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building my toolkit for bottom bracket work

Old 09-14-23, 10:17 AM
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building my toolkit for bottom bracket work

Hey Forum-ers, I need advice for working on bottom brackets, I don't do much of this work. I work at a non-profit community bike shop. We get donated bikes to repair and give (most) away. Occasionally, We get bikes with various states of bottom bracket wear. I'm building out my toolkit. I'm about to order this: Park Tool (109917) HCW-5 Lock Spanner. What other tools do you recommend? TIA.

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Old 09-14-23, 10:54 AM
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Are there other mechanic's there at the non-profit that have been working there for a while. They'll be your best guide for what's needed there at that shop. Get what they have and maybe get the one BB tool that they don't have for the occasional odd ball BB that goes through that shop. I've only used that HCW-5 once or twice. The BBT-9 I've used more often. But I generally just work on my own bikes. And all lately for the last 10 years everything I have use two piece Shimano cranks.

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Old 09-14-23, 11:30 AM
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Thanks Iím also checking with our proís. We have a robust tool set at our shop. This request is to build out my personal toolkit
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Old 09-14-23, 11:43 AM
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Park Tools has about 18 different tools for bottom brackets.

You could get one of each, but you'd still need a pair of the Phil Wood tools in case you run across one of them.

It might be worth your time to better define what you want and why you want it/them.
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Old 09-14-23, 11:48 AM
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Thanks for the response. Yea I get it, Iíll figure out what I work on most and go from there. Crank puller for sureÖ.
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Old 09-14-23, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by bike_forum_geek
Thanks I’m also checking with our pro’s. We have a robust tool set at our shop. This request is to build out my personal toolkit
If all you do is volunteer at the shop and maybe your own DIY, then accumulating BB tools will be a expensive thing leaving you with BB tools you may never use. And using up your money that will be better spent on tools you do use often. If you wrench on a bike professionally for a living, then that's a different discussion about tools altogether.

Though I'm not sure what tools you do need over and above the couple screw drivers, cone wrenches and a few hex keys and a torx or two. Maybe a chain whip, but for DIY at home, I can use a old chain and a stick to do the same thing. You might spend some money to get a good work stand for bikes and maybe the truing stand and tension meters you need for wheels if you want to specialize in wheels.
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Old 09-14-23, 11:54 AM
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Is this to work on your own bikes? Or anything that comes into the shop?
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Old 09-14-23, 12:19 PM
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I empathise with the manís desire to acquire tools.

I bought a Park Tool HHP-2 about 2 years ago, have used it once and still love it. Headset and pressfit BBs (with the right adapters, that ensure pressure on the outer bearing only)
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Old 09-14-23, 12:34 PM
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Some make do retaining tools.
8x1mm bolts of a couple different lengths, flat washers, wood block to act as a large washer, big hammer...



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Old 09-14-23, 12:42 PM
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i bought a used HCW-5 for $5 a couple weeks ago.
i found a 6 notch lockring on a BB two days later... the HCW-5 was such a poor fit that i grabbed my 4 decades old Sugino single tooth wrench and had the lockring loose seconds later.
maybe the new HCW-5s are better.

the three tooth end shows what can only be described as a Defect. It's Shaped wrong.. there is no way damage during use could cause what i'm seeing.
the one tooth end is also poorly cut, shows 1.5mm of slop.
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Old 09-14-23, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_forum_geek
Thanks Iím also checking with our proís. We have a robust tool set at our shop. This request is to build out my personal toolkit
Apostrophe abuse seems to be a part of this thread: mechanic's and pro's. Those are possessives, not plurals. Just saying. And what you need really depends on what kind of bikes you will work on. So many different BBs out there.
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Old 09-14-23, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_forum_geek
Hey Forum-ers, I need advice for working on bottom brackets, I don't do much of this work. I work at a non-profit community bike shop. We get donated bikes to repair and give (most) away. Occasionally, We get bikes with various states of bottom bracket wear. I'm building out my toolkit. I'm about to order this: Park Tool (109917) HCW-5 Lock Spanner. What other tools do you recommend? TIA.
I only recently acquired a 1/2 inch square drive 20 spline Shimano type tool, to use with an impact driver - it makes a huge difference removing a stubborn bbkt (I had the 32mm spanner type before). Good chunky water pump pliers are probably more useful than that Parkagnolo spanner. Also one of those cheap punch and chisel sets, for when the going gets tough, and a bench grinder to keep them in shape.
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Old 09-14-23, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_forum_geek
What other tools do you recommend? TIA.
90 percent of bb's made before 1990 will only need a standard crank puller (like the CWP-7 with use of an adjustable wrench) and an HCW-5. A pin spanner like the SPA-1 can be very helpful and speed disassembly, assembly and adjustment.
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Old 09-14-23, 05:55 PM
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If your shop is like the charity shop where I volunteer, at least 99% of the bikes we get have cups, retained balls, and a notched lockring. Cartridge bottom brackets are a rarity; I've only have to service a handful of them in the ten years I've volunteered there. A pin spanner for those adjustable cups with pin holes is good to have. A Park HCW-11 for those adjustable cups with 16mm flats or 5mm recessed notches. A DIY Sheldon Brown fixed cup tool for the rare occasions when you need to pull a fixed cup. That, with the lockring tool you say you have, and the crank puller tool mentioned above, should be able to handle the vast majority of bottom brackets you're likely to encounter in a charity shop.
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Old 09-14-23, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by KerryIrons
Apostrophe abuse seems to be a part of this thread: mechanic's and pro's. Those are possessives, not plurals. Just saying. And what you need really depends on what kind of bikes you will work on. So many different BBs out there.
Proís is an abbrevation too though
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Old 09-14-23, 08:54 PM
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You can also make some BB lockring pliers on the cheap which can also be used for threaded headset notched lockrings. 1 tool to replace several. DIY Lockring Pliers : 3 Steps (with Pictures) - Instructables Or for more $$$ the Hozan is a quality tool. Hozan C-203 Lock Ring Pliers (Head Race Pliers) -- Stock in USA/Quick Ship! 4962772152034 | eBay
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Old 09-15-23, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Is this to work on your own bikes? Or anything that comes into the shop?
Thanks for the response, occasionally I'll take bikes home from the shop to repair.
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Old 09-15-23, 08:39 AM
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Is this to work on your own bikes? Or anything that comes into the shop?
thanks for the response, I have most other tools I need. I'm working with older bikes, I get several with loose or wobbly crank arms, if that helps.

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Old 09-15-23, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
If all you do is volunteer at the shop and maybe your own DIY, then accumulating BB tools will be a expensive thing leaving you with BB tools you may never use. And using up your money that will be better spent on tools you do use often. If you wrench on a bike professionally for a living, then that's a different discussion about tools altogether.

Though I'm not sure what tools you do need over and above the couple screw drivers, cone wrenches and a few hex keys and a torx or two. Maybe a chain whip, but for DIY at home, I can use a old chain and a stick to do the same thing. You might spend some money to get a good work stand for bikes and maybe the truing stand and tension meters you need for wheels if you want to specialize in wheels.
I have most other tools that I need. I occasionally take home bikes to work on, usually older bikes with wobbly crank arms.
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Old 09-15-23, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bike_forum_geek
thanks for the response, I have most other tools I need. I'm working with older bikes, I get several with loose or wobbly crank arms, if that helps.
Sounds like you'll need an appropriately sized (14 mm I believe) thin-wall socket for old-school cranks, an 8 mm Allen wrench (for Octalink cranks), whatever size Allen wrenches they use to tighten modern crank arms nowadays, and maybe a wrench to tighten cotter pins for really old, old school cranks).
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Old 09-15-23, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank
You can also make some BB lockring pliers on the cheap which can also be used for threaded headset notched lockrings. 1 tool to replace several. DIY Lockring Pliers : 3 Steps (with Pictures) - Instructables
That's a great idea for a cheap tool for occasional use. I prefer the pliers style lock-ring tool, the hook type can slip and the Campagnolo type tend to only fit well on specific bbkts.
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Old 09-16-23, 04:46 AM
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These should get you through about 99% of the bikes in that world
HCW-4
HCW-5
HCW-11
SPA-1
SPA-2
BBT-22

Thank for helping the community
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Old 09-16-23, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_forum_geek
Hey Forum-ers, I need advice for working on bottom brackets, I don't do much of this work. I work at a non-profit community bike shop. We get donated bikes to repair and give (most) away. Occasionally, We get bikes with various states of bottom bracket wear. I'm building out my toolkit. I'm about to order this: Park Tool (109917) HCW-5 Lock Spanner. What other tools do you recommend? TIA.
....I might be too late here, but if you're going to do a lot of BB lock ring stuff, a lock ring plier like the VAR, or this Hozan is worth spending a little extra. Easier to use effectively, the Hozan is more versatile.

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Old 09-17-23, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by KerryIrons
Apostrophe abuse seems to be a part of this thread...

"It's a wise dog that scratches its own fleas."
-Strunk & White, "The Elements of Style"

For an amusing look at this, see Lynne Truss, "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation"
(Leaving Pedant Mode...)
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Old 09-17-23, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
If your shop is like the charity shop where I volunteer, at least 99% of the bikes we get have cups, retained balls, and a notched lockring. Cartridge bottom brackets are a rarity; I've only have to service a handful of them in the ten years I've volunteered there. A pin spanner for those adjustable cups with pin holes is good to have. A Park HCW-11 for those adjustable cups with 16mm flats or 5mm recessed notches. A DIY Sheldon Brown fixed cup tool for the rare occasions when you need to pull a fixed cup. That, with the lockring tool you say you have, and the crank puller tool mentioned above, should be able to handle the vast majority of bottom brackets you're likely to encounter in a charity shop.
Very true, but he's probably gonna want to insert a cartridge in there often enough to have that tool, and will see some of those as well, as far as octos, Phil Wood, pressed, and the like, I'd get them as required, rather than buying them, and having them laying around.
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