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I just bought a Park Tool AK-32 - Advanced Mechanic Tool Kit and I was wondering what tools I would need to add to this to work on older bikes? I have a 2004 Bianchi Brava and a 1970's Motobecane Super Mirage. I want to be able to work on both and I think the tool kit is a good start. what other tools do you think I'll need?

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spanners. A metric spanner set. Sockets too perhaps. A good set of phillips head and flat head screwdrivers. You'll also find it much easier to adjust hub cones if you have 2 * 13mm, 2 * 15mm rather than the one that the kit supplies. Also 2 * 17mm regular spanners, 2 * 15mm regular spanners.

It will be far easierto work on the Bianchi in particular with a proper Hex key set like my Bondhus - 1.5 through to 8mm hex keys in a holder which you can hang up or carry around, ball ends, long for leverage. Those Y-shaped things can be nearly impossible to get into the required spaces.

You'll find that older bikes use far more "regular" tools and fewer specialised bike tools. Contrasting with this, you'll find that different brands will have different (for instance) crank bolts (14 most commonly, but also 15 and 16 sometimes), headset cone and nut sizes on top of the 32 and 36 your kit has.

Also, as I discovered the other day, older cranks don't necessarily have the same crank puller thread as modern cranks. Eek. Lucky the shop I work at has a profusion of old (largely discarded) tools one of which was a variable crank puller.

- Joel
 
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