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Old 05-26-11, 01:49 PM   #1
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Cooperative bike shop: What tool kit and equipment should I buy?

I am writing a grant to start a bike co-op in Ohio. I need to get my budget together. What tool kits or other equipment would be the best to get for this project? I would like to keep the budget under $1,000
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Old 05-26-11, 02:46 PM   #2
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Depending on the size of the operation, $1000 doesn't get you much.

Forget the tool kits, they have a handful of tools you need, then a bunch of generic stuff where it would be cheaper to go to the big box store of your choice and buy allen wrenches, screw drivers, that kind of stuff. Who needs a Park Tool screwdriver? For example, the Park Tool "Advanced Tool Kit" includes a cleaning brush, four screw drivers, allen wrenches. Meanwhile, it is missing a bunch of tools you will need. That kit sells for over $200 on Amazon. And it doesn't include a work stand, or a truing stand either.

Move up one notch to the "Professional Tool Kit", and that sells for $730. Still missing some key tools and loaded with filler like a Park branded crescent wrench, screw drivers, allen wrenches, brush, grease. Does have a better compliment of BB tools.

A quality bike repair stand could cost you half or more of that amount, and then a better truing stand would take a quarter of it, leaving you not much for tools. A new Parks PRS-2 repair stand with base costs $900 at Amazon. OK, thats a top of the line work stand, but it is what you see at most shops around here.

Realize that there are a lot of different bottom bracket tools (no standardization), ditto freewheel and cassette tools, and crank pullers. If you wanted to just handle a few bikes (home shop), then you wouldn't need so much variety.

And how many work stations do you want? Each station is going to need a work stand and some tools. And even the better home owner work stands aren't cheap (OK, they aren't $900 either).

Then a couple of different chain tools (yes, there is a lack of standardization there too). From the Park Tool site: "The Park Tool CT-3, CT-5 and CT-6.2 are designed for use with 3/32" derailleur type chain. The CT-2 will service both 3/32" and the wider 1/8" chain. The CT-7 will work on 3/16 inch chains and 1/8 inch chains common on freestyle bikes. The CT-7 will not work on derailleur chains."

Frankly, without getting some donated tools, I don't see that budget working. I have picked up most of my tools used, and I am way over that amount for the home shop.

$2500 would be a pretty thrifty budget for a coop. I assume you have a bike mechanic on your team. I would ask him what he/she thinks. No mechanic on the team? I would get one quick.

Last edited by wrk101; 05-26-11 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 05-26-11, 04:20 PM   #3
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Good advice. In a coop expect to see every new/old/weird bike ever made, and every owner will want you to have that special tool that he can't find or afford.

Also, don't forget chairs, work bench/tables, tool boxen. It really adds up. You will want at least one really good work stand. You might augment it with a couple of $50 cheap stands. Also need at least one truing station.

Steel rules, at least one caliper, anti-seize compound, lubes, cleaner, ad infinitum... Then start listing spares.
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Old 05-26-11, 04:43 PM   #4
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Post a "wanted" notice with your local bike club and rail-trail groups. Many members will be willing to donate tools they no longer use or have duplicates of. You will get some obsolete tools but you will be working on a lot of obsolete bikes too.
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Old 05-26-11, 06:06 PM   #5
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the grant may help seed the co op, then the membership fees , pre-subscribed,
will boost the amount of resources to buy tools with
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