Lessons Learned from Moto Mechanics

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 require metal over plastic tire levers. These harder levers are more likely to scratch and/or damage the thin aluminum rims found on DH bikes. Motorcycle mechanics have been experiencing the same issues for some time and created a couple solutions to protect the rims.

Rim Protectors

These plastic sleeves slide over the lip of the rim providing a surface for the lever to lay against preventing scratches and dings. They are fairly inexpensive. Example here.

Rim Shields
Rim Shields
These take rim protection to another level by adding a shield that also covers spokes. This prevents the mechanic from smacking his hands on the spokes as well as protecting the spoke finish from the tool. Also, a fairly inexpensive addition to your tool box and samples can be found here.

Have you found a tool that we should cover, that needs to be a race mechanic’s tool box? Use the form below and let us know.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.

One thought on “Lessons Learned from Moto Mechanics

  • Love Those Wire Twisting Pliers. They were USAF issue. I have not seen a set of those in almost 20 years. Really awesome tool. Past experience working as an EMT at the motocross track…funny that I don’t ever remeber seeing those rim protectors being used. Great idea and I wonder if they could be adapted to work on really nice road bike rims. Thanks For The Article.

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