• Rob

    Great feature, thanks!
    I have the Lifeline tool and as a entry level addition to my shed, it has worked okay for the last few years. I have wondered whether a thin plastic C-washer might reduce the ‘play’ in the tool. Anyone tried anything to reduce the wiggle room?

    • Dominic B-R

      There’s a small Allen key ‘grub screw’ at the top of the Lifeline version, which I’ve used to take most of the play out of the tool.

  • Craig Newton

    Great article – very practical and suggests that the home mechanic could relieve the LBS of the job of checking hanger alignment in between service points. Assuming standard bike use (excluding crashes) how often would you recommend the hanger alignment is checked? Additionally, in your experience how far past the 4mm misalignment will a Shimano dura ace begin to exhibit noise or shifting issues?

    • There’s no need to schedule hanger alignment, just be prepared to look at it any time the rear mech starts misbehaving. One tell-tale symptom is that shifting in one half of cassette is worse than the other. As for how much misalignment will be tolerated, it depends upon the bike. Some are fussy, some less so. I’ve realigned hangers that were out by just a couple of mm yet the shifting was really quite terrible; others have been 5mm or more yet the shifting has been pretty good for all but a couple of cogs.

      • Geoff

        One thing to watch here also is poor shifting due to wear on the cassette. You will usually see that however in the fact that shifting is good at either end of the cassette and bad in the middle, because most of us have a tendency to use the sprockets in the middle of the cassette most.

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  • Alex

    I have never been impressed with nearly all of Park Tools offerings. I bought cable and housing cutters from them, they were blunt! They ended up fraying any shifter or derailleur cable I attempted to cut. I bought their TS-2.2 truing stand. There is a ton of lateral play in all the components, the adjustment knob especially. When I called Park Tool the support guy said “we have really loose manufacturing tolerances.” The stand also came way out of calibration. I understand that a stand isn’t supposed to be used for dish but this was way off. I also have their hanger alignment gauge and as you stated there is a fair bit of lateral play in them.

    • Morten Reippuert Knudsen

      TS2.x is fine – just dont expect miracles without the extras in form og allignment tools AND often re-allignmnet. boght a plane-x copy branded ‘hosworth’ with even less precission and cheaper surface treatment (proberbly from the same chinese factroy line) and i works fine.

      if you want higher tollrances buy a pro stand from Menura, DT, Sapim or Cyclo and pay 3-4 times the cost of the parktool which is at least decently protected from your enviromet hazzards.

      you can build excelect wheels with the cheapest option from menura or even using and old steel fork – it’s a matter of skills, not tools.

      great tools just makes it a tiny bit easyer, but without skills and practice even the most expensive tools wont help you out.

      • Alex

        Right, I’m a newbie at building wheels so I use all the tools I can get to make my life easier. I forgot to mention I also bought their home dishing tool which is absolutely horrendous. After confirming a wheel was dished correctly with the tool flipping it in my front fork made me realize in fact the dish was off by about 1mm.

        At this point I’m really wondering if the TM-1 has decent accuracy.

        • Morten Reippuert Knudsen

          sounds to me that you need to asses your skills and how to use your dishing tool.

          • Alex

            Have you tried the specific tool in question (WAG-5)? I’ve had multiple people report the same issue with the tool. The tolerances just suck, even Park Tool employees admit that.

        • Geoff

          While I don’t have a lot of experience building wheels, I don’t think tools make much difference. – It’s more about method. It’s very interesting that someone like Roger Musson advocates home-made tools for wheel-building and provides instructions on how to make your own wheel-building tools in his wheel-building book.
          Wheel-building tools are very different from a derailleur alignment gauge in that they do not need to be manufactured to precise tolerances. When you consider how a wheel-building stand and dishing tool work – they self-compensate for any lack of precision in the manufacturing of the tool. That is very different for a derailleur hanger gauge.

          • Alex

            Of course the tool isn’t needed but I paid for it and I expect it to do what it claims it does.

  • I’ve used the classic, simple, bulletproof Campagnolo tool for years with great success, but as a self-confessed tool-junkie I LOVE my Abbey HAG just as I love everything else they make. Bottom line – buy the best tools you can afford when you need them and remember the best tool in the world won’t make up for not having the skills needed to use it.


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