Friday, 9 November 2012

The obsession of Park Tools

I love using Park Tools. It's the trust in the quality of their bike tools that makes servicing a bike enjoyable. And in my own experience I've proven to myself and others that if you don't have the right bike tool, whether that's fit or quality, you're going to have trouble.

That's the pragmatic and objective view.

The other view, which is the driver that makes me spend money with them, is that I love the blue. I love collecting them and I like having workshop quality tools to hand. I like being able to take something apart knowing I've got all the right tools. And I actually hate that I have some sub-par non-Park Tools in my tool-kit.

How childish and silly really. But then, I have 4 bikes in my garage and I can't possibly ride all of them at once. In fact, I haven't ridden one in nearly a year and I've spent more than £3,000 on it. And I have two road bikes, one of which I'll probably never need to ride again. I keep it because it looks beautiful in red with white highlights.

Waste of money or part of the hobby experience?

I'd no doubt agree with my wife that buying a branded bike tool when a local DIY stores version is of at least the same quality, if not better, is a waste of money. Although another part of me says no, the value and enjoyment of owning a set of tools is at least worthy of a premium over other tools.

I'm not so resourceful that I can't ignore my tools whilst getting on with the job and I'm not so focused on making repairs so that I can ride the bike again as quickly as possible. I enjoy repairing bikes, changing and upgrading parts and I love tinkering to see how things work.

In the end, this is me explaining and justifying why I buy Park Tools and perhaps it's simply because I'm a brand loyal elitist, but I enjoy it and that's what counts.

Of course that doesn't explain why I have an inexplicable view that Pedro's tools are scum. Odd that.