Var Dishing Tool

I like this dishing tool because of the color, and because it works well with 26” and 700c wheels (I believe the Campy dishing tool still only works with 650c and 700c wheels). The Park dishing tool has gone through several permutations since I got this, but still isn’t nearly as elegant. I don’t know if you can get these anymore, and mine’s not for sale–sorry! More pics after the jump, including an image from the old Var catalog, via Sheldon Brown.

Used for: 15 years
Price paid: a lot
Purchased at: can’t remember
Rating: 5 stars!

Var Dishing Tool

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My Recent Bikeman Order

Aside from the 3T bars on my first decent road bike (a Bianchi Nuovo Racing which I purchased new in 1983 at age 15) I’ve only ridden Cinelli bars, and mostly the 66 model. Well, the 66 is long gone and so is most of the NOS supply. I was pretty leery to try any of the newer bars on the market, especially with the ergo bends, but I decided to suck it up and stop being such a retrogrouch. So I ordered some Ritchey Comp bars and a matching Comp stem. 31.8 seemed like overkill, but whatever. I did stay with the Cinelli tape. Oh, and of course Shimano brake levers. I love Shimano brake levers. Continue reading…

Bikeman Order

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Felco C7 Cable Cutters

These are the best cable cutters on the market. They are standard in most shops, and they never seem to wear out. Buy a pair–they will last you a lifetime.

Keep in mind they are really just for brake and derailleur cables. They do work well on SIS housing but don’t work well with brake cable housing (I use diagonal cutters for that). You can use them to cut spokes out of wheels if you want, though.

Used for: 20 years
Price paid: a lot
Purchased at: can’t remember
Rating: 5 stars!

Felco C7 Cable Cutters

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My Latest Rivendell Order

I’ve always had a hate/love relationship with Grant Peterson. I love him cause he helped kill off the ridiculous Biopace chainrings back in the 80s. Some of you may remember Bridgestone’s MB-2 ads proclaiming “round chainrings!” Yes! Sweet! However, Grant’s dislike of Shimano caused him to spec a lot of weird crap on his bikes, and I regularly cursed his name while building up Bridgestones back when I was a lowly wrench in bike shops. The Giants and Treks went together easily, while those B-stones with their crappy Suntour derailleurs, Ritchey cantis and crummy wheels were a pain in the ass. I think Grant was the last person on the planet to switch to the Shimano cartridge BBs. Anyway, I wasn’t sorry to see B-stone go away, and find it humorous that they have such a following today. Yes, the catalogs were cool and the colors were cool and lugs are cool and the X0 bikes were cool but for the most part Bridgestones were inferior to the garden variety Giants and Treks from the same era. Continue reading…

Rivendell Order

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Hozan 4th Hand Tool

Back when I worked in bike shops (1985 to 1995) we called these green grabbers. Sometime around the early nineties they stopped being green. Bummer. Looks like the current color is blue. Anyway, this is a great fourth hand tool. I’m generally a Park fan but Hozan always seemed to be the standard. And the Park ones look funny to me. Anyway, they work great and last forever.

Used for: 20 years
Price paid: can’t remember
Purchased at: can’t remember
Rating: 5 stars!

Hozan 4th Hand Tool

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Shimano XT Rear Derailleur

Found this in the bottom of a box the other day. One of my favorite derailleurs ever, it lived on my old Bontrager Race for a while, then on my Merckx. Then it got retired, but I’m not sure why. Short cage 7 speed FTW!

Used for: 10 years
Price paid: can’t remember
Purchased at: can’t remember
Rating: 5 stars!

Shimano XT 7-Speed Rear Derailleur