romeandstuff romeandstuff

133 posts   1,233 followers   993 followings

Dave Rome  Tech writer at CyclingTips. Tool nerd. Photo taker.

Not that it was needed, but @knipex_official has refreshed its Pliers Wrench (left). Currently limited to the 250mm (10in) size, the new version introduces laser etched size scale markings, finger grooves above the coated handles and an increased opening capacity (52mm vs 46mm of old). Knipex has also managed to whittle away some weight, with the new version at 458g versus 541g. *
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The German company have also introduced a (marginally) lower cost grey atramentized finish version (pictured) and will continue to offer a Chrome version, too. I was impatient and the atramentized was the only option in stock, but I prefer the chrome. *
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The Pliers Wrench is one of my favourite tools and the new version just builds on that. If you already own a pair, then the new version is unlikely to warrant an upgrade (unless you count those grams!). Personally, I’m now hanging out for an updated 180mm version. Knipex, when you do make them, can you offer a narrower (ES) jawed version too? *
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#cooltooltuesday #cooltools #knipex #plierswrench #madeingermany #biketools #bikemechanic

What’s my vice? Tools. And this one is for use with a vise. *
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Made by @efficientvelo in Portland, Oregon, the No Tilt axle vise aims to keep the jaws in parallel and with no risk of one dropping, shifting or tilting at a different angle to other. *
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Made of case hardened steel, it’s built to last like a good vise does. That’s an unusual material choice for such a tool, with most others, such as Park Tool’s, made of soft aluminium to prevent thread and axle damage. However, those softer jaws also wear out quickly. *
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It offers three sizes of tube clamping, as well as M5/M6 bolt holding slots on the sides. *
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It’s clearly a quality tool, but not without issue. The No-Tilt aspect works well and removes the frustration of seperate soft jaws, but it isn’t 100% free of all tilt. Similarly, the steel clamping surface needs to be used with care, and certainly, I’ll be holding onto my Park Tool soft jaws for delicate aluminium or titanium threaded axles. *
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#cooltooltuesday #biketools #vise #cooltools #recordvise #efficientvelotools

Here’s a clever one for (specific) full suspension mountain bikes. The @pinnerbiketools Hanger Socket uses the bike’s thru-axle as the handle and is used for rear hanger replacement where there is an obnoxiously large nut to remove. In my case, it’s a 23mm nut used on Trek’s ABP-equipped bikes.
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At just 40g it’s light and small enough to chuck in a pack. Better yet, it’s precise enough to use in the workshop with a snug fit and a guiding pin to prevent cam-off. A highly niche tool for sure, and also very clever. *
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#cooltooltuesday #madeincanada #cooltools #trekbikes #trekmountainbike #biketools #madeinwhistler #purpletools #machinedtools #traveltools

I’ve given @lezyneusa a bit of stick in recent tool group tests, but the company’s new Mega XL and C GPS computers are pretty impressive for the asking price. If you need guidance in your riding, check out my review on @cyclingtips #lezynegps #cyclinggps #bikecomputer @monzacycling

I always thought my wife was the kindest and most gentle person on earth. Wouldn’t hurt a butterfly. However, I just moved into a new decade of life and news to me, she’s capable of deception for months on end. It’s a side to her I never knew existed, and I’m afraid to say, I love it! *
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For months she’s secretly spoken with Jason of @abbeybiketools to create what I believe is the world’s coolest gift (swipe 👈 for details). What you see here is the first prototype of Abbey Bike Tools’ wheel dishing gauge. It’s a large, single hunk of billet aluminium with beautiful lines (reminiscent of the Sydney Harbour Bridge). The sprung brass button releases the plunger, which carries just enough weight for gravity to do its thing. And despite this being the first shot at it (and to paraphrase Jason, “a little rough around the edges”), it works perfectly!
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With enough demand the dishing gauge may make it to production (seriously, let Abbey know if you’re keen!). However, it’s unlikely to come in the Walnut wood case (or with my name on it ;) ), probably a good thing given the case alone is over 3.5kg (7.7lb) and demands its own shelf! *
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The biggest thank you to Jason of @abbeybiketools for making this crazily cool gift happen, I know how much time you put into this tool and I’m (continually) in awe of your work. And to Tracy (wifey), you’ve officially won the gift giving game! Love ya! And yes, I fully understand why I’ll just be getting socks next year…
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#cooltooltuesday #seriouslycooltooltuesday #thebesttooltuesdayever #madeinusa #billetaluminum #wheeltools #abbeybiketools #bestgiftever #prototype #bikemechanics #biketools

Another week and another large grouptest of tools for CyclingTips. This time it was bit-based multi-tools (link in bio) and a close battle between the Spurcycle Tool and this @mineral_design Mini Bar. *
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While SpurCycle have the bling (and lower weight), a lower price swung the result to the Minibar. Here it is in more detail. *
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Sturdy enough to stand on, light enough to carry, and with individual magnets for every piece, this one does exactly what a good trail tool should. *
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The bit-carrying capacity may be a little limited for some and the bits do rattle if stored in a rigid place, but otherwise this is a clever item that deserves wider recognition. *
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#cooltooltuesday #biketools #multitools #pockettools #hexkey #trailtools

I’ve been breaking a lot of chains lately, thankfully not by accident. My big feature of good consumer chain breakers (each under $50) published on CyclingTips last week, but missing were the more premium tools I’d choose without a budget. *
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From within the $50 tools tested, the Shimano TL-CN24 was my favourite to use, and yet, it finished third (mostly price related, but the non-replaceable pin is meh). What wasn’t shown in the feature was that I also tested Park Tool’s CT-4.3, Shimano’s CN34 and Pedro’s Pro and Tutto chain tools. The @parktoolblue CT-4.3 (well, CT-4.2) has long been my personal go-to and while the clever @Pedro’s bikecare Tutto has come damn close to pushing it from that perch, the ability to blindly use the CT-4.3 wins it for me. Yes the Pedro’s Tutto works on a wider variety of chains and yes it peens Campy chains with less fuss. And yes, the Park’s enveloping bridge makes it slower to get the chain in and out of, but I’ve become accustomed to it! *
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So why didn’t I just include the other tools tested and find the absolute best tool? Well, I didn’t have my hands on Campagnolo’s CN300 chain tool, and then there’s that new green thing still to come from @abbeybiketools . I suspect my current favourite won’t stay in the hot seat for much longer... *
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#cooltooltuesday #biketools #bikemechanic #chainbreaker #parktool #pedrosbikecare

There are plenty of great tools for installing press-fit bottom brackets, but very few great tools for removing them. Most involve a hammer, while a few of the best, such as those from Enduro Bearings, only work on specific size bearings which makes them a little limited (and expensive).
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@wheelsmfg joins the game with its new bottom bracket bearing extractor set. With 11 pieces to the set, this kit is designed to remove 22, 24 and 30mm bearings from bottom bracket cups or frames. Best of all, it can do it with the cup either in or out the bike. Additionally, it’ll work to gently remove straight-fit bearings, such as those used in BB30 and BB90 systems. *
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The tool works by using a two-piece expanding collet that is pressed by a steel tube from the inside. The other side of the bearing sees a large bearing pilot sit around the bottom bracket’s cup or the frame. It all works with your favourite 1/2in threaded bearing press to bring it all together.
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First impressions are that it works as claimed and will be a good tool to have around for doing bearing replacements in fiddly bottom bracket installations or when working on creaky BB30 bikes. However, it’s not a flawless tool. My main pain point is that the expanding collets can be difficult to remove once the bearing has been pulled. Difficult enough that I’ve found some covered multi-grip pliers to be needed (Knipex Cobra with rubber jaws do the trick perfectly). The set has been made to a (fair) price, the finish isn’t amazing, while the backing piece to my 30mm collet seems a touch undersized. And while it’s not the intention of this tool to solve such a problem, it pains me that a hammer and headset bearing cup remover remain the professional tools for removing most press-fit cups. *
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#cooltooltuesday #wheelsmanufacturing #bearingtools #madeinusa #creakybottombracket #biketools - Bought from @scvimports

Birds of a feather. These two all-new torque wrenches were made in collaboration between @feedbacksports and @prestacycle , but the two brands took different paths in how the torque figures are displayed. *
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Both offer a reversible bit-ratchet and place a small plastic knob at the end to be pressed for torque indication from the miniature bar-style torque wrench.
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The PrestaCycle Torq Ratchet has a simple gradient scale laser etched into the tool. Just press until your desired number is reached. Personally, my poor eyes don’t get on with this design and I find it near impossible to read such a small gradient. I had the same issue with the first generation of Silca’s Ti Torque and the easiest answer would be for PrestaCycle to leave every even number off the scale, allowing more viewing space to work. *
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Feedback Sports’ design is far easier to read, and puts the torque numbers on a small turn wheel with a viewing window. This design also requires you to zero-set the tool via a small dial with each use. It’s an extra step compared to the Presta Cycle, but one that leads to easier torque reading.
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Accuracy wise, my Feedback Sports sample tends to run at 7-10% over the intended accuracy at 5nm. The PrestaCycle is more accurate if you can actually read the desired figure, but most of the time, there’s a fair chance for user error with such fine markings. *
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Given the accuracy, neither of these are professional-grade tools. However, given the cost, portability and general ease of use, they’re pretty nice consumer tools. The PrestaCycle is included in an upcoming bit-based multitool test on CyclingTips (the test is finished and will be published shortly).
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#cooltooltuesday #feedbacksports #torquewrench #bitratchet #bicycletools

Bits and sockets can quickly become unruly. I’ve used a few organisation products over the years and am rather content with my current setup. *
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I keep my random 1/4 bits nearby with this (generic) magnetic bit holder. It’s nothing fancy, but it offers room for a good number of tools and has enough weight for it to not get bumped over
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I keep a number of random 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2in sockets on a Ernst Manufacturing “Socket Boss”, which is great. It’s a tray with three customisable socket rails. Each socket is locked in with a simple quarter turn. *
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My more complete socket set (metric) is stored on Hansen socket trays. These are plastic and don’t feel quite as strong, but I do like how clear the socket labelling is and how simple they are to use. *
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What do you use? *. *. #cooltooltuesday #socketorganizer #ernstmanufacturing

I only own a few pieces from this premium German tool company and I’d happily own more. Pictured are my @hazet_1868_official 1/4in one-piece hex and Torx sockets which I keep near my small torque wrench. *
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That sexy gold finish is a chemical vapour deposited titanium nitride coating and has proven reasonably durable to date (it does eventually wear though). *
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However, there’s no gold medal for these sockets as I often find sizing a little too tight. This is most noticeable with the 5mm, which often is too tight to fit into Shimano crank pinch bolts and similar. I suspect the machined surface causes the bit to grab, while the tool is on the edge of oversized. It’s a good example of where clearance can be too tight. *
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Still, they’re great to have handy for loose-fitting bolts and I’ll always try the snugger fitting tool first. *
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And yes, I posted these last year, but the photo was crap and I had a bit more to say. *
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#cooltooltuesday #madeingermany #hazet #socket #cooltools

I was content with my previous bearing pilot storage, but then @abbeybiketools went and messed it all up by making new stuff. *
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My previous storage setup was a wooden base with dowels. I could stack the equal sized pilots together and it all worked well. But more pilots, more problems. *
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Pictured is my solution. A tool chest draw, plastic small parts containers, a label maker, some filing cabinet label dividers and a hot glue gun all came together in this obsessive organisation. *
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As for the pilots, the new Abbey oversized and micro press pilots are a great addition to the workshop. I especially love the extended pilots for pressing bearings deep into freehub bodies - much easier than stacking multiple pilots together. And as a bonus, they work with the Abbey Universal press. Abbey, you should consider selling these extended pilots separately (in pairs)!
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However, these new pilots are expensive, and my existing Enduro and Wheels Manufacturing pilots did and still do much the same job. *
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How do you store your bearing pilots? *
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#cooltooltuesday #pbma #bearingtools #bikemechanics #organisation #abbeybiketools #endurobearings #wheelsmanufacturing

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