Wheel builders are not whiners by nature. The challenges of the craft are enough to turn arrogant builders, humble and most whiners into learners. Consequently, many nuisances of our work go undiscussed. Today I present two solutions to annoying personal peeves.
Oiling is a big part of bicycle mechanics and wheelbuilding. We drip, squirt, inject, mist, and drown bicycles with a variety of lubricants. I’m fed up with second rate delivery of these. It’s either aerosol can or disposable squeeze bottle. Neither meets my standard for precision, ergonomics, reuse, or aesthetics. A plastic bottle with a small hole will drip oil when you point and squeeze but this is the 21st century and we have a long tradition of clever oilers that seems bypassed in this era of consumer packaging.
Presenting the Wheel Fanatyk Oiler. This is an established but too rare design that’s perfect for bike mechanics. A 250ml (8.5oz) capacity means you can dispense liberally if needed. A broad base gives the can stability. Three ball-check valves and two staged cylinders allows enormous pressure. A brass tipped, rigid spout gives pin point precision. Its oil gathering sump carries a filter to keep the mechanism clear and the oiler stays primed for weeks.
Transfer your favorite formulas to these bottles and lube like a sharp shooter. Label each oiler with a sharpie pen on masking tape. At just $4.90 each, you can afford as many as needed. Escape the insult of consumer quantity squeeze bottles with fall off spouts and throw away pumps. Use the Wheel Fanatyk Oiler and up your game from consumer clumsy to professional! Check here.
Second peeve of mine is the scarcity of adequate magnifying glasses to examine fastener threads (or look for splinters). Spoke threads, in particular, are valuable to study especially if you’re mixing brands, using re-threaded spokes, or cutting your own.
The Wheel Fanatyk inspector is an upscale version of a device that evolved in the fabric trade. A thread inspector is a lens mounted the exact distance over fabric so no focusing is needed. Threads can be counted to make sure knitting machines are correctly adjusted. For us, this is the perfect setup to study small, especially spoke, threads.
The inspector’s metal body has a screwed on bottom cover allowing access to watch batteries that power three brilliant LEDs. A 30mm diameter 20X lens gives a broad field of vision. You’ll be astonished and informed by what you see. Don’t struggle with miss threaded small screws and spokes when you can identify their problems and move swiftly to a solution. The inspector is shipped with a second set of batteries. Check here.
Check a few of these thread forms. To the naked eye, they look about the same. Time to stop taking them for granted or cross-eyed squinting. Our thread magnifier will set you free and guide you to insight that today’s professional needs.
The Oiler and Inspector belong in any sophisticated bicycle workshop and we’re going to ship them with every Morizumi SCT machine starting next month. In addition, each SCT will also come with a stainless steel base pan. Ours is a heavy gauge (10oz), highly polished pan in 302 stainless, designed as a surgical tray. We cut three holes necessary for mounting under the SCT. With a base pan, the SCT can receive the ample oiling to keep it running smoothly. Excess gathers harmlessly in the pan, to be wiped clean periodically. Our heavy duty base pan is available for current Morizumi users at $30.00. Check here.
A few images of the SCT with its pan and new accessories: