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  1. #1
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    Using power tools on your bike?

    I know this is going to sound crazy to allot of you but who uses power tools when they are working on bikes? Im talking about stuff like brake roater bolts and pedals mostly. I am adding a Milwaukee M12 cordless system to my shop, so I'm not talking about air tools or any thig crazy like that. The impact driver would be really nice when changing roaters. And I was looking at using the ratchet for pedals seeing as no one likes making pedals with flats on them any more. I hate trying to get pedals off with an allen key from behind. The wrench is never in the right place to get the pedal off and its always awkward because you cant hold the other crank arm still like you can when using a pedal wrench. Acording to Milwaukee's website the M12 cordless ratchet can put out 35ft-lb and acording to crankbrothers they spec pedals should be tightened to 25 to 30.

  2. #2
    The White Jeff W
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    Re: Using power tools on your bike?

    I used a Sawzall to remove my rear wheel. Didn't go well.
    No moss...

  3. #3
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    Funny you should mention it because just today I was talking about that and saying that if I still had my shop there would be a Milwaukee M12 on every bench set on the lowest clutch setting. It would speed a lot of processes up and prevent injuries, final torquing of course would still be done by hand. The biggest downfall I can see would be starting a bolt cross threaded and not realizing it because you couldn't feel it, which could easily be avoided by starting them by hand.

    I'm not sure I would use it unless it was a production situation though, and though I have been impressed with the sensitivity of the clutch on that drill (different application) I would always set it low and finish torquing by hand.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Funny you should mention it because just today I was talking about that and saying that if I still had my shop there would be a Milwaukee M12 on every bench set on the lowest clutch setting. It would speed a lot of processes up and prevent injuries, final torquing of course would still be done by hand. The biggest downfall I can see would be starting a bolt cross threaded and not realizing it because you couldn't feel it, which could easily be avoided by starting them by hand.

    I'm not sure I would use it unless it was a production situation though, and though I have been impressed with the sensitivity of the clutch on that drill (different application) I would always set it low and finish torquing by hand.
    Thats exactly what I'm thinking about. The clutch is no replacement for a good torque wrench. But it could definitely speed things up quite a bit. And for someone like me I have nerve damage in my hand rotor bolts can really hurt after 2 or 3.

  5. #5
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    i use a m12 fuel brushless 3/8 impact daily. rips on rotor bolts, cassettes, chain ring bolts, stems. etc. it can take pedals off but some are too tight then i get the air power one out

  6. #6
    Plays with tools
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    Power tools in the shop are all kinds of awesome IF they are used correctly.

  7. #7
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    I use one of does tinny weak rechargeable "screwdrivers" to install the brake rotors, the thing is so weak will not even "Torque" the bolts, so is perfect because then I do it with the proper hand wrench..

  8. #8
    willtsmith_nwi
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    Dewalt 12v

    Quote Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
    i use a m12 fuel brushless 3/8 impact daily. rips on rotor bolts, cassettes, chain ring bolts, stems. etc. it can take pedals off but some are too tight then i get the air power one out
    I use a dewalt 12v impactor to remove rotor bolts and stubborn screws. For installing the rotor bolts I use the 12v drill with a clutch(with Wera hex plus bits)

    For jobs where it's just one bolt ... the Wera hex keys are the only thing used. For cranks final tightening is always with a torque wrench. Those bolts are too finicky to tighten by hand.

  9. #9
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    I use a cordless all day at work, but bikes have so few bolts that need a lot of turns I usually don't find a use for one.

    The big exception for that is wheel-building, that step between lacing it up and truing. A lot of screwing that a machine can do.

  10. #10
    Class Clown
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    ya'll need to step up your game, jackhammer is where it's at these days in bike building

  11. #11
    aka: Bucky Fikes
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    DeWalt drill motor with clutch on lowest setting. I use it on rotor bolts. It touches no other fasteners on any of my bikes.
    Always ride with a purpose.

  12. #12
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    I don't have an impact driver, just a cordless drill (Ryobi) with 20 torque settings. 3 or 4 on the drill seem to put rotor bolts @50in/lb when checked with my torque wrench.

    Using a special insert for a cordless drill by Var, I can simplify wheelbuilding by 100.

    Other than these 2 instances, I can't see a driver needed at all.

    What else is it really needed for? Adjusting limit screws? Lol!

    Ttyl, Fahn
    Hubbard Bike Club

  13. #13
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    I used to use a clutched drill for rotor bolts only - nothing else. But, you have to be on top of it, or it'll bite you in the a$$. I had to up the torque to remove some tight bolts, but got flaky and forgot to reduce the clutch setting. When I went to install the rotor on the next hub, RIIIIIP...out came the aluminum threads. I felt it happening, but it only took a fraction of a second, beyond my reaction time. Good thing its only on a beater set of wheels. For the home mechanic, not worth the time savings. If I'm in that much of a hurry, I probably don't have the focus to be wrenching anyway. If I was making a living turning wrenches again, sure, then I'd get a low torque electric screwdriver for nipples and rotors bolts.
    I would advise not taking my advice.

  14. #14
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    I use a dewalt with the clutch on the lowest setting to remove and install rotor bolts. Final initial breaking loose and final torque are done by hand.

    For most maintenance that's the only power tool I use. I have modified a few things with that same drill and dremels before though. For example, I drilled out some cable guides on an aluminum frame so that I could run full length shifter housing.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    I use a dewalt with the clutch on the lowest setting to remove and install rotor bolts. Final initial breaking loose and final torque are done by hand.

    For most maintenance that's the only power tool I use. I have modified a few things with that same drill and dremels before though. For example, I drilled out some cable guides on an aluminum frame so that I could run full length shifter housing.
    I've used a sawzall to shorten my handlebars. Used the end of a lockon grip as a guide. Worked great.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Formerly of Kent
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    I've used a diamond coated Dremel wheel to cut carbon bars. Cut so smooth they looked stock. Coated the ends with super glue, though.

    Also used the same to cut a deep notch in a broken bolt. Used a flathead bit in a DeWalt drill to unscrew it.

    Use a T25 bit in a drill all the time for brake rotor bolts.

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    Death from Below.

  17. #17
    turtles make me hot
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    I like doing everything by hand. I like it quiet.
    I like turtles

  18. #18
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    Impact driver + rotor bolts FTW. Turns an incredibly tedious job into a fast one. Still final tighten by hand. It can also be useful for pinning on bottom brackets with lots of threads. I've also found the impact driver to be helpful in loosening stuck bolts without rounding them out. Can be super dangerous with over tightening if you use it for installs of most bolts, but sure is tempting...

  19. #19
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    A 4mm on a flexible shaft and a small driver with clutch probably would have saved me a week of my life from screwing in thousands of bottle cage bolts over the years.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    A 4mm on a flexible shaft and a small driver with clutch probably would have saved me a week of my life from screwing in thousands of bottle cage bolts over the years.
    Or a ball end 4mm
    Hubbard Bike Club

  21. #21
    Magically Delicious
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    Wrenching by hand is my therapy. I'm rarely in a hurry or feel the need for power. Just a personal thingy.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn View Post
    Or a ball end 4mm
    Never thought of that...

    won't work on some frame/bottle cage combos and can be a tight, fiddly fit on others. A flexy bit would be awesome.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  23. #23
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    I agree! I know where you're coming from though. Our shop never had ball ends cause they strip things easily. I guess they never thought of using them for this application though and finishing off with a regular hex! Ttyl, Fahn
    Hubbard Bike Club

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by WV_XCE View Post
    I've used a sawzall to shorten my handlebars. Used the end of a lockon grip as a guide. Worked great.
    Cool! I used my sawzall to shorten my dropper post from 150mm to 135mm for that custom feel. Didn't even need a guide. Worked great.

  25. #25
    Dirt Bound
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    Throwing a rag over a cassette, holding onto it and blasting the lockring off with a driver may not be much quicker than hand tools, but it's pretty cool. And no, it has not yet damaged a lockring. Not even the top end lightweight stuff.

    I have used power tools to take off and put on and or take off faceplates, rotors, bb's, lockrings, but I never put torque to the bits. I have watched people I've worked with bugger too much stuff up to not use hand tools for higher torque situations.

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