Video: What’s In A World Cup Mechanic’s Tool Box?

May 14, 2020
by Pinkbike Originals  


Take a tour of 6 pro mountain bike mechanic tool boxes. Custom tools, secret compartments, pro tips, and more!







135 Comments

  • 106 2
 This is exactly what my quarantine pent-up boredom-buying ass needs. Gonna go invest my life's savings in knipex pliers.
  • 8 0
 just did
  • 10 0
 Best $ you'll spend on tools!
  • 7 0
 Worth it!
  • 12 0
 they're not that expensive and they're amazing. I've used them on my bikes, for carpentry, for metal working and for just fixing stuff around the house. CONSUME
  • 13 0
 I bought a set when PB ran a similar story last fall. No regrets. I love that even the small 5" ones can fold a penny in half.

Possibly the biggest contribution PB has made to my life.
  • 11 0
 Check out toolboxwars on instagram, but beware, it can quickly escalate into an addiction.
  • 10 0
 @Upduro: don’t worry, I’ve already succumbed to that. Do I need a $200 titanium shop hammer? No. Would I be willing to eat ramen for a month to make it happen, very likely.
  • 1 0
 I just dropped so much money on fancy tools hahah hope they arrive soon! Got some wheels and bikes to build!
  • 2 1
 @Anditsonfire: hahaha glad we could do something nice for you :-)
  • 2 0
 Knipex isn't very expensive. I use them for work
  • 1 0
 @rbarbier12: ahhh the spirit of mountainbiking
  • 2 0
 Once you pick up a set of either the cobras or the pliers wrenches there's no crawling back out of the rabbit hole
  • 8 0
 I'm puzzled. I don't use pliers much at all working on bikes. maybe to tension a cable when replacing inners or housing but i think that's it.
What are other folks using their pliers for?
  • 1 0
 @Kark: They replace a cresent wrench and pliers.. work as well as a box end wrench.
  • 2 0
 @Leethal-1: so, more for gear bag carry than for shop use i guess? ..I have so few wrench flats on my bikes now, almost entirely hex socket so apart from pedals i hardly ever reach for a box end even.
  • 2 0
 @Kark: Same and even pedals as of recent are using 6-8mm hex socket.
  • 1 0
 @Citrons: use them all the time they are like open ends that you can apply pressure to for a solid bite
  • 2 1
 @Kark: I use my plier wrench on my fork top caps and other suspension bits during service or to change volume spacers. That's about all the use on a modern mountain bike. I also use them on my sons bike as that still has nutted axles
  • 2 0
 @JDugan: oh, yeah. I'd forgotten. I have used channel locks on top caps when I couldn't find my large adjustable wrench so a pair of knipex would have been a nicer tool for sure and maybe wouldn't have left the nasty marks behind.
..still can't see calling it my favourite though, but :shrug: to each their own.
  • 5 7
 @Kark: careful listening to all these plumbers and lawnmower mechanix tempting you to use pliers and crescent wrenches on your precision bicycle.
The sad thing is a "pro" mechanic flashed his as his favorite tool.Don't touch my bike thank you very much.
  • 1 0
 I use them as quick link pliers. Angles are perfect. Works a treat.
  • 1 0
 Best boredom-shoppers moment: Finding money on your paypal—account from an earlier return. Small man‘s lottery win.
  • 1 0
 @two2pedal: as a plumber...you can't beat a good set of pliers, just don't bring them anywhere near my bikes though!
  • 1 0
 @Kark: I use mine for stripping Reverbs mainly, the fact that they clamp down on the component means that they're a lot kinder to aluminium fittings and fittings that have had the edges rounded off previously.
  • 2 0
 @Kark: the close is a parallel so work as a mini vice so uses are endless
  • 2 0
 @two2pedal: you do all your own suspension servicing? Like right down to full damper overhauls?

Cause if you don't, and you send that out to the Pros... I promise you a set of knipex have been used on your precision suspension parts.

You're welcome very much
  • 2 2
 @TheBearDen: what? Knipex is average at best. It clamps ok but not well. Why are you hyping up glorified channel locks? Btw most use spanners for suspension damper work. Less sloppy
  • 1 0
 @makripper: hyping up? I don't believe I am hyping up anything. Just stating a fact.
  • 3 0
 @makripper: You get 0 slop with the parallel pliers.
  • 1 1
 @NelsonCruza: Thank you for your trade and the proper use of tools.
  • 1 1
 @TheBearDen: Thank you very much and yes I do ALL my own suspension work.Been around long enough to know all the "pros"might not be so "pro".
  • 1 1
 @TheBearDen: it's not a fact if it's not true.
  • 2 1
 @dingus: sounds like you've never used knipex.
  • 1 0
 @makripper: Not the aliexpress ones you've been using, no.
  • 2 0
 @two2pedal: I hear you. not at all tempted either, but was curious.
I've spent enough time in professional tool use environments to have been taught to use the right tool for the job.

but of course tools are expensive and it takes awhile to build a good set. I also get that lots of folks will prioritize that money to tires or a dropper or replace the rim they caved in or whatever. Maybe then a pair of knipex is a good do-anything tool. for them.

But i'm still amazed a bike mechanic would choose them as a favourite. There just aren't enough wrench flats on a modern bike to warrant it.
  • 3 0
 @dingus: definitely sounds like you don't touch tools.
  • 2 0
 @AllMountin: thx. Good tip. I've got the wolftooth tool (which is awesome) but good to know other options.
  • 3 1
 @Kark: they aren't super common except on pinkbike. I have a set at work I never use. They don't work well for most industrial electrical installations. They don't grip enough and they don't handle abuse very well. For suspension work I prefer socket sets and flat wrenches.
  • 2 0
 People bagging on Knipex pliers haven't realized the multitude of uses they have, which makes them great for mechs that have to carry their tools around. Of course job specific tools are going to be better, but if one tool can replace 5 others why would a PRO race mechanic carry more than needed?
  • 1 0
 @rbarbier12: umm its only 180 dollars
  • 2 0
 @wallheater: yup thats literally the biggest benefit to having a tool like that.
  • 1 1
 @wallheater: OK,I'll take the bait.Name 5 specific bike tools a knipex will replace for the mechanic on the go.(jeopardy theme song)
  • 1 0
 @two2pedal: 26,27,28,30,32mm top sockets just to name 5
  • 2 0
 @two2pedal: also bearing press in some instances, holds straight pull spokes, bend rim dings back, various other things but I'm at work at the mo. It's usually in a situation where I'm struggling to find a solution to a problem and I suddenly think 'ah yes, the Knipex pliers'.
  • 25 0
 Without watching:
- Knipex pliers
- Wera hex keys and screwdrivers
- Some ridiculously pricey but awesome Abbey tools
- One ingeniously self-made tool that should be made available ASAP
  • 1 2
 3 out of 4 I guess.
  • 2 0
 4/4, well done
  • 4 0
 you've done this before...
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: every world cup season
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: How have they not given you a mod tag yet??
  • 21 0
 Alright that custom built steerer tube tool to hold the headset together and attach the bars to is what I've been searching for my entire life. Now I know why I couldn't find one!
  • 6 0
 Park just announced one as I recall
  • 3 0
 @ihatton929: Yeah, you can bolt your brake caliper to it too which is neat.

The one in the video is pretty smart though, nice and compact for a travel kit.

I've got an old Boxxer crown/steerer that I use at home.
  • 1 0
 @ihatton929: anyone have a link to the park tool one or know what they call it?
  • 1 0
 Don't forget the tool like this with the 'Fox steerer' tube will be approximately twice the price of the next competitor which will do the job pretty much just as well...
  • 1 0
 @ihatton929: ahhhh wonder where they got the idea...
  • 1 0
 Easiest solution is a Lefty for all steerer tube
  • 1 0
 @Endurahbrah: ooo I think I'm in love with this design and will make one myself
  • 12 0
 This new school crop of race techs, so funny with their cut foams and gorgeous layouts, I never had this level of setup. Rockstars I tell ya.
  • 4 0
 Spoken truth. It’s amazing what crap tools we used back in the day to keep our bikes running. I remember dropping $17 on a full set of metric Bondhaus allens and thinking that was expensive. Crazy thing is, I still use em and they’re going on 20+ years.
  • 3 0
 @tracer2: Only rad custom toolbox of our era, was how Monk got all that Mountain Dew into his toolbox at the airport.
  • 1 0
 @tracer2: Goes to show, especially when it comes to often-used hex keys/T-handles, buy once and have them for life.
  • 1 0
 I am tempted now to do some foam organizer www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSdOb7a3s3k
  • 10 0
 When your headset comes loose because of your preload bolt you should find a different hobby. Or check the bolts of your stem.
  • 2 0
 If you have a fastener like this come loose and you grease the threads instead of the head, don't call yourself a mechanic. A simple washer also handles that issue long-term.
  • 1 0
 Don't the bolts come with washers anyway? I don't ever recall having my headset come loose either.
  • 1 0
 Yeah that was an odd tip. Back in the 'Azonic Headlock' days, I'd install that, tighten my headset and then remove it completely! No top cap at all and my headset never came loose. Gotta save weight on that 40lb freeride hardtail Wink
  • 8 1
 This is super cool, for me I love my Husky mini ratchet and 2.5,3.4.5.6 1/4in Allen sockets way faster then Allen wrenches. As a part time bike mech for a local shop I built my pelican case tool box this year, it's so much better than digging around in a tool box or bag like a trash panda.
  • 6 0
 Built my own case as well, may have spent too much time looking at toolbox wars on the insta.
  • 2 0
 I have a cute 1/4 irwin ratchet that I use with hex, torx and allen bits. They are awesome! And it was a complete put together kit.
  • 1 0
 hahaha trash panda...too good. Makes sense. Whatever you're looking for is always at the very bottom and hardest to find.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: its where 8mm and 10mm sockets go to hide.
  • 1 0
 you got the link for the husky mini ratchet? The bike specific ones are overpriced AF
  • 7 0
 Umm... i'll add my hammer and a lot of curse words.
  • 3 0
 The quality and overall fit and finish of Knipex are exceptional and even prefer over Snap-on (or Fap off as AvE says) for the high-end stuff. Proto the best valve with and Klein Tool, Wiha kinda sit in the middle.

For eating up slack in the long stem faceplate bolts these are a godsend since you can palm the wrench and spin it in or out. (not sure why the pic isn't loading on the page)
www.wihatools.com/precision-ball-end-hex-metric-screwdrivers

these are handy as well for some frozen seat posts without using a pipe wrench
www.protoindustrial.com/en/industrial-tools/Proto/Pliers%2C-Snips-%26-Clamps/Pliers/J253G_Proto®-Soft-Jaw-Cannon-Plug-Pliers---9-1%7C2%22
  • 6 0
 Kaizen foam and their cut kit is a must. Its addicting
  • 3 0
 Nice to hear. I have been thinking of building up a nice tool kit and was wonder where/how on the foam and cutting that precisely.
  • 2 0
 We use a rotary tool with a cratex wheel to cut foam reliefs at work. It is amazing how precise you can make them. Shadow foam gives it that pro touch and makes it very easy to see what needs to be replaced.
  • 6 0
 At last, a badass female presenter. More please!
  • 2 0
 just a story about some kids who worked for me through the years ... good kids but, not the sharpest tools in the shed.

Story One:
I used to buy this ArmorAll foam stuff for cleaning bikes. One day I tell my boyee to clean off a bike that was in the work stand. I continue with what I was doing for a while. The work area was directly behind a half-wall where I was standing at the computer. Suddenly, i hear this hsssssssssssssssssssss noise. Didnt think much of it, thought maybe someone was putting air in or out of a tire. The hsssssssssssssss continues for a while. Occupied with what I was doing, it still didnt register what that noise was. THEN IT DID... oh shit, he's spraying something with the ArmorAll. I rush around the corner and see the bike I told him to clean completely covered with foam. It looked like a bike version of the Stay-Puff guys from Ghost Busters.. Instant regret. The bike had disc brakes and that ArmorAll is an oil based product. I had to replace the pads and rotors cuz the kid took me too literally.
  • 2 0
 Since bike parts are relatively small, i always keep a small box(size of a pork chop) with a random assortment of bolts and weird bits from old bikes and broken parts(old chain quick links, tubeless valves, mm screws/bolts, derailleur parts, headset spacers, etc). I probably pull that out of my bike box more than most tools.
  • 1 0
 Logged in just to upvote the “pork chop" size comparison...
  • 2 0
 I have a serious tool buying addiction but even I can’t justify forking over $200 for that Decade chain tool from Abbey.
However those laser cut foam trays on John Hall and Ben Arnott’s boxes are drool-worthy for sure.
  • 2 1
 There are some people I can backup that says Abbey tools are no worth it in the price/function range. Otherwise they look awesome I give you that.
  • 5 0
 I'd love to know what these guys carry when they're out riding.
  • 2 0
 I have been on a ride with Ben and one another person, between us we had 0 tools of any kind. Maybe a pump, maybe.
  • 4 0
 A friend of mine makes and sells this neat little tool. Check it out.

www.fredisatool.com
  • 3 0
 I cant believe most of them use the sliding t handles. They are ok, but the L-handle hex wrenches seem to work better on 99%of jobs.
  • 1 0
 And not even one lathe to make internal floating pistons to replace the shit ones from fox and others, and to machine bomb proof bushings. Oh and if you need branded boutique specific tools to be a mechanic you're not one, you are a just o bot...
  • 3 0
 Is the answer lots of Knipex, stainless steel Wera L-keys, and a dental pick for taking out fork seals?
  • 2 0
 ahh!!! the picks were definitely mentioned by a few of them... great tool for sure!
  • 3 0
 where's the 6mm deep socket for the maryjane?? and u call yourself's professionals Confused
  • 1 1
 Not one three way wrench. Some people love them. I despise them. It’s like a USB only more ways to get it wrong. Plus many times they are too bulky to fit where you’re trying to use it. I’m going to have to look for these Knipex pliers. I’ve read about them often but never seen one in the flesh.
  • 1 0
 They aren't the worst, it's my trailside tool of choice. I'm more surprised at the quantity of sliding t handles.
  • 1 0
 "It’s like a USB only more ways to get it wrong."
magic.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: I think it is just fashionable to have them atm.. Bondhus L ones for the win.
  • 1 0
 Silicone spray is also great on the cassette! Gritty grease, mud and forest spooge won't stick and it keeps the wear down somewhat. Just be careful not to get too carried away and have the over-spray hit the disc rotor.
  • 3 0
 Yesssssss one of my favourite type of pinkbike topics.
  • 4 0
 I need more tools now.
  • 3 0
 But where do you find the cable crimp at 0:42??
  • 5 0
 It's a "ring marking plier" you can get at microstamp.us. It lets you crimp your name into the cable tip.
Shameless plug, I was the first (that I know of) to do this. Then I got one for Brad Copeland and from there, a few others bought one for themselves.
  • 1 0
 @atestisthis: That's pretty trick!
  • 2 0
 Knipex 180 crimps cable ends perfectly too
  • 4 0
 Spoiler alert: tools
  • 2 0
 Can anyone recommend few Knipex pliers they use (Model # will be great)
Building my toolbox
  • 2 0
 knipex-tools.com/index.php?id=1023&page=group_detail&parentID=1368&groupID=1500 - pick your size (last 3 digits are length in MM). Most popular ones I've seen are the 180 and 250s.
  • 2 0
 180, does break pistons too.
  • 2 0
 Don't need Netflix when you can stare at that toolbox
  • 2 0
 Christina: Hello, who are you?
  • 2 0
 Narduar the Human Serviette starts all his interviews with that line.
  • 1 0
 Let's hear about that shock dyno in the background at the very end of the video...
  • 1 0
 The Brand is Off Street Only. Heres the link.
www.offstreetonly.com/product/oso-shock-dyno-2020
  • 1 0
 Gun case for travel tool kit? .... Well I guess that's one way to get friendly with airport security!!
  • 2 0
 They go through your tools anyway, this might be quicker.
  • 2 0
 Happy Happy Joy Joy
  • 2 1
 Where is Elan? I want to show him my toolbox....

Jerky boy fans?
  • 2 0
 I pull out my monkey
  • 1 0
 And I thought my Pedro's kit was sweet
  • 3 2
 Ny-pex, or kuh-ny-pex
  • 11 0
 I say Nip-ex and that's a hill I'll die on for no good reason.
  • 2 0
 It varies proportionately to how many people you ask. Knipex UK oficial says Nipex, German Tool review guy says kuh-ni-pex.
  • 2 1
 I believe the 1 down-vote I got was from someone who did not understand I am making some sort of joke
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I saw this one recently, but I suspect a great many people will die on that hill with you because... Murica?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ElThr0GNd4
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: hahah too good!
  • 1 3
 Kipex. In German it's actually the N that is silent.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Hand me the sword.
  • 1 0
 I'd guess weed
  • 1 0
 Always a little in my toolbox, and my pockets.
  • 2 3
 Sorry, didn’t hear a word, only saw Christina. Smite me all you want, I’m not sorry.
  • 1 2
 Looks like a session

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