romeandstuff romeandstuff

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

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

The Wera Zyklop is an unusual looking ratchet. Its swivel head features a locking mechanism which lets you choose the angle from 90 to 180-degrees. In this way, you can use it like a screwdriver, and then as a traditional ratchet. The shaft features a rotating sleeve to allow for quick spinning when in the screwdriver setting. *
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Sockets are held in firmly, with a quick release button sitting centre between the directional switch. This switch is large, but can be hindered dependent on the angle you’ve the tool set to. *
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There are some really cool aspects to this unique tool, but if I could only have one 3/8” ratchet, this wouldn’t be it. The handle is far too short and the head far too large. There are often times that a smaller headed ratchet is required, and likewise, there’s rarely a reason to not have more leverage. *
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#cooltooltuesday #weratools #ratchets #cooltools #toolreview

Confession: I’ve had this aluminium toy building block sitting on my desk for a month now. It’s made by @abbeybiketools . I fondle it far too much. #greenwithenvy

Boring from afar, but far from boring. This @cherubim_official is certainly one of a kind. Thanks to Lucas for letting me share this ride. Full story now up on CyclingTips. #cherubimbikes #madeinjapan

Ever tried to grind or polish a small bolt on a spinning wheel? What do you use to hold it? *
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The Shop Grip is an American made tool from NotcHead and aims to solve such a hazard. *
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The tool is made from aluminium and comes with two collet sizes for various smaller size bolts (a third larger collet is available separately). It can be used for other holding tasks too, such as holding file blades or thread taps. It’s a handy hand tool that could save your hands (and eyes). * * I grabbed one while I was in the USA last month and while it’s on the expensive side, it does exactly what it claims to.
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#cooltooltuesday #notchead #workshoptools #benchgrinder #americanmade #cooltools

Metal magic. Was really cool to see Chris of @cycloretro bring the shine. Full feature on aluminium parts polishing now on @cyclingtips . #campagnolo #aluminumpolishing #custombikes #bikerestoration

I first became interested in the @wolf_tooth_comp Pack Tool range during my pursuit for functional and super light tools for when travelling with a bike. Having recently reviewed the range, I can attest that nobody is making such packable, multi-purpose and insanely light tools (although, some of Abbey’s stuff comes damn close). However, as my review on CT explains, the ergonomics and fit of the centrally important Pack Wrench left a little to be desired. *
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Landing just over a week ago, Wolf Tooth revamped the Pack Wrench by giving it an aesthetic and feel closer to that of its CNC machined chain whip. The tool now features wider edges which are more comfortable in the hand; larger and stronger magnets to keep Wolf Tooth’s sockets firmly in place; tighter tolerances at the 1in hex (socket end); and just generally better ergonomics. There’s also now a chainline measurement “gauge” (it’s a ruler) laser etched in. Weight has jumped up to 105g (was 85g), but it still remains a leader on the scales. *
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Joining the new Pack Wrench is a bunch of new CNC aluminium bottom bracket sockets (feels like everyone is now making these? Kudos to the green brand for doing it first.). The sizes cover the most popular external bearing threaded bottom brackets and do so with nice machining detail and a few clever features. For example, each tool either features a Shimano Hollowtech II preload cap tool or a 16mm hex for those pesky RaceFace/Easton cranks. And while your 3/8 drive tool of choice will work, so will the Pack Wrench - with stainless steel bolts threaded into the tool to provide some metal attraction. *
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The new Pack Wrench is a clear improvement on the previous version and takes the Wolf Tooth range from being great occasional tools ideal for travel and transforms them into a solid choice for serious DIY’ers.
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The Pack Wrench, along with the Wolf Tooth 8mm Hex and Shimano cassette sockets, have earned a spot within my bike case(s). With these minimal tools, I can remove disc brake rotors (centerlock) and pedals without sacrifice to leverage. *
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#cooltooltuesday #cooltools #biketravel #biketools #instaessay #madeinamerica #wolftoothcomponents

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