suspect most of the buyers are dishonest and just plan to order a new one from say Nashbar and return the old broken ones. The joke will be on those dishonest schemers. Even a new Park clickable style torque wrench is NOT a quality precision tool.

In the military and in some industrial applications (spacecraft, racing, technology, etc.) there are contexts where technicians have to have their tools bench tested against a testing apparatus multiple times a day. Clickable style torque wrenches are almost NEVER used in those industries or in those contexts, and in cases in the Navy where they had clickable style wrenches they constantly had to be pulled from rotation, in an attempt to recalibrate and recertify because they don't hold a calibration with any use. In any context that actually matters a dial-type accurate torque wrench or a split beam torque wrench is almost always the tool of choice.

The standard for "good" torque wrenches is Precision Instruments. If the torque setting matters then you use a PI tool. Other makers that are almost as good, are They are essentially the company that invented the torque wrench back in the day. Their Dial type design hasn't really been improved over the years. They've sold their wrenches on their name and also branded for Snap-On and other good tool makers. A Precision Instruments dial-type torque wrench will essentially be guaranteed to be accurate to within 2% over its ENTIRE range.

Whereas a nearly new Park, Craftsman, Pedro's, or Harbor Freight can be wildly inaccurate (up to 25%) at different points in the range and still be almost entirely useless over the lower 25% of their range. They can't be left with a setting dialed-in or they have to be recalibrated, and that only brings them back to essentially their guesstimation status in the first place. They can't be set down harhly, or dropped or they need to be recalibrated.

In a shop with multiple mechanics, I don't recommend a dial-type torque wrench where a tool is likely to be knocked off the bench with a lot of users working around each other. In that context I like a split-beam torque wrench. Unlike a glorified socket wrench (which is what a clickable type really is) or a good quality dial-type, you can actually knock a split-beam torque wrench off your bench all day long and it won't affect the accuracy of the precision tool. The downside is instead of getting a tool that is 2% accurate over its entire range, like a Precision Instruments branded dial-type torque wrench is, you lose some accuracy with a split-beam design. For example a Precision Instruments split-beam wrench is accurate to about 4% over the top 80% of its range. Like a Park, Pedro's, Craftsman or Harbor Freight flickable type you still can't/shouldn't use it over the lower 25% of the range, for the split-beam its actually just 20%, but they are at least a precision tool and not a glorified socket wrench.

You can pretty much tell a crappy bike shop by the tools they use. If all they have is a Effetto Mariposo, Park, Pedros, Ritchey, Craftsman or god forbid a Harbor Freight clickable type torque wrench who knows how many square taper cranks they've ruined over the years.

In motorsports, technology, spacecraft, avionics, or in the military anyone who knows anything about torque wrenches that works in a context where tools need to be calibrated, certified, and constantly checked throughout production they DO NOT USE clickable type tools. They use split-beam and dial type tools. Why? Anything else is NOT a precision tool.

I love Precision Instruments dial type torque wrenches. I don't anyone touch mine, I'll let them use a Park or the Craftsman torque wrenches, but not my Precision Instruments dial type torque wrenches. i'm careful, I've never dropped one. They are expensive at around $150, but they have accuracy that no other manufacturer or type can come close to.

In fact, when you start working with a good torque wrench something funny happens. The required torque spec for some components are beyond the the components capacity to bear that spec. Manufacturers base their torque specs for things like a square taper crank on tools that aren't accurate. If you properly try to attach the crank to a square taper BB using the recommended torque spec using a precision tool, believe it or not you'll usually strip the crank bolt threading before you'll get anywhere close to that much force.

That's how wildly inaccurate most Park, Pedro's, Craftsman, and Harbor Freight clickable types are. They'll tell you the crank bolt is tightened "to spec" long before you even get close.

Which begs the question, what's the "real" torque spec if one is using precision tools and good torque wrenches and not clickable type glorified socket wrenches?

For those that insist on using a "clickable" type torque wrench, Precision Instruments does make a version that eliminates most of the friction that makes that type of tool design nothing but a glorified socket wrench. They aren't as accurate as a Dial-Type, they aren't as durable as a split-beam type, but they absolutely are a real precision torque wrench unlike anything sold in the bicycle industry (Park, Pedros, Effetta, Ritchey, etc.).

What am I talking about in all of this?

Precision Instruments: The Finest Torque Wrenches

Spend some time on motorsports, technology, or tool forums and blogs and you'll realize the disdain people have for clickable style glorified socket wrenches and the respect people have for PI torque tools. Other good makes Snap-On, CDI (actually a Snap-On brand now), Danaher, Proto, etc.

http://www.myturbodiesel.com/wiki/to...nd-how-to-use/

However, PI is was and always will be the standard.

Interestingly HF makes a digital torque adaptor that actually DOES test out to be accurate, but for how long is anyone's guess:

http://www.harborfreight.com/12-in-d...ter-68283.html

Last edited by mtnbke; 10-10-15 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 10-10-15, 06:00 AM
  #15  
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An interesting and thorough examination of torque wrenches and their limitations. An underlying fact is that there is no substitute for experience with wrenching on various kinds of threaded fasteners made of various materials - including the occasional non-metallic ones. Lots of damage is preventable just by developing a sense of "feel," and making sure that threads are clean and lightly oiled. If you err on the side of "too loose," you will USUALLY get a second chance to tighten something before it is damaged. Wheel bearings are a good example. However, "too tight" can be fatal to a fastener or an expensive part.
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Old 10-10-15, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Been my experience that wire cutters are great for housing, but cables(especially brake since they are thicker) do poorly when cut with a cutter from Home Depot. The $19 wire cutters I got from there specifically say not for stainless steel. The thinner shifter cables cut fine, but brake cables fray like crazy.
Spin Doctor cutters from Performance are $20. Pedro cutters are $23 on Amazon. For me, this is one of those times when a dual purpose tool doesn't cut it(literally).
I should have admitted that conventional wire cutters are not necessarily the easiest way to cut either cables or housings. It's true that braided cables are prone to fraying. Since side-cutting wire cutters attack the cable from one side, they sometimes require a second cut from the opposite side. Housings usually need some reaming of the cut end with an awl or similar tool to open them up.

Is it easier to do these jobs with purpose-designed tools? No doubt. As with all home-brewed solutions, it's a trade-off between convenience and cost. How many cables will the OP need to cut per year? I've cut only a dozen or so this year. However, $20 for the bicycle-specific tool is not a big investment.

Maintenance stands, truing stands, etc.? Now we are getting into high cost and a lot of clutter for the average home mechanic, especially since substitutes are easily improvised. Youtube is the most complete and versatile tool chest ever created.
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Old 10-10-15, 10:19 AM
  #17  
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Thanks for the thorough info on torque wrenches, mtnbke. We go from one extreme to the other, torque wrenches not necessary at all, to mill spec wrenches good enough for aircraft. How about this... if I ever strip out or otherwise damage a fastner or part when using a cheap torque wrench to the parts specs I'll buy a Precision Instrument one. I'd already ordered one before reading that, a compromise in quality and price I'm sure, but I'm hoping good enough for bike purposes to prevent stripping things out at least. Venzo Torque Wrench. I have a large 1/2" Craftsman beam wrench for larger jobs already.

Originally Posted by calimtb View Post
TStew, what is your timeline for these projects? Black Friday is still a ways off but if you can wait until then, you can save a nice chunk of change.
Or, check out the nashbar and performance sites for 25% off sales.
They will be winter projects. I probably won't ride much in the winter anyhow, so good time to take the bikes down for service. Though I do want to get started on disassemble the Tempo soon. I think I can probably do that will all standard tools except for the cranks. I was thinking about touching up the paint and/or coating it with a protective coat before it gets too cold out but I may have missed that mark unless we have a warm day late in October or November, or I bring the frame inside. Think I can really beat amazon prices on black friday? They seemed to already be far cheaper than most places I've checked. Haven't looked at Nashbar though. I'll check around more before I pull the trigger.

As far as the bikestand goes, I checked my resources in the garage and think I have all the parts I need and a good design. I might make something this weekend yet. I'm not spending $100+ on something worth $20, but I realize not everyone has fabrication skills and a shop full of tools. I enjoy the DIY method even when you don't save significant money.
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