Looking for a decent Shop tool kit

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Kevin Stone, Jan 22, 2003.

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  1. Kevin Stone

    Kevin Stone Guest

    I'm looking at getting a basic shop toolkit and wanted to see if there were any words of
    wisdom/warning. I'm not talking about a compact set (like the Alien, etc)

    Right now there are sales on em at Nashbar (their brand):
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=99&subcategory=1062&brand=&sku=3521

    and Performance Bike (Ascent brand) http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.html?SKU=16017

    Are these any good, or do you have to by the ~$200+ sets to get good quality tools? I'm just looking
    for some basic maintenance, not running a shop where they'd be used continuously.

    TIA- Kevin
     
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  2. Kevin Stone

    Kevin Stone Guest

    I'm looking at getting a basic shop toolkit and wanted to see if there were any words of
    wisdom/warning. I'm not talking about a compact set (like the Alien, etc)

    Right now there are sales on em at Nashbar (their brand):
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=99&subcategory=1062&brand=&sku=3521

    and Performance Bike (Ascent brand) http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.html?SKU=16017

    Are these any good, or do you have to by the ~$200+ sets to get good quality tools? I'm just looking
    for some basic maintenance, not running a shop where they'd be used continuously.

    TIA- Kevin
     
  3. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > I'm looking at getting a basic shop toolkit and wanted to see if there were any words of
    > wisdom/warning. I'm not talking about a compact set (like the Alien, etc)
    >
    > Right now there are sales on em at Nashbar (their brand):
    > http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=99&subcategory=1062&brand=&sku=3521
    >
    > and Performance Bike (Ascent brand) http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.html?SKU=16017
    >
    > Are these any good, or do you have to by the ~$200+ sets to get good quality tools? I'm just
    > looking for some basic maintenance, not running a shop where they'd be used continuously.
    >
    > TIA- Kevin
    >

    I manage fairly well with standard tools no kit. As I have needed a special tool, I get the Park
    tool. So far, I have accumulated cone wrenches, headset wrenches, chain whip, crank puller, BB
    wrench. I have not (yet) replaced a headset or built a wheel. Everything else works with Allen
    wrenches and Phillips Screwdriver. If you don't already own Allen wrenches and Phillips Screwdriver,
    then you probably should not be thinking that you can justify the cost of a fancy repair toolkit.

    My recommendation is to only buy the tool when you need it for repair. The price of the tool is
    usually the labor cost or less if you were to get the LBS to do the repair for you.

    My next purchase is a Park Home Mechanic Repair Stand (PCS-4). Until now, I have gotten along for 15
    years without one.

    --

    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  4. Tom Blum

    Tom Blum Guest

    Kevin,

    Tools are like bicycles, musical instruments and many other things.

    There are junk quality level tools, which are to be avoided at all costs.

    There are utilitarian tools which get the job done okay

    There are top of the line tools, which are a pleasure to look at as well as use.

    Unless you make your living with your tool, top of the line is hard to justify.

    That said, buy a basic set of 3/8 drive sockets and open end/box wrenches. A good screwdriver set.
    (big to little: flat blade and Phillips) Good pliers and perhaps a good hammer impact round out the
    basics. Oh! and deep sockets are often nice.

    Nashbar has a "fishbone" wrench on sale for 9.99 which covers "all" sizes needed for a bike and acts
    as a cone wrench on most sizes.

    As Cletus says, buy the specialty tools as you need them. A full kit is never "full" . Buying tools
    can be as much fun as buying bikes. You wind up being a tool freak.

    Enjoy the trip,

    Tom
     
  5. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > I'm looking at getting a basic shop toolkit and wanted to see if there were any words of
    > wisdom/warning. I'm not talking about a compact set (like the Alien, etc)
    >
    > Right now there are sales on em at Nashbar (their brand):
    > http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=99&subcategory=1062&brand=&sku=3521
    >
    > and Performance Bike (Ascent brand) http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.html?SKU=16017
    >
    > Are these any good, or do you have to by the ~$200+ sets to get good quality tools? I'm just
    > looking for some basic maintenance, not running a shop where they'd be used continuously.
    >
    > TIA- Kevin
    >

    I manage fairly well with standard tools no kit. As I have needed a special tool, I get the Park
    tool. So far, I have accumulated cone wrenches, headset wrenches, chain whip, crank puller, BB
    wrench. I have not (yet) replaced a headset or built a wheel. Everything else works with Allen
    wrenches and Phillips Screwdriver. If you don't already own Allen wrenches and Phillips Screwdriver,
    then you probably should not be thinking that you can justify the cost of a fancy repair toolkit.

    My recommendation is to only buy the tool when you need it for repair. The price of the tool is
    usually the labor cost or less if you were to get the LBS to do the repair for you.

    My next purchase is a Park Home Mechanic Repair Stand (PCS-4). Until now, I have gotten along for 15
    years without one.

    --

    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  6. Tom Blum

    Tom Blum Guest

    Kevin,

    Tools are like bicycles, musical instruments and many other things.

    There are junk quality level tools, which are to be avoided at all costs.

    There are utilitarian tools which get the job done okay

    There are top of the line tools, which are a pleasure to look at as well as use.

    Unless you make your living with your tool, top of the line is hard to justify.

    That said, buy a basic set of 3/8 drive sockets and open end/box wrenches. A good screwdriver set.
    (big to little: flat blade and Phillips) Good pliers and perhaps a good hammer impact round out the
    basics. Oh! and deep sockets are often nice.

    Nashbar has a "fishbone" wrench on sale for 9.99 which covers "all" sizes needed for a bike and acts
    as a cone wrench on most sizes.

    As Cletus says, buy the specialty tools as you need them. A full kit is never "full" . Buying tools
    can be as much fun as buying bikes. You wind up being a tool freak.

    Enjoy the trip,

    Tom
     
  7. Geob

    Geob Guest

    > Right now there are sales on em at Nashbar (their brand):

    I bought the Nashbar kit last week. Haven't used it but looked it over really well. I did use the
    metric allen set, it seemed fine. In general not impressive quality, but then.. is it 'good enough'?
    The cone wrenches are thin and cheap seeming, but then, you don't wanna put torque on a cone anyway.
    the larger tools seem hefty enough but won't have the safety margin you get with general Craftsman
    brand tools. The hub pullers and chain breaker seem functional. My old chain breaker is better, but
    then it cost more too. Well, it seems better. The chain holder part of the breaker is machined while
    the Nashbar one is cast. The screw part fits tighter in my old one, has some free play in the
    Nashbar one. My old one has an additional handle to turn the screw thingee, the Nashbar requires
    that you use an allen wrench. I am confident it will do the job though. Same could be said for my
    crank pullers. My old one has two handles, the Nashbar one you have to use a wrench and an Allen.
    The teeth on the cassette puller are machined and crisp, while the Nashbar pullers are cast. Think
    they claim they are using a strong material though. The chain wrench doesn't look impressive and
    doesn't have a really nice finish but will probably work fine unless you put mongo torque on it.

    I'd say for home use this set would be fine. I'm sure you could maintain a flock of bikes with this.
    If I wuz a professional bike mechanic (I wuz a pro motorcycle & foreign car mechanic) I'd prolly go
    for the highest quality I could find though. But I tell myself, good enough is good enough. If it
    has a tad more 'quality' than I ever need I'll never know it anyway! Make sense? I lose more tools
    than I break, so these are cheaper to replace. The price certainly seems reasonable for what you get
    since this stuff is specialized and doesn't enjoy a giant economy of scale.
     
  8. Jeff Wills

    Jeff Wills Guest

    [email protected] (Kevin Stone) wrote in message
    > Right now there are sales on em at Nashbar (their brand):
    > http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=99&subcategory=1062&brand=&sku=3521
    >
    > and Performance Bike (Ascent brand) http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.html?SKU=16017
    >
    > Are these any good, or do you have to by the ~$200+ sets to get good quality tools? I'm just
    > looking for some basic maintenance, not running a shop where they'd be used continuously.
    >

    Kevin, I think the two sets you've pointed to are the same set, except different brands. I'd be very
    surprised if they were made in different factories.

    I'm very leary of cheap tools. Many times the wrenches are cut so poorly that they round off
    immediately. A wrench that bends is worse than useless- it's dangerous (I've got the scars to
    prove it.)

    Do yourself a favor and invest in quality tools. For general-purpose wrenches, cutters, and pliers,
    I like Craftsman. For specialized bicycle tools, Park has never let me down. I've built up my set
    piecemeal, as I've done more and more work at home. I accumulated tools over a ten-year period- and
    it's still a small tool box.

    If you were around here (Portland, Oregon), I'd suggest making friends with the local bike repair
    cooperatives: Bicycle Repair Collective or Community Cycling Center
    http://www.communitycyclingcenter.org/ . Both teach bicycle maintainence- and I've found that
    learning something with *good* tools makes it that much easier to manage when all you've got is
    *bad* tools. Maybe there's a similar program in your area.

    Jeff
     
  9. Geob

    Geob Guest

    > Right now there are sales on em at Nashbar (their brand):

    I bought the Nashbar kit last week. Haven't used it but looked it over really well. I did use the
    metric allen set, it seemed fine. In general not impressive quality, but then.. is it 'good enough'?
    The cone wrenches are thin and cheap seeming, but then, you don't wanna put torque on a cone anyway.
    the larger tools seem hefty enough but won't have the safety margin you get with general Craftsman
    brand tools. The hub pullers and chain breaker seem functional. My old chain breaker is better, but
    then it cost more too. Well, it seems better. The chain holder part of the breaker is machined while
    the Nashbar one is cast. The screw part fits tighter in my old one, has some free play in the
    Nashbar one. My old one has an additional handle to turn the screw thingee, the Nashbar requires
    that you use an allen wrench. I am confident it will do the job though. Same could be said for my
    crank pullers. My old one has two handles, the Nashbar one you have to use a wrench and an Allen.
    The teeth on the cassette puller are machined and crisp, while the Nashbar pullers are cast. Think
    they claim they are using a strong material though. The chain wrench doesn't look impressive and
    doesn't have a really nice finish but will probably work fine unless you put mongo torque on it.

    I'd say for home use this set would be fine. I'm sure you could maintain a flock of bikes with this.
    If I wuz a professional bike mechanic (I wuz a pro motorcycle & foreign car mechanic) I'd prolly go
    for the highest quality I could find though. But I tell myself, good enough is good enough. If it
    has a tad more 'quality' than I ever need I'll never know it anyway! Make sense? I lose more tools
    than I break, so these are cheaper to replace. The price certainly seems reasonable for what you get
    since this stuff is specialized and doesn't enjoy a giant economy of scale.
     
  10. Jeff Wills

    Jeff Wills Guest

    [email protected] (Kevin Stone) wrote in message
    > Right now there are sales on em at Nashbar (their brand):
    > http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=99&subcategory=1062&brand=&sku=3521
    >
    > and Performance Bike (Ascent brand) http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.html?SKU=16017
    >
    > Are these any good, or do you have to by the ~$200+ sets to get good quality tools? I'm just
    > looking for some basic maintenance, not running a shop where they'd be used continuously.
    >

    Kevin, I think the two sets you've pointed to are the same set, except different brands. I'd be very
    surprised if they were made in different factories.

    I'm very leary of cheap tools. Many times the wrenches are cut so poorly that they round off
    immediately. A wrench that bends is worse than useless- it's dangerous (I've got the scars to
    prove it.)

    Do yourself a favor and invest in quality tools. For general-purpose wrenches, cutters, and pliers,
    I like Craftsman. For specialized bicycle tools, Park has never let me down. I've built up my set
    piecemeal, as I've done more and more work at home. I accumulated tools over a ten-year period- and
    it's still a small tool box.

    If you were around here (Portland, Oregon), I'd suggest making friends with the local bike repair
    cooperatives: Bicycle Repair Collective or Community Cycling Center
    http://www.communitycyclingcenter.org/ . Both teach bicycle maintainence- and I've found that
    learning something with *good* tools makes it that much easier to manage when all you've got is
    *bad* tools. Maybe there's a similar program in your area.

    Jeff
     
  11. I agree with Cletus, buy the tools as you need them. Kits come with tools and sizes that you will
    probably never use. If you need headset wrenches or cone wrenches, just get the sizes you need. The
    same with cassette wrench, chain tool, etc. You won't need them all at once and when you do buy them
    you can get a single quality tool and it won't break your bank. Before you know it you'll have
    everything you need and probably better quality and cheaper than the kit would have cost you. You
    may find there are some jobs that it's better to have the LBS take care of and you won't even get
    the tools needed to do that job.

    --
    Gene O _ \ _/\,%) (*)--(*)

    [email protected] http://home.att.net/~gene8

    "Cletus D. Lee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > > I'm looking at getting a basic shop toolkit and wanted to see if there were any words of
    > > wisdom/warning. I'm not talking about a compact set (like the Alien, etc)
    > >
    > > Right now there are sales on em at Nashbar (their brand):
    > >
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=99&subcategory=1062&brand=&sku=3 521
    > >
    > > and Performance Bike (Ascent brand) http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.html?SKU=16017
    > >
    > > Are these any good, or do you have to by the ~$200+ sets to get good quality tools? I'm just
    > > looking for some basic maintenance, not running a shop where they'd be used continuously.
    > >
    > > TIA- Kevin
    > >
    >
    > I manage fairly well with standard tools no kit. As I have needed a
    special
    > tool, I get the Park tool. So far, I have accumulated cone wrenches,
    headset
    > wrenches, chain whip, crank puller, BB wrench. I have not (yet) replaced a headset or built a
    > wheel. Everything else works with Allen wrenches and Phillips Screwdriver. If you don't already
    > own Allen wrenches and Phillips Screwdriver, then you probably should not be thinking that you
    > can justify
    the
    > cost of a fancy repair toolkit.
    >
    > My recommendation is to only buy the tool when you need it for repair. The price of the tool is
    > usually the labor cost or less if you were to get the
    LBS
    > to do the repair for you.
    >
    > My next purchase is a Park Home Mechanic Repair Stand (PCS-4). Until now,
    I
    > have gotten along for 15 years without one.
    >
    > --
    >
    > Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    > - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  12. I agree with Cletus, buy the tools as you need them. Kits come with tools and sizes that you will
    probably never use. If you need headset wrenches or cone wrenches, just get the sizes you need. The
    same with cassette wrench, chain tool, etc. You won't need them all at once and when you do buy them
    you can get a single quality tool and it won't break your bank. Before you know it you'll have
    everything you need and probably better quality and cheaper than the kit would have cost you. You
    may find there are some jobs that it's better to have the LBS take care of and you won't even get
    the tools needed to do that job.

    --
    Gene O _ \ _/\,%) (*)--(*)

    [email protected] http://home.att.net/~gene8

    "Cletus D. Lee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > > I'm looking at getting a basic shop toolkit and wanted to see if there were any words of
    > > wisdom/warning. I'm not talking about a compact set (like the Alien, etc)
    > >
    > > Right now there are sales on em at Nashbar (their brand):
    > >
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=99&subcategory=1062&brand=&sku=3 521
    > >
    > > and Performance Bike (Ascent brand) http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.html?SKU=16017
    > >
    > > Are these any good, or do you have to by the ~$200+ sets to get good quality tools? I'm just
    > > looking for some basic maintenance, not running a shop where they'd be used continuously.
    > >
    > > TIA- Kevin
    > >
    >
    > I manage fairly well with standard tools no kit. As I have needed a
    special
    > tool, I get the Park tool. So far, I have accumulated cone wrenches,
    headset
    > wrenches, chain whip, crank puller, BB wrench. I have not (yet) replaced a headset or built a
    > wheel. Everything else works with Allen wrenches and Phillips Screwdriver. If you don't already
    > own Allen wrenches and Phillips Screwdriver, then you probably should not be thinking that you
    > can justify
    the
    > cost of a fancy repair toolkit.
    >
    > My recommendation is to only buy the tool when you need it for repair. The price of the tool is
    > usually the labor cost or less if you were to get the
    LBS
    > to do the repair for you.
    >
    > My next purchase is a Park Home Mechanic Repair Stand (PCS-4). Until now,
    I
    > have gotten along for 15 years without one.
    >
    > --
    >
    > Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    > - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  13. Lb

    Lb Guest

    > Pretty much the response I expeceted - I'm more than setup for all the normal tools (quality,
    > quality, quality), but I'm needing some of the odd-ball bike specific tools (BB tool, crank
    > puller, etc)
    >
    > Based on GeoB's specific remarks about the Nasbar set, I think I'll go with my original plan and
    > buy just the indiviual Park tools I need at this point. I already have their chain tool and I'm
    > very impressed with it.
    Kevin, I had little extra money a few months ago and bought the Park Professional Tool Kit from
    Lickton's online($599). I know that I will probably never use some of the tools, but on average, I
    got the ones I will use for a lot less than I would have had to pay had I bought them individually
    and they are all of excellent quality. The cone wrenches are thin enough to use but heavy enough
    not to torque out of shape and they have nice handles. In other words, they are a pleasure to use.
    It makes bike maintenance much more enjoyable to me to use fine tools. Buy the best that you can
    afford, you won't regret it. LBJ [email protected]
     
  14. Lb

    Lb Guest

    > Pretty much the response I expeceted - I'm more than setup for all the normal tools (quality,
    > quality, quality), but I'm needing some of the odd-ball bike specific tools (BB tool, crank
    > puller, etc)
    >
    > Based on GeoB's specific remarks about the Nasbar set, I think I'll go with my original plan and
    > buy just the indiviual Park tools I need at this point. I already have their chain tool and I'm
    > very impressed with it.
    Kevin, I had little extra money a few months ago and bought the Park Professional Tool Kit from
    Lickton's online($599). I know that I will probably never use some of the tools, but on average, I
    got the ones I will use for a lot less than I would have had to pay had I bought them individually
    and they are all of excellent quality. The cone wrenches are thin enough to use but heavy enough
    not to torque out of shape and they have nice handles. In other words, they are a pleasure to use.
    It makes bike maintenance much more enjoyable to me to use fine tools. Buy the best that you can
    afford, you won't regret it. LBJ [email protected]
     
  15. I have the opposite opinion. As I do a lot of travelling with my (and my families) bikes, I carry
    the Nashbar kit in my van. It isn't the highest quality on earth, but I've never broken a tool in 5
    years. I use it so much that should I break a tool I'll replace it with a Park or alike, but so far
    no problems. One great attribute is that it has the majority of tools you need (no off the wall
    Campy BB tools...) IN ONE PLACE with a shadow box toolkit that assures you have them all when you're
    done. No loose tools to forget/misplace, etc. No cursing that you can't find your metric allen
    wrenches because they're in your bike box. I can't remember the number of times on TOSRV or GOBA
    when someone came to me asking if I had a headset wrench, crank arm puller etc. It saves lots of
    time while tracking down a special tool during my maintenance of the families 6 bikes. You'll save
    the $49.95 in the first two hours you own it. Don't pass Go, Don't collect $200. Go directly to
    Nashbar. (no connection to the outfit). For me, I gotta have it.
     
  16. I have the opposite opinion. As I do a lot of travelling with my (and my families) bikes, I carry
    the Nashbar kit in my van. It isn't the highest quality on earth, but I've never broken a tool in 5
    years. I use it so much that should I break a tool I'll replace it with a Park or alike, but so far
    no problems. One great attribute is that it has the majority of tools you need (no off the wall
    Campy BB tools...) IN ONE PLACE with a shadow box toolkit that assures you have them all when you're
    done. No loose tools to forget/misplace, etc. No cursing that you can't find your metric allen
    wrenches because they're in your bike box. I can't remember the number of times on TOSRV or GOBA
    when someone came to me asking if I had a headset wrench, crank arm puller etc. It saves lots of
    time while tracking down a special tool during my maintenance of the families 6 bikes. You'll save
    the $49.95 in the first two hours you own it. Don't pass Go, Don't collect $200. Go directly to
    Nashbar. (no connection to the outfit). For me, I gotta have it.
     
  17. Geob

    Geob Guest

    > I have the opposite opinion.
    <snip>
    > Don't pass Go, Don't collect $200. Go directly to Nashbar. (no connection to the outfit). For me,
    > I gotta have it.

    Great post! The beauty of this is that you haven't contradicted any of the previous posts. We have
    heard from different value systems, great way to cover the subject.
     
  18. Geob

    Geob Guest

    > I have the opposite opinion.
    <snip>
    > Don't pass Go, Don't collect $200. Go directly to Nashbar. (no connection to the outfit). For me,
    > I gotta have it.

    Great post! The beauty of this is that you haven't contradicted any of the previous posts. We have
    heard from different value systems, great way to cover the subject.
     
  19. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    >I have the opposite opinion. As I do a lot of travelling with my (and my families) bikes, I carry
    >the Nashbar kit in my van. It isn't the highest quality on earth, but I've never broken a tool in 5
    >years. I use it so much that should I break a tool I'll replace it with a Park or alike, but so far
    >no problems. One great attribute is that it has the majority of tools you need (no off the wall
    >Campy BB tools...) IN ONE PLACE with a shadow box toolkit that assures you have them all when
    >you're done. No loose tools to forget/misplace, etc. No cursing that you can't find your metric
    >allen wrenches because they're in your bike box. I can't remember the number of times on TOSRV or
    >GOBA when someone came to me asking if I had a headset wrench, crank arm puller etc. It saves lots
    >of time while tracking down a special tool during my maintenance of the families 6 bikes. You'll
    >save the $49.95 in the first two hours you own it. Don't pass Go, Don't collect $200. Go directly
    >to Nashbar. (no connection to the outfit). For me, I gotta have it.

    I had looked at the Nashbar tool kit in the catalog, and figured the set had to be pretty cheesey to
    get so many tools for just $50. But JD's suggestion above to get one to keep in your van made a lot
    of sense to me. So I ordered one and just got it today. And you know, the tools are a lot better
    than I thought they'd be. Nothing I'd want to use all the time, and not as nice on the hands as my
    Park tools, but fine for an emergency, or perhaps a once a year overhaul. So thanks for the tip.

    Steve Christensen Midland, MI
     
  20. Geob

    Geob Guest

    > It isn't the highest quality on earth, but I've never broken a tool in 5 years.

    I posted a msg on this topic earlier.. and I thought I'd modify it a bit. I have been using some of
    the tools and they seem to work just fine. I had said that my chain breaker had two handles so you
    didn't need the allen wrench (well, I said you needed an allen AND a wrench, which was not true,
    just the allen). But now I find that on a tough chain, the handle on my old favorite tool wasn't
    long enough to give any leverage. the long allen I used with the Nashbar tool worked better. Both
    breakers had a gauge so you would know how far to push th pin out w/o going to far. Now i like the
    Nashbar tool better.

    Lotta words for one lil point, though.
     
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