FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — Park Tool has made a change to one of its most iconic shop tools, the TS-2.2 truing stand. More precisely, the Minnesota manufacturer is offering a new version of its professional-quality truing stand in a powder-coated finish in its trademark shade of blue.
The nickel-chrome TS-2.2 will remain available for those who prefer, but the powder-coated version (TS-2.2P) will be 10 to 15 percent less expensive, Park's Eric Hawkins said Thursday.
"Nickel chrome is getting hard to do. It's getting more expensive and fewer people are doing it," Hawkins said.
Hawkins said the powder-coated version is otherwise identical to the chrome stand. While powder coat is very durable, users can expect some wear to the finish at the axle holders over time, he said.
The new colored stand is just one of more than 30 new products that Park is introducing this year, the most the 50-year-old brand has ever released in one year.
The flood of new products is partly due to the completion of some projects that had been in the works for years, including the change to the TS-2.2's finish and some new cassette pliers.
Hawkins said the company is now introducing products as they become available for shipment and not before. In the past, he said, Park would focus on announcing a batch of new products in time for its annual printed catalog and for distributors' catalogs. Sometimes, the products announced would not be available for a few months.
"Now we are on the Web and our distributors have their catalogs on the Web, so we can get the word out whenever — we don't have to kill ourselves to get it in the book. And now when we announce a new product, the dealer can actually buy it, right then, which is the best way to sell," he said.
Highlights of Park's new tools:
* The IR-1 kit is intended to make routing internal cables, wires and hoses a bit less of a hassle. It includes three vinyl-coated cables, with ends that can connect to bike cable ends, hydraulic brake hoses or electric wires. The other end is magnetized, so the user feeds the wires in from either end of the frame and the ends connect by magnet. A separate magnet is included to help guide the wire ends from outside the frame. Once the ends are connected, the cable, wire or hose can be pulled through. "We think that's going to be a huge time saver," Hawkins said.
* CR-1 is a cassette plier that offers a more secure and easier way to hold cassette cogs when using a remover tool. Park has been developing the pliers for several years and will continue to offer its traditional chain whips, as well. Once the user grabs a cog with the pliers' chains, he or she will continue holding the handles for the removal, but they don't need to be squeezed. Unlike vise-grip-style cassette tools, the CR-1 does not need to be adjusted to cog size. It fits cogs from 9 to 23 teeth.
* Park's new DT-5 disc brake facing tool works on tab and post mounts, so it replaces the separate DT-1 and DT-4 tools. The new tool also fits chainstay-mounted mounts.
* The DH-1 is a new dropout-mounted chain holder, for transporting bikes or for cleaning with the rear wheel removed. Its chain guide can slide back and forth to align with the rear derailleur position.