The Chainlink

I just got a bike work stand from Velo Orange, and based on some minor chores that I completed last night in the workshop, this is the best purchase that I have made tool-wise in 2009.

In light of the media bombardment of best of lists, what is the best bike related tool that you have either used or purchased in 2009?

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Merely used rather than purchased, but Park Tool's torque wrenches & spoke tensionometer are my new favorites. I agree with the Pedro's Trixie for fixed and/or single-speed use; as well as the Pedro's tire levers in all use. Topeak Road Morph for a portable pump. New heads for Blackburn pumps for the home use. Long live the chain whip & any other bike tools that look like weapons from the Middle-Ages.
Completely forgot about my new road pump!!! I also have a Topeak Road Morph pump and it kicks ass. Makes changing a flat away from home easier than ever.
Best tool purchases of 2009

Park Brake Wrench 8mm/10mm

Park Brake Wrench 9mm/11mm

Nothing wrong with using the ubiquitous 8mm/9mm/10mm Y wrench, but these make brake and derailleur adjustments a snap. These REALLY shine when adjusting older cantilevered brakes like on 90s mountain bikes. I think they're like $6 each.

Also lovin the Shimano Square Taper Crank Extractor. I had the Park and Pedro's remover but did not always get good results. Kevin from Boulevard Bikes talked me into buying the Shimano crank extractor instead, saying that you get better leverage with an ordinary adjustable wrench than with the handle on the Park and Pedro's crank removers.
Spin Doctor Essential II Work stand

and a 4th Hand tool ( for adjusting brakes)

I know not the best stand ever, but great for my studio, and also makes me more motivated to fix things on my bike
These are the tools that I liked best in 2009 that I either purchased for myself or for the shop that I work at:

Stein Un-fixie Wrench (Get rid of that dangerous chain whip)

Var Fork Clamp

Cyclus Deep Rim Nipple Driver

EVT No-Tilt Axle Vise

EVT Crows Nest Hub support tool and punch

Park Adjustable Spoke Wrench

Park Micrometer Torque Wrenches 26-132 in/lb & 88-530 in/lb

Park Socket & Bit Set

Park Extra Long Hex Wrenches 6, 8, 10 mm

Bondhus T-Handle Hex Drivers 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 mm

Cyclus Spokey and Lever Spoke Wrenches

Hozan Forged, Offset Ends Pedal Wrench

Park Single Speed Spanner

Pedro's Tire Levers

Topeak Road Morph bike mountable air pump

Super Soap


Tools I am looking at for 2010:

Cyclus or Phil Wood spoke threading machine (I am leaning toward the Cyclus - I met the engineer who designs/owns Cyclus Tools - Christian Schreck at Interbike. He makes really high quality bike tools)

Cyclus Workstation - A stand that mounts the bike at eye level, with the bottom bracket sitting on a pivoting arm and either set of dropouts mounted in clamps with a table surface underneath. (It will also fit on my bike trailer...)

United Bicycle Tool in Ashland Oregon has the widest selection of bike tools in the U.S. However, they are wholesale only. You can order their tools through some shops, but expect to pay premium prices for shop quality tools.
spacemodular said:
EVT No-Tilt Axle Vise

What have you found to be the benefit of this tool? I have bought or used other EVT tools. I find them (almost all) to be a solution in search of a problem. Others are true gems. So what puts this on your "best of" list and justifies a $100+ axle vise? Call me curious.
Ed said:
... But my favorite tool this year was a can of "Freeze-off". Bought it at a auto store for $5. A stuck seatpost that I had been trying to remove for weeks came off in less than 5 minutes with this stuff. Highly recomended!

NOW you tell me. :)

I gave away a Raleigh hybrid because the seatpost broke on me and I could not get the thing out. But it all worked out for the best. A totaled bike and a shortage of funds put me on the fun filled path of fixing up old beaters. Hey - it is always possible that my next project might have a seized post, so this is a great tip. Thanks!
Ryan L said:
Completely forgot about my new road pump!!! I also have a Topeak Road Morph pump and it kicks ass. Makes changing a flat away from home easier than ever.

Hopefully they've improved the heads/valves on these things. I got one few years ago and immediately fell in love, but after a while it stopped making a reliable seal when set up for Presta valves. Topeak sent me a new hose/head (for free!) which solved the problem for a while, but it is back to being sketchy/unreliable again. (Fortunately my Armadillos actually do prevent most flats, so a pump is not as important to me as it was before I could bring myself to spring for expensive tires.)
Ed said:
But my favorite tool this year was a can of "Freeze-off". Bought it at a auto store for $5. A stuck seatpost that I had been trying to remove for weeks came off in less than 5 minutes with this stuff. Highly recomended!

Okay. I usually don't follow hearsay like this, but...
I have a machine-tool piece that is impossible to find parts for or replace. It needs a full rebuild and bearing replacement. The spindle nut has foiled me for over 6 months of trying. I've used all different penetrating oils; I tried crushing ice into the spindle bore + then using a torch to heat & expand the nut; I've lubricated and hit it with a hammer everyday for more than a week to try and let it work its way down the thread; Etc, etc, etc.

So I gave your suggestion a try because I hadn't heard of a penetrant working in such a manner before. IT DIDN'T WORK. Blah. I used the whole can over a number of hours. I couldn't find it local and ordered it online for $20. Dam* thing is still stuck. I blame you, Ed! (Not really at all, but it makes me feel better :)
Where to start? Picked up a new air compressor for cheap in July. Park small parts magnet bowls. Both of Park's new torque wrenches. New work apron and and new parts washer. Use this to clean all sorts of of bike stuff-chains, casettes, chainrings, cranks. You name it. Last item was a support stand that holds the front wheel while bike is on the repair stand. Got it from a friend who rides motocross. Holds the wheel tight and steady.
My Husqvarna 372XP. I added a 28" Oregon reduced weight bar, large felling dawgs and had it given a mild port/polish to the head, removed the rev limiter and custom carb tune. it weighs 2 pounds less than the 455 it replaced and is vastly more powerful. lite enough to use all day and tough enough for any trail building job around here that's for sure.

How much is the Minoura stand, I couldn't find a price

J said:
Pedro's Vice Whip. Replace chain whips forever. Maybe a little spendy for the home mechanic, but a new standard for shops.

I'm a little surprised by the popularity here of the Park home stands. I stopped carrying them this year after enough bad feedback (ie they are wobbly compared to tripod style and the clamps eventually stop working)...

I know they are not for everyone, but I have completely switched to the new Euro style stands for races or when I need to go portable. For those who like Park, the PRS-20 is easily available -- but I prefer the Minoura 1500. The dang thing is under 6 pounds, folds down to nothing, and is easy to use and very very stable.

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