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To all the wrenches out there(9 posts)

To all the wrenches out thereIcefrk13
Apr 4, 2002 7:39 AM
I am in the process of learning to service my own bike, and have a tool question for all of you.

Is it worth the extra money for the Park tool kit, or would one such as the other like the one REI has for 50.00.

re: To all the wrenches out thereRideLots
Apr 4, 2002 7:50 AM
I'd just by the tools you need for your bike. Why buy a Shimano bottom bracket tool if you have Campy? Park tools tend to be great quality. Some other brands are good for particular things, though.
Buy want you needALBikeGuy
Apr 4, 2002 8:25 AM
I agree. Buy the tools you need.

Go out and buy some of the basic tools (BB tool, cassette chain whip, spoke wrench..) then pick them up as you need them. I know that overall you'll save money purchasing the kit, but half the tools you'll never use.

Other brands of some tools are as good or better and may be cheaper.

Although, I did see a Pedros Tool Kit in Performance (I think) that looked really sharp, but very $$$
I prefer Park...Pedal Jockey
Apr 4, 2002 7:51 AM
The vast majority of my tools are from Park, but I have tools from Campagnolo, and other manufacturers. I think the Park tools are well designed and well made. I have never replaced a Park tools due to wear or breakage.

My 0.02 lira's worth

re: To all the wrenches out theresprockets2
Apr 4, 2002 7:59 AM
I started with the Nashbar kit for about $50 and it was all I needed to start with, plus a few things. The Park kit will have redundant things you won't need if it is the big kit. I picked up some additional tools as needed. I found some nice tools from Performance. Nice T-handle hex wrenches. I'll never use a standard hex again. Also, FWIW, don't skimp on BB tools. Get something you can put a big wrench on.

You don't need the "quality" of the Park tools unless you are going into business. And then, you would prefer to have better tools, like Campy.
re: To all the wrenches out therexxl
Apr 4, 2002 9:58 AM
My take is to go out and get yourself some basic stuff, and then only buy other tools as your skills/interests improve. For starters, get both open-ended and allen wrenches (these needn't be "bike-specific," though I personally really like the "Y-handled" ones), some quality cone wrenches, and the spoke key that fits your wheels. You'll also need the cassette and bottom bracket tools for your bike (odds are, those'd be Shimano), and maybe a chain remover (if yours doesn't have a quick-link). A genuine cable cutter is needed, IMHO, as wire cutters just screw up cables, and you'll probably deal with cutting cable fairly frequently. A brake "third hand" is nice, but not essential; people improvise with old tires and toe clip straps every day.

Much past that, you can pick up what you need, as you need it. And a lot of tools, you just won't need, unless you really get into wrenching for wrenching's sake (in which case you'll figure out better than me how best to feed your obsession). Your bike may also not need some common tools (e.g., BB spanners, headset wrenches), if it's newer technology. Finally, some tools are just too infrequently used and/or expensive, and it becomes cost-effective to farm the work out to a shop; who faces out their own frames, for instance?

One's own shop manual is nice, and the budget-minded can often find them at the local library, as you need them. Good luck and good job: I think working on your own bike makes you a more complete rider.
Get Parkczardonic
Apr 4, 2002 10:46 AM
First, I agree with everyone who says to buy what you need, when you need it as opposed to a whole kit.

Second, I think that Park is well worth the extra money. In the long run, you will spend less money replacing worn tools and the parts that worn or poorly constructed tools can damage.
Best of Both Worldsgrzy
Apr 4, 2002 11:33 AM
The Park tools are worth the money IMO - the one exception is that their lower end cable cutter is junk - it does a poor job of cutting. I haven't had the opportunity to work with the Pedro tools since they are relatively new, but they look nice. Sometimes you can get a decent tool for less from another mfr, but sometimes not. More often than not I wind up dissapointed when I buy the cheaper tool. The set of six Performance cone wrenches is actually made for them by Park and it's way cheaper ($15 for six - on sale). Having said that the most economical way to go is to get one of their kits. You can usually save some $$$ when you buy this way. You just need to decide at which level you're willing to spend. I'm typically disappointed with some REI stuff - they tend to target the middle of the market (smart for them) and sometimes the stuff they sell isn't up to par. I would advise that you get a torque wrench - it's pretty important when installing BB's and crank arms. For general tools metric wrenches, screw drivers and the like I typically use Craftsman. The Snap-On fans will poo-poo them, but it's hard to justify their cost if you're not a professional. I haven't had to use the Craftsman lifetime warranty...yet.

I suppose that if you're only doing things occasionally you might not want to spend the $$ for premium tools, but one of the best way to mess something up on a bike is to use the wrong or an inferior tool.
Thanks GuysIcefrk13
Apr 4, 2002 12:05 PM
Thanks for all the good advice ... I currently own Craftsman for when I am working on my vehicles. So I have a fondness for good tools. And yes I have used Snap-on (growing up a friend of mines dad was a dealer)not worht the money in my book. I think I will start with just what I need an go from there. I just got the Zinn book so looking forward to tinkering. on a side note I will start witht the mtb it gets ridden less and if I screw it up I will just go for a Road ride.