We’re just back from the 2018 edition of the Philly Bike Expo, and as usual, there were tons of impressive bikes and great people. But there were also a few surprising smaller items like bags, accessories, and tools. If you happen to be a bike nerd and/or a mechanic or former mechanic, one of the most interesting had to be the new Disc Brake Mount Facing Tool from VAR.

For those unfamiliar with disc brake mount facing tools, once a frame is welded or bonded and then painted, powder coated, or otherwise, even the best frames won’t have perfect brake mount alignment. Now, the better companies will face their mounts before the bike is sent out the door, but the majority of them end up shipping out with mounts that are “good enough.” Improperly faced mounts can cause brake calipers that can’t be properly adjusted leading to noisy braking or worse.

The best shops out there will catch these frames before they head out the door and face the mounts during the build. That usually involves an apparatus that positions a single cutter at each brake mount, one at a time, to remove paint and extra material to create a flat and properly aligned mounting surface.

The addition of the flat mount brake brake standard adds another layer of complexity to the process, so VAR’s latest tool will work with the new standard. But they took it one step further and created a tool that not only works on flat mount, but also faces both mounting holes at the same time for perfect alignment.

The tool will also work with standard IS mounts and post mounts as well, plus it will work with quick release (9×100 and 10 x 135mm), and standard and Boost thru axles making it an all-in-one solution for shops. The kit included two sets of cutters, one for post mount and flat mount and one for IS mounts.

Once you mount the tool to the fork or rear axle, the cutter disc is placed on the mounting post. After adjusting the position to fit the frame or fork, you simply push down on the tool body and turn the dial with your other hand to turn both cutters at the same time.

As you might expect from a tool of this caliber, the price will put it out of reach for the average consumer (who probably shouldn’t need to do this enough to justify it anyways), but interested shops in the U.S. should reach out to Mel Pinto Imports who has limited stock.

vartools.com

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Bob
Bob
3 years ago

Sorry but this tool is wasted money you don’t get enougth power transfered for real facing on steel frames. We have returned after a short test. The parktool is much better

Michael
Michael
3 years ago
Reply to  Bob

I’ve used it on steel, stainless steel and titanium. It works very good. And It is so much better than the Park one. Especially since it faces both fittings at the same time to the same plain. The only other one as good is the one by Cyclo/Weldtite. But it does not do flat mount, only post mount/IS.

Dinger
Dinger
3 years ago

One must wonder why a tool like this is even necessary. Brake calipers on motorcycles aren’t even adjustable.

Huck
Huck
3 years ago
Reply to  Dinger

Clearly you have never worked on a bicycle

Robin
Robin
3 years ago
Reply to  Dinger

There’s a significantly larger gap between pad and disc rotor on motorcycle brakes than there is on bicycles. That gap is small enough on bikes that a poorly faced brake mount could cause alignment issues.

KG
KG
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin

Most motorcycle brakes don’t have any gap between pad and rotor, but they do have an engine to overpower the minor rubbing.

HDManitoba
HDManitoba
3 years ago
Reply to  Dinger

the brake pads on motorcycles rub on the disc, which is unacceptable to most bicyclists.

You don’t notice on motocycles because of noise and the motor’s horsepower.

Additionally the brake caliper mount on my 73 Honda CB350f was actually adjustable side to side.

I would agree that this should not be necessary by any shop or consumer as this really should be done in the factory when the frame is made.

Nick
Nick
3 years ago
Reply to  HDManitoba

This is where you are wrong, EVERY shop should be able to face brake mounts. If your shop can’t….time for a new shop

newguy
newguy
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick

What HD said was “SHOULD not be necessary” because it SHOULD be done in the factory. So I think he is right. But since many FRAMEbuilders don’t like to finish the FRAME and leave it to the shop to finish the job… its a smart tool for a shop to have.

Record11
Record11
3 years ago

Var has always sorta been that way…Hozan a bit better. But, Campagnolo tools have always been spot on (and very hard to justify in cost for even most shops)

Huck
Huck
3 years ago
Reply to  Record11

Campy makes almost no tools.

blahblahblah
blahblahblah
3 years ago
Reply to  Huck

oh dear!

record11
record11
3 years ago
Reply to  Huck

I guess I have not used their tools then, nor the entire tool kit. They just dont make tools for MTN bikes for the most part. I must have been hallucinating. I guess they probably do not make a $300 wine bottle opener either….huh….

Huck
Huck
3 years ago

@Record11 campy tools? What decade are you living in? Campy does not ever make tools required for several of their components and rely on crappy Park toolz

record11
record11
3 years ago
Reply to  Huck

Dont make me hit you with my cane! But, for their 12 speed chain the Campy chain tool is easier than the Park. You have to have stable hands like a surgeon…that said, I just install a SRAM Eagle 12 quick link and call it a day.

STS
STS
3 years ago

Thanks Bob. I already thought that when I saw it. The Park Tool by the way is also a PITA. Wouldn’t buy it a second time. Have you found some cutters for it that last for longer than just one frame before they’re dull?

bob
bob
3 years ago

the Problem is the mechanism, the teeth of the gear wheels block easily.
You only could transfer the torque by two finders over the big plastic wheel.
You can’t even us a cordless screwdriver or a ratched.

@Michael If it works for you- fine. If somebody want’s to mill it’s not the right tool

Greg
Greg
3 years ago
Reply to  bob

I use a cordless drill all the time. Get a 90 degree shaft extension and/or a flexible shaft and you can power most facings.

WBingham
WBingham
3 years ago
Reply to  bob

Are you referring to the teeth on drive gears in the cutting head? And if so, what exactly is blocking the teeth (which are 15mm above the cutting faces)? Why can you only get two fingers on the 65mm diameter wheel (which is aluminum, not plastic, BTW)?

WBingham
WBingham
3 years ago

Just a bit of clarification, One set of cutters is specifically for Flat Mount, and the other set is for Post and IS.