Saturday, December 3, 2011

More Tool-Time

As you may have gathered, I have a bit of a tool fetish.  I own a lot of bike tools that most people will advise you to not buy.  It is generally cheaper for the average hobbyist mechanic to pay a shop to perform the work that these tools are for, each time they need it,  than it is to buy the tool.

But, I guess I'm not the average hobbyist, in reality.  I work on dozens of bikes a year, and build a lot of bikes for people.  And, I mostly deal with older bikes, so I use a few tools on a regular basis that many bike owners will never use.

A few years ago, I was building fixed gear conversions for sale.  I had a web site, and a company name, and I think I built up a pretty good reputation as GrinderBikes.  At that time, I was missing a couple of tools from my arsenal, and I would go down to the Englewood location of Treads, where Scott was working as the manger, and use the tools I was missing.

One day, I went down to the shop to use the fork threading tool, from the Campagnolo tool kit.  Scott had sold that tool kit to Gene as part of his percentage of the ownership, so it was still in the shop.  But, it took me 20 minutes to find the thing, buried under a bunch of cardboard boxes and bike parts.

Keep in mind that this tool kit is in a wooden box, 20" front to back, 30" wide and 2-1/2" deep.  It is neither small nor easily misplaced.  It was obvious that no one had used any of the tools in the kit in weeks, if not months. 

I had just sold a few bikes, and had some cash in my pocket.  So, I went upstairs and talked to Scott.

"I'll give you $1000.00, cash, for that Campy tool kit,"  I told him.

"Seriously?" he asked me.

"I have the money in my pocket,"  I told him.

Scott told me that he would run it by Gene.  If it was okay with him, then it was okay with Scott.

I heard back from Scott about 2 days later.  It was a go, so I took the cash down to the shop and brought the tool kit home.  In that kit, I got a number of tools I was missing, including a bottom bracket tap, headset press, fork threading tool and fork crown cutter.

It was a bargain, to me, but not the sort of purchase I (or most people) would recommend to most home mechanics.  And, I know that I could always get my money back, on eBay.  The Campy tool kits are pretty collectible.

But, I don't think I will ever sell that kit.  Not, at least, unless I am just destitute and desperate for cash.  I like using those tools, and I get a real kick just from owning them.



  1. $100 for all that? You got a killer deal.

  2. Ah, I knew something didn't seem right - my eyes were playing tricks on me.


As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.