Tools for the shop and the ride.

Tools

If you’re a frame builder you need a $400 bottom bracket facing tool. If you own a shop you have to have a $600 double-arm repair stand. But what if you’re a cycling enthusiast eager to do some or most of your own repairs and maintenance? Which tools are worth the money for you? Here are my suggestions. And yes, most are from Park Tool. Park doesn’t make perfect tools, but they make very good tools and support them with solid warranties and service plus tutorials to help customers get the most from their products.
Born2Roam.com
All content, including images, copyright R Ries Corporation unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
Words. Images. Information. Just for you!

Park CDG-2  chainring diameter gauge

MSRP $36 (summer 2017)

If you have a bike, you have a chainring. If you have a chain ring, you need this tool. Eventually you’ll need to replace that ‘ring and when you do, you’ll need to know the bolt circle diameter (BCD). If you have multiple bikes with multiple chainrings, you have multiple reasons for owning this tool. It isn’t perfect. Reading the scale isn’t intuitive and although the tool has some guidelines on it, the procedure can still be unclear. Park has an online instructional video, but it’s far less helpful than the videos they provide for other tools. The CDG-2 come with a reference sheet, printed on both sides of an 8 ½ x 11 page. I keep mine in a sheet protector on the wall of the garage, but it seems vulnerable to loss and damage. (I also scanned the reference sheet and saved it as a .pdf on my computer.) There are ‘ring manufacturers who stamp the BCD on every ring they make; FSA is really good about this. But despite the design shortcomings of the CDG-2 and despite the fact that some ‘ring OEMs stamp the BCD on their products, there will come a time you really appreciate having this tool in your collection.
Coming soon

Park DAG-2.2 derailleur alignment gauge

MSRP $80 (summer 2017) (DAG-1 shown)

Proper derailleur hanger alignment is essential to good rear shifting. You can have your B screw, inner/low and outer/high limit screws and cable tension perfectly adjusted. You can have your electronic shifters trimmed just right. If your derailleur isn’t aligned, shifting will suffer. This is a common problem. I make derailleur alignment part of the annual maintenance on all of my bikes and some adjustment is nearly always required. Hangers get misaligned in heavy hits, such as crashes or if the bike falls over on its drive side. But even gentle nudges, the type that occur as you put your bike in and out of a vehicle, can cause misalignment. The product listing on the Park Tool web page gives a lot of information. But also go to their tutorials section for a ton of info in text and photos plus a video of the alignment procedure. (Park has tutorials on nearly every tool they sell. Search by just the first part of the tool name - DAG, in this case - so you’ll get results even if there’s another upgrade and the model name changes slightly.)

Park IR-1.2 Internal Cable Routing Kit

MSRP $70 (summer 2017)

More bikes are using internal cable routing. Replacing internal cables can be easy; feed the cable or housing in one end and a couple of seconds later it pops out the other end. Or it can be insanely difficult; after hours of poking and twisting and cussing, the cable or housing refuses to emerge from the bowels of the bike. In either case, the Park IR-1.2 helps. Four cables have magnets on one end and different specialty tips on the other ends for use with various cables, housing and Di2 cable. Run the included magnet (the device with the hex-shaped barrel and Park Tool logo in the photo) along the outside of the frame and it pulls the magnetic ends of the internal cable through the bike. There’s no science to the process. The instructions say “…the mechanic’s judgment is needed to determine which method will work best…” which is pretty much “good luck; you’re on your own.” But the system does work well, making an easy job even easier and a nearly-impossible job not only possible, but reasonably fast and cuss-free.
© All content, including images, copyright R Ries Corporation unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.

Tools

If you’re a frame builder you need a $400 bottom bracket facing tool. If you own a shop you have to have a $600 double-arm repair stand. But what if you’re a cycling enthusiast eager to do some or most of your own repairs and maintenance? Which tools are worth the money for you? Here are my suggestions. And yes, most are from Park Tool. Park doesn’t make perfect tools, but they make very good tools and support them with solid warranties and service plus tutorials to help customers get the most from their products.
Park CDG-2  chainring diameter gauge MSRP $36 (summer 2017) If you have a bike, you have a chainring. If you have a chain ring, you need this tool. Eventually you’ll need to replace that ‘ring and when you do, you’ll need to know the bolt circle diameter (BCD). If you have multiple bikes with multiple chainrings, you have multiple reasons for owning this tool. It isn’t perfect. Reading the scale isn’t intuitive and although the tool has some guidelines on it, the procedure can still be unclear. Park has an online instructional video, but it’s far less helpful than the videos they provide for other tools. The CDG-2 come with a reference sheet, printed on both sides of an 8 ½ x 11 page. I keep mine in a sheet protector on the wall of the garage, but it seems vulnerable to loss and damage. (I also scanned the reference sheet and saved it as a .pdf on my computer.) There are ‘ring manufacturers who stamp the BCD on every ring they make; FSA is really good about this. But despite the design shortcomings of the CDG-2 and despite the fact that some ‘ring OEMs stamp the BCD on their products, there will come a time you really appreciate having this tool in your collection.
Born2Roam.com
Words. Images. Research. Just for you!

Park DAG-2.2 derailleur alignment

gauge

MSRP $80 (summer 2017) (DAG-1

shown)

Proper derailleur hanger alignment is essential to good rear shifting. You can have your B screw, inner/low and outer/high limit screws and cable tension perfectly adjusted. You can have your electronic shifters trimmed just right. If your derailleur isn’t aligned, shifting will suffer. This is a common problem. I make derailleur alignment part of the annual maintenance on all of my bikes and some adjustment is nearly always required. Hangers get misaligned in heavy hits, such as crashes or if the bike falls over on its drive side. But even gentle nudges, the type that occur as you put your bike in and out of a vehicle, can cause misalignment. The product listing on the Park Tool web page gives a lot of information. But also go to their tutorials section for a ton of info in text and photos plus a video of the alignment procedure. (Park has tutorials on nearly every tool they sell. Search by just the first part of the tool name - DAG, in this case - so you’ll get results even if there’s another upgrade and the model name changes slightly.)

Park IR-1.2 Internal Cable Routing Kit

MSRP $70 (summer 2017)

More bikes are using internal cable routing. Replacing internal cables can be easy; feed the cable or housing in one end and a couple of seconds later it pops out the other end. Or it can be insanely difficult; after hours of poking and twisting and cussing, the cable or housing refuses to emerge from the bowels of the bike. In either case, the Park IR-1.2 helps. Four cables have magnets on one end and different specialty tips on the other ends for use with various cables, housing and Di2 cable. Run the included magnet (the device with the hex-shaped barrel and Park Tool logo in the photo) along the outside of the frame and it pulls the magnetic ends of the internal cable through the bike. There’s no science to the process. The instructions say “…the mechanic’s judgment is needed to determine which method will work best…” which is pretty much “good luck; you’re on your own.” But the system does work well, making an easy job even easier and a nearly-impossible job not only possible, but reasonably fast and cuss-free.