Favorite Tools of the Mechanics - EWS Round 4, La Thuile, Italy

Jul 13, 2016
by Mike Levy  
For a some of us, working on our bikes can bring nearly as much happiness as actually riding them, and many home mechanics will have a favorite tool that's always within reach. For me, it's a digital pressure gauge that I don't think I could live without, especially now that the latest wide rims and proper tires allow for some seriously low air pressures. I suspect that many of you have a long loved folding hex key set or chain tool that you consider to be part of the family, but what about those who make a living spinning wrenches?

Factory mechanics often have access to the best tools in the biz but, as we find out below, it's not always the fanciest and most expensive tool that's closest to their heart.



Jan Wittmaack - Cube Action Team

bigquotesMy choice is the mini-tool because there are different options [on it] to repair the bikes.


EWS 4 2016 La Thuile Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.



Nigel Reeve - Devinci Global Racing

bigquotesMy favorite tool today is my Knipex parallel pliers because you can use them for pretty much everything, including as a hammer, which is the best tool in the world.


EWS 4 2016 La Thuile Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.



Allan Cooke - SRAM / Juliana

bigquotesIf I could have one tool with me at all times, it would be a T25.


EWS 4 2016 La Thuile Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.



Jordi Cortes - Fox Racing Shox

bigquotesMy favorite tool is this cheap little Craftsman multi-driver that stores hex bits, torx bits, or screwdriver bits, and it auto-loads. I can set it up for tuning the DHX, I can set it up for a 40, and I can carry everything with me without having to have multiple tools.


EWS 4 2016 La Thuile Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.



Kolja Schmitt - Fox Racing Shox

bigquotesMy favorite tool at the moment is the big Knipex pliers. They're made in Germany and are useful for everything.


EWS 4 2016 La Thuile Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.



Mark Maurissen - GT Factory Racing

bigquotesMy favorite tool is my Michelin tire lever because it's the best bottle opener in the world.


EWS 4 2016 La Thuile Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.



Keaton Ward - SRAM / RockShox

bigquotesThese are my Knipex adjustable pliers. They work for so many different things, and I like the way they feel it my hand - it makes me happy.



EWS 4 2016 La Thuile Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.



Tim Flooks - SRAM / RockShox

bigquotesMy favorite tool is a 5mm T-bar hex wrench which I've had since 1995. It undoes the lower bolts on pretty much every RockShox fork, so it's been used a million times.



EWS 4 2016 La Thuile Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.



Jacy Shumilak - CRC PayPal Nukeproof Team

bigquotesMy favorite tool today is the Abbey Bike Tools rotor truing tool, just in case we get a bent rotor. It also doubles as a bottle opener, because we all need a beer every now and then.


EWS 4 2016 La Thuile Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.



Matteo Nati - Cannondale Enduro Team

bigquotesI'll choose the Leatherman Sidekick because there's a lot of tools in one, from pliers to blades and stuff. It has helped me out in a lot of different situations.


EWS 4 2016 La Thuile Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.



Mathieu Gallean - Lapierre Gravity Republic

bigquotesMy favorite tool is the hammer because I can work on every bike, and on the pits and everything.


EWS 4 2016 La Thuile Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.



Ray Waxham - Trek Factory Enduro Team

bigquotesI pick the Skyroam 3G [wireless router]. It doesn't matter where we are so far on the circuit; it has worked for me. South America, Ireland, and here.



EWS 4 2016 La Thuile Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.



Craig Miller - Canyon Factory Enduro Team

bigquotesThe top tool for me would be the Wheels Manufacturing Bearing Press. It means that I can put bearings in nice and smoothly, and in a straight line without any force on them from tapping them with a hammer.


EWS 4 2016 La Thuile Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.



Larry Hartwich - Canyon Factory Enduro Team

bigquotesOne of my favorite tools is this pick. I clean screws with it; I get into tires - if there are small holes, I can see how deep they are; I can open bearings to clean them. All with one tool, which is why I love it.


EWS 4 2016 La Thuile Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.



216 Comments

  • + 146
 Knipex? Time to google. =)
  • + 14
 I work on cars for a living and have them. Knipex cutters are the best hands down, but those pliers are like a cross between a cresent wrench and pliers. They're for gripping stuff with flats, wich a crescent wrench does just fine. They're super quick to adjust, though.
  • + 39
 @UtahBikeMike: They are nice, but when was the last time you used a pliers on your bike?
  • + 27
 @UtahBikeMike: they aren't even remotely close to a crescent wrench. A crescent wrench is ALWAYS the wrong tool for the job, Knipex are almost always better than the "right" tool for the job.
Source: I use them all day every day.
  • + 2
 was blown away first time I tried them. They're great.
  • + 57
 I feel like a goober - I had never heard of them before this. One more tool to add to my wall.
  • + 3
 Yea there also more like a cross between pliers and channelocks, I work in a heavy equipment shop and all the tool guys that come here (snap on matco and mac) all carry Knipex products. Great side cutters. But those bearing presses wouild be my pick as fav tool, I just bought a seal driver kit to get the drivers, then use an exhaust manifold stud as the threaded rod....should fab up some little t handles for it, mucho slick.
  • + 15
 @Socket: Sorry to be that guy, but what kind of bike jobs do you use them for?
  • + 1
 It works great for DU bushings. I've even drifted some bearings with these. Every pro has them.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: look at the rest of their tools also. Stuff is money, they're just more well known for the adjustable pliers.
  • + 1
 @mbikes1 this week, I used a pair to remove a cassette and to take out a 20mm front axle that had been all busted up.
  • + 3
 Knipex is quality stuff. If your looking for some nice German made screwdrivers or torx drivers check out Wiha and Felo.
  • + 3
 Those knipex pliers have dang near as good a purchase on surfaces as a socket. That's why their so baller.
  • + 1
 @knipex yup, exactly what I thought! Once they got repeated I figured I would Google. The third mention convinced me to purchase! The only other multiples were hammer, and bottle opener. Nice!
  • + 3
 You don't know?? Best pliers in the world.

Get 7 and 10" Cobra, 7 and 10 parallel pliers, sidecut cutters, cable cutters and linesman pliers. Everything else is cheese.
  • + 8
 Yep.. As a helicopter mechanic, I have a huge toolbox at the hanger.. When I go out on fires and other jobs, I can bring a set of Knipex side cutters, 2 adjustable plier wrenches and my leatgerman and pretty much can fix anything I need in the field.
  • + 2
 Yup, those knipex pliers are king - I have two pairs and highly recommend. They won't mar the finish on whatever you're working on either.
  • + 1
 deleted ...
  • + 4
 @h82crash: Or PB Swiss for drivers as well.
  • + 5
 My question is: where can I use it on a bike ?
  • + 1
 Knipex here through and through I have some of my own at work too, I can't stand using cheap tools on a daily basis
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Weird, pretty much every hardware shop in my part of Yurp (the Netherlands) sells Knipex pliers..

Great stuff indeed.
  • + 3
 Also great for straightening rotors.
  • + 9
 @thebigschott: no.... no they do not. Sockets share the share load over the entire head and all intact grip surfaces. This is the exact reason an adjustable is ALWAYS the wrong tool for the job.
  • + 15
 @swan3609: As an aircraft mechanic of 15 years this statement terrifies me.....
  • - 1
 @Lannarchy: Bollocks.
  • + 1
 nice tools, I have them in my set. although not arranged all nicely in a mahoosive Snap-on toolbox though Smile
  • + 20
 @Axxe: while I'm sure its effective in a lot of places there is a reason there is a "right tool for the job". Simply getting the job done does not make it that. No mater what kind of cowboy mx clichés follow this comment. Endorsing what is not necessarily the wrong tool for the job (lets say using an ice pick as a hammer) as a miracle cure only hurts a home mechanic that may not fully understand how quickly a mediocre tool (not in build quality but designed intended use) will chew up parts. While the nut or fastener you ruin might not be expensive, its a hell of a lot different than when a pit crew with an available benchstock shreds something from Joe Blow striping something at the house and having to wait a week (or 6) for it to come in.

Get the tool designed to do the job you're doing.
  • + 3
 What size knippex do people recommend for bike/general use?
  • + 3
 @Socket: pfft what would you know
  • + 0
 @lkubica: when you want to replace spring of your boxxer fork
  • + 8
 Heading out to Harbor Freight to get some now ;-)
  • + 3
 Some enterprising Pinkbike commenter from Germany needs to buy a bunch and resell them to us Yanks right away!
  • + 7
 Googled and saw rhe price, ignorantly thought to myself. "eh I've done without em until now". In fairness I've said that about many other tools I've later purchased. :/
  • + 7
 @Lannarchy: eh.... usually adjustable is bad because of the play in the adjustment mechanism (crescent wrenches rounding off bolts, for example). If the mechanism is solid and the contact surfaces stay parallel there's no reason it wouldn't be the 'right tool' for lots of different bike applications.

I wouldn't use it to break free a frozen bolt, but I'd take this tool over some of the crappier socket/ratchet sets out there. I'm sure these pro mechanics aren't rounding off loads of parts with these things....
  • + 3
 Love all the knipex stuff I have. I use the Diagcutters all the time. only cutters I have had that will cut through multiple stainless steel spokes and not damage the cutting edge.
  • + 2
 @swan3609: "As a helicopter mechanic" - you'll never have to say anything more regarding tools or repairs, you win! Smile
  • + 3
 @twozerosix: Or you could just buy them on Amazon.
  • + 3
 @h82crash: you mean wera? they are bad ass and way cheaper than knipex across the board. I've been using Wera stuff for years now.
  • + 2
 I use them they are absolutely wicked quality and are useful for every thing. Nice and soft jaws so wont mark delicate parts.
  • + 3
 @Lannarchy: They are "the right tool for the job" more so then a whole lot of specialized tools. You would know that if you tried, but you didn't, so you just talking out of your ass.
  • + 1
 @bkm303: Indeed. This parallel pliers are always a "right tool" over any open ended wrench, or anything 12 point. Even plastic piping around house, never ever damage to nuts, unlike any other adjustable, channel lock etc.
  • + 2
 @Lannarchy: I use adjustables for....not a lot really. I'll take a six point socket or a crescent wrench over a 12 point or a regular wrench and only use adjustables when things are very awkward and the torque needed is low. I'm not a mechanic by trade (but I have dropped and engine out of a car put it back in by myself) but I've dealt with my share of rounded-off bolt/nuts/screw heads etc to know that adjustables are only the right tool when you're doing plumbing and that's about it.
  • + 2
 @Lannarchy: believe me, I use them sparingly. Most of the time I still carry a set of stubby metric and standard wrenches and a set of common used sockets and other tools as space allows. We also obviously bring the helos back to the hanger for major work. But in all reality, most anything minor that has to be done in the field could be accomplished with 2 knipex, a sidecutter and a Leatherman.. It's not ideal, but it would all work.. It's not like I am bringing our main rotor our main rotor bolts to torque and doing huge phase inspections. It's just small stuff coming loose or maybe having to replace a component.. More than working on the helos, I work on our janky fuel trucks out in the field. Haha
  • + 11
 @Socket: not true, sometimes, when you just feel like rounding off a bolt head, a crescent wrench is the perfect tool for the job
  • + 4
 @twozerosix: Amazon baby ... that's where I got mine.
  • + 1
 @laminar: which model?
  • + 1
 @EckNZ: That's my question.
@mikelevy: Just got all of my tools stolen from my shed, so this is probably the greatest timed thread. Ironically, 6 bikes including my custom painted Turner with I9 wheels just leaned there all untouched.
  • + 2
 Knipex is the tits!
  • + 2
 I've had my Knipex wire cutters for over 10 years now - still going strong.
  • + 3
 @mbikes1: Forks, shocks and dropper posts. The reason they're better than almost anything else is that there is ZERO SLOP because they are clamped dead flat with substantial pressure against the surfaces you're grabbing, so they don't slip and they give you full contact along two sides of the fastener. Sockets theoretically give you more contact area, but that is only true if the socket's size very precisely matches the size of the fastener - which they never actually do. However, the times you should be using (chamferless) sockets are for super low profile fasteners (eg fork topcaps) because sockets are better at self-aligning which reduces the chance of slipping off. Knipex are still a million times better than any other wrench for that job. They're also really handy for silly little things like pressing roll pins into place. Comparing them to a crescent wrench is about the same as comparing an F22 to a paper plane.
  • + 2
 That is a beautiful WASSERPUMPENZANGE!
  • + 2
 @Socket: link to where I can buy a set pleaseSmile
  • + 2
 @SteveDekker: found them! $80
  • + 3
 @SteveDekker:

I don't like to use a crescent wrench on my bike. The only time i use one is when I'm lazy and use them to hold my casette tool or to true rotors.
  • + 0
 @Socket:

No, they're just like a cresent wrench. There are 2 versions of the adjustable pliers. There is a normal adjustable set that's awesome for adjustable pliers.

There is also a version shown here that grip 2 flat parallel surfaces like a crescent wrench. Yeah, they're better than a cheap, worn out crescent wrench but so is an air hammer.

One good use that i didn't think of for them would be pressing shock bushings, other than that it's the wrong tool for the job on a bike.... just like a crescent wrench
  • + 3
 @SteveDekker: professional mechanics use pliers every day, a good set of pliers is an essential item for a pro, and there is a huge difference between good pliers and meh pliers
  • + 3
 @swan3609: Hahaha That's what I figured but the mere mention made me cringe.

If I'm in a light acft stuck in some crevice of Alaska or somehow stuck on a desert island and just need to limp home, sure, adjustables all the way. Hell Ill bang a socket out of a coconut if I have to but outside of something dire where the reward outweighs the risk there is just no way. I just don't see that kind of risk/reward situation existing when it comes to bike mx (especially at a pro level). Unless you're schlepping a pair around in your camel back that is.

I am in no way saying they are a bad tool, my point is solely that they are a Band-Aid bridge between much more specific and better tools. If you're going into BFE and can only carry X amount of weight in X amount of space I'm sure they can flll that niche like a champ.
  • - 2
 @mnorris122: Professional mechanics use task specific pliers every day. Needle nose to reach, side cutters to cut or lift thin lips, duck bills (personal fave for cotter keying) for the inbetween and so on. People keep talking about generic pliers like they a default tool, they are not. We have several sets of channel lock (which would be the family these fall into) and generic pliers in our kits but virtually never use them.
  • + 1
 @Lannarchy:

this is one of our workstations in our bike shop

ep1.pinkbike.org/p6pb12529829/p5pb12529829.jpg

we have needle nose, side cutters, cable cutters, combi pliers as well as lots of circlip pliers and other specialist pieces for particular jobs
  • + 2
 @hampsteadbandit: Exactly, zero channel lock or generic type pliers. Even got one of them fancy torque wrenches in there. I Like it!
  • + 3
 @Lannarchy:

cheers!

The torque wrench on the bench is 3-15nm 1/4" covers most bicycle build/repair jobs

we have 12-60nm 3/8" under each bench for crank bolts, BB cups - you can see the tool bits on the far left of the back board
  • + 0
 literally just got on amazon and purchased after reading this thread
  • + 3
 @UtahBikeMike: no mate knippex are low to mid range on cutters. Lindstrom or erem are far superior. I'm a wireman by trade so use them everyday.
  • + 2
 @Mothership-Rider: You don't use Klein??? what is wrong with you??
  • + 3
 @makripper: i've always used a lindstrom 8160 side cutter and never had any issue. My knippex ones were crap though the spring went in them really fast and i had t bodge them with cable ties and tape lol. As for klein, they are electrician tools not wiremen, maybe it's a word difference but in the uk we call someone who does electrical assembly work like soldering and building electrical components like aerospace products a wireman, this may be why you asked about klein.
  • + 3
 @Mothership-Rider: ah yea makes sense man. The IBEW around here calls electricians wiremen. i've been an electrician over 15 years and have never heard of anyone using lindstrom gear. What kind of products do you build? I'm heavily into controls/plcs/automation etc.
  • + 2
 @makripper: currently working on building artificial intelligence system boxes for boeing to put into the labs as proto types for the 777 plane.
  • + 2
 @Mothership-Rider: thats pretty bad ass! I've always wondering what type of CPU's and OS's are used in that field
  • + 0
 @twozerosix: They sell them at HD or Amazon.
  • + 0
 @Lannarchy: I guess you're going to have your opinion whether you've actually used the afformentioned tool or not
  • + 1
 @makripper: I am familiar with Wera but did mean Wiha. They make a lot of insulated drivers for electrical but also nice standard versions of everything. They also sell direct online - www.wihatools.ca . If your looking for Knipex in Canada IHL has stuff 20% off right now and ship free when you spend $149 or more. www.ihlcananda.com
  • + 1
 @h82crash: sweet. I didn't know that. I get some good deals with my ebh account, same with acklands. Cheers!
  • + 2
 @mbikes1: +1 nothing on my bike has flats big enough to even take a crescent wrench. The wrenches look sweet, but I don't find any of the uses cited so far compelling over tools I already own. Driving a cassette tool? Socket. Pressing bushings/bearings? Press.
  • + 46
 Hammers are good. Adjustable hammers are better
  • + 2
 Glass hammers are even better
  • + 79
 Getting hammered is the best
  • + 7
 Pretty sure that was a joke, but I actually have an adjustable hammer, and a metric crescent wrench
  • + 9
 @maxyedor: your adjustable hammer isn't metric?
  • + 3
 Air hammers are even better
  • + 36
 I met my wife because if Knipex, she saw me admiring them at the tool store and commented on my great calf as I strained to reach them. 2 weeks later we married. Just great, they'll always be my favourite brand because of the bond my wife and I share.
  • + 13
 No, you met your wife because you're short!

PS: you really do have nice calves. Moisturise?
  • + 4
 @bishopsmike: Thanks babes. Yes i do. And you got me, how many times have we heard women say to us '' i love a short guy'' right boys? exactly.
  • + 8
 Married after 2 weeks - you must have amazing calves!
  • + 1
 I'd watch that movie.
  • + 23
 Those of us without Knipex adjustable pliers are clearly blowing it.
  • + 0
 Yes.
  • + 0
 I can see no use for them.
  • - 8
flag Axxe (Jul 13, 2016 at 23:57) (Below Threshold)
 @bigburd: Means you never work on anything mechanical.
  • + 5
 @Axxe: tell what you would use this for on a mtb, that doesn't already have a dedicated tool that any home mech loud own?
  • + 1
 Would * not loud
  • - 6
flag Axxe (Jul 14, 2016 at 0:33) (Below Threshold)
 @bigburd: Everything that many dedicated tools do, this one does better. For example it straightens rotors better. Crimps cable ends better. Grabs axle nuts quicker and better than an open wrench. Opens fork top cap. Tightens nuts on brake lines. Even turns spoke nipples.
And there are a many, many uses around the house. If you do not get it, you do not work on anything mechanical.
  • + 13
 @Axxe: you can explain with out being a total c*nt ya know? I was always brought up to use the correct tool for the job, and not to use adjustable tools as the slip and chew shit up.
  • + 8
 @Axxe: half of that simply doesn't work in practice. Cable ends? Nope, I use wire cutters because you get two uses per end that way. Axle nuts? Who the hell has them any more. Top cap I'll conceed, I use a parallel face wide jaw adjustable spanner. Nuts on brake lines a 7mm spanner is far easier. And spoke nipples? Really? That would be the biggest ball ache ever, using.such a long tool for quarter turns, a spoke key would be much easier. Yeah they're a nice tool, and for some things they'll be better, but I'm pretty sure most mechanics prefer a socket or ring spanner so they're less likely to round it off.
  • + 2
 @Axxe: you had me on everything except spoke nipples. Seems like a sick tool though, I'm probably gonna buy one.

I prefer to use a multitasker if it can do the job well. Certain things have no substitute, but there's a lot of stuff that's overly specialized too.
  • + 6
 @bigburd: You were brought up right.
  • - 4
flag Axxe (Jul 14, 2016 at 9:12) (Below Threshold)
 @inked-up-metalhead: Yes, it does work. What a bunch of morons around here. Armchair mechanics. You probably can't do any of basic work on your bike with or without any tools.
You imbeciles arguing about that in an article where pro mechanics claim just that. And people with a clue explain it to you. But it does not sink through, apparently.
  • + 1
 @Axxe: yeah totally, my bike is just a frame I run round the trails with...

The fact is yes, pro bike mechanics use them and recommend them. Chances are, that's because it's a 'get you out the shit' tool, good when the actual Allen keys and bike specific tools just won't do it, but every single mechanic I've met will laugh at anyone taking an adjustable tool to anything. Stop being an arse, atm there's more people saying a proper tool is a better option, so you're in the minority, and that makes you the moron right now.
  • + 1
 @inked-up-metalhead:
I'm a mechanic.
And adjustable wrenches are some of the most useful everyday tools I've got.
I have 4 of them.
I don't feel like I'm missing out not having any knipex stuff.
Once again. Just like anything. It's the Indian not the arrow.
But any good Indian has a few different arrows.
And he can make a questionable one do a better job than most people can using the "proper" tool.
As far as this aaaaxxxxe guy.
The fact that you've suggested using the knipex on spoke nipples leaves me a bit worried.
Pro bike mechanics choose tools that allow them to travel light and still get the job done. Therefore a tool that serves many uses is better than the right tool. And what they use really has little bearing on what a real shop should be doing, because really they're not fixing bikes they're just keeping them clean and bolting perfect new parts on and off.
Proof of all of this?
The fact that none of them mentioned a dérailleur hanger alignment tool.
Which is the most important tool in a tool box.
  • + 1
 @jflb: What are you worried about? Yes, giving a quarter turn to a nipple is actually easier with this tool than fishing for a spoke wrench. No, it is not a substitute when building a wheel or anything.
There a gazzilion of uses for a non-marring parallel adjustable pliers, that was the point. They are indeed superior to every other adjustable wrench design out there.

Love my DAG-2. Saved my friends countless visits to bike shops.
  • + 21
 3G router? That's the worst answer ever.

So you can watch YouTube videos on how to fix bikes?
  • + 5
 Do you probable never been in the mechanich tent when the "boys" are up the hill for quite a few hours, let me tell ya:it gets kinds dull! Then the riders come back and are eager for some meal and a place with WiFi pronto! So if you are doubling as a road Manager too, then that device isgolden because it buys you time!
  • + 3
 @JUGIZMO: Oh I understand the answer, I just think when someone asks a professional Mechanic what his favourite tool is and the response is something completely unrelated to his profession is a bad answer ,or a misunderstanding of the question. I work in IT, and its the same as if someone asked me that and my response was "oh, a Hammer is my favourite, so I can hit the users on the head who break the computer systems I get paid to fix."

That is just my opinion though.

Whilst I am clarification mode, my 2nd comment about YouTube video's was not a negative swipe at anyone's tech skills, the dudes an EWS Wrench, he no doubt knows more about his trade than I could ever hope to. I in fact watch YouTube videos on how to fix my bike Smile
  • + 18
 the abbey bike tool looks more like a bottle opener that just happens to double as a rotor truing tool.
  • + 17
 Is this a Knipex ad??? lol looks cool though... might grab one and see what the fuss is about.
  • + 1
 Seriously, pick some up. Those and their alligator pliers are the cats ass! I have a ton of their cutters and pliers, they're also amazing, and much cheaper than the tool truck stuff.
  • + 2
 Also check slim Cobra pliers. And their cutters of all kind are the best. Last forever.
  • + 15
 Apparently we all need to buy some knipex pliers....
  • + 9
 They are way more useful for automotive purposes than they are for bikes
  • + 3
 @shredjekyll: My brother is an airplane mechanic and my other brother is auto mechanic and they both use these a lot. It is one tool that they never leave behind.
  • + 14
 I HAD A NICE PAIR OF BIG KNIPEX PLIERS AND BOB STENSON LEFT THEM ON TOP OF HIS CAR
  • + 8
 Classic Stenson!
  • + 4
 Fucking bob.
  • + 1
 The heckler ! ! !
  • + 11
 Mechanic here and my fav is any Y-type allen key set (4-5-6), always carry one on my apron
  • + 2
 Yes my old Park Y-Allen was the first tool I ever purchased just for working on bikes. 20 years later it's a little rounded but still favorite.
  • + 3
 Not a fan(this is the most endless debate in MTB wrenching, though.)

Always seems like there's something else next the fastener that the other 2 keys hit when I use the Y-type. So I opt for the P-handle almost all the time.
  • + 3
 @groghunter: totally agree. I must like the tedium of re-socketing the damn tool in a bolt over and over, making 20-degree turns each time. Inhaled too much WD-40 in my earlier years.
  • + 3
 @twozerosix: I've actually started going to ratchet most often, as it prevents the resocketing that is inevitable with every other option. I tend to use the ball end on the P-handle too much as well, & end up deforming bolts. ratchet is a bulwark against that particular personal bad habit.
  • + 10
 Pft smh... a Pro Wrench preferring a multi-tool eek. On a positive note I'm grabbing a set of those pliers! Man they are cool.
  • + 8
 Just ordered a variety of these mysterious Knipex pliers from Amazon. Always love an excuse to buy more tools.
  • + 6
 Three rules of bike maintenance:
1) always use the correct tools for the job
2) a hammer is the correct tool for the job
3) anything can be used as a hammer
  • + 4
 I imagine we'll see a bunch of Knipex wrenches in the Buy&Sell section in a few weeks. "Pristine condition. Taken out of the package once. Just didn't find a use for them".
  • + 1
 Most likely those guys were just using them to put their benches together and just happened to be holding them when Mike came by.
  • + 4
 Awesome tools, in Google trends for Canada and the US you can already see Knipex going through the roof the last couple of hours! :-D For MTB purpose you should get the 86 03 180 (in the pictures) or 86 05 180.
  • + 1
 This is the comment i was looking for! cheers!
  • + 3
 Off the top of my head there are 35 bolts on our bikes that have a specified torque. 32 of them are less than 9 Nm. My go to when putting a new build together is the CDI Torque Control 2-8 Nm adjustable torque wrench. Thread everything in by hand loosely with a regular allen key, set the torque on that bad bad boy, turn until in clicks. It came calibrated and it won't let you turn any more and over torque. Small enough to take on demo days, to races, or even when flying and you need to keep your kit to a minimum.
  • + 3
 Love it! Could be a whole discussion on what people use the most but instead we're all running out to buy new Pliers that most of us never new we needed until now. Myself included. Do they come with an oak wall plate to mount them proudly above my work table?
  • + 6
 Now the Knipex pliers in the "Save For Later" section of my Amazon cart are going to go up in price.
  • + 3
 People are putting Knipex plier wrenches down because of the saying "the right tool for the job is always the best tool".
These are meant to be used where the best tool isn't available or didn't get packed because two sets of pliers wrenches replace an entire socket set plus half a dozen other tools that the travelling mechanic left at home to save weight.

Knipex plier wrenches are amazing. I have the 10" and 7" models which multiply the amount of force you exert times 60. You could easily crush someones finger using the 10" ones. They don't wiggle and nothing about the construction is loose. I also have their 7" Cobra pliers which are an elegant replacement for channel locks.

If you are putting down these wrenches then you have never had to go on the road with your tools. Can't bring them all and these pliers can replace a bunch of different heavy tools.
  • + 4
 YES!!! Been using those Knipex pliers for years as a shop wrench. Never seen them in a mechanic-tools-profile, until now and always thought that was weird. NOW THE WORLD WILL KNOW THEIR GLORY!
  • + 5
 What parts are you using a wrench on?
  • + 3
 @unrooted: I'm with you... I hope all these people buying knipex stuff since these mechanics like them work on cars or build a lot of stuff, because most of their tools aren't really aimed at working on bikes.
  • + 1
 @shredjekyll: Well their linemans pliers are something I use all the time when fiddling with bikes.
  • + 2
 @unrooted: Quick links, DU bushings, threaded BBs and headsets. One thing that is great about them is because they are adjustable, they often fit better than the park tool or pedros headset and bottom bracket wrenches which means you wont round off edges and they are less likely to pop and slip under torque. And, the better fit means you actually apply more torque into trying to break free stuck corroded parts. Plus, since they are flat, they don't gouge anything you are clamping. I'm the "production mechanic" at the bike shop I work at, so I find having one tool that does lots of jobs within reach speeds things up. SO, yeah if you're not a daily wrench, they might not be for you.
  • + 2
 A few have mentioned lineman pliers. At least here in 'murica you will likely receive a skanky scowl if your a lineman and use anything but Klein #9's, at least during my 32 years on the job. Good tool and use them on my bikes quite frequently surprisingly. Will have to check out these Knipex things thought. I'm a tool who likes tools.
  • + 5
 Jeremy Clarkson would be proud of the Lapierre mechanic
  • + 1
 you cant beat good tools just as important as having a good rig and save money in the long run, kinpex are shit hot same as gedore ,bacho ,teng ,snapon ect , PS CHECK OUT LIDL THERE TOOLS (POWERFIX)ARE SAUPERB FOR THE MONEY (german made) they are realy good for the money
  • + 4
 looks like the Trek team spends a lot of time on the internet learning to fix things
  • + 1
 Why do you post this right after I sell a motorcycle with money in my account that should really stay in the savings account! Damn you Pinkbike! And you just reminded me of the Knipex plier set that is in my Amazon wish list.
  • + 1
 You could write an article someday about how different is servicing WC rigs on a daily basis, compared to non-pros bike. I mean if they service bearings the same times as they true wheels, if they rebuild shocks and forks everyday or so. There must be a lot of work in the pits.
  • + 1
 My favourite tool is a pair of long pointy tweezers. I utilise (a rare correct use of that word these days) them for internal cable routing, fixing squashed outer after cutting, centering damping rods when sliding lowers back on and all sorts of applications I never thought of when I first added them to my bike tool collection.
  • + 5
 The pick is #1. Probably use that more than anything for random stuff.
  • + 3
 One of my favorites: Park Master Link Pliers: www.parktool.com/product/master-link-pliers-mlp-1-2
  • + 2
 for dollars spent vs frustration that i no longer have to experience trying to get the link apart, those things are some of the best money i've ever spent
  • + 1
 Yes. Except I bought both of mine before 11 speed, so they only open it.
  • + 4
 Moral of the story... Knipex adjustable pliers rule all tools.
  • + 0
 Seeing a professional mechanic(let alone several) state that their 'favorite' tool is a pair of channel-lock pliers makes me nervous. Pliers are like crescent wrenches. They're to use when you either don't have the proper fitting wrench or socket,
or if/when you're too lazy to go get the proper wrench or socket.
  • + 3
 You should look at those pliers more carefully. They're the product of someone who dislikes using those other tools as much as you do, & designing an adjustable wrench that doesn't suck. They don't have teeth, so they don't mar like channel-lock/waterpump, & the jaws are paralell, so you're applying force to the whole side of the fastener, not just the edges where a waterpump happens to bite. & unlike a crescent, the jaws don't have any play when you're on the fastener, they're actually clamping down on it.

as an example, this would be better for removing fork top caps than a normal chamfered socket. I could also see using this on a nut that has the corners stripped, but intact faces.

Not that water pump pliers aren't great for their original usage. great for plumbing.
  • + 2
 Been carrying these Knipex for the last 3 years at work, wouldent even bother getting dressed without them

toolguyd.com/knipex-mini-pliers-wrench-cobra-pliers-edc
  • + 2
 Okay, I'll be the 10th person to ask: what do you use pliers for on a bike? The only wrenches I've ever used are pedal wrench, and the hub wrench.
  • + 1
 You're doing it wrong then! I have three different size pliers in my tool box. Now I need to look into these Knipex tools... T+1 = B+1
  • + 1
 Fork top caps.

Cassette remover tool is a hex, something like 1", who wants to carry a 1" crescent wrench.

Lots of new bikes have machined wrench flats on the alloy pivot bolts, so you can keep them from spinning while you thread a bolt into them.

Could also use them for hubs.

I've seen small bearing presses with wrench flats instead of handles.

Etc.
  • + 4
 @WolfStoneD: I use sockets for most everything you said, even my lockring tool "Cassette remover tool" is meant for a 1l2" ratchet. Cone Wrenches for hubs! Either way, thanks for your insight. Pliers aren't for me, yet may work for others.
  • + 2
 @adkrider: me as well, but I could see how a nice set of adjustable pliers/wrench could be quick and handy on the road. I've even machined my socket for the boxer top caps to get rid of the inner chamfer of the socket.

Just throwing down ideas because many people asked what they are used for.
  • + 2
 @WolfStoneD: i don't doubt that the knipex would work for a fork top cap, but these are the perfect tool for the job:

www.lunarbikes.com/tools.htm
  • + 1
 @xeren: Disagree. I just got them, and they're too tight. Tighter than slip-fit, nearly press-fit on any Fox or Avalanche aluminum fastener/adjuster. I think they neglected to account for the added thickness of anodizing, so they scratch anything I use them on.
  • + 2
 @delta5: meh, mine fit perfectly. maybe try sanding it slightly?
  • + 2
 I am aware of the power of Knipex side cutters. Those pliers look amazing, I'm going to pick some up.
  • + 4
 Pliers, for what?
  • + 5
 Squeeze balls.
  • + 3
 You MUST have Knipex pliers - didn't believe the hype till I tried them.
  • - 1
 Yes. Take all your crescent wrenches and throw them out. These guys know what's up because those Knipex pliers are rad!
  • + 3
 I choose 4,5,6 mm Allen keys
  • + 2
 Adjustable pliers, average for everything, good for nothing, round here also known as "fix f#ck all's"
  • + 2
 My favourite tool is the kettle. It's the one thing I'm guaranteed to use every time I do some work on my bikes.
  • + 2
 I hope Knipex releases a bike specific model for 3x the price! (Please don't)
  • + 3
 No one said torque wrench? I guess they all have calibrated elbows.
  • + 0
 got 2 torque wrenches and most of the time i dont use them as most manufactures torque settings are not right!!! in the real world ,bars spinning in stems cilinder heads that you can move with your hand (saxo VTS) ect, also torque settings can be differant if using greesed threads or loctite and titanium bolts stretch so need to be torqued more than steel usualy after a short ride but prob use torque wrench for alloy bolts as prob shear if over done ,most michanics use feel , turn till tight then wee nip past that , torqued".but if i am wrong get back to me but i am not never had a prob yett
  • + 2
 @screwballscrambell: Well, all that matters is getting the end result that you want. If experience leads you to prefer using feel for tightening fasteners, either because it gets you better results or because of practicality, work flow, time constraints, etc., I can't argue with that.

I will say that using a torque wrench is almost always more accurate and consistent. Where it can become inaccurate is when fasteners have been previously over-torqued, or like you mentioned, a lubed bolt is torqued to a dry torque spec or vice versa. A given torque spec is relying on that value corresponding to a certain clamp load being created. There are many variables which can skew the clamp load created higher or lower for a given torque. The manufacturer's spec *should* take into acount the type of fastener being used and whether or not the assembly calls for lubed threads.
  • + 2
 @huntingbears: i totaly agree ,i think the best tool in the tool box is yourself ,you can have the best tools and if you cant use them properly (knowledge)(wisdom)lets not forget a wee bit of luck on your side go a long way as well
  • + 1
 Torque wrenches are for part timers. If it's not right it's loose.
  • + 2
 How do I not know about these pliers!
  • + 2
 Knipex and Festool if you don't know already, quit now
  • + 2
 Jordi is a clever man! KIS
  • + 1
 Being a bike mechanic is clearly a shit job, not one of these knipex owners have the dual component handle variant. Boo!
  • + 1
 Been using Knipex for years on aircraft. I'd say probably my most used tool! Very reliable and easy to use! Get a pair!
  • + 2
 German quality tool :-) You should also check out Wiha or Gedore.
  • + 1
 Or Elora. Or Stahlwille. I even have some Wera in those nice cases in the boot of the car.
  • + 1
 WTF?!?
Plier wrench? Give me a good set of spanners any day.
  • + 1
 I knew the guy worked for sram before I even looked when I saw "T25".
  • + 1
 Alan Cooke the mechanic... Good thing the girls don't know anyway...
  • + 1
 Larry is the clear winner here. The pick is essential.
  • + 1
 what bike are they riding on do one of you know?
  • + 1
 My favorite tool? Donald Trump!
  • + 1
 First thing I thought of when I saw the title was my knipex cutters
  • + 1
 Where I get that pick from?..thanks...
  • + 1
 The Trek guy would pick something douchy, wouldn't he?
  • + 1
 Jodi Cortez nailed it, love that screwdriver!
  • + 1
 Was expecting to see Snap-On cordless screw guns here.
  • + 1
 Even the mechanics don't want electronics near bikes...
  • + 2
 I usually keep a t25 in my screw gun for brake rotor bolts. They take too long to thread by hand
  • + 2
 Santech O-ring pic
  • + 1
 Ahh sweet..thanks.
  • + 0
 Every body working on anything shall have Knipex parallel and cobra adjustable pliers and wire rope cutters.
  • + 0
 Of course SRAM is the only US company to embrace a European idea. Won't take our square screws though. Smile
  • + 0
 Bottom of their shifters is a Robertson bud.
  • + 2
 A 5mm allen key ? Wink
  • + 1
 i met Tim Flooks once, and it was my first race, he's one RAD guy!
  • + 1
 Knippex value on wall street just doubled !!!
  • + 1
 I own 2 sets of knipex pliers. Best pliers I've ever had.
  • + 1
 Mathieu Gallean BFH
  • + 1
 Yay Keaton!!!
  • + 1
 *though
  • + 1
 DENTAL PICK
  • + 1
 I see you, Heisenberg...
  • + 1
 Park Tool AWS-10
  • - 1
 Craftsman makes a similar wrench/ channel lock tool.
  • + 2
 Craftsman and Snap-on license the design
  • + 3
 Except it is a useless piece of shit.
  • + 1
 @Axxe: I think we have found knipex's @protour!
  • + 1
 @VwHarman: ya except he's talking about the craftsman version not the knipex.
Congrats on the reading comprehension.
  • + 1
 @jflb: hmmmm. I thought my comment was directed at @axxe, and not @jmc1gear. So I would like to also congratulate you on your comprehension. Good try bahd, you'll get through your hooked on phonics course one day.
  • - 3
 Knipex are old news, been taking up realestate in my toolbox for the better part of a decade (love them), but this skyroam thing is new to me, I wanna know more!

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