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Going “All Allen Key” on C&V

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Going “All Allen Key” on C&V

Old 08-15-19, 10:33 AM
  #1  
tiger1964 
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Going “All Allen Key” on C&V

Riding some time back with friends who now ride modern bikes, I was impressed with one guy’s tool kit in his seat bag. A tiny folding tool with a ratchet handle and Allen Key bits and IIRC a screwdriver. It would adjust most anything he’d encounter on a day’s ride, as long as it wasn’t a bottom bracket or hubs. On my C&V bike, I’d need a lot of 8/9/10mm wrenches, and more besides. Too bulky and heavy, I bookmarked a MTB tool online and far too heavy to buy.

Hmm, how hard to “update” and not dramatically affect the C&V aesthetic? Anyone done this, or thought through thread sizes and bolt lengths? On my latest, the Masi (pic in another topic finally), most look doable except the headset, and the brake pivot bolts and brake shoe bolts. The chainrings, sten, seat post bolt and seat post are already there.

What looks “fixable”: (A) Rear Nuovo Record derailleur, the cable fixing bolt and the pulley bolts, (B) Front Record derailleur, clamp bolt and cable fixing bolt, (C) Record brakes, the cable fixing bolts and, I expect more difficult, the brake lever attaching nuts, (D) crankset, crank arm fixing bolts which I figure must be readily available.

Hmm, readily available? I would avoid simply trying to match up bolts at Home Depot due to bolt quality, they seemed to have mastered how to chrome-plate Styrofoam.
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Old 08-15-19, 11:56 AM
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The alternative would be carrying something like this with you. Looks like a PITA to use though.

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Old 08-15-19, 12:22 PM
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I carry this: https://www.parktool.com/product/rescue-tool-mtb-3
It's bailed me out on most all of my bikes, new and old. Worth the >1/2 lb of weight.
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Old 08-15-19, 12:37 PM
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... friends who now ride modern bikes ... one guy’s tool kit ... would adjust most anything he’d encounter on a day’s ride


Poor guy needed a set of tools with him just to ride his modern bike? Sounds like he might be better off on an old bike that stays in tune.
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Old 08-15-19, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
The alternative would be carrying something like this with you. Looks like a PITA to use though.
EXACTLY what I'm trying to avoid!

Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Poor guy needed a set of tools with him just to ride his modern bike? Sounds like he might be better off on an old bike that stays in tune.
Ha! You should hear this guy blasting me for riding C&V! That said, he bailed me out when I needed to adjust the seat post once. And, I recall adjusting the spring tension on SPD pedals. I want to be self-sufficient.
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Old 08-15-19, 01:22 PM
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an Original

Hi. I still have, use and love my Retrotec Cooltool.

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Old 08-15-19, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
EXACTLY what I'm trying to avoid!



Ha! You should hear this guy blasting me for riding C&V! That said, he bailed me out when I needed to adjust the seat post once. And, I recall adjusting the spring tension on SPD pedals. I want to be self-sufficient.
I carry a Leatherman, multi tool w, chain breaker, 4in and 6in Cresent, patch kit, spare tube and inflator a length of ductape and zipties. The bike loaded for touring albeit short 20mi rides is heavy but being this prepared usually means it won't be needed.
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Old 08-15-19, 01:42 PM
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I have on of these.... which fits most of the bill you've described https://www.leatherman.co.uk/mako-ti/ltx3.html
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Old 08-15-19, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 20grit View Post
I carry this: https://www.parktool.com/product/rescue-tool-mtb-3
It's bailed me out on most all of my bikes, new and old. Worth the >1/2 lb of weight.
Unfortunately, that is discontinued. I use this (Park MT-1)instead, light as a feather and has the critical 8, 9 and 10mm wrenches.
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Old 08-15-19, 01:48 PM
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I can't see why anything would need adjusting on a day ride. Multi-tools are heavy because of the handles. There are more tools than you need and there is always one nut that the tool won't reach. (Edit: that Park MT-1 looks like a winner, though.) I carry a loose 4 mm Allen (because there are so many of those even on my 1970s-80s bikes) and a loose 5 (in case I want adjust saddle height à la Eddy Merckx) but almost never use either on the road. OK, I can't adjust the tilt of a Super Record seat post or wrench a quill stem, handlebars, or old-school headset but those can all wait till I get home if I decide I'm not happy with them. They shouldn't ever loosen on a ride. I've never broken a chain on a single bike -- the tandem is another story. Brake cables dodgy enough to break should have been replaced electively long before. If a derailer cable breaks, the bike still goes, and with downtube shifters (and Ergo) you can feel the first broken strands at the head to warn you to shift gently the rest of the ride. Can't imagine needing to do tool work on a derailer or brake during a ride. If you really think you'll need to turn 8-mm nuts/cap screws, slip a little 8 mm combo box- and open- end wrench into your jersey pocket with the two Allens. With your tools in your shirt and not on your bike, they are "stealth" weight, invisible to any weight-weenie who hefts your bike. Those, plus a spare tube and a couple of levers, you're good. As Tom Cuthbertson (Anybody's Bike Book) said, "What to take with you on your ride? Ideally nothing. Fix your bike before you ride."

OK, I do carry my el simplo Swiss Army knife just because. It has my house key clipped on it and some of the blades make passable screwdrivers.

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Old 08-15-19, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
... has the critical 8, 9 and 10mm wrenches.
I understand the 10 (nutted brake calipers and 2-bolt campy seatpost clamps), but what are the other two used for?

I'd think a 5/16" socket driver would be a little more popular...
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Old 08-15-19, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by conspiratemus1 View Post
I can't see why anything would need adjusting on a day ride.
That is my first thought as well. I rode my all campy NR Masi every day for many years, and never once carried tools, nor did I need to. Nothing ever even went out of adjustment on a ride. That's why we loved the stuff. It predated planned obsolescence, at least for bike parts.

Anyhow, you could convert the brakes to recessed nuts, but why? It's a fair amount of trouble. You still need cone wrenches to adjust them. Unless you crash, you won't need to on the road. The star washers on record brakes are very effective and they keep their center indefinitely.

However, if you simply like the extra feeling of security from being prepared to make repairs on the road, my suggestion is to keep it C&V. MAFAC tool kit are available on ebay for little money, and they are surprisingly useful, yet quite compact and fairly light. And they are just cool.

If you want something more modern, making up a kit with 4, 5 and 6mm allen wrenches, a mini crescent, and a swiss army knife will be good enough for most stuff.

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Old 08-15-19, 03:26 PM
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Anyone tried one of these?


Pedro's Trixie

I'm pretty sure it was designed for the hipster crowd (as demonstrated by the bottle opener). Most of my C&V bikes are modernized enough that a modern mini tool will serve, so I'm not sure how many of the options here are C&V useful. It's hard to see from the picture, but the open center section is graduated to serve as a series of box wrenches. The wing nuts are to attach it to a water bottle mount. I suppose that part isn't very C&V relevant.
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Old 08-15-19, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
.....

If you want something more modern, making up a kit with 4, 5 and 6mm allen wrenches, a mini crescent, and a swiss army knife will be good enough for most stuff.
yep... this is my solution.
A very basic folding tool with the basic allen wrenches and maybe a phillips (for the derailleur limit screws, I guess), complemented with a 4" adjustable wrench. Seems like that would handle the readjustments or tweaks that might result from a mishap.

I'll note that I do have a Cool Tool on one bike. Rather heavy, but there is a certain piece of mind knowing that I could tighten up the crank bolt or tighten a loose pedal.

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Old 08-15-19, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post

Poor guy needed a set of tools with him just to ride his modern bike? Sounds like he might be better off on an old bike that stays in tune.
I ride with a group of adults and kids for much of the year and use my multitool a few times a month for various issues across all types of bikes.

Tighten loose handlebars, re-center seatpost, adjust brake tension screw, true a wheel, etc.

As for my own bikes, my older bikes are no more or less 'in tune' than my modern bikes. I have less creaks for sure with modern frames, due to a few guessed reasons. Modern wheelsets seem to be more true than 30-40 year old wheelsets too, in my experience.

I dont seem to use my multitool for my bikes though. Historically, its carried to help others.
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Old 08-15-19, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 20grit View Post
I carry this: https://www.parktool.com/product/rescue-tool-mtb-3 It's bailed me out on most all of my bikes, new and old. Worth the >1/2 lb of weight.
And, like some other tools cited... discontinued. And rather heavy. Especially for someone who does not do multi-day touring.

Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
I understand the 10 (nutted brake calipers and 2-bolt campy seatpost clamps), but what are the other two used for?
8mm Campy brake/derailleur cable bolts? Don't some Japanese derailleurs use 9mm? Perhaps if a cable slipped I could reattach, but I don't carry spare cables.

Anyway, (a) I bookmarked the Park MT-1 (better get it before THAT is discontinued too!), and (b) I presume no one has converted hex bolts on C&V bikes to Allen Key (was hoping someone had diameter/thread/length specs, and a source). Not a big deal but I might drag a few derailleurs and calipers to Home Depot one day, just to check sizes and then think about sourcing.
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Old 08-15-19, 05:05 PM
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I considered that allen key maneuver on my vintage bikes at one time, but decided it would be way too OCD.

My bikes range from a 1978 Motobecane Super Mirage to a 2014 Surly LHT, but mostly 1980s era. I set up my bag to carry whatever I might need for non-tour riding, without having to switch things in and out. I just move the bag from bike to bike, depending on the day's ride. I've used everything I carry, at one point or another, and have not gone wanting for something I didn't have on the road.

Topeak Mini 9 for the allen keys
Generic 2" leatherman type pliers
4" adjustable wrench (Proto)
Park SW7.2 triple spoke wrench
VAR tire levers
Rema patches/glue
Spare tube (gets swapped out, depending on tire size used)
Small bladed screwdriver
Soda can flip tab, which perfectly fits that bolt on Suntour Barcons and weighs nothing
Duct tape, wrapped around a plastic card
A few zip ties

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Old 08-15-19, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Nu2Miele View Post
Hi. I still have, use and love my Retrotec Cooltool.

I've got one of those!

A little on the heavy side, it hangs out in the garage with the fleet now, but still gets used fairly regularly.
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Old 08-15-19, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
And, like some other tools cited... discontinued. And rather heavy. Especially for someone who does not do multi-day touring.



8mm Campy brake/derailleur cable bolts? Don't some Japanese derailleurs use 9mm? Perhaps if a cable slipped I could reattach, but I don't carry spare cables.

Anyway, (a) I bookmarked the Park MT-1 (better get it before THAT is discontinued too!), and (b) I presume no one has converted hex bolts on C&V bikes to Allen Key (was hoping someone had diameter/thread/length specs, and a source). Not a big deal but I might drag a few derailleurs and calipers to Home Depot one day, just to check sizes and then think about sourcing.
HD will be a dead end, I have had almost 0 luck even with common threaded stuff, nevermind they are always out of half of what might help you. Even the go to hardware stores that used to always rock and have something that would work and usually very close are very lackluster nowadays with a cookie cutter stocking that is usually of little help.

A while back I wanted some much longer 2 bolt Campy SP bolts, the guy at the best oldschool store we have initially laughed out loud, then said "let me make a call" the other guy had a good laugh too.

McMaster Carr is the solve for this but not cheap and you have to know exactly what you need to get it right.
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Old 08-15-19, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Anyone tried one of these?


Pedro's Trixie

I'm pretty sure it was designed for the hipster crowd (as demonstrated by the bottle opener). Most of my C&V bikes are modernized enough that a modern mini tool will serve, so I'm not sure how many of the options here are C&V useful. It's hard to see from the picture, but the open center section is graduated to serve as a series of box wrenches. The wing nuts are to attach it to a water bottle mount. I suppose that part isn't very C&V relevant.
It will probably work as a BB lockring tool, doesn't get much more C+V than that.
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Old 08-15-19, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
8mm Campy brake/derailleur cable bolts?
If we're talkin' vintage, those are 5/16", right? Like all the Nuovo Record anchor bolts and many Suntour ones...
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Old 08-15-19, 06:37 PM
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I put a Park MT-1 in every bag I have. Why not.
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Old 08-15-19, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 20grit View Post
I carry this: https://www.parktool.com/product/rescue-tool-mtb-3
It's bailed me out on most all of my bikes, new and old. Worth the >1/2 lb of weight.
Nothing is worth a 1/2 lb of weight.
EVER... (he said, walking home.)
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Old 08-15-19, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I ride with a group of adults and kids for much of the year ...I dont seem to use my multitool for my bikes though. Historically, its carried to help others.
Yes, now that's another story. Well worth doing. Bless your heart.
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Old 08-15-19, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
If we're talkin' vintage, those are 5/16", right? Like all the Nuovo Record anchor bolts
Hmm. By my calculation, 5/16" is 7.94mm, not sure if I could tell the difference; I've been using 8mm sockets for many decades. I'll check out 5/16". That's interesting.
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