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Inside Bikeman's Toolbox

Bikeman loves tools and he is willing to open up his tool box for you to take a peek. Each week Bikeman will share with you a new tool from his box. We will take a close look at the tools intended use, its pros and cons, and rate the tool with our Bikeman Heads rating system. Because new parts are really just an excuse to ad another tool to the box.

Ritchey TorqKey 5Nm with 4 bits M5/4/3/T-20

Written by Wally Wallace Thursday, 31 January 2013 14:21

"Torque wrench?  I don't need no stinking torque wrench!"  Famous last words my friend.  Save yourself some serious hassle and grab one of the new Ritchey torque wrenches, cleverly dubbed the Ritchey TorqKey, to go along with that fancy new carbon part of yours. We live in an age where lightweight carbon bicycle parts have become very common.  They're lighter, stronger, smoother riding, and make you more attractive to the opposite sex.  Well, that last part isn't entirely true.


Park MLP-1 Masterlink Pliers

Written by Wally Wallace Monday, 10 September 2012 13:50

Park Tool MLP-1 Masterlink PliersMaster-links and more specifically, SRAM Power Links, have always been very hard for me to remove by hand.   I've seen other mechanics in the shop remove masterlinks and make it look very easy but for some reason I have never been able to consistently separate them.   For this reason the Park Tool MLP-1 has become one of my favorite tools.   The MLP-1 (Master Link Pliers) makes removing SRAM Power Links a snap.


Ritchey Torque Key Review

Written by Wally Wallace Friday, 13 April 2012 00:00

Ritchey Torque Key$16 now or $100 later ...  One of my favorite tools is the Ritchey Torque Key.   Not only because I always seem to loose my 4mm allen wrench (why is that?), but more importantly the Torque Key gives me peace of mind knowing that my stem and handle bar bolts are properly tight.  Properly tight in this case means my handlebar or stem will not slip, loosen or otherwise lead to a nasty crash and I'm not causing undue stress on my components through over-tightening.


Park TM-1 Tension Meter

Written by Bikeman Tuesday, 20 March 2007 00:07

Park TM-1 Tension MeterPark Tool TM-1, Spoke Tension Meter:
A very wise man, and now the head mechanic at Park Tool, once told me "Wheebuilding is not an art... It is a science."  And science relies on numbers and hard facts for determining the proper outcome.  So that mechanic you see in the back of your local shop plucking spokes and listening to the sound to determine tension, he is a quack.  And if you do see a mechanic using the pluck and listen method I would politely ask for your wheels back and find a new bike shop to have your work done at.  Or better yet, read on and maybe you can tension your own wheels.


Park CT-3 Chain Tool

Written by Bikeman Tuesday, 20 March 2007 00:07

Park CT-3 Chain Tool This puppy is Bikeman's favorite chain tools.  Park's famous reliability is why their tools can be found on more shop mechanics benches than any other brand and this chain tool is no exception.  It's a pretty substatial chunk of metal, so if you are looking for a trailside chain tool I wouldn't recommend it.  The feature that sets this chain tool apart from the rest is the little shelf right above the main chain pin removal slot where you will be doing most of your pin drivin'.


Park CT-5 Chain Tool

Written by Bikeman Tuesday, 20 March 2007 00:07

Park CT-5 Chain ToolPark CT-5 Chain Tool:
The CT-5, also known as the "micro brute", is a pretty sweet little chain tool that lives up to it's nickname.  It shares many of the same attributes that make it's big brother, the CT-3, so popular.  First and foremost is the little shelf for loosening tight links.  I can't stress enough how key this feature is.  Sure, you can just bend the chain back and forth until it is loose enough, but that doesn't always work.  Using that little shelf always works.


Park PH-1 Hex Set

Written by Wally Wallace Tuesday, 26 September 2006 11:07

photo courtesy: Park ToolPark Tool PH-1, Padded Hex Wrench Set:
There will come a time in your evolution as a mechanic that you find you need to move beyond your folding hex set and invest in a functional quality set of Wrenches.  When that time comes you can't do better than the Park PH-1 Hex Set.  The P-handle, not to be confused with the T-handle, wrench is very comfortable to use and the have held up well under daily shop use.


Park BBT-9

Written by Wally Wallace Tuesday, 01 August 2006 11:07

click to enlargePark Tool BBT-9 External BB Tool:
With the creation of new bicycle parts comes the need for new tools.  Today inside Bikeman's toolbox we found a tool that has gone from occasional to daily use in the mater of 6 months.  Over the past 3-years Integrated cranks and external bottom bracket cups have become the norm on highend bicycles.  If you aren't using an integrated crank yet chances are one will be in your quiver soon and so will be the BBT-9.


Park CN-10 Cable Cutters

Written by Wally Wallace Monday, 12 June 2006 11:07

click to enlargeToday inside Bikeman's toolbox we found an item that no mechanic, pro or hack, can live without.  A nice set of cable cutters is a must.  Don't be fooled into buying that $10 set at the Mart or any other inexpensive cutter.  Not only will they loose their edge quickly but the action will be clunky and you will have alot of frayed cable ends.  Bikeman's cutter of choice is the Park CN-10.


Ultimate Alpine Digital Scale

Written by Bikeman Sunday, 12 March 2006 11:07

Inside Bikeman's Toolbox
ImageUltimate Alpine Digital Scale:
Today inside Bikeman's toolbox we found an item that Bikeman has only been using for a year but can't remember how he lived without it.  Gone are the days of rigging up an oversize fish scale to guesstimate the weight of your bike.  Thanks to the folks at Ultimate Support and Feedback Sports Bikeman can weigh his customers bikes with an accuracy of within 0.005 x actual.