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Useless and Worthless Tools

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Useless and Worthless Tools

Old 05-11-16, 04:03 PM
  #26  
cyccommute 
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Originally Posted by techsensei View Post
A couple of current threads got me thinking about tools that I think are inadequate, a waste of money, something I would never use, etc. For example, I've never bought a handlebar holder; the thing that keeps the front end of the bike from swinging when the bike is in a repair stand. The few times I tried one, it annoyed me more that the bars were immobile. Until I became a total tool geek, I'd never buy the "fake pedal" thingie either ... the thing you screw into the right crankarm for when you're building up a bike. Why not just screw in a pedal? Waste of money to look more "pro."

What tool do you never see yourself buying? What tools have you bought that you ended up regretting?
While I agree that the Park HBH-2 isn't the most useful tool I own and I don't use it much, it can come in handy. The DP-2 dummy pedal is extremely handy, however. Sure you can screw in a pedal but the dummy pedal isn't "screwed in". It's a taper that just shoves into place and is easy to remove.

Most useless tool I've ever owned was a chain cleaner. It isn't and it doesn't. About the only thing it's good for is spraying solvent all over the garage.
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Old 05-11-16, 04:25 PM
  #27  
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The Campagnolo offset seat post wrench:



Unless you have a Brooks Swallow saddle, or similar design with lots of clearance between the top of the seat post and the saddle, and no side skirts to get in the way, this wrench is no more useful than any other wrench. Park made a version with a 12-point end that was marginally better, but still no great shakes. A 10mm flex-head ratchet is the tool of choice:

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Old 05-11-16, 04:31 PM
  #28  
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Those gadgets that slide into the rear dropout and are supposed to hold the chain while the rear wheel is off. Could never figure out what problem that was solving exactly.
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Old 05-11-16, 04:38 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
I can't think of any bad tools I bought but years ago we got a shipment of made-in-Taiwan lock ring wrenches that said on them "Rock Ring Wrench".

I wish I could find the one I kept...
They were made by Hozan and I had one. Good tool but the guy who made the forging die obviously wasn't an English speaker.
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Old 05-11-16, 04:51 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Metaluna View Post
Those gadgets that slide into the rear dropout and are supposed to hold the chain while the rear wheel is off. Could never figure out what problem that was solving exactly.
I have one of those. I even use it once in a while. I'm pretty sure the problem it's supposed to solve is the bike owner feeling uncomfortable with the idea of having the chain resting on the chainstay. I suppose it might prevent a little bit of scratching of the paint once in a while if you're the careless sort.

If I'm not mistaken my Long Haul Trucker has a peg brazed on that accomplishes something similar. It must have some useful purpose.
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Old 05-11-16, 04:55 PM
  #31  
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I bought an external BB wrench while I was getting my build parts together and then bought a frame that uses a press-fit BB, so I guess it turned out to be useless for me.
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Old 05-11-16, 06:04 PM
  #32  
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I was just on YouTube and saw this tool; I had no idea such a thing existed. The big negative to me is that it only tunes the indexing, or tells you if the derailleur or hanger is bent. It will not help you adjust the limit screws, or the B tension screw, or tell you if the cable or housing is bad or if the chain and/or cassette is worn out. Plus it only works on Shimano and SRAM 9/10/11 speed systems, sorry Campy owners. You have both 9 and 10 speed bikes? You need two separate tools. Just too many limitations in my mind for $39.00. I guess it might be helpful to some though, but to me? Worthless.

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Old 05-11-16, 06:43 PM
  #33  
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Headset cup removal tool. Seriously? What's wrong with a hammer and screwdriver?
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Old 05-11-16, 06:59 PM
  #34  
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If there's one tool that I guess I wish I hadn't purchased it would most likely be that Park 3-way Allen tool. Yeah they look cool and all but as a tool they are pretty useless in my opinion because they are too big and cumbersome and don't fit into tight spots. The Bondhus Gorilla Grip Allen tool, on the other hand, is fantastic though. I recommend it highly!! That Park tool just gathers dust.

I worked in bike shops for years back in the 70's as a kid and the early 80's during college. That was before a lot of the boutique-y one-use type tools, third hands, fourth hands, cable pullers, etc. so we had to learn how to use real tools to do a real job. As a result I only bought real tools...and the highest quality I could find. I have a few bike specialty tools but they are so that I have truly the right tool to do the job the best. I also do 90% of the work on my own cars so I have quite the set of car tools also. I also worked as a carpenter to help put myself through college to so I have a full compliment of.....you get the picture....

The tools that I do wish I had that I just can't bring myself to buy are the following as they really are a time-saver in the long-run. Why I haven't bought #1 and #2 I have no idea. #3 is obviously too expensive.....:
1) VAR or Park clamp-type brake holder (aka the original "third hand") - When you have to turn over 10 to 15 or more bikes a day in repairs and builds, every 30 seconds counts and that tool saved a lot of time over the course of a week. Given the choice I take the Park spring clamp as the VAR would invariably slip at the worst possible moment.
2) Handlebar holder - yeah I really thought that tool made perfect sense when it came out years ago and still think that.
3) Saf-T-Kleen Parts washer - The MAC-daddy.

Last edited by drlogik; 05-11-16 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 05-11-16, 07:10 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
Finish Line Chain Cleaning Tool. "Drip-free design" they say. This thing will make a mess of your bike, the floor and anything else around.., and it does a terrible job of cleaning a chain.

Thanks, I was thinking of trying this, and now, I think I'll "just say no".
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Old 05-11-16, 07:13 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
^ this. I just sheared one end from mine. Does Park offer a Craftsman-like warranty?

Yeah, they have a lifetime warranty.

If you bought it from Performance, you can exchange it at any store. Nashbar you can send it back, or you can send it straight to park tool.
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Old 05-11-16, 07:16 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Park USED to have a good warranty. However I'll no longer buy a Park tool unless it's the ONLY tool made for the job. The Park warranty sucks and they refused to replace two tools i have that broke in use.

A warranty is only as good as the company's willingness to stand behind it. My experience is that Park does everything it can to get out of a warranty replacement of a tool. Other's may have had better luck but I've blacklisted Park tools as far as any of my future purchases go.

Cheers
That's why I find it less painful to return broken tools to Performance or Nashbar. I buy most tools from them and they both will take back any thing they they sold no questions asked.
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Old 05-11-16, 07:28 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by RoadGuy View Post
Yeah, they have a lifetime warranty.

If you bought it from Performance, you can exchange it at any store.

That's awesome, but the only thing that does is get you a new but same crappy tool (in the case of the chainring bolt tool).
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Old 05-11-16, 07:37 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by modelmartin View Post
Headset cup removal tool. Seriously? What's wrong with a hammer and screwdriver?
Possible flaring of the frame where the cups go if the pressure applied to the cup is a lot and the cup doesn't move. Possible damage to alloy headset cups. That's why I drilled and slotted an old steel seatpost to make my own headset removal tool. It contacts the cups on four areas not just one.

Tool With Lower Cup Removed by Miele Man, on Flickr
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Old 05-11-16, 08:26 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man
Park USED to have a good warranty. However I'll no longer buy a Park tool unless it's the ONLY tool made for the job. The Park warranty sucks and they refused to replace two tools i have that broke in use.

A warranty is only as good as the company's willingness to stand behind it. My experience is that Park does everything it can to get out of a warranty replacement of a tool. Other's may have had better luck but I've blacklisted Park tools as far as any of my future purchases go.

Cheers


Originally Posted by RoadGuy View Post
That's why I find it less painful to return broken tools to Performance or Nashbar. I buy most tools from them and they both will take back any thing they they sold no questions asked.
In which case it's PERFORMANCE or NASHBAR that's standing behind the warranty NOT park Tools. The shop i bought the tools from is a long way from me now.

No wonder so many are buying online rather than from brick and mortar shops.

Cheers
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Old 05-11-16, 08:27 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post


I need a pair of these for my 600 headset! I used normal wrenches very carefully with a rag underneath, but would like to have the correct tool.
He'd sell it to you, too. Except he knows that the day it goes into the mail he'll see no other headset for the next month.
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Old 05-11-16, 08:51 PM
  #42  
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Tool warranties are great; however, no warranty, no matter how good can make up for lackluster or poor quality. Tool fit on the fastener is crucial. No warranty will provide a perfect and tight tool fit. That is governed by the quality of manufacture. If you think you are saving money by buying cheap Allen wrenches, think again. Look at the fastener and those rounded flats. You don't get that with Bondhus Allen wrenches. They fit very tight on a high quality fastener...no wiggle at all. Just using that as an example.

Craftsman tools used to be made in America by Danaher. Now they are all almost exclusively made in China and are of inferior quality compared to their old American-made tools. I know, I have some of both and the difference in tool fit on the fastener is starkly different.

Park tools in general are fairly "decent" quality. I have found, though, that Hozan is often times better for the same price. If you can afford it, VAR, in my opinion, for bike specialty tools is top in the game; unless of course you have Campagnolo parts and Campy tools... That's why they are the most expensive. For regular tools I buy only Snap-On or Mac...oh and Bondhus for all Allen wrenches.

There is a reason why professional bike mechanics and car mechanics buy the most expensive and highest quality tools. It's because they fit the best and work the best.

Last edited by drlogik; 05-11-16 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 05-11-16, 09:02 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
But for me the SW-7 is easier to add a full turn or two to every spoke.
+1



The most useless tool I have is the Park Tool wheel dishing tool. Totally meaningless for someone who has a properly centered truing stand.
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Old 05-11-16, 09:54 PM
  #44  
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I bought one of the older Park Shimano Square taper BB tools that had no wrench flats, only a square socket hole for a 3/8" ratchet wrench. The tool would slip right out of the BB, no matter what I tried. On a later trip to the LBS, I noticed that Park had redesigned the tool so that it had both the 3/8" drives socket and a 1" hexagonal "nut" that a socket or wrench could grip. The 3/8" drive socket allowed me to screw a bolt into the BB axle to prevent the tool.from slipping out of the cartridge BB, while a 1" deep socket safely turns the tool.
Now I have this useless Park tool that I just can't seem to throw out, and its vastly improved successor version.......
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Old 05-11-16, 11:16 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by svgeek View Post
The most useless tool I have is the Park Tool wheel dishing tool. Totally meaningless for someone who has a properly centered truing stand.
I build wheels without a truing stand, making a dish tool useful. I made my own out of a 1x1 scrap of wood and 2 4-inch wood screws.
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Old 05-12-16, 07:30 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by modelmartin View Post
Headset cup removal tool. Seriously? What's wrong with a hammer and screwdriver?
Quick way to ruin fancy-pants aluminum headset parts. Or a perfectly good screwdriver.
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Old 05-12-16, 07:33 AM
  #47  
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No one has mentioned those round spoke wrenches. They do a wonderful job of rounding off spoke nipples.
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Old 05-12-16, 08:27 AM
  #48  
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I have a aluminum tool to hold your freewheel remover, with your QR Skewer, to take the freewheel off ,
... using a fence rail or something, Touring, in the Bush.
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Old 05-12-16, 08:30 AM
  #49  
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Don't know how you could ruin a screwdriver on aluminum cups. I simply haven't had an issue. Maybe I do it artfully enough.
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Old 05-12-16, 09:02 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Ronsonic View Post
He'd sell it to you, too. Except he knows that the day it goes into the mail he'll see no other headset for the next month.
Thread diversion here, but if someone (in the US) sent me $10, I'd gladly ship those to him/her. First PM wins..



Fast Jake is the winner.
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