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If there is one thing that will infuriate you while working on your mountain bike, faulty tools. Bear minimum you'll want a tool to be reliable let alone break. Our friend Daniel is back again with a review on the Park Tool SWB-15 3/8" Drive Breaker Bar. Check it out!
The Park Tool SWB-15 is a forged steel drive breaker bar designed to allow the user to break free stubborn fastenings. It is usually priced around $22.
The Park Tool SWB-15 is fifteen inches long with a 3/8 inch square drive head. The drive head also pivots 180 degrees. The lengthy, knurled handle does provide additional grip where it is needed most.
Many maintenance schedule abiding bikers recognize the time savings and stress-reducing qualities built into a good breaker bar.
When it is finally again new bike day and you receive your shiny, nearly fully assembled, shred machine all you need to do is make a couple of tweaks like changing the chainring or adding a bash guard to protect the soft underbelly of your newfound pride and joy. You pull out your trusty 8mm hex wrench to remove the crankset and BAM, the hex wrench explodes showering you and your workspace with bits of steel and plastic.
Every bike mechanic has come across a slightly over-torqued bolt. Although, one often only comes to that conclusion the hard way. It is all too common to hear of a standard Allen wrench that was not up to the task when put to use in a situation where a breaker bar would have been a better choice.
Aspiring home mechanics may consider this type of tool surplus to requirements, nice to have but not needed. This is understandable. Those who do not already own the Park Tool Breaker Bar tool will be familiar with the usual search the shop routine to find a miscellaneous part that is just strong and hollow enough to provide that extra leverage. You may be able to find an old seat post, aluminum handlebars, or a cut hockey stick as an alternative.
This works for some but unfortunately, there often comes a time where one may be attempting to break loose the crank arm bolt; only before realizing the last time the cranks were pulled off, to push more heavy molybdenum grease into the Switch Infinity a mere 40 riding hours ago, of a disheartening feeling, the memory of not feel like pulling out the torque wrench on the previous install.
Luckily the Park Tool Breaker Bar exists. As the bright chrome finish of the shaft glistens in the sun, something feels right about firmly grasping the grippy knurling on the end of the breaker bar and sliding the bit into place. It feels as though only minimal force is then required to provide substantial torque, resulting in a loud "crack!" and the cranks are loose.
For the bike services that require breaking loose the tightest bolts, the Park Tool SWB-15 breaker bar gets the job done with relative ease. For a relatively inexpensive tool, the SWB-15 feels very sturdy and pairs nicely with a set of socket and drive adaptors to tackle many common bike services.
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