Got a little spare cash in your pockets? There is a Kickstarter project that could use your help. Though not necessarily a professional mechanics’ tool, this device could fit nicely in your jump pack or as a spare set in your tool box. Fix It Sticks appear to be lightweight, modular and customizable. For more information, check out their Kickstarter page.
While we are talking about compact tools, what is your mini or multi tool of choice? Leave us a comment below.
According to an article on Velonews.com Cal Giant-Specialized’s team van was broken into in Santa Cruz and a few items were stolen. Listed were some wheels and Jordi Cortes’ personal tools. Luckily he had locked up the bikes which may have prevented them from being stolen.
Some points for all of us:
always consider backup security for the items in your team vehicles
make sure your team’s equipment is insured
make sure your personal items are insured
I’ve had my toolbox stolen, twice. In both cases I was covered by insurance allowing me to acquire new tools. However, I was not able to recover the tools I created myself, the tools handcrafted by others or the older models that were no longer in production. I learned from the second theft to not place my personal box near the door in the trailer. Theives tend …
A lot of specialty tools exist for bicycles, tools you can’t find at your local hardware store. These tools tend to come from companies like Park Tool and Pedros who specialize in bicycle specific solutions. Once in a while we find a solution from another industry and many times that comes from motorcycles.
Wire Twisting Pliers
A little over a decade ago those of us working on mountain bikes found wire tools to be optimal for keeping grips from slipping from the bar. Luckily, a short time later, grip manufacturers began including hardware that secured the grips to the bar allowing us to remove that hefty tool and the small bail of wire. An example can be found here.
Recently we were introduced to rim protectors and rim shields. Tires for downhill bikes are not always the easiest to install and tend to …
Its that time of year again. Did you remember your mechanic friends?
Here are some ideas for last minute, useful gifts for the mechanic in your life.
Park Tool Bladed Spoke Holder
Bladed spokes have a tendency to wind up increasing the time it takes to true or adjust a wheel. This tool provides four slots to hold spokes from 0.8mm to over 2mm width.
The Screw Gripper sits on the end of your screwdriver and holds the screw in place removing the need to squeeze your fingers in tight spaces.
Looking for a way to impress your mechanic friends? How about a tool related set of utensils. No, the pliers don’t work and we don’t know what size the wrenches are. But does it really matter?
Funny utensils not your deal? How about a utensil that can actually be used as a tool? …
Its show time and that means new tools are being debuted. Though the show is still a couple weeks away, we are starting to receive some tool announcements:
XTools – aimed toward fishermen, these tools are a great option for those who could use a floating wrench. You might not need it now but the next time it rains or your buddy asks you to help with his boat…
Calipers, ruler and pen in one – The Messograf is this and more. Check them out at Passion4Pens.
BucketVac – turns a 5 gallon bucket into shop vac.
New Inner/Outer reemer – Its time to unload my trusty red barrel reamer for one of these from Ridgid. More cutting surfaces and they don’t look as ‘cheap’.
It-Clips – not a tool but a way to turn used tubes into a tool, such as a strap to …
Its that time of year again, the time for Interbike where the bicycle industry presents the following year’s goodies to the bicycle retailers. With that in mind we hit Vegas to check out what’s new in tools and to see what other items may affect the race mechanic.
Shimano XT Anniversary – Can you believe that XT has been around for 25 years? Let’s hear it for mountain bike racing…check out the 2008 XT component group here.
Tool Companies – Each year more tool companies appear at the show. Some of them stick around for a while, others never really make it to US distribution. This year we visited the booths of Park Tool, Pedros, IceToolz, Unior, and Cyclus.
Unior and Cyclos are European brands from Slovenia and Germany. Both seem to be big fans of Park Tool as they copied the …
New tools for the 2006 racing season.
Move over Visegrip, make room for something easier. Lockjaw has come out with a new locking plier that self adjusts so that gripping an item can occur faster. Plus, you can adjust the tension requried for a grip and you don’t have to reposition your hands to hit the release lever. This saves time while preventing the tool from jumping out of your hands when it snaps open. The only downfall, the spring mechanism causes the Lockjaw to weigh …
Park Rotor Tools
One of the most common mountain bike complaints is the consistent rubbing of the rotor on the caliper. Park Tool has joined the efforts to fight rotor drag with the DT-2. Its easy to hold and does a better job of straightening rotors than a wrench and without creating bite marks. Can’t find the exact spot to straighten? Use the new DT-3 with your truing stand to pinpoint the exact spot.
Park Spoke wrenches
With new wheels come funky spokes and crazy nipples. Tired of stripping …
Another year, another Interbike. The bike industry gathered in Vegas again this fall to show off items that will soon be hitting the shelves. As in previous years the folks at ProMechanics hit the floor looking for tools and other items designed to make your life, the life of a race mechanic, easier.
The show began with the Outdoor demo, two days of outdoor bike testing in the desert. The intention of this program is to help retail sales staff provide realistic answers to their customers based on personal experience. The negative side of this is the opportunity for ‘bad’ riders to wreck bikes at someone else’s expense. We watched a few riders attempt to jump four inch travel bikes off ten foot cliffs and noticed many high speed riders with flat tires. Its then up to the company mechanics to …
We met up with Ric Hjertberg of Wheelsmith fame while working at the Cranksworx Gravity Fest in Whistler. Between manning booths and wrenching on downhill bikes he showed us some new spoke tools that he’s been working on with the support of FSA. Both will most likely be on display at Interbike and it sounds like they may be ready for sales by the end of the year.The first is a very easy to use spoke cutter that mounts to most table tops and, due to its ability to be taken apart, is fairly transportable. The first thing he showed us was cutting of the spoke’s length. This device uses gravity to hold the spoke while you pull up the arm to the desired length. A lever is then pulled down to cut the spoke. Besides ease of use this …
Each year the industry gathers to show its new wares to retailers in hopes of exciting sales and getting a bigger portion of the market. Interbike has been the tradeshow of choice for the States and has brought mechanics and sales staff from all over to the city of Lost Wages, er, ah Las Vegas. This year I had the chance to hit the show floor for six hours before driving off to the next race. As is usual, I spent my time there checking out …
Five tools that every mechanic must have for 2003.
Kool Stop Tire Bead Jack
This will be the savior for all you clincher teams out there. Make sure you have one of these before your next tire mounting session as it will prevent pinching tubes and reduce the soreness and cramps you get from installing hundred of tires.
FSA Headset Guide Tool
Not really a toll for traveling with but great for shop use. This tool has …