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What Tool Couldn't You Live Without?

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7/22/2016 5:20 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/22/2016 5:26 PM

I realize we're not all mechanics, but inevitably as riders, we all start to tinker around with our bikes and begin acquiring tools. Having personally wrenched in shops for a number of years, I've become very particular about my tools and utilize pretty much all of them quite frequently. Even so, there are still a couple tools I've began to favor over the years.

The first tool I couldn't live without is a simple poker. No matter what the task at hand is, I typically find myself using this thing at least once.

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My boss at my first shop showed me how to make one, and this one is actually the first one I had ever made. Obviously over the years I've made plenty more, but this guy's stayed in my travel toolbox or on my home bench since I left that shop. All you do is take a straight-pull or a J-bend spoke (if you only have a J-bend, straighten the bend with either a vice or pliers), put the spoke in a drill and hit the end you want to sharpen with a circular grinder while spinning it with the drill. Cut a piece of 5mm brake housing and stick the sharpened spoke though it. Once the spoke is through the housing, drip a little Super Glue in the housing. Take two ferrules, put a little glue in them and one on put one on each end of the housing. Boom, you got the raddest poker ever.

The other tool I couldn't live without is kinda a cop out, but I use it all the time: the 4-5-6mm allen key tri-wrench.

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So, what about you? What tool couldn't you live without?


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I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

7/22/2016 6:26 PM

Master link pliers! I used to spend up to 25 minutes with a pair of needle noses cussing and swearing. Changed my life.

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7/22/2016 10:42 PM

Some form of internet, for everything from manuals, to music.

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7/23/2016 3:56 AM

Probably a gentle hand of justice. (Hammer.)

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7/23/2016 7:00 AM

She's called baby Thor. And it's probably my favorite tool. However the one I can't live without is a park aws-10 multi tool. It's faded into the back pocket of every pair of jeans I have. Pretty lame I know but when I first started working at a shop it was handed to me and it hasn't left my side since.

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7/23/2016 10:15 AM

Assuming Allen wrenches are a given, I'd probably go for my cable cutters. After working in a shop for a summer they were the first tool I bought myself after realizing how much time and hassle they saved over a dremel tool and carbide disc...

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7/23/2016 12:35 PM

You´re all mistaken.

Fixit-Sticks is all you needwink

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7/23/2016 2:48 PM

I have to say, and I'm surprised I'm the first one here to say this, but the Crombie tool has been clutch in my toolbox ever since it was added a couple (ish) years ago. I had to put a lock on my toolbox when I worked at a shop because other mechanics kept stealing the thing.

I also second the tri wrench. Having both a 4 and a 5 on the same tool make adjusting road brake calipers and headsets so much easier.

I guess a "different" tool would be a pair of small flush cut dykes I got from harbor freight for like $2. Use them to cut zip ties so they're flush with the anchor and don't leave that sharp edge that can rip shorts and skin.

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7/23/2016 5:36 PM

For work the tool I can't live without is the ParkTool AWS1. My second favorite tool is the Pedro's "Equalizer" pedal wrench.

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7/23/2016 6:24 PM

ldordai wrote:

I have to say, and I'm surprised I'm the first one here to say this, but the Crombie tool has been clutch in my toolbox ever ...more

Nail clippers also work great for flush cutting zip ties.

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7/24/2016 5:52 AM

gr8day4ridin wrote:

Master link pliers! I used to spend up to 25 minutes with a pair of needle noses cussing and swearing. Changed my life.

This is probably the first bike-specific tool I got and it's definitely one of those tools that removed so much unneeded frustration and cursing when working on my bike. Every time I use it, I literally wonder, "what the hell was I thinking before owning one".

Another one that made my wrenching more enjoyable (read: less fraught with error and sadness) was the Park Tool saw guide SG-6. Definitely one of those tools that reinforces the old cliche of "right tool for the job".

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7/24/2016 11:47 AM

Who know a simple bent spoke could prevent so much frustration? I can't do without this tool.

[LINK TO IMAGE]

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7/24/2016 12:28 PM

personnaly i use a tri-allen for most every thing under the sun, that and cause i run sram a t-25 is a nessecity

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7/25/2016 8:29 AM

Suprised no one has mentioned a bottle opener. Gonna have to give it to the bottle opener, which is pretty much anythig and everything cool

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7/25/2016 1:45 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/25/2016 1:46 PM

kev.1n wrote:

Suprised no one has mentioned a bottle opener. Gonna have to give it to the bottle opener, which is pretty much anythig and ...more

Who needs a bottle opener when you're working on bikes when there's all these ways to get to the good stuff? wink

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I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

7/26/2016 1:41 PM

bturman wrote:

Who know a simple bent spoke could prevent so much frustration? I can't do without this tool.

[LINK TO IMAGE]

100% agree haha

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7/27/2016 11:29 AM

bturman wrote:

Who know a simple bent spoke could prevent so much frustration? I can't do without this tool.

[LINK TO IMAGE]

Check the chain-checker from Birzman. Pretty cool, actually.

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I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.