Home Bike Shop

by Brian Mullin on January 10, 2010

My Home Bike Shop is actually located down in the large storage room in the basement. It is quite roomy, warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and just darn comfortable. It is my “Man Den”! I have been slowly tweaking things out to make a more useful environment. I finally added some additional lightning, which is very nice to have, since I used to have to move around a swivel lamp to light up work areas, especially while doing detailed work on a bike. I still have trouble seeing things up close (old eyes), so I have been wearing my reading glasses lately. I just ordered a set of magnifying glasses that come with an attached LED light. I was thinking of something like that when I was at my dentist office the other day, and noticed what they use (those can cost upwards of $1500, ouch).

Santa brought me a couple of new toys for my Home Shop. First off, I got a mini air compressor (Craftsman 1.5 gal. 150 PSI Air Compressor), so I no longer need to keep refilling my old air tank. I have used that method for quite a bit, which meant filling it with air from my monster air compressor in the garage, and then bringing it down to my Shop. I also found it was useful for taking grips on and off. I just change the attachment on the air hose, and can easily squirt air under the grip for fast removal, or fill the grip full of air for addition.Very sweet!Update: this is no longer available from Sears, but can found from the original producer as the Porter Cable CMB15.

The other new toy was a battery powered screwdriver, which is really just a mini drill (Craftsman 11398 4-volt Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/4″ Screwdriver with Case & 2-pc. Bit Set). . This one had a nice forward and reverse trigger, a slow or fast speed, 4 Volt rechargeable Lithium battery, quick connector, and adjustable clutch. I really wanted it for taking on and off those pesky torx rotor bolts. I am always swapping out wheelsets and rotors, so it is really handy to be able to perform that trick with a minimum effort. I have also used it to take off the usual assortment of bolts on the bike, so it has turned out to be a useful and lazy mans tool. I tried to find some mini allen head bits for metric sizes, but was unable to locate them at the local Sears. My kids hate going with me to Sears sometimes, because I get in a sort of tool daze, drool.
Another new toy was a labeling machine, which has turned out to be very useful. My daughter keeps borrowing it to make silly labels, but she is a precocious 7 year old girl! I have had my mini drawers for quite a while, so with the labeling machine, I finally got around to labeling things, so it’s easier to locate items. Ok, it is also very compulsive of me, but what do you expect! I like to be able to have items handy, and things choreographed where I like them. Of course the ubiquitous scales are handy, can’t be called Gram without them.
One can never have enough tires! I came up with this system, since I got tired of rubber banding them, and trying to stack them on top of each other. Now, I can easily see what tire is in each box, and pull them out handily.
I had been trying to figure out how to get my tools to be set out usefully, and I didn’t really have enough wall space for a pegboard. I came up with this idea to turn these CD and DVD holders upside down, and use the small holes as tool placement. It has turned out to work like a charm. I have found the metal magnetic part and tool holder useful for not only holding parts, but I can test out if a bolt is titanium with any easy “does it stick” crosscheck.
I just recently added these nice hooks that I use for tires and wheelsets, and I use them for things that I happen to be using regularly. It keeps them out of the way, and has been useful for scooping out the tire sealant when I am swapping out tires. It’s a neat and tidy method for taking care of haphazard and cumbersome items.
I am currently testing this very sweet bike holder from Feedback Sports. It is known as the Velo Cache Bicycle Storage Stand. You can actually hang 4 bikes from it if you wanted. It is very sturdy, well made and works better than hanging bikes from the ceiling. The stand comes with 3 or 4 legs (I am using the sturdy 4 legs), and uses dual rubberized arms to hold the bike. The arms are easily adjusted up and down the main column of the unit. It has also been handy to prop a wheel on the arms when I am adding sealant for a tubeless tire.

I located this very cool tool while I was ordering some fork oil. It is a fork oil leveling tool. Just fill the fork leg with oil, adjust the metal engraved tube to the desired millimeter height (top of the fork tube to top of the oil) using the adjustable ring, place the tube into the fork leg with the ring resting on the top of the fork leg, and using the syringe pull oil until you get air. Presto, the oil is exactly at the proper height, no sticking a ruler down into the tube to check. Excellent!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Cubee January 10, 2010 at 6:50 pm

That is one nice setup. It looks better than some regular LBS's 🙂

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MK January 13, 2010 at 10:29 pm

this is more of a brag post, but i dont have stuff that nice so ill respect it!

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Brian Mullin - Gram and Pastajet January 14, 2010 at 5:32 am

Cubee,

Thanks, I am missing a few nice tools, such as all the crown tools (cutter, setter, crown puller,etc) but they are all expensive, and I rarely use them, so I still end up visiting my LBS.

MK,

I just thought I would share with my readers how I have my shop set up, and cover some of the things I have found helpful for a at home mechanic.

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Dan February 21, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Boy oh boy am I jealous. Wish I had a space at least 1/5 as cool as yours. 🙂

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Brian Mullin - Gram and Pastajet February 22, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Dan,

Thanks much! It makes working on a bike much more enjoyable, especially when I can see what I am doing.

Brian

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Shannon Matthew December 14, 2010 at 1:14 am

NIce; I have a similar setup in the summer in my "manshed" as my wife calls it, though I refer to it as the "headshed"; though it's a bit cold in northern Vermont in the winter, hopefully soon I'll have a heated garage to geek out in….I love your blog, keep it coming…I've made several purchases based on your info, such as Syntace bars and Raceface Six C cranks…

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Brian Mullin - Gram and Pastajet December 14, 2010 at 1:49 am

Shannon,

We have had pretty nice weather in the Colorado Front Range, its been 45-60 during the day, with very little snow fall. Been doing some foothill rides that just have a light amount of snow, compared to the usual monster drifts. Thanks for the compliments! Those SIXC cranks of mine are still bombing along. I redid the room slightly and added mode storage.

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