Should I invest in cutting tools for opening a shop?? BB, Head Tube facing & Cutting- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Should I invest in cutting tools for opening a shop?? BB, Head Tube facing & Cutting

    With so many bikes now made of carbon or allow, and with press fit BB's.
    How much demand is there to having tools to face or clean Head Tubes and BB threads. These tools are some of the most expensive to having a complete arsenal for all things bike related. But I'm wondering about the real need/demand??

    I've got a PS2.2 & Hozan truing stand, both pretty professional. Professional Headset/BB press tool, Sealed Bearing extractor/installation tools. Press Fit BB tools, etc..

    Instead of investing in cutting tools I was thinking of investing more in suspension tools, like replacing bushings. But there seems to be so many varieties for suspension forks that that is also hard to decide. Maybe just focus on 1 or 2 makes, Fox & Rochshox.

    So what would you all consider mandatory tools for starting a shop??

  2. #2
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    Don't waste your money. I worked at a shop for 13 years and that shop has been in business for 35 years. The lead mechanic worked there for 33 years and had 3 frames in his career with a messed up headtube. Bike companies do this before assembly anymore. Even small hand-built frames have their HT faced by the fabricator because they're anal and want perfection if their name is on it. $1,500 could go elsewhere in your business. When you need them, if you need them, then buy them. Ttyl, Fahn
    Hubbard Bike Club

  3. #3
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    Interesting discussion "So what would you all consider mandatory tools for starting a shop??"

    I've been buying as needed, with nothing more than your basic bike tool kit for starters. I now specialize in suspension rebuilds which is where I get the need for special tools.

    Some examples of special tools that I've needed besides the obvious:

    1) Crow foot wrench set (rebuilding Fox 40s, changing hoses on Avid brakes)
    2) Derailleur hanger alignment tool
    3) Rockshox tools for Vivid shocks, Reverb seatposts and charger dampers.
    4) Torque key (saves so much time finishing up a bike)
    5) Compact torque controlled screw driver (saves even more time)
    6) Soft jaws
    7) Power link pliers (saves time)
    8) Good set of C-ring pliers (for small and large C-rings)
    9) Long handle bottle/pipe brush (to clean fork internals)
    10) Long wood dowel (for pushing rags out of fork internals)
    11) Bearing press kit
    12) Fork seal installer (set of 32, 35 and 40 gets me by)

    Stuff I havent used:

    1) Complete set of bearing extractors. I thought I'd get a good number of suspension bearing service, I havent gotten even one in the last 2 years. Most bearing failures are on the headset. Even wheels bearings dont fail as much as I thought they would.

    Stuff I wanna buy, but will probably be a loss...

    1) Nitrogen Charge Kit for shocks.
    Last edited by bing!; 08-19-2014 at 11:12 AM.

  4. #4
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    I've never worked at a shop so take what i say with a grain of salt. I do all my own wrenching but the 3 times I have taken my bike to a shop was to get the BB threads chased after i mess them up. Get the BB faced because a weld bead on the ISCG mount interfered with the external BB cup causing a creak. And to pull a stubborn +5mm King race crown off, to completely seat it i had to heat it to 300 degrees and froze the steerer tube. I knew it would be a royal ***** to pull off.

    Of course none of those tools would work on my current pressfit carbon bike but how much of your business would be fixing old bikes?

  5. #5
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    What services are available in easy reach: is another shop nearby set up to handle such work? For those 1 or 2x a year jobs, farm the work to them or refer the customer.

    If nobody around does it, call the competition and find out why. Maybe there's enough for one guy in town if he plays nice with everyone else.

    An aquaintance got extremely good at repairing/rebuilding suspension components, eventually getting noticed by a few racing teams and their sponsors. He was able to leave the shop-rat rat-race, and set himself up to do that work (on not just bikes, now) and is a registered warranty and rebuild shop for a couple of manufacturers.

    It worked well for him because there was nobody within a few hrs supplying that service.

  6. #6
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    I think having a set of english taps around is a good idea. There were a lot of times in my shop days that I chased the BB more because something had gone south and gotten funky. Not that they absolutely had to be done, but it made for a better job. As for HT prep, you can get away just fine without them.

    I will say that it kind of boils down to what you are going to do in your shop. If you're doing bread and butter bikes and servicing barn bikes you might use them a handful of times a year. If you are going to do more mid to high end road and/or mtn bikes you might use them once a year.

    If you're opening a shop, you've got to have one of these in your tool box that's for sure.

  7. #7
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    We're using cyclus cutting and press tools in our shop. They're much cheaper than the park and very good. Get a bearing on what tool you would buy if necessary, then wait for the job to come in before buying. It may be years or never. Be eager to do the work, and it will find you.

    - joel
    Cycling is Serious Business.

  8. #8
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    I've got a set of the Cyclus BB tap and face set, awesome tool. Problem is a frame builder friend broke one of the taps and I've been trying to get a replacement for over a year. As good as there tools can be, their distribution in the US is a joke.

  9. #9
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    I was intrigued about the Cyclus tools. I actually phone biketoolsetc.com to find out about the availibility of the Cyclus tools since they come up as an authorized US distributor. On their site many Headings say "Out of Stock" for the Cyclus tools.
    I asked them if they could give me an estimate of how long it takes to get some of the tools that are out of stock. I was told it depends on their ordering. It seems they only put in an order when it's large enough to make economical sense for the shipping from Europe.
    Heck, If Hozan and anything decent, my guess is that getting something from Japan would be twice as fast for a better price. It seems that the tools market is fractured by regions.

  10. #10
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    Been working part time at a new shop since they opened a few years ago. In that time we've had thousands of bikes of all kinds pass through our hands, everything from department store disasters to ones that are worth more than my car. We don't have any cutting or facing tools and so far we haven't seen a bike that's needed one. There's been a few bikes where the BB threads were mangled, but they were so far gone that attempting to chase the threads would do nothing. As in there were no threads left and the BB cups fell out of the frame.

    When I started my first stint in a shop 15 years ago, frames were metal, all BBs were threaded, and headsets had external cups. Even then we only used the BB thread chaser a handful of times a year and the head tube reamer/facing tool only got used once a year at most.

    If there's one set of cutting tools you'll need, it's a small set of taps for cleaning out threads on rack, fender, and water bottle cage mounts. I can't count the number of times that the manufacturer has painted over the threads or cross threaded a bolt into those holes.

  11. #11
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    Hmm... I use the HT facing/reaming tool about once a year at the LBS--I know other people do too. (I don't even work there)

    You guys must not get many interesting customers.

  12. #12
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    I always found tools for chasing and facing bottom brackets indispensable on a daily basis. a lot of frames come with paint and burrs in the threads.

    also, disc brake facing tools. 99% of the problems I have had with disc brakes is from uneven paint and are quickly solved by a few passes with a facing tool.

    A rivnut installer (whatever you might call those things) is very useful. those suckers come loose sometimes and are sometimes loose on new bikes.

    small taps for messed up threads on rack and fender mounts are very helpful. a set of thread files are great too.

    a hacksaw guide for cutting fork steerer tubes and handlebars will be useful for fitting new bikes and installing new forks.

    get a BB30 bearing extractor!

    there are a few tools for installing new bushings on shocks and sealed bearings on hubs and other small parts, get a set of those.

  13. #13
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    And then when your next $10,000 comes through the door, buy some stock to sell

    Seriously man, the list is never-ending. Start an actual list. Order it by predicted frequency of use, giving preference to cheaper tools if equal priority. Having a job in the shop needing a tool, takes that one to the top of the list. Otherwise, just get things as you go. There's no rush, you'll never stop needing tools - as bikes will never stop changing.

    - Joel
    Cycling is Serious Business.

  14. #14
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    Ran across this and thought of this thread. $140. I have the Cyclus facing tool and have used it several times - and I'm just a home mechanic.

    Jobsworth Bottom Bracket Tapping And Facing Set | Planet X

  15. #15
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    Thread chasers are worth there weight in gold. For people that attempt their own repairs with the wrong tools and or knowledge. At my shop we have pretty much every tool imaginable, since we have been in business for 38 years, on a very regular basis we use the BB chaser, pedal taps, crank arm thread chasers. Non of them are super expensive, but well worth it. Newer bikes are produced with much higher quality then the older stuff, save your dough on the facers and other big tools like it
    I don't do drugs. I am drugs.

  16. #16
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    Ditto above...

    Only facing tool I have is for disc brake tabs.


    S
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    .

  17. #17
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    We actually just got a disc brake facing tool a few weeks ago. We've been having a few new bikes come in that needed it. I love disc brakes, but they don't need to be on $400 mountain bikes.
    I don't do drugs. I am drugs.

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