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EB14: Alligator’s Sweet New Hose Cutter & The Best Wheel Truing Device Ever!

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alligator-hydraulic-hose-cutter-tool

Alligator has always impressed with the tools they bring to Eurobike. Things like the electronic cable cutter. They’re usually something that pushes the boundaries of how good a tool can be, and it’s usually for a category that seems so stagnant that it’s even more impressive that they can virtually reinvent it.

Starting with the small stuff, their new hydraulic hose cutter is simply brilliant. Using a one-handed design that gives you a perfectly straight cut with maximum force. But that’s not all it does, and that’s not all they had to show off…

alligator-hydraulic-hose-cutter-tool

At the bottom, a poker cleanly opens the end of it to make it easier to thread in the barb.

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There’ve been some interesting wheel truing improvements over the years, but this stands out. A lot. Called Easy Truing, it’s a digital measuring device that captures the wheel’s trueness and displays it on your choice of screens.

alligator-EasyTruing-digital-wheel-truing-stand-tool-with-graphic-display03

As the wheel rolls along the rim, it graphs how flat it is with a real time line set between two flat parameter lines. You can set the limits where you want them.

alligator-EasyTruing-digital-wheel-truing-stand-tool-with-graphic-display01

It’s Bluetooth enabled, so it’ll also send that data to it’s own app on your phone…

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…or your computer. As you spin the wheel, the green + follows along so you can see exactly where the wheel needs to be trued.

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Turn the spoke nipple and the graph changes in real time to show the progress. Spin the wheel through and the line will smooth in real time to show the overall change.

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The baseline true remains as a thinner green line and the “live” true stays as the thicker blue line. Once done, you can save the graph to show the customer the before/after comparison, proving what you’ve done and providing a level of detail never before available. It also ensures things stay true as you balance the tension on the spokes and work out any vertical wobbles.

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The whole thing uses simple magnets to attach to your workstand. Other attachment methods will likely be available, too. It’s a prototype for now, but should be available soon enough.

Alligator cable cutter (3)

Alligator cable cutter (5) Alligator cable cutter (4)

Remember that sweet cable cutter/fuser we showed you last year? It’s still in the line up as well with a few tweaks to make it more versatile. Now with settings for 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, and 1.6mm cables, the machine simultaneously cuts and fuses the end of the cable together to eliminate cable crimps and frayed cable ends. The automated cleaning station cleans the cutting jaws to keep them fresh, and the whole unit plugs into a normal outlet. The only downside is the cutter isn’t compatible with coated cables of any kind since it relies on conduction to melt the cable.

Alligator cable cutter (1)

Price will vary depending on the distributor, but we’re told $800-1000 would probably be in the ball park. So it’s not cheap, but look at that cable! Trying to force a used cable through housing would never be the same…

AlligatorCables.com

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23 Comments
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Adam2
Adam2
9 years ago

Both of these: WOW! Beautiful!

Kato
Kato
9 years ago

Really intrigued by the truing tool – can it mount to a TS2 truing stand?

Brian
Brian
9 years ago

Dang, I hope this doesn’t replace our current system.
I really like the way the metal indicator gouges my carbon rims πŸ™‚

PTymn Wolfe
PTymn Wolfe
9 years ago

Does it also measure vertically to check the round? How can “it ensure that you balance the tension on the spokes?”

JBikes
JBikes
9 years ago

PTymn Wolfe – my thoughts exactly.
It’s a nice tool, but it could encourage “quick truing” in which the wheel goes statically true, but spoke tension is not optimized, resulting in a wheel that is likely to go out of true.
That said, any good mechanic will be able to use this in addition to their normal practices. To me, it seems like a time saving tool and for some part, a self check quality control. Like balancing or alignment, electronic tools do not necessarily increase accuracy, but they often reduce the change for human error. I am not sure if its worth the cost to all but the dedicated wheel builder/repair shop though.

Brian – one can get a dial indicator with a wheel, thereby preventing damage to your carbon rims. Furthermore, any good dial indicator will have a nice rounded pad or ball which should not harm your carbon wheels. It take a little more practice than the “gap measurement” of a truing arm, but its ultimately more accurate (or at least provides actual run-out data)

Seraph
Seraph
9 years ago

I’ve been building wheels for many years and I have never needed something so “precise” to build perfect wheels.

Dave
Dave
9 years ago

I built something like that as part of a university electronics class. Mine was considerably bulkier, using one of those dial deflection gauges with half of an old ball mouse mounted to it to measure lateral movement. After doing once around the wheel it would guide me back to the spot that was furthest out. But it was much slower than just using the gauge by itself.

For truing wheels I usually use an analog deflection gauge with a magnet gauge holder. I put a teflon plumbing washer on the end of the gauge so there isn’t metal to metal contact. Its fairly easy to get a wheel within about 5/1000 of an inch that way.

My offset fat wheel won’t fit in my stand so I improvised a way to hold the gauge with a clamp connected to a quick release skewer:
http://i969.photobucket.com/albums/ae176/gECHO/bIMG_0043.jpg

Topmounter
Topmounter
9 years ago

Truing is the easy part. Getting (and keeping) the wheel round with the appropriate spoke tension is the hard part.

HermesSport
HermesSport
9 years ago

I don’t think anyone is trying to downplay the importance of keeping spoke tension even, but in any wheelbuild, bringing wheels into true and round in the first place is a big chore that I forsee this tool making a lot quicker and easier.

lander jennngs
lander jennngs
9 years ago

I’m an expert bike guy. I know pretty much more than any of you. I true wheels using a proprietary sonar device I’ve been developing on my couch while I surf bike sites and make asinine comments about things I know everything about. I also use laser beams for things like stem alignment and my dad has a lot of tools I could borrow for stuff because he’s a TV repair man. When I say a lot of tools I might be talking about tools or I might be talking about you. Can I use the cable thingy to fuse my teflon coated coaster brake cables? Yay, the internet.

Fatso
Fatso
9 years ago

I agree with Topmounter.

You’d be better off just using your TS-2 with the plastic covered tips and a solid DT Swiss Tensiometer. I would like to see Alligator create a tensio that isn’t $500. Park Tool tensio for $40 or one that is exact for $500 – Can we just get a good one for $200?

Rusty Toolshed
Rusty Toolshed
9 years ago

if you’re gouging your carbon rims in a truing stand you have no business being near the equipment

Ligero
Ligero
9 years ago

Fatso, The DT Tensio was $200 when it first came out and they sold very few of them. Now they charge more because they sell so few of them.

Matt
Matt
9 years ago

@JBikes “electronic tools do not necessarily increase accuracy, but they often reduce the change for human error.”

I see what you did there.

πŸ˜‰

Sam
Sam
9 years ago

The electronic wheel truing thingy is a great investment for a bike shop. I woul dbe happy to pay double for a shop that trues the wheel with a fancy graph like that.

JBikes
JBikes
9 years ago

@ Matt – HA! Thank you. Always good to laugh at yourself sometimes πŸ™‚

PsiSquared
PsiSquared
9 years ago

@Fatso: where do you get an exact measuring device? I didn’t know such things existed.

greg
greg
9 years ago

all common tensiometers infer tension. they dont measure the actual tension.
like torque wrenches that merely measure the torque required to tighten to that point, but doesnt measure clamping force or frictional force between the clamp and the bar in it.

Brian
Brian
9 years ago

Yeah why has there been so much hype about dial-gauge truing stands? Park, DT, now this. Can anyone feel when their rim is .25mm out of true? Especially now with so many disc brake bikes, give me even spoke tension over perfect true any day.

Ronin
Ronin
9 years ago

Well, all this stuff is pretty good. It might not be the best, but then pioneers aren’t usually. These things will develop. Perhaps 5 years from now, you’ll be able to put your wheel on a stand and watch a robot true your wheel with your selected tension.

Some of the big manufacturers already have robots doing the grunt stuff and just leaving the QA to the human. Kudos to these guys though. Ask yourself, could you do better?

poopenheimer
poopenheimer
9 years ago

You’re going to have to reuse a lot of $2.99 shifter cables in order to justify the cost of a $800 tool.

Neil
Neil
9 years ago

@Brian would take relative tension over trueness everytime, nail on head.

codyish
9 years ago

@lander jennngs – you just won bikerumor, thank you. We can all go home now. I’m going to print this off and hang it in the shop where I work and my home shop

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