Cool tools series, part 3

Cool tools: Knipex

This German manufacturer of pliers, cutters and circlip tools are a mainstay in the toolboxes of mechanics and tradesmen in many industries.

Quality circlip pliers (left), large and small, internal and external, bent and straight are all essential for working on the fiddlier suspension and hydraulic components seen on modern bikes.

The parallel jaw pliers (far right) are some of the most useful and versatile tools around. Perfect for gripping damaged or delicate fasteners and large-sized fasteners. Goes right down to 0mm so good for holding spokes as well.

Masters hardware at Majura Park carries a large range of Knipex gear.

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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 onĀ 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.

Cool Tools series, part 1

Over the years fixing bikes we’ve come across some tools which, for some reason, we just like. Some are particularly efficient at what they do, some are simple, some are elegantly made, some are all of these things. We’ve pulled a few cool tools off the racks and out of the cupboards to give them some recognition.

The first in this series has been around for a while, Joel bought this one about 10 years ago and it’s still going strong.

The Chris King hub service kit is needed to extract or install bearings into Chris King hubs, as well as removing the ringdrive freewheel mechanism and the bearing stack from the driveshell. It’s also beautifully made and great to use.

The kit laid out:

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The expanding split ring assembly and knurled ring assembly mounted to the T-Handle ready to remove a bearing:

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Next time, all about shaft clamp sets.