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Anyone ready to give up trying to keep up with the tech trends? Ever find yourself wondering what was wrong with square taper spindles? I'm sure there were issues, I just can't recall them it was so long ago. This existential crisis was brought about for me by trying to seat some 3" tubeless tires on a wide DT Swiss rim. I've successfully done it with narrower rims and tires and I've figured out I may be doing it wrong. But it got me to thinking about all the tools I've had to buy in the last decade just to keep up. I don't know how many different bottom bracket tools I have, I lost count. I need to replace the bearings in a DT Swiss TA hub. Hahahaha good luck. I need like $100 plus in tools. The full DT Swiss service kit is like $289. Need to get a cassette off the XD driver? New tool, what's a lock-ring? I still have cone wrenches hanging in my garage. "Grandpa what are those for?" "Well son we once had these skinny little axles with even skinnier skewers to keep them on the bike." "That sounds dangerous grandpa." Now there's direct mount chain-rings, different standards for hub drivers, sealant injectors, and what not. I love working on bikes, but I'm feeling overwhelmed and just about ready to throw in the towel and let the LBS deal with my bikes for the first time since the 80s. Which is probably want "they" want. Anyone else there yet?
 

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Cycologist
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Yes, I just commented yesterday that I missed the days when most parts would work on most bikes. I've been trying to find a 29er non-boost qr wheelset and they are few and far between, and those standards weren't that long ago.
 

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I'm at the point in life where I still enjoy wrenching and paying for tools and doing the work myself is more enjoyable than paying someone to do the work and wait...wait...wait...wait for my bike to be ready.
My current conundrum is what back sweep angle I need for the MTB handlebar.
One of these days, I hope to own a lathe and a mill.
 

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Just wait until you add a fat bike into the mix :)). I have three, but the wheels won't interchange . Neither will the cranks / bb.

Took me a while to source 29 qr front wheel in 100mm and 27 qr rear in 135mm for a Ti mtb frame which is less than ten years old.

I find I'm using the lbs for a few things now, notably fat bike wheel build as my jig won't take 190 hubs. Or 150 either........

Progress?
 

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Evolutionsverlierer
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Just wait until you add a fat bike into the mix :)). I have three, but the wheels won't interchange . Neither will the cranks / bb.

Took me a while to source 29 qr front wheel in 100mm and 27 qr rear in 135mm for a Ti mtb frame which is less than ten years old.

I find I'm using the lbs for a few things now, notably fat bike wheel build as my jig won't take 190 hubs. Or 150 either........

Progress?
Thank you for the heads up so I will forgo fat bikes. ?

I have very old schwinn bikes, old and new road bikes, old and not so old mtb's, gravel bikes in the mix so I am covered when it comes to different standarts.

Guess that is the price we have to pay for the more and more specialized bicycles categories.

The sport is also getting more popular so there is money to be made and companies have more money r&d.

At least the tool addict in me is happy.?
 

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Bikes are the least of my worries when it comes to 'tools'...I wrench on my cars, motorcycles, lawn tractors, weed wackers, snow blowers...etc. Motorcycles alone have many 'special' tools and my garage has two Harleys and two Yamaha sport bikes. Wife just laughts when I tell her I need to get 'part x' or 'tool y'. I have a big rollaway tool box and a garage full of 'tools' many of which were a one and done use.
 

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For many years I had a medium plastic toolbox with all my bicycle tools that covered everything I did, now I have a whole shop and still can't find a spoke wrench or hub tool for every single bike that rolls through the door.
I let my regulars come in and use my specialty tools for those jobs they can do themselves otherwise, and it keeps the shop fridge stocked with beer.
Meanwhile my garage is filling up with specialty motorcycle tools, often homemade.
 

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Out spokin'
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My personal philosophy: Never let a LBS bike mechanic touch your bike unless there's no other way.

There are some damn good bike mechanics out there... as well as some mighty lousy ones. I can't tell the difference by the smiles they wear. Meanwhile I know I know what I know. And I can learn whatever I don't.

In the long run buying tools is cheaper than taking my bike to the LBS, not to mention I don't have to wait wait wait wait wait wait (like @Fr0hickey says above) for my bike while it's in the LBS' queue. Finally, I'll own the tools so I can use them again next time. And the time after that... ad infinitum.
=sParty
 

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My personal philosophy: Never let a LBS bike mechanic touch your bike unless there's no other way.

There are some damn good bike mechanics out there... as well as some mighty lousy ones. I can't tell the difference by the smiles they wear. Meanwhile I know I know what I know. And I can learn whatever I don't.

In the long run buying tools is cheaper than taking my bike to the LBS, not to mention I don't have to wait wait wait wait wait wait (like @Fr0hickey says above) for my bike while it's in the LBS' queue. Finally, I'll own the tools so I can use them again next time. And the time after that... ad infinitum.
=sParty
You're not wrong. There's literally no process you have to go through to work at a shop. Especially in a college town where some 19 year old hipster riding a fixie can go from patching tubes to suddenly trying to adjust your $8000 bike because the real mechanic is sick that day.
Most of my customers are bringing me work they could do themselves. I'm not complaining, but what would they do if I wasn't around?
 

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Out spokin'
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You're not wrong. There's literally no process you have to go through to work at a shop. Especially in a college town where some 19 year old hipster riding a fixie can go from patching tubes to suddenly trying to adjust your $8000 bike because the real mechanic is sick that day.
Most of my customers are bringing me work they could do themselves. I'm not complaining, but what would they do if I wasn't around?
The world needs the LBS. I'm pretty sure that it's mostly the elite bike crowd that does all their own wrenching. At least for the most part.

A while ago there was a thread here on empty beer wherein someone asked if people got an annual tune up on their bikes. I asked, "What's a tune up? Isn't that where the bike shop checks your brake pads, lubes your cables, fills your tires with air, greases your bearings, tightens your headset, etc.?"

People who ride their bikes a lot do all those things as the need arises. There's no need for an annual tuneup. I mean, unless you don't ride your bike much. And especially if you leave it out on the patio in the rain all winter.

Don't miss my point. Lots of people do both those things - don't ride much and mistreat their equipment. Plus they don't have a clue how a bike works, even though there's no hood to look under, it's all exposed right there to easily see how things work. They're not interested in figuring it out regardless how simple it is.

Those of us that are interested… we do it. The others can take their bikes & BSOs to the LBS. There are a lot more of the latter than of the former.
=sParty
 

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You're not wrong. There's literally no process you have to go through to work at a shop. Especially in a college town where some 19 year old hipster riding a fixie can go from patching tubes to suddenly trying to adjust your $8000 bike because the real mechanic is sick that day.
Most of my customers are bringing me work they could do themselves. I'm not complaining, but what would they do if I wasn't around?
What process did you go through?
 

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change is good
Switchblade with a 38, 29+ rigid WaltWorks
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I’ve had very good and very bad experiences at the LBSs. Years ago I was forced to wrench on my bike secondary to lack of finances. Now it’s a PITA for personal reasons. I have to make a judgment call as to the competency of the mechanics, their compassion to do a good job, and travel to the shop vs doing it my self. I would rather pay a reasonable rate for good work. A crap mechanic can make some very expensive screw ups from personal experience.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

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I like working on my and others bikes.

I go with a long-loved LBS for annual brake bleeds and suspension service.

Not because I can't do it, but because it's good to keep the relationship fresh, for that inevitable "I'm leaving tomorrow and XYZ disaster just struck".

Funny somebody mentioned cone wrenches. I had a set for ages that I hadn't used for ages and discarded them during a recent move........and then needed them to remove/install the axle on a fine P321 rear hub.
 

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I could simplify and limit my tool needs if I only rode the Typhoon here, but the having contemporary bikes in different categories is is capability almost hard to imagine. Especially hard to imagine in the old fart's category because having the Typhoon and our old Fat Chance to compare with modern trail, hard tail, fattie, touring and gravel bikes shows the difference the right bikes make.

On bike shops, in most markets you can find a great service location. The independent shops that have both high end products and survived time - decades? - are good places to start. I still espouse having your own skills and tools and especially if you travel.

 
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