B’s Buzz: Three Favorite Tools I Can’t Live Without
The simple pleasure of riding a bike is more than enough for most riders, while others find additional joy in working on their bikes. For me, it’s a fine balance between long days on the trail and late nights working in the garage. Of course, I’d never want to be cooped up in my garage all day as opposed to sampling fine singletrack, but I have to say that I find a sense of peace and personal pride when I spin a wrench to turn a miss-aligned arrow into a high-precision weapon. When it comes to tools, I have many favorites; however, these three tend to be the first I grab when I’m looking for reliability and functionality.
Prestaratchets are among my favorite tools. Seriously, these things rock. I would even go so far as to say they have replaced traditional Allen wrenches for me. What makes these ratchets so cool is how quick and easy they are to use, plus the fact that you can purchase a version that has a built-in tire lever. The tools feature a little lever on the back to reverse their rotation and use removable bits, making these tools extremely versatile. What more could you ask for in a go-to tool for quick adjustments?
A torque wrench is one of the most valuable tools you can have in your garage. Take it from a guy who has jumped on a bike before without properly checking the bolts only to find the grip twists, or worse, the stem. Yes, I’ve made that mistake once or twice, and since then I’ve made it a point to take a torque wrench to every component on my bike to ensure my safety and to prevent damaged components due to over-tightened bolts. When I need a torque wrench I can rely on, I often pick up my trusty Shimano Pro torque wrench. This tool is adjustable from 3 to 15 N/m and uses removable sockets. Furthermore, it has a splined turn dial at the bottom of the tool that locks in the desired torque spec.
Topeak’s JoeBlow Booster pump is my go-to choice for setting up tubeless tires. I rarely need to use a compressor with this handy tool around. It’s a lot quieter than a compressor and doubles as an upper-body workout. The Booster pump earns a spot as one of my favorite tools due to a few of its awesome features, the first being its large air tank capable of containing up to 160 psi. With the simple turn of a dial at the top of the pump, the air is rapidly released and rushes into my tires. This almost always works for popping my tire’s bead around the rim. Additional highlights include an extra-long hose that makes it possible to inflate tires even with the bike up on a bike stand. The gauge is large and easy to read but offers 5-psi increments, so it can be a bit of a guessing game finding the perfect pressure. Last but not least, this pump has a sturdy base that keeps it in place.
Now that I have shared some of my favorite tools with you, I’d love to hear which tools you gravitate towards. Shoot me an e-mail ([email protected]) to let me know which tools in your toolbox you just can’t live without.
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