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Headset Wrenches-Quality?

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Old 11-11-12, 06:57 AM
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Tandem Tom
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Headset Wrenches-Quality?

The other day I had my bike at the LBS to have the new Chris King headset tightened up. I was out on a 40 mile ride and it started to loosen so I called the shop and they said just keep hand tightening it until you get to us. While the bike was in the stand the bike mechanic said that the Parks headset wrenches are not really very good quality as they seem to spread while being used. I want to add these wrenches to my tool it but I do not want to buy poor quality. Here is a link about making some http://forums.bicycletutor.com/thread-979.html .
Or does anyone have a suggestion for quality wrenches?
Thanks!
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Old 11-11-12, 06:58 AM
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Just as I posted this I see the next thread down on the same subject!!
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Old 11-11-12, 07:17 AM
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One word: Campagnolo. Not inexpensive. But worth every penny, imo.
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Old 11-11-12, 07:19 AM
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I'll have to double check but I never heard of a Park HS wrench flexing/spreading under use. Mine did stellar service for the 5 or 6 years I worked in bike shops and are still going strong. I do have buggered up fixed cup wrench but that is more user error than the tool.
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Old 11-11-12, 07:46 AM
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Got one of those ifu or something like that wrenches, house brand from halfords. It's ridiculously off spec, but solid pig iron so no flex but please, avoid.
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Old 11-11-12, 08:01 AM
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^I think you're referring to Lifu. Yes, cheap stuff.

I've not had trouble with my Park headset wrenches, but I can see how they are cheaper than some competing brands. Signs they are stamped out of steel stock. Where as a few others I've used and owned are forged. ie. Pedros, Wrenchforce, and some European brand.
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Old 11-11-12, 08:19 AM
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The Park wrenches come in two flavors: stamped steel 'consumer' grade and cast alloy shop grade. The cast ones are as good as any and better than most.

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Old 11-11-12, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by WNG View Post
^I think you're referring to Lifu. Yes, cheap stuff.

I've not had trouble with my Park headset wrenches, but I can see how they are cheaper than some competing brands. Signs they are stamped out of steel stock. Where as a few others I've used and owned are forged. ie. Pedros, Wrenchforce, and some European brand.
Lol, lifu indeed. Ifu is a kind of noodle dish. Great stuff. Sauce poured over a nest of uncooked noodles, with veggies and meat. The sauce cooks the noodles on the plate. Wonderful dish. Much better than cookie cutter chinese tools.
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Old 11-11-12, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by top506 View Post
The Park wrenches come in two flavors: stamped steel 'consumer' grade and cast alloy shop grade. The cast ones are as good as any and better than most.
They're pretty proud of their consumer grade ones too. Current production ones aren't stamped, but pretty obviously laser-cut. Park claims that they're hardened before cutting so they should be pretty durable. I tightened my fixed cup with mine and the faces still feel nicely parallel.
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Old 11-11-12, 04:24 PM
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Headset wrenches suck when used on top nut. They should be used on the adjusting cup/cone in conjunction with a regular adjustable wrench on the top nut.

Most of my old shop headset wrenches were ground a tick thinner to better fit under top nuts and washers.
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Old 11-11-12, 04:29 PM
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Park has altered their manufacturing process.
they went from a punch press and a shearing die,
to CNC grinding the opening smooth and accurate.
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Old 11-11-12, 05:07 PM
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I use a conventional Parktool wrench to hold the lower nut and I do the tightening of the top nut with this magical tool >>> http://www.knipex.com/index.php?id=1...8&groupID=1500

Set you back about 40 euros, but it is perfect.
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Old 11-11-12, 05:13 PM
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Park has stopped making any stamped headset, cone, BB or brake wrenches, it's all laser cut and way better than it used to be. That said the cast headset locknut wrench is a joke, faces not parallel and not even close to accurate fit on any headset.

Zogs wrenches are pretty good, of the few I have all seem to be made from a different thickness of steel and have different coatings/plating. They could work on the consistency. Pedros stuff was pretty decent and thicker steel than Park, rumor was the early American made Pedros stuff was made by Zogs.

Old wrench force stuff was also good and most of it was made by Snap-on. They made a really nice set of headset locknut wrenches, double sided 30/32mm and 36/40mm.

The Shimano wrench set is awesome if you only need standard road sizes, slightly easier to find than the Campy stuff and IMHO nicer quality, better plating and finish. Also comes with one reinforced wrench to solve the spreading problem.

J.A. Stein headset locknut wrenches are pretty much the best, impossible to find however. Locknut wrenches solve the problem of damaging aluminum headset nuts like Chris King, but in practice the adjustable or better yet a Knipex plier wrench is much easier and does the same thing.

Having used or owned most of them the Park stuff is the easiest to get and good quality. Everything else is either impossible to get or garbage.

It's worth noting that when Pedros sorta almost went out of business tons of Pedros product landed on ebay, it's still possible to find headset wrenches and some other items for very cheap. Same thing with wrench force tools, Trek stopped making wrench froce branded stuff years ago but it pops up on ebay pretty often.

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Old 11-11-12, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by wesmamyke View Post
Park has stopped making any stamped headset, cone, BB or brake wrenches, it's all laser cut and way better than it used to be. That said the cast headset locknut wrench is a joke, faces not parallel and not even close to accurate fit on any headset.

Zogs wrenches are pretty good, of the few I have all seem to be made from a different thickness of steel and have different coatings/plating. They could work on the consistency. Pedros stuff was pretty decent and thicker steel than Park, rumor was the early American made Pedros stuff was made by Zogs.

Old wrench force stuff was also pretty good and most of it was made by Snap-on. They made a really nice set headset locknut wrenches, double sided 30/32mm and 36/40mm.

The Shimano wrench set is awesome if you only need standard road sizes, slightly easier to find than the Campy stuff and IMHO nicer quality, better plating and finish. Also comes with one reinforced wrench to solve the spreading problem.

J.A. Stein headset locknut wrenches are pretty much the best, impossible to find however. Locknut wrenches solve the problem of damaging aluminum headset nuts like Chris King, but in practice the adjustable or better yet a Knipex plier wrench is much easier and does the same thing.

Having used or owned most of them the Park stuff is the easiest to get and good quality. Everything else is either impossible to get or garbage.
Any of the thin headset wrenches should never be used on the top nut. Using a thin headset wrench will do nothing but damage the nut and ruin the wrench.

The wrench companies may show pictures of them being used on top nuts but they also was you to buy 2 of each $$$$$$$
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Old 11-11-12, 08:14 PM
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The basic park spanner wrenches for headsets are fine. You just dont or shouldn't need to put enough tork on a headset to screw up even cheap wrenches used properly. A couple of basic park wrenches and a top quality big ass adjustable wrench 12 or 14 inch with 36+ or even 40+mm jaws are what you want to spend you money on. Every decent mechanic working on bikes should have a top guality precision adjustable big wrench, I would go with the best guality and bigest size you can afford.
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Old 11-11-12, 09:28 PM
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Stronglight #93 and #94 are great, especially for the top nut - grabs 5 sides + 2 partial sides
I do have to use my Park HCW7 for the race sometimes.
(2nd & 3rd on top - basically the same w/93 being thicker - only pic I found is from an ebay sale)

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Old 11-11-12, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Ex Pres View Post
Stronglight #93 and #94 are great, especially for the top nut - grabs 5 sides + 2 partial sides
Agree on the Stronglight wrenches; they are my preferred headset wrenches for the reason you gave, especially with aluminum parts. Unfortunately, they do not work with the Campy Super Record headset, as the aluminum spacer is too wide to allow the wrench access to the threaded cup.

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Old 11-08-18, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Elev12k View Post
I use a conventional Parktool wrench to hold the lower nut and I do the tightening of the top nut with this magical tool >>> http://www.knipex.com/index.php?id=1...8&groupID=1500

Set you back about 40 euros, but it is perfect.
hi. I am going to order a Knipex wrench. May I ask which size of the wrench did you choose. I was told Knipex 250mm wrench has a dedicated gear to work for 32mm nut, while the 180mm wrench does not have the dedicated gear for 32mm nut,but much easier to handle when working on a bicycle.
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Old 11-08-18, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Yoyo2012 View Post
hi. I am going to order a Knipex wrench. May I ask which size of the wrench did you choose. I was told Knipex 250mm wrench has a dedicated gear to work for 32mm nut, while the 180mm wrench does not have the dedicated gear for 32mm nut,but much easier to handle when working on a bicycle.

Hi,

I did buy the 250 and it is okay for me.
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Old 11-08-18, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
One word: Campagnolo. Not inexpensive. But worth every penny, imo.
Absolutely. Not too long ago I did an experiment with measuring the “play” in my Campy wrench and my Park wrench, in fairness, an older stamped wrench that I’ve had since the early 90’s. At a fixed point, say 5cm from the base of the contact point I measured how far the wrench would move. I forget th exact # but it was something like 1 mm for the Campy and 3mm or more for the Park.
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Old 11-08-18, 05:27 PM
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Years ago I spent the money on a Park "Professional" HW-2 headset wrench. I figured, with it's design it would fit the top nut well. It was sloppy. My Campy wrench is still my "go to" on all my headsets.
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Old 11-08-18, 05:32 PM
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Park Grinds the flats now , they did less BITD,

I Got a 36-40 pair a while ago ,
My Bike Friday uses a 1.25" CK Gripnut.
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Old 11-08-18, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Elev12k View Post
Hi,

I did buy the 250 and it is okay for me.
I concur. I have the same length from Wiha. Works great on top nuts.

Shimano makes an excellent matched set of headset lockring wrenches:



While I don't typically go for 'multi-tools', the choice of a 6-spline lockring and pedal wrench are excellent.
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Old 11-08-18, 11:28 PM
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I just bought a pair of the Ice Toolz 4-in-1 headset wrenches a couple months ago. Seemed a no-brainer for the price and they are more stout than they need to be. (not thin stamped metal). I can't compare their size accuracy to anything else, since this is my first set. I've set at least one (Stronglight) alloy headset and two steel ones so far, and they seem to fit nicely; not too much slop. But since headsets don't require a ton of torque, I'm not sure I'd notice.
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Old 11-09-18, 06:00 AM
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Long ago (though in this same galaxy) when this thread was started the prompting event was a loosening headset and an offhand comment by an LBS mechanic. One should be able to adjust a headset with lesser wrenches to the same performance level as with the better ones. Which is to say it wasn't the wrench's fault. A faulty wrench is more likely to mar the finish than to prevent proper adjustment.

However I once had a Chris King headset installed at a LBS and it too loosened up, Not so much as to need re-tightening on a ride but as to need re-adjustment. It seemed to want time to seat its bearings, or something. I just pulled out my non-Campy wrench and adjusted it. End of story.
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