Tag Archives: park tool

Park Tool pin spanners and three newsworthy repairs you can do with them


One of my favorite bicycle wrenches are Park Tool pin/peg spanners. It’s because they are handy, strong, cheap and simple tools but also because of the different coloured grips that break the monotony of any tool wall display.

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Spanners are made of hardened carbon steel to ensure long life while the handle is vinyl coated

My own experience tells me they are not on a daily basis tools anymore, but still esential for any all-round workshop that services freewheels or old fashioned bottom brackets for example.

The green handled SPA-1 fits the adjusting cup on many old three pieces cranksets. The pin ends are round with a diameter of 2.9mm.

The most popular repair you can tackle is a cup and cone type bottom bracket service.

Mural Park Tool SPA-1

Wherever there are two holes with the right size the Park Tool hanger cup pin spanner will allow you to do different repairs. Adjust the tension of the chain by turning the eccentric BB, removing a dustcup and so on

On the other hand, the SPA-2 red spanner has 2.3mm pin diameter. Due to its smaller size fits better a wider range of hole widths. It releases retaining rings on Shimano and Campagnolo crank bolts and the adjusting cone on most freewheel clusters.

A very interesting repair suitable with this tool is the removal of certain type of non-serviceable freewheels that don´t have an extraction tool option. A freewheel destructive removal method will require this spanner to get rid of the lockring.

The Park Tool cluster cone pin spanner is ideal for several repairs where a lockring needs to be removed, on self extracting or one-key release crank bolt systems or even if you need to fit/extract the guides of the BB facing tool inside the frame

The Park Tool cluster cone pin spanner is ideal for several repairs where a lockring needs to be removed, on self extracting or one-key release crank bolt systems or even if you need to fit/extract the guides of the BB facing tool inside the frame

The third and last peg spanner I own is the discontinued yellow SPA-4. It has a flat section designed to uncrew the adjusting cone of one-piece cranks. This is virtually the only repair you can do with this tool, the service of entry level cranksets on BMX’s and department store bikes.

The tool engages two notches of the adjustable left bearing cone. Rare cup and lockring cartridges BB's can also be serviced with the yellow spanner. The cup is run up to the bearings and then the lockring is secured. Note there is no bearing adjustment in this system

The tool engages two notches of the adjustable left bearing cone (2nd pic). Rare cup and lockring cartridges BB’s can also be serviced with the yellow spanner (3rd pic). The cup is run up to the bearings and then the lockring is secured. Note there is no bearing adjustment in this system. Nowadays the best use I found for it was while wrapping the handlebar of a road bike (4th pic)

At this point you might wonder what happens with the Park Tool reference SPA-3. Does it exist? Well, it does. But I haven´t seen one so far. It took me a lot of time to find a presentable picture of this tool and some information.

Blue and black peg spanners are top-rarity Park tools. SPA-3 has the ends facing one to each other. I don´t know the intended use for both tools. It seems the blue one can be used for adjusting old french bicycles headsets and the black for extracting crank bolts dust cups/retaining rings

Blue and black spanners are top-rarity Park tools. SPA-3 has the ends facing one to each other. I don´t know the intended use for both tools. It seems the blue one can be used for adjusting old french bicycles headsets and the black for extracting crank bolts dust cups/retaining rings

Meanwhile SPA-6 uses replaceable pins of approximately 2.2mm in diameter. The distance between the pins is adjustable, allowing use on virtually all hanger cups using pin holes. I have to say I do prefer fixed pegs as they are faster and more comfortable to use.

I have never faced a situation where you need to use the pin spanner wrench with such a distance between pins on a bicycle as in picture 2. Pin holes are likely to be close one to each other and thus more convenient a regular pin/peg spanner

I have never faced a situation where you need to use the pin spanner wrench with such a distance between pins on a bicycle as in picture 2. Pin holes are likely to be close one to each other and thus more convenient a regular pin/peg spanner

Sun Ringlé Dirty Flea front hub inspection


A friend of mine dropped few bits for me to build a new 29er wheelset.

Before the lacing process I had to keep an eye onto the front hub as one of the bearings had popped out from its original location and as a result the axle was moving back and forth. Time to take a look at a typical modern CNC hub that uses industrial bearings.

The tools you need are very basic. You will find these sort of hubs are even more simple than classic cup and cone units. The homemade bearing press consists on a threaded axle, washers and nuts. It is operated by adjustable spanners.

To service a rear hub you only need a couple of 5mm allen keys and wet lubricant on top to service the freewheel

To service a rear hub you need a couple of 5mm allen keys, a circlip plier and wet lubricant on top to service the freewheel

The first thing to do is pry out the end cups from the axle. I did with my nails :mrgreen:. Now the bearings are exposed, tap any side of the axle ends gently with a mallet or rubber hammer. Bearings are pressed inside the hub shell, that’s why we need to tap. A much more clever method like a bearing puller won´t help because there is no room. After tapping, the oposite bearing and axle will come out together. Take apart bearing and shaft. You are going to fit the axle inside the hub and bearing bore again to take this one off the same way.

Full front hub dissasembly

Full front hub disassembly. Notice this hub comes with a 9mm axle type

As you see, the axle supports the fork in their 9mm ends and is also perfect to remove bearings because it has a barb that protudes a little to push out the bearings. The 6001RS bore is 12mm, quite uncommon by the way if you are planning to look for them in a hardware shop.

You can upgrade the front hub with ceramic or hybrid rollers, but in my opinion it does not worth the price. It is possible as well for silly money to convert the hub to a 15mm Thru Axle. In that case, new size bearings and caps are mandatory.

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15mm axles are easier to produce and at the same time noticeable stiffer

Checking that everyting was OK and after cleaning the shell I proceeded to put the parts back together.

Because bearing’s cage are made of steel and the hub from aluminium, I applied some anti-seize compound sparingly to the hub to avoid galvanic corrosion.

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Finish Line copper based anti-seize paste

My cheap homemade press is essential not to screw up bearings when fitting them back.

I’ve got lots of washers to play with different bearing sizes

Once one of the bearings has been installed we can fit the axle. Thankfully the axle doesn´t go so tight inside the bearings as the outer race of them do against the hub. With just our fingers we will manage to insert the axle to the bearing that has been already pressed and then do the remaining one, this time without pressing.

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At this stage there is one bearing left to be put on

Without the possibility to use the homemade tool anymore, washers and surprisingly helpful spanners will  ease the task of fitting the last bearing.

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The hole of both spanners are perfect to tap the end caps safetely by buffering the 9mm axle ends

With only two washers on hand I decided to use the spanners to conceal the axle as I did with the washers on the other side of the hub. Otherwise the bearing would not go in.

Remember the axle middle section barbed design is made so that it helps to pop out bearings and hold the inner roller exactly at the place the stepped wall machined shell stops the outer bearing race. We start off fitting with our hands the bearing carefully so that it goes straight, and finally we put on the end caps and washers. Tap on top of the pile (picture 4) until you notice the bearings reach their final position. Washers will push the end cap, and this one, will do the same with the bearing. If we use enough stack height to hide both axle entries we should end up after tapping with both bearings inserted till the end.

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This is a good weight for a front disc hub. Not a extreme light part but perfect for a bombproof wheel

If you’ve ever wondered how is it the Sun Ringlé Dirty Flea rear hub I will show you:

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Yes you are right, the circlip is missing and the splines sheared off

We are done!