Cycle Pal Disc Brake Alignment Tool

Among the many items in my garage that don’t seem like garage items, a plastic cutting board leans against my tool case. The cutting board is small, maybe 7-inches by 5-inches and sports a white color that I realized was handy for aligning disc brakes.

Aligning a disc brake such that a warped rotor won’t run the brake pads is one of those tasks that can be impossible in some circumstances. On some occasions none of the traditional tricks (like squeezing the brake and then tightening the caliper bolts) worked. I realized that if I held the cutting board below the caliper I could see white if the brake was properly positioned.

Cycle Pal’s Disc Brake Alignment Tool made a mockery of that method.

The tool is simple: It’s a stamped and formed piece of steel that is U-shaped in profile. Using it is as simple as slipping it over the rotor, turning the wheel until the Cycle Pal tool slips into the caliper and then squeezing the brake and tightening the caliper bolts while continuing to hold the brake. What could sometimes see me waste a half hour now takes about a minute.

The tool is so easy to use that on those occasions that I do encounter a rotor that rubs the brake pads, I slip the tool in and make sure the brake is positioned before I consider trying to cold-set the rotor.

So who needs this tool? Anyone with a bike with disc brakes and more than one set of wheels for that bike.

Cycle Pal offers a generous discount for bundled purchases; I ordered two—one for my tool box and another for my travel tool kit. I am precisely the person who would forget to pack it before leaving on a trip. One tool goes for $16, while two are $27.20. If time is money, this thing paid for itself the second time I used it.

Final thought: Some of the best tools don’t tighten anything.

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