a Cross Country Rider
from Auburn, Ca
Date Reviewed: November 22, 2005
Weaknesses: almost everything
save your hard earned money. i worked in a bike shop for four years and the only tools we had were park tools. its a mediocre tool kit if you are just starting to work on bikes. so far i have broken the chain whip, chain tool, all the tire levers, and the screw driver. if you want value, this is not a kit that i would not recommend. buy park tool or pedros. it will asve you the heart-ache later on down the trail
Bike Setup: giant rainier, mavic 321 rims with maxxis mobbsters, race face evolve xc cranks, crank bros mallet pedals
a Cross Country Rider
from Las Vegas, NV, USA
Date Reviewed: September 5, 2005
Strengths: Cheap Contains lots of tools
Weaknesses: Not very high quality
Basically, you get what you pay for. This kit gives you a lot of bike specific tools at a very low price. You can pretty much throw away the screwdriver and adjustable spanner right away... they're really poor quality. The chain tool doesn't work very well, though it is nice and big (good leverage if you have small hands). I managed to bend one of the tyre levers the first time I used it... they're too soft. The cassette lockring removal tool didn't fit my Shimano cassette. On the plus side, the pedal wrench and chain whip work well, and I haven't broken the hex wrenches yet.
Overall this is a decent set to start out with if you don't have much to spend, if you're just starting out, or if you need a relatively complete set because you always do bike repairs on Sundays when your LBS is closed and can't sell you the tool you forgot to buy during the week (this is me!).
4 for value, because it's really cheap. 3 overall for being okay but nothing special.
Will T Smith
a Cross Country Rider
from Valparaiso, IN
Date Reviewed: October 25, 2004
Strengths: Cheap and complete.
Weaknesses: Soft steel, slack tolerances.
A cheap toolset to get you started. All the "specialty" tools are there that are just too expensive to buy for a single use. This is a good starter kit.
The soft metal in these kits makes use PERILOUS. I've stripped one allen key quickly. The spoke wrench is also just "not right" and stripped two spokes. The extra chain whip will make a great addition to the one I have with the built in cassette remover wrench.
This kit is probably bet suited towards race prizes. I have no doubt I'll get use from every tool. I also have no doubt that I'll eventually buy a park tool to replace EVERY one of these cheapos made of soft metal!!!
Park needs to sell an "moderate level" toolkit that comes in at a decent price!!!
Bike Setup: 04 Giant Yukon: Thudbuster LT, SRAM 7 Drivetrain, Deore Octalink Cranks, Mallet C pedals
from Midland, MI
Date Reviewed: July 24, 2004
Strengths: Everything there to get someone started. Great buy at the early stages of being a mechanic. Conveinient carrying case.
Weaknesses: Some tools, however are totally crap. For example, the crank arm extractor sucks. It crossthreads no matter what you do, in my case ruining a brand new Shimano XT crank. A few other tools that dont come into hand much are the screwdriver (metal falls out of the handle all the time) and the chain break was rendered worthless in the first 5 minutes of ownership.
Buy it if you dont want to spend a lot of money and you're just starting in the bike mechanic world...but if you have some extra cash or if you're more experienced...go Park or Pedros.
Bike Setup: 2004 Giant Iguana, Avid Juicy Seven, Shimano XT derailleurs, crank, and cassette, Sun Single Tracks, Rock Shox Psylo Race fork, Sram Rocket trigger shifters (they rule), Kaloi seat post, and Selle Italia Genuine Gel Ti saddle.
a Cross Country Rider
from New Orleans, LA
Date Reviewed: April 21, 2004
Strengths: Cheap, has just about everything you will need to get started.
Weaknesses: The allowances on some of the tools i.e. spoke wrench, cone wrench, are alittle loose. I have had to add a couple of tools to make it complete.
Cheap kit to get the home mechanic started. You might have to add a few tools but it will get you started and save you money taking your bike to the shop.
Bike Setup: Trek Fuel 80. I have replaced everything on this bike with this tool kit.
from Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Date Reviewed: June 19, 2003
Strengths: Cheap, large number of tools.
Weaknesses: I agree that the headset spanners are too loose. I havn't had trouble with the cone spanner. I like the screw driver, and tube patches are always useful.
Good value for money, nothing else in the market compares. Good if you're starting with nothing. I have too many bikes and work on them whenever it rains. If you have the money and will use the tools, go for a better quality, otherwise they are good for the money.
a Weekend Warrior
from Montreal, QC, Canada
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2003
Strengths: All-in-one set of most of the stuff you'd need for basic overhauls.
Weaknesses: Some tools are very weak, poorly made etc: useless headset and cone wrenches.
Ok for the price, maybe.
This set comes with lots of stuff that doesn't really count as a bike tool (cheap screwdrivers, adjustable wrench), and some other pieces thown in to increase the part count (tire patches and levers).
Some of the bike-specific tools are virtually useless: the 4-in-one headset wrench is a wonderful way to strip your headset nuts due to the limited grip space from having the 30mm under the 32 in the crecent. I managed to put 3 gouges (from the tool slipping off) into my brand new FSA headset before I chucked the wrench in the recycling box and went to the co-op to service my headset. The cone wrenches are made of the same alloy as cheaper pasta: the 4-in1ness and the narrowness of the handles and small heads make these difficult to use; I did manage to make a cone adjustment on my Schwinn, but just holding the cone while attempting to remove the locknut on my beater's hub first bent the wrench, then gouged and deformed the crecent. Had no problems with Park tools when doing the same jobs at the bike co-op, so I don't think this is newbieitis. I think the tools are not made with very exacting standards e.g. the 32mm headset wrench had a tiny bit of play on my headset, where even the worn wrenches at the co-op fit snugly.
I think that this set might be useful if you have absolutely no tools (I didn't even have an adjustable wrench), and the stuff like the chain tool, chain whip, cassette lockring remover has been usable. However, if you want to build up a repertory of tools to work on your bike, I think you might be better off buying high-quality tools as you need them; Park tools can be had for very reasonable prices at mec.ca (and they ship to the US), and in retrospect, considering the tools that are completely useless (as well as the non-bike-specific ones, which you probably have already, and of better quality), I think it would have cost about the same to buy some high quality cone wrenches, one headset wrench, etc.
The bottom line is that this tool set is sort of like buying a department store bike: you think that because you're a beginner you shouldn't spend the money for something better, but as soon as you start riding (and destroying the junk parts) you begin to realize that you get what you pay for (and often much less). On the other hand, if you're a broke student-type like me, you may not have the option of buying anything at all (I received this as a gift), and this set will give you some usable tools that will help you get to know (some parts of) your bike's anatomy.
The bottom line: if you're that broke, you're better off getting a membership at a local co-op where you can use the right tools without wrecking your bike, and probably get a helping hand to boot. If there isn't one in your area, and you don't even know what a tire lever is, this set might be ok, but for $40US plus shipping, I don't think this is that great of a value.
Similar Products Used: Complete Park Tool setup (at Right to Move)
Bike Setup: steel Raleigh beater, Schwinn hardtail
a Cross Country Rider
from Albany, OR, USA
Date Reviewed: March 22, 2003
Strengths: All of the tools that you need for those weird, one tool only jobs are here. All of the tools are made of quality steel. Alot less $$$ for a set of tools that does the same job as Park and Pedros tools. A good investment for the DIY mechanic or the home shop.
Weaknesses: Not quite as good as Park Tools. A few other tools such as a headset remover, crankset adjusting tool (older BB), a ISIS BB tool, and a Shimano BB removal tool for the new Shimano splined system, and a third hand tool are not included. The spoke wrench tool is hard to use but effective. BB removal tool could be improved upon. Tire wrenches break easy.
If you are just starting out the art of repairing bicycles, DO NOT PASS THIS UP!! It is a awesome set. with the purchase of a few more tools and a repair stand and a truing stand one could possibly open there own repair shop. I have been repairing bikes since 1996. This set has helped me alot in those jobs where only one tool, a special tool, will do the job. This set will quickly pay for itself within a few uses. If you are a shop owner, this is not for you. But for those of us who do not have pockets of gold, this is a great set of tools.
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