Name That TOOL #13
by Bikeman • September 08, 2023
This was as much fun as the Attic What IZIT used to be back in the early days of the internet. Being an ol' fashioned bike shop since the 70's, we've seen a lot of technology and "standards" come and go. As a result we have a lot of mostly outdated tools around the shop. For this contest we'd dig out an old tool and put it out to our visitors to identify. Much like we are posting reruns of the What IZIT we'll try to dust off one of these gems every week or so for a walk down memory lane.
Originally Published early in this century
Time to name that TOOL. When the situation requires it you will be happy to have this in the box. We are looking for the tool Manufacturer as well as functionality. Creativity always breaks a tie and a story of personal experience with the tool could win you the prize.
A clear cut winner has been crowned!
Ever wondered what it takes to win Bikeman's Name That TOOL contest? Here is the perfect answer.
WINNER - Patrick Farrell
"That's a VAR Fixed Cup installation / removal tool. This french beauty is a true pleasure to use on a stubbornly stuck old school three piece bottom bracket fixed cup. I know because I worked at Deluxe Bikes in Lincoln, NE (sadly gone now) where every bike, from Bridgestone MB-1's down to the lowly Hardrocks, yes even the kids ones, got the BB pulled and properly greased and adjusted. I even had to pull the fixed cup and this tool and I became close compatriots. I must have overhauled a couple of hundred three piece BB's between 1992 and 1996 when I left for college.
Ahhh. I can feel those heavy rubber-coated handles right now.
You take that big heavy chromed round threaded end and stick it in the bottom bracket--did you take out the ball bearings?--mate it up with the T-handle portion and tighten. Make sure you've got the business flats of the tool on the right side. As a young wrench I was chastised a few times at my shop for rounding out the flats on the wrong side (one is larger that the other--can't recall which is which, but I think the smaller ones are JIS).
Crank hard on the tool with both hands, sometimes you have to stick a foot up against the back of the headtube to keep the bike from rotating too much. Righty-Loosey... then you hear it sort of pop and it's easy sailing from there. You grease the hell out of the threads and roll it back into place. Who doesn't miss setting up three piece BBs?"
RUNNER UP - R. Koehl
"That there is a VAR fixed cup removal/install tool for old school bottom brackets that had the small flats on the drive side cup. Those small flats are tough to torque and facilitate the removal the skin on the knuckles of mechanics who dare use a more slip prone wrench. Hozan makes a tool to hold thin wrenches in place but this is a step up. The chrome shaft is stabilized in the bottom bracket, through the cup and the black tool which has two sides one is 32, the other 34 mm, (I think) locks to those grippy blue handles for leverage."
HONORABLE MENTION - Bart Craig
"I was not a shop rat but I think that tool is for installing and removing the fixed cup of an old style bottom bracket. I have used one in a shop but thank god we don't need them anymore! I'm going for Park Tool given the color." ....correct in function but missed out on the manufacturer