When it comes to maintaining a bicycle, of course, the right tools are important, and unfortunately most of the necessary tools aren't available at the local Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, or even your old-fashioned family-owned hardware store (the one with the creaky wooden floorboards and that awesome smell that seems to be a mixture of sawdust, gear oil, and plumbers putty). Cone wrenches, headset spanners, bottom bracket tools, 3rd and 4th-hand tools (for brakes), freewheel and cassette removers, crank pullers and more -- all are needed for basic bicycle maintenance, and available only from the bike shop. Look for bicycle-specific tools today, and one will mostly find tools by Park or Pedros -- fine tools, no doubt -- but the most sought-after tools for classic bike enthusiasts and retrogrouches are the ones made by Campagnolo of Italy.
|The Holy Grail - as shown in one of Campagnolo's|
old catalogs. A place for everything,
and everything in its place.
These full tool kits were available with cutters for either English or Italian threading. Find a complete kit in the case today (used!) and expect to pay several thousand dollars. As I was writing this, I spotted one on eBay, brand new -- the cutters still had wax on them from the factory -- listed for over $5000. I've seen just the wooden cases, devoid of any tools whatsoever, sell for $500 or more.
I don't have the full kit. (Sigh).
I do, however, have a pretty nice collection of individual Campagnolo tools -- most of the tools for basic maintenance, minus the cutters needed for frame preparation. I use them regularly. Let me take some time to show some of the tools I have, use, and love.
|Headset and Bottom Bracket Spanners (from top): BB pin spanner and headset combination; BB lockring spanner and headset combination; BB fixed cup and pedal wrench combination.|
|Headset tools (from top): Fork crown race setter; Head tube bearing race remover; Fork crown race remover.|
|Wheel dishing tool (top) and Derailleur hanger alignment tool.|