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  1. #1
    MTBXRacing
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    Wrench Selection

    I'm wondering what brand of wrenches everyone's using on their bikes. I like the GearWrench combo open end/ratcheting but had read they were to thick. Are ratcheting wrenches even applicable in bike repair? Park Tool has a new set of combo wrenches out, are they a good option?

  2. #2
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    my main set as a pro is a set of gearwrench brand reversible wrenches. i have some regular combos but never use them. i also have a set of armstrong long double box ratcheting wrenches but they are the flip over to reverse style. good quality but i don't like the flip over style. i do like the long box end though

  3. #3
    MTBXRacing
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    Have you found them to be too thick in certain applications for bikes?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBXRacing View Post
    Have you found them to be too thick in certain applications for bikes?
    not really. the thickness is comparable to a normal box end. sometimes there is clearance issues because the head is wider but not enough issues for them to stand out.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBXRacing View Post
    I'm wondering what brand of wrenches everyone's using on their bikes. I like the GearWrench combo open end/ratcheting but had read they were to thick. Are ratcheting wrenches even applicable in bike repair? Park Tool has a new set of combo wrenches out, are they a good option?
    It all depends on what type of bike you have and what you need wrenchs for. For today's high end bikes you don't need a wrench for much other then maybe putting on hydraulic hoses I don't believe that there is a single need for a box wrench on my XC bike. But when I am building bikes for the shop I use my mastercraft ratcheting wrenches quite a bit, mostly on lower end bikes, cruisers and kids bikes. Mostly for adding accessories, and seats. So the one that gets used the most is the 10 and 14mm ones. and I always use a box end wrench for lock nuts when adjusting hubs (cone wrench on the inside and box wrench on the outside one)

    Where on the bike are you using a ratcheting wrench which you are worried about thickness?? Anything I can think of to use a wrench on a bike is the very end in a relitivly open space to use a wrench of any size. (there is the odd exception though, like dual pull and some road brakes which are just small adjustments and you wouldn't need a ratcheting wrench anyway)
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  6. #6
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    What are you using wrenches for? Feels like 90% of the tools I use on my bike are allen's. Feels like if its not an allen then its a speciality tool (pedal wrench, crank puller, cassette lock ring, BB wrench, torx screws).

    I use craftsman wrenches when working on my dirtbike but even then I pefer to use T-handles when I can.

  7. #7
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    wrenches are for kids bikes, old bikes, and cheapo bikes. old school canti brakes

  8. #8
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    When the right tool is a wrench, nothing else will do. Adjustables just aren't any fun to use for any real amount of time.

  9. #9
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    I keep a pair of flair nut wrenches in my case (the type made for brake lines). Double ended 8/10 and 9/11. This covers all of the small needs and their great for dealing with the aluminum hardware on high end canti's this time of year. If I stumble upon something bigger I go looking for a cone wrench but thats pretty rare with the bikes I work on.

  10. #10
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    Just echoing what everybody has said about combination wrenches for bike work...little use for them on high-end bikes, except for maybe taking off the crap accessories that jrastories put on at the shop before they sold the bike.

    When my kids were riding smaller bikes (16" and 20") I used the 13mm and 15mm for things like seatposts, saddles, axle nuts, and the like. But for our big bikes, there's no need for them, even on the 15mm wrench flats with pedals and some hubs...regular combination wrenches are not long enough to be useful as a pedal wrench, and are too thick for cone wrenches.

    That being said, my Craftsman ratcheting combination wrenches are my favorite go-to tool all the other work I do. When I got a metric set for Christmas several years ago, I went out and picked up the fractional set shortly afterward, and moved all of my other wrenches to the back of the drawer. For nearly everything I do, they combine the best attributes of a socket wrench and a normal fixed combination wrench. For anything really heavy duty, you still can't beat a 6-point socket or box-end wrench, but for most general mechanical/maintenance work they can't be beat.

    The clearance issue is real...the ratcheting mechanism makes the head of the box-end side larger than a solid box-end wrench, so if the fastener does not have a lot of room around it, they may not fit. But in those cases, you still have the normal-size open end to work with...or I'll go grab a thin-wall socket or a regular wrench, since they don't get out to play that often.

    If you are looking to get a set of combination wrenches and don't already have a set of sockets, I could easily see getting a set of these as the first set of wrenches. Just stay away from the flat ones, get a quality set (like the Craftsman) that are angled and have a direction change lever.
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  11. #11
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    I use a 1'' Craftsman combo wrench and a Park chain whip for removing cassettes. I like Craftsman for none bike specific tools and usually Park for bike only tools. Craftsman purchased on sale are hard to beat.

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