Cool Tools series, part 2

This series is all about cool tools, some of which we use a lot, some not so much, but all are uniquely handy and help us get things done quickly and to a high standard.

This week we’ve got together some unassuming-looking items, the humble shaft clamps. These are designed to clamp cylindrical shafts with even pressure all around, avoiding damage to the shaft.

They’re often used to hold damper assemblies and pistons from suspension products, so no damage, deformation, scratching or marking to the shaft is permitted.

Their manufacturing tolerances must be spot on in order to do the job right. The clamp is fixed into a vice and often has magnets relieved into the back to make things easier – or like the black BBI clamps and Cannondale clamp, uses O rings to hold the assembly together while out of the vice.

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Clockwise from the left:

the Barnett’s Bicycle Institute SCS-6 which has most sizes.

the Park tool AV-1, with 9 and 10mm axle sizes plus a 9/16″ size for pedal axles. Ours has seen a lot of use. Due to the indentation from axle threads, this shaft clamp is not used for finer jobs.

the Cannondale Headshock clamp with 1/2″ or 12.7mm clamps for Lefty dampers.

The Fox Racing Shox shaft clamp set for use with most Fox dampers.

Our custom-made suspension seatpost shaft clamp set, with 27.2mm, 30.9mm and 31.8mm clamps. This helps a lot with speedy servicing and repair of suspension seatposts.

Next week, another one from BBI (Barnetts Bicycle Institute), their amazing fork bushing tool.