Saturday, December 02, 2006

What is this tool??

I got the brake cables on the Takara. There must be an easier way to pull the cables taut. I improvised and got them nice and tight but it took some work. I have come to realize I don't have much hand strength. I'm a wimp. I used to rock climb and my hands were much stronger. I have to start working on that.

I used a Dremel tool for the first time to get a clean cut on the cable housing. I have some housing cutters but have a hard time getting a clean cut due to pour hand strength, also the cutter handles spread too far apart, my hands are too small, they are too big. So I got out the dremel. Capt'n Balance fortunately warned me to expect sparks. It was a little scary a first, sparks flying, the sound and the smell. Then it go to be kinda fun. The housing came out nice and smooth, no burrs.

The other day I was using the air compressor to blow dry the bottom bracket bearing/cassette. I had it over my thumb with the bearings on my thumbnail. The air was making it spin really fast, which caused it to make a really cool whirring sound. I thought that was pretty neat so I was playing around with it a little. Then I see a bearing fly out and feel pain in my thumg. The edges of the bearing cassette are pretty thin and flexible. It snagged on my thumb after the bearing flew out. I was sure there would be some missing skin/blood, but no, just some pain. So now I know not to play that way anymore. Then I went to the bike shop and Bike Guy gave me a new bearing.

Anyway, I purchased a cheap box of generic tools a while back. I have this tool, and have NO IDEA what it is used for. Anyone know what it is?

I was also checking out the prices of tensiometers, holy ****. $$$!!!!!!!

It will have to wait a bit.


steve said...

It looks suspiciously like a bottle opener to me! It wouldn't be the first time I've seen one in a bike toolkit, although I haven't seen a hinged one before.

For keeping the cables taut, depending on what the problem is either cable tension pliers or a third hand brake tool might be worth looking at. For cutting pretty much anything, I found this remarkably cheap cable cutter will cut through anything I tried it on very cleanly without too much effort - including spokes when I terminally strip the nipples or otherwise really badly cock up truing the wheel.

And, yes, tensiometers are indeed horribly expensive, and also fairly rare. It says something about the rarity when Park make the cheapest one available! I could only find one place in Canada that sold it, and it was wildly overpriced at that; it ended up being cheaper for me to buy it from the US (from Nashbar, I think) and ship it over and pay the duty. Even so, I think it's almost paid for itself; I've managed to keep my wheels in true by myself where normally I'd be in at least once a season for each bike to get both wheels trued. This sounds a lot, but I am in the charmingly named "Clydesdale" category, plus I tend to load anywhere up to 20lbs of gear on the bike (plus way more when I'm touring), and the roads here in Nova Scotia can best be described as "rustic", so the wheels take quite a hammering.

I'm assuming you already have a truing stand? It's doable to do basic truing of wheels using the brake pads as guides (or bits of card taped to the frame) but it's an awful lot easier in a truing stand, especially if you're measuring the tension.

Anonymous said...

The tool you have pictured is for tightening the lock ring on your 3 piece bottom brackets. It's the loose one that usually has three notches in it and fits on the cup for the non-drive side. The one pictured is probably 20 years old because they don't make them hinged anymore.

Michelle said...

What a bad design for a lock ring wrench. It's pretty small, only about 6 inches long. I wouldn't think there would be enough leverage. I will have to try it as a bottle opener! :)

I haven't gotten a truing stand yet, that will will have to wait awhile, at least until Holidays and birthdays are over.

Anonymous said...

Michelle: Also, unless you truly just plain want one, I would advise not bothering with the tensiometer. They can be useful if you are building many exotic wheels with odd guage spokes or titanium spokes, but for the vast majority of wheel building and trueing, the two tensiometers that you already have at the ends of your arms will work beautifully. In 26 years of bike shop experience, I think I have actually needed a tensiometer three times. Val

Michelle said...

I'm not ready yet to start building wheels. For now, Bike Guy will continue to monitor them for me until I figure out what it it I'm doing! :)