Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

tool buying advice

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

tool buying advice

Old 09-17-06, 12:32 AM
  #1  
lukathonic
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
tool buying advice

I'm debating the choice of tools to buy ... nashbar is having a sale right now and the decision is timely.

I've always tried to work on my bikes as much as possible, and have accumulated a small collection of essential tools ... chain tool, spoke wrench, allen keys, screw drivers, cleaning brushes, etc.

But I don't have anything to work on the drive system or headset.

Nashbar sells a set of tools that is on sale right now for $90 that sounds like a good deal. A lot of the stuff I already have, but there is enough there that I don't have to deserve some thought.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...Subcat:%20Kits

Question is ... is it worth it to buy this set, or are they crap that will fall apart? Furthermore, does this really cover the tools I will need? If not, what would be a better way to acquire the necessary tools? (

I have both mountain and road bikes, all with shimano components. Except for one ten speed which is suntour.)

Thanks for the help!
lukathonic is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 01:53 AM
  #2  
peripatetic
Senior Member
 
peripatetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 2,124

Bikes: All 70s and 80s, only steel.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you're just planning on working those three bikes over time, the nashbar set will probably be fine. I have some of their tools, and while they're not amazing, they also get the job done. Just keep them clean and dry: one thing with cheaper tools is that they tend to corrode easily.

A lot of people here will tell you to buy quality tools piece-by-piece as you need 'em, but I went that route, and just have way too many tools that ate up a lot of my money. It also meant sitting around and waiting to go buy a new tool every time I got inspired to try some new task. I say make this quick, one-time investment. As things wear out, you can decide if you want to drop the dough for their higher-quality, more expensive replacements. Or, you may not use them that much, then you'll have a set that'll last you quite a while.
peripatetic is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 08:47 AM
  #3  
AndrewP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal
Posts: 6,521

Bikes: Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It will be worth it if it includes cassette and BB removal tools.
AndrewP is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 08:51 AM
  #4  
peripatetic
Senior Member
 
peripatetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 2,124

Bikes: All 70s and 80s, only steel.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by AndrewP
It will be worth it if it includes cassette and BB removal tools.

That's true. Thanks for revising.
peripatetic is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 09:15 AM
  #5  
operator
cab horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Posts: 28,335

Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
So find out exactly what tools you need or forsee you'll need (drivetrain and headset) and go and buy those exact tools. Or you can be lazy and buy the entire toolset hoping that everything you need will be there already.
operator is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 12:16 PM
  #6  
outashape
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Since you have more than one bike, I would buy the tools as you need them.
outashape is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 12:20 PM
  #7  
lukathonic
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by outashape
Since you have more than one bike, I would buy the tools as you need them.
Thanks for the responses. Why is this? Is it because of the quality of the tools, or because they aren't the right ones for the job?
lukathonic is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 12:30 PM
  #8  
FarHorizon
Senior Curmudgeon
 
FarHorizon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Directly above the center of the earth
Posts: 3,856

Bikes: Varies by day

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If the Nashbar set does what you need, go for it, IMHO.
__________________
Nishiki road bike, Raleigh road bike, Electra Cruiser Lux 7d, Electra Townie 3i, Electra Townie 1, Whatever I find today!
FarHorizon is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 02:40 PM
  #9  
Portis
Banned.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Posts: 6,020

Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Search these forums for Nashbar Big Tool kit. I've got these tools and they are a great starter set. No they won't fall apart, and yes they are a great value. And no, they aren't the best, but they are inexpensive, and that is good.

My set paid for itself in the first 30 days and continues to work. I bought the less expensive nashbar kit, for around $40.
Portis is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 04:05 PM
  #10  
outashape
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you only have one bike and it needs repair and you don't have the tools, well..... However, if you have another bike to ride, then you can order the tools you need as you need them. First I bought a pedal wrench because I was always changing pedals and taking them off for travel. Then I bought a chain cleaner and a chain repair tool after I broke a chain. I cycled for 4-5 years then my favorite mechanic moved away and I had to wait at the LBS to get my bike fixed. They did not want me to put a 24 tooth granny on the bike or a 34 tooth cassette. They are young and they don't tour. So then I started buying bicycle tools. A crank puller, chain whip, a couple cone wrenches, a cassette lockring tool and bottom bracket tool. So now I have the tools for the drive train. I had the headset replaced twice by the LBS with the last one being a Chris King headset, so I won't need to repair the headset. When I get ready for cables, I'll try the ones we have at home and if they don't work, I'll buy a Park/Pedros or some bike specific tool. We have a torque wrench and metric hex wrenches and socket set in the regular non-bike tools. I have broken one spoke and never had a wheel out of true with 5 bicycles, so I don't need the wheel truing stand yet. My husband told me to never buy junk tools. He only uses Craftsman from Sears, so I didn't buy the no-name brands from Nashbar or REI.

Last edited by outashape; 09-17-06 at 06:14 PM.
outashape is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 04:11 PM
  #11  
mycoatl
Sasquatch Crossing
 
mycoatl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 414
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For the price, I think the Spin Doctor Team toolkit at Performance is a better value. It's listed at 109 right now and you can always use a coupon to get it even lower.
mycoatl is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 04:26 PM
  #12  
Al1943
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 9,438

Bikes: Trek 5500, Colnago C-50

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I buy the tools I need when I need them. With kits it's easy to buy tools you'll never need and still have to buy the ones you need.

Al
Al1943 is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 05:45 PM
  #13  
Portis
Banned.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Posts: 6,020

Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Al1943
I buy the tools I need when I need them. With kits it's easy to buy tools you'll never need and still have to buy the ones you need.

Al
Yeah, you'll get tools you don't need, but you'll have just about everything you need for $40. You spend $40 on Park Tool stuff and you haven't even started.
Portis is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 06:55 PM
  #14  
jeremyp111
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Litchfield, NH
Posts: 32

Bikes: '05 Specialized Enduro Expert & '06 Specialized FSR XC Pro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I looked at that kit very closely, but decided to follow the advise given here in many threads about buying the tools you need when you need them. Well, I really regret not buying this kit. It comes with just about everything you will need to tear down your bike and put it back together again. Sure, you may not use the headset wrench, but for the value you get with this particular kit, it is pretty good. Some of the tools are OK quality and probably wouldn't last very long for a bikeshop tech, but for a home wrench guy it will be more than fine.
jeremyp111 is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 09:05 PM
  #15  
peripatetic
Senior Member
 
peripatetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 2,124

Bikes: All 70s and 80s, only steel.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Portis
Yeah, you'll get tools you don't need, but you'll have just about everything you need for $40. You spend $40 on Park Tool stuff and you haven't even started.

+1.

I really advise you to think about how much wrenching you'll be doing. If you're absolutely positive you're going to work on bikes all the time, then go for quality and plan on dropping a bank over a long period. But if you just want to get into it now and learn things quickly, then you're really saving yourself the irritation of shopping around for a new tool every time you have a new mechanically inclined impulse. I took all the "buy one at a time" advice, and just yesterday it dawned on me that I really should have just used all the time I waited for tools to arrive in the mail to head on down to my local bike co-op and learn what I wanted to learn there.

But...

-how much space do you have? Do you have a garage to keep your crap all over the place?
-are you planning on overhauling all three bikes multiple times? Three bikes, a spin doctor kit will do fine for just about everything.
-how much do you really want to spend on this hobbie? If you're not sure, then lay out this one-time purchase and replace as you go.
-Don't spend money you don't have to when you can spend time that you'd rather do. Looking to purchase one new tool can be a tedious and time-eating business, better spent actually working on a bike than shopping lbses or online retailers.

Good luck.
peripatetic is offline  
Old 09-17-06, 10:07 PM
  #16  
AndrewP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal
Posts: 6,521

Bikes: Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The headset wrench will be fine when you want to adjust or replace the headset bearings on the 10 speed. With your variety of bikes I dont think there is anything in that kit you wont need. However check with Nashbar that it includes a cassette removal tool because that is something you will want in a hurry when you need it (replacing a rear spoke). Freewheel removal tool for the 10 speed is something you will have to buy separately because there were so many varieties - start looking now.
AndrewP is offline  
Old 09-18-06, 04:06 AM
  #17  
willtsmith_nwi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,398
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Park tools are somewhat over-rated. Yes they are sturdy and they all work, but in some cases the designs are not the best.

The kits from Spin Doctor/Nashbar/Sette (all Lifu) are pretty good. There will be a couple of trash tools in there, but all the functional bits are there. You can replace the stinkers with better Pedro's tools. This is easily justified as buying the Park versions of the good tools in the kit will cost you 2-3 time as much.

The bottom line is that there is no "best" tool company out there. Each company seems to make standout tools in various categories.

As a personal aside, I strongly prefer "socket" based tools from Lifu and Pedros. It's easy to get a long, generic swivel headed socket wrench from Sears to mount to for lots of leverage and good part clearance. The Park tools do have built in handles (mostly), but they are short and thin. This is not very ergonomic in my opinion.
willtsmith_nwi is offline  
Old 09-19-06, 03:29 PM
  #18  
lukathonic
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for all the comments. I ordered the nashbar kit, and will post my thoughts after I've tried to break them.
lukathonic is offline  
Old 11-08-06, 03:02 PM
  #19  
lukathonic
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Final report

OK, so I got the tools a few months ago now, and here are my impressions.

Overall I'm happy. Granted, I'm not a pro mechanic and I've only used each tool a few times now, but they are really solid and appear to be well made. The little nashbar multi-tool hex wrench is AWESOME. It is overkill to take on rides, but it is great to have.

Half the tools in the set haven't been used at all, since I haven't had an occassion to disassemble my rear wheel. But that's why I bought the set ... when I DO have to take apart a rear wheel, I didn't want to have to make a special trip to the store to buy it. For $90 I bought 99% of the bike tools I'll need for years to come. I did use the crank extractor (quite an exotic tool for a beginner like me), and it worked like a charm.

One complaint is about the toolbox itself. It comes with two shelves, plus the bottom of the box. Pretty slick design for cramming a lot into a small space, but it makes it more of a pain to get to anything but the top shelf. And the plastic dividers they give you are pretty lame. They don't fit very tightly - I could do a much better job with cardboard and duct tape.

Another comment - it would have been nice if the tools were labeled better. This may be kind of dumb for the pros out there, but when I open up the box and a little cylindrical attachment is floating around, I get a little frustrated. Is that for the crank extractor or the what? (rhetorical question). With a noob kit like this, I'd like the name of each tool stenciled on to the side.

Thanks to everyone for the advice - I'm glad I got this set.
lukathonic is offline  
Old 11-08-06, 04:59 PM
  #20  
toolboy
Senior Member
 
toolboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 315

Bikes: Steve Bauer Whirlwind, Nishiki International, Rocky Mountain Element 30 1984 Cinelli Super Corsa w/Campy 50th, Surly LHT.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Looks good but...

What is that device with the quick release on the far left of the picture?
toolboy is offline  
Old 11-08-06, 05:07 PM
  #21  
Mentor58
'Mizer Cats are INSANE
 
Mentor58's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Clarksville, TN
Posts: 808

Bikes: C-dale T800

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
They call it the "Chain Master". It's designed to fit into the dropout in place of your rear wheel. It supports the chain and gives it something to loop over when you're cleaning your chain. I haven't used it except for when I first got my kit. Since I have connex or superlinks in all my chains, they get cleaned off bike, so it just sits in the box and takes up space. Might be handy when traveling maybe.

Steve W
Mentor58 is offline  
Old 11-08-06, 06:21 PM
  #22  
rea1high
as seen on crimewatch
 
rea1high's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 211
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
it seems to me that you already have some tools. it wouldn't make much semse to buy a whole set now.
I would spend money on quality tools that you use often, and less so on tools that you don't use so much. obviously taking into account quality, of course.
rea1high is offline  
Old 11-08-06, 07:42 PM
  #23  
humble_biker
so much for physics
 
humble_biker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: over there
Posts: 562

Bikes: Scott CR1 team, Fuji track pro, NYCbike, Cannondale, Free Spirit, GT Edge

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
At $100 dollars that is $3 a tool.
humble_biker is offline  
Old 11-09-06, 01:20 AM
  #24  
axelfox
Senior Member
 
axelfox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 487
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Performance is running, among other things, 50% off Spin Doctor tools. I don't know for how long.
axelfox is offline  
Old 11-09-06, 01:43 PM
  #25  
DMF 
Elitist Troglodyte
 
DMF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dallas
Posts: 6,927

Bikes: 03 Raleigh Professional (steel)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
50% off multi-tools. 30% off tools and repair stands. Through Nov. 12 and looks to apply only to stores.
__________________
Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

- Will Rogers
DMF is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.