In the Bike Shop: The Obscure Headset Tool

shimano%20headset%20tool.jpg There’s something deeply satisfying about having just the right tool for a job. I know people who rejoice in fixing a bike with a visegrip, but that usually means mangling the parts. Disgusting. I mean, would you go to a doctor who said he would diagnose your brain tumor with a thermometer and operate on your frontal lobe with the Leatherman he always keeps in his back pocket? I didn’t think so…

shimano%20headset%20tool%2003.jpgBike parts constantly evolve, thus do bike tools. And occasionally there is an evolutionary deadend. Like the old Shimano headset with the star-lobed wrench fittings. It just didn’t catch on and later Shimano abandoned the idea. The current dominance of Aheadset-style headsets makes the concept, namely a wrench/headset system that prevents the wrench from marring light alloy headsets, completely irrelevant. But I was happy that I still had these wrenches handy when an old bike came in for headset service. Even if that was just so I could remove that dead headset in favor of a cartridge bearing unit.

shimano%20headset%20tool%2002.jpg Tthese wrenches are kinda classy in a way. Too bad I can only use them a couple times a year.