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Thread: Tool Time

  1. #1
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    Tool Time

    Inspired by Dee Hubbs over in the Ask the Experts thread, I figured bike tool fuckery needed its own home. Toolbox Wars contenders the real nerds out there, "which tool should I get" questions for the rest of us.

    To kick it off, I need a new shock pump. The gauge on my Lenzyn pump shit the bed and I was never really that happy with how it interfaced with the valve on my fork. Which pump do I want?

  2. #2
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    You could buy a shock pump for your shock

    Here’s one at my buddy’s shop
    https://www.google.com/shopping/prod...C5Pm9AP3zrHIAQ
    Check Out Ullr's Mobile Avalanche Safety Tools for iOS and Android
    www.ullrlabs.com

  3. #3
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    How often to you use your shock pump?
    Is it just in the garage/shop? Do you take it to trail heads?
    Carry it in your pack?
    How accurate do you want it to be?
    I currently have 3 that I really like, and I am waiting on one to come into stock to purchase as a 4th.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dee Hubbs View Post
    How often to you use your shock pump?
    Is it just in the garage/shop? Do you take it to trail heads?
    Carry it in your pack?
    How accurate do you want it to be?
    I currently have 3 that I really like, and I am waiting on one to come into stock to purchase as a 4th.
    Not all the often. Usually just in the garage a time or two a month.

  5. #5
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    I just bought the $75 Fox digital pump. Only have a few weeks use but so far, so good. Was tired of the estimation using a tiny analog pump. It's as small as the analog too without the round gauge part.
    "Just send it you pussy."

  6. #6
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    I have a Lezyne Shock Digital Drive, basically a floor pump for your shock. Its great to fill a shock/fork after a rebuild, the digital gauge is accurate, and it has a valve with a bleed button, and an isolation valve to separate the air in the hose from the shock, it makes removal easy. Negative is it only goes to 300psi if you need a high pressure (350psi) pump.
    I also have a Leyzne Digital Shock Drive in my travel tool box. Its small enough to carry in a hip bag or backpack if you're doing suspension fine tuning on the trail. It's really accurate/consistent, and has a simple digital readout. Some complain it needs a battery, but it will blink low battery for 2 months before it actually dies. I have spare batteries on the parts wall. (goes to 350psi)
    I aslo have a Topeak PocketShock DXG. Analog readout, valve that isolates the shock from the hose, simple and strong. I'm going to buy the XL version of this pump for the garage and use the smaller one for trail head/car. In the garage it can be a little longer and does not need to be so compact.

    To me the valve that isolates the hose from the shock is important feature. This type of connector eliminates air loss when disconnecting the hose. You pump the fork to 102psi, isolate the hose from the shock valve, release the pressure from the hose, and then remove the valve from the shock, this way exactly 102psi stays in your fork.
    The one way valves puts a combined 102psi in the fork and in the pump hose, and when you unscrew a pressurized hose a few psi are lost from the combined hose and fork psi.

    Thats my take on shock pumps.

  7. #7
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    I’m a total bike tool nerd, this thread can get dangerous for me.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dee Hubbs View Post
    How often to you use your shock pump?
    Is it just in the garage/shop? Do you take it to trail heads?
    Carry it in your pack?
    How accurate do you want it to be?
    I currently have 3 that I really like, and I am waiting on one to come into stock to purchase as a 4th.
    I started losing air on a ride, buddy whips out a shock pump and we manage to get back out 5 miles pumping it up a couple times. Now I carry one for a group on a longer ride.

  9. #9
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    I recently bought a set of PB Swiss hex wrenches and am in love.

    I'll post my more-ghetto-than-Dee's-crazy-setup tool organization system later. I thought about going the full foam encased route but the space it would take up and and cost deterred me.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  10. #10
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    The PB Swiss hex are nice, but Wera's Hex-Plus design have a way better engagement.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And for 1/4 hex bits Wiha make the best.
    BUT If you ever have a rounded out T25, the Wira Torx wedge bit will get you out of a sticky situation.

    I purchase a lot of these from KC Tools, their motto is "America's #1 German Tool Distributor", but it should be "we will take your first born as payment.... "

  11. #11
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    If you’re going to buy only one Knipex plier/wrench - what size? The 10”?


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  12. #12
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    i need to start building up my bike tool set and figuring shit out myself. any reccs on a intro type set that won't break the bank and i can gradually add to?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickwm21 View Post
    If you’re going to buy only one Knipex plier/wrench - what size? The 10”?


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    I like the 7". It goes big enough and it's way more maneuverable under sinks etc.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  14. #14
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    Back to shock pumps, I have a few standard Fox/Rockshox pumps that came with forks or shocks I've bought. Never seen a reason to buy anything else for home use.

    I did buy this Topeak microshock for rides though. I've had a few instances bikepacking where I realized I didn't add enough air to my suspension vs unloaded riding. 48g is worth the penalty for some peace of mind IMO. https://www.topeak.com/global/en/pro...353-microshock

    They don't seem to sell it in the US. I had to order from Wiggle in the UK.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by climberevan View Post
    I like the 7". It goes big enough and it's way more maneuverable under sinks etc.
    I also have the 7" Knipex and haven't run into a situation for bikes yet where I needed a bigger one.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dee Hubbs View Post
    I have a Lezyne Shock Digital Drive, basically a floor pump for your shock. Its great to fill a shock/fork after a rebuild, the digital gauge is accurate, and it has a valve with a bleed button, and an isolation valve to separate the air in the hose from the shock, it makes removal easy. Negative is it only goes to 300psi if you need a high pressure (350psi) pump.
    I also have a Leyzne Digital Shock Drive in my travel tool box. Its small enough to carry in a hip bag or backpack if you're doing suspension fine tuning on the trail. It's really accurate/consistent, and has a simple digital readout. Some complain it needs a battery, but it will blink low battery for 2 months before it actually dies. I have spare batteries on the parts wall. (goes to 350psi)
    I aslo have a Topeak PocketShock DXG. Analog readout, valve that isolates the shock from the hose, simple and strong. I'm going to buy the XL version of this pump for the garage and use the smaller one for trail head/car. In the garage it can be a little longer and does not need to be so compact.

    To me the valve that isolates the hose from the shock is important feature. This type of connector eliminates air loss when disconnecting the hose. You pump the fork to 102psi, isolate the hose from the shock valve, release the pressure from the hose, and then remove the valve from the shock, this way exactly 102psi stays in your fork.
    The one way valves puts a combined 102psi in the fork and in the pump hose, and when you unscrew a pressurized hose a few psi are lost from the combined hose and fork psi.

    Thats my take on shock pumps.
    Went for the Topeak with the isolator valve. Thanks!

  17. #17
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    Chain Breaks? One for shop and one for taking on rides? Or is there one out there that does both remotely well. Also have a mix of 11/12 speed shimano/Sram in the house with wife/kids bikes. I can't tell if that makes a difference. The old one I have broke when I tried to use it this spring for the first time in years.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by criscam View Post
    i need to start building up my bike tool set and figuring shit out myself. any reccs on a intro type set that won't break the bank and i can gradually add to?
    I'm a little like Dee with tools (though apparently not with organization) in that I have way too many to justify. I was about to recommend the Pedros or Park starting master kits and then saw how much they cost. I was lucky enough to have a Pedros sponsorship when I was first building my shop tools up so things were pretty cheap and I didn't really notice how much I was spending. It's kind of like the frog in water that keeps getting hotter till it boils: buying it tool by tool kept me from noticing how much bank was headed out the door.

    Anyway, this would be a good start: https://pedros.com/products/tools/to...-tool-kit-3-1/ except it costs more than a grand. Damn. But I don't know what to tell you. You want all this stuff. Much of it you really need if you are serious about wrenching. Retail tool costs are stupid.

    Maybe it would help to put it in tiers.

    First tier - stuff you have to have. Last year I put together a tool kit for my kid when he went to college so I just thought this through. Changes a little based on what bikes you have:
    • allen wrench L set (bondhus is good and cheap)
    • individual torx drive L tool as needed for your bikes
    • allen wrench for your pedals/crank if needed and not in set
    • small and large flat and phillips screw drivers (Klein. nothing else is close)
    • adjustable crescent wrench, small but 1 1/8" wide (Milwaukie 8" is best imo)
    • cable cutter (park)
    • pedal wrench
    • chain tool
    • chain whip
    • cassette removal tool
    • BB/crank removal tools as needed
    • cone wrenches if needed for your bikes
    • tire irons
    • floor pump/shock pump


    Second tier:
    • L handle allen wrenches (I like pedros)
    • ratcheting fixed crescent set (these are awesome. i like pedros)
    • full torx set
    • full cone wrench set (pedros again for me)
    • metric mini tape measure
    • spanners as needed for your bikes
    • needle nose pliers
    • spoke wrenches


    Third tier
    • chain link removing tool/quick link pliers
    • y handle allen wrenches (some put these in first tier, but L handle set is better)
    • disc brake spacer
    • downhill tire iron
    • chain checker
    • some people like rubber hammers. I don't use em. Real hammer needed very infrequently.
    • Bike workstand


    Stupid Tier (just some examples. Lots of other stuff fits here)

    • torque wrench and attachments
    • truing stand (Park. Only Park.)
    • star nut setter
    • dust cap driver
    • fixed torque drivers
    • disc wrench
    • compressor


    Really Stupid Tier (just some examples. Lots of other stuff fits here)
    • headset/bearing press
    • race setter
    • spoke tensometer
    • steerer tube cutter
    • headset cup removal tool
    • other assorted shit that really isn't needed, like spanners for bikes you don't own, third hands, tools for old bikes, etc.


    Ok, Dee, that's tough to do from memory. What did I miss?
    Last edited by EWG; 06-23-2021 at 08:30 AM.

  19. #19
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    If I only owed one bike specific tool, it would be a derailleur hanger alignment tool.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dee Hubbs View Post
    If I only owed one bike specific tool, it would be a derailleur hanger alignment tool.
    You can make one of those by combining an adjustable crescent wrench, a hammer, and three beers.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by EWG View Post
    You can make one of those by combining an adjustable crescent wrench, a hammer, and three beers.
    Bike specific beers?

  22. #22
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    BB press? Anyone recommend one, or home made hack?


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandbox View Post
    BB press? Anyone recommend one, or home made hack?


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Buy a new frame with a threaded BB.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by EWG View Post
    I'm a little like Dee with tools (though apparently not with organization) in that I have way too many to justify. I was about to recommend the Pedros or Park starting master kits and then saw how much they cost. I was lucky enough to have a Pedros sponsorship when I was first building my shop tools up so things were pretty cheap and I didn't really notice how much I was spending. It's kind of like the frog in water that keeps getting hotter till it boils: buying it tool by tool kept me from noticing how much bank was headed out the door.

    Anyway, this would be a good start: https://pedros.com/products/tools/to...-tool-kit-3-1/ except it costs more than a grand. Damn. But I don't know what to tell you. You want all this stuff. Much of it you really need if you are serious about wrenching. Retail tool costs are stupid.

    Maybe it would help to put it in tiers.

    First tier - stuff you have to have. Last year I put together a tool kit for my kid when he went to college so I just thought this through. Changes a little based on what bikes you have:
    • allen wrench L set (bondhus is good and cheap)
    • individual torx drive L tool as needed for your bikes
    • allen wrench for your pedals/crank if needed and not in set
    • small and large flat and phillips screw drivers (Klein. nothing else is close)
    • adjustable crescent wrench, small but 1 1/8" wide (Milwaukie 8" is best imo)
    • cable cutter (park)
    • pedal wrench
    • chain tool
    • chain whip
    • cassette removal tool
    • BB/crank removal tools as needed
    • cone wrenches if needed for your bikes
    • tire irons
    • floor pump/shock pump


    Second tier:
    • L handle allen wrenches (I like pedros)
    • ratcheting fixed crescent set (these are awesome. i like pedros)
    • full torx set
    • full cone wrench set (pedros again for me)
    • metric mini tape measure
    • spanners as needed for your bikes
    • needle nose pliers
    • spoke wrenches


    Third tier
    • chain link removing tool/quick link pliers
    • y handle allen wrenches (some put these in first tier, but L handle set is better)
    • disc brake spacer
    • downhill tire iron
    • chain checker
    • some people like rubber hammers. I don't use em. Real hammer needed very infrequently.
    • Bike workstand


    Stupid Tier (just some examples. Lots of other stuff fits here)

    • torque wrench and attachments
    • truing stand (Park. Only Park.)
    • star nut setter
    • dust cap driver
    • fixed torque drivers
    • disc wrench
    • compressor


    Really Stupid Tier (just some examples. Lots of other stuff fits here)
    • headset/bearing press
    • race setter
    • spoke tensometer
    • steerer tube cutter
    • headset cup removal tool
    • other assorted shit that really isn't needed, like spanners for bikes you don't own, third hands, tools for old bikes, etc.


    Ok, Dee, that's tough to do from memory. What did I miss?
    damn! thanks for the detailed list/response!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dee Hubbs View Post
    If I only owed one bike specific tool, it would be a derailleur hanger alignment tool.
    i wish i realized this back when my kids were mashing their derailer hangers on their 20" bikes. i prob went thru 4 hangers before coming up w a makeshift tool to straighten them out enough till the next mash.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by EWG View Post
    I'm a little like Dee with tools (though apparently not with organization) in that I have way too many to justify. I was about to recommend the Pedros or Park starting master kits and then saw how much they cost. I was lucky enough to have a Pedros sponsorship when I was first building my shop tools up so things were pretty cheap and I didn't really notice how much I was spending. It's kind of like the frog in water that keeps getting hotter till it boils: buying it tool by tool kept me from noticing how much bank was headed out the door.

    Anyway, this would be a good start: https://pedros.com/products/tools/to...-tool-kit-3-1/ except it costs more than a grand. Damn. But I don't know what to tell you. You want all this stuff. Much of it you really need if you are serious about wrenching. Retail tool costs are stupid.

    Maybe it would help to put it in tiers.

    First tier - stuff you have to have. Last year I put together a tool kit for my kid when he went to college so I just thought this through. Changes a little based on what bikes you have:
    • allen wrench L set (bondhus is good and cheap)
    • individual torx drive L tool as needed for your bikes
    • allen wrench for your pedals/crank if needed and not in set
    • small and large flat and phillips screw drivers (Klein. nothing else is close)
    • adjustable crescent wrench, small but 1 1/8" wide (Milwaukie 8" is best imo)
    • cable cutter (park)
    • pedal wrench
    • chain tool
    • chain whip
    • cassette removal tool
    • BB/crank removal tools as needed
    • cone wrenches if needed for your bikes
    • tire irons
    • floor pump/shock pump


    Second tier:
    • L handle allen wrenches (I like pedros)
    • ratcheting fixed crescent set (these are awesome. i like pedros)
    • full torx set
    • full cone wrench set (pedros again for me)
    • metric mini tape measure
    • spanners as needed for your bikes
    • needle nose pliers
    • spoke wrenches


    Third tier
    • chain link removing tool/quick link pliers
    • y handle allen wrenches (some put these in first tier, but L handle set is better)
    • disc brake spacer
    • downhill tire iron
    • chain checker
    • some people like rubber hammers. I don't use em. Real hammer needed very infrequently.
    • Bike workstand


    Stupid Tier (just some examples. Lots of other stuff fits here)

    • torque wrench and attachments
    • truing stand (Park. Only Park.)
    • star nut setter
    • dust cap driver
    • fixed torque drivers
    • disc wrench
    • compressor


    Really Stupid Tier (just some examples. Lots of other stuff fits here)
    • headset/bearing press
    • race setter
    • spoke tensometer
    • steerer tube cutter
    • headset cup removal tool
    • other assorted shit that really isn't needed, like spanners for bikes you don't own, third hands, tools for old bikes, etc.


    Ok, Dee, that's tough to do from memory. What did I miss?
    I’d personally put a torque wrench up in first or second tier, especially if working with carbon parts/frame. At only $45 for a pretty nice one, there’s not much excuse for not having it:

    https://www.tekton.com/1-4-inch-driv...rench-trq21101

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