Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Truly specialized bicycle tools...

The subject of bicycle tools and basic repairs came up on one of the elists. I started thinking about not only the basic tools, but some of the more exotic ones that I've acquired over the years. This usually happens because I'm faced with a job that I need another tool to perform. Some of these tools are used once or twice, only to sit at the bottom of the tool box for months or years. Other tools are absolutely essential. I use them again and again, seldom getting through a week without having them in hand.

Here's my list. Compare it with the off-beat tools you've accumulated.

Shop apron - never work on your bike while naked. Trust me on this one. Paint can be very difficult to remove from some areas, and solvents can be extremely painful.

Flippin' tire levers and safety glasses. Sold as a set of 3 tire levers and one pair of safety glasses, for those times when a tire lever simply will not stay attached to the wheel, springs free, and goes zipping past your head.

Antipodean screwdriver - Available in the Southern hemisphere only - Due to the Earth's rotation, right-hand threaded fasteners tend to come loose in the Southern hemisphere. This specially designed screwdriver prevents these mishaps.

Toque wrench - Essential tool for adjusting and retaining headwear. Available in Canada only.

WD40 can protector. A protective device that fits around a can of WD40 or similar lubricant, and prevents embarassing stains on the front of your trousers when you try to insert the red spray tube into the nozzle, slip, and shoot lubricant everywhere. Of course, the little red tube goes flying off somewhere never to be seen again.

A bunch of little red tubes for WD40 and similar lubricants. Do try to remember where you put them.

Archimedes lever. Very long carrying case included. Another essential tool for removing stubborn freewheels and bottom bracket cups, or nudging the planet slightly.

Metric adjustable wrench - a specialized bicycle tool, indispensable to the home mechanic and generally available only through authorized dealers.

Liquid Wench - Best exemplified by, "Honey! Get me a beer!" Use with care, and don't EVER call her a wench (if she's within earshot, anyway, not if you really want that beer.)

Solvents: Highly recommended: Rolling Rock solvent, Guinness solvent, and Jack Daniels solvent. Sometimes used in conjunction with Liquid Wench.

Loctite - a lubricant for an annoying rider's U-lock

Tire tick repellent - prevents infestations of Vittoria beetles, commonly called tire ticks. Left unchecked, Vittoria beetles will suck all the air from your tires.

Frame borer beetle repellant. These tiny insects eat holes through frame tubes. Infestations normally appear to be rust holes.

Toolbox gnome swatter - Similar to underpants gnomes, toolbox gnomes are responsible for most misplaced tools. You discover some critical tool has gone missing after just setting it down a minute ago, but it turns up 6 months later under the living room couch.

Instant Gunk spray - for those guys you ride with who have absolutely pristine bikes. It dulls the finish, adds clumps of sticky gunk to the chain, chainrings, and cluster, makes tires go lumpy, and unravels handlebar tape.

Masi-o-meter - capable of detecting genuine Masi's in order to prevent the purchase of a counterfeit. Can be fitted with the optional "Italophile detector" which provides the builder's name, age, period of employment, mother's maiden name, favorite foods, and a long, boring anecdote that only truly anal bicycle collectors find interesting.


Blogger Fritz said...

Heh heh. "Toque wrench." You got me on that one.

10:25 PM  
Blogger bikefridaywalter said...

Sure that's not a toque WENCH?

..or maybe a toque and a wench..

nevermind, wouldn't get any work done.

2:15 AM  
Blogger Ed W said...

I had a misspent youth watching SNL (back when it was funny!) and Second City TV.

And Walter, I like how you think! Have a cuppa coffee on me! I'm off to work.


6:21 AM  
Blogger BC said...


7:30 PM  

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