Urban Velo

Yojimbo’s Garage Custom Lockring Tool

yojimbos_lockring On a recent visit to the venerable Yojimbo’s Garage just outside of downtown Chicago the shop banter at one point turned to lockring tools and their relative ineffectiveness. Even the best ones can slip out of place fairly easily, compounded if the lockring is worn, corroded or otherwise past its prime. Shop owner Marcus shared my frustrations, and made his own custom tool for just a few dollars to forever solve the problem. With a set of slip joint pliers purchased from the flea market and bench grinder, Marcus cut a pair of teeth into the pliers’ jaws to firmly engage and grip the notches of even a worn lockring. With long handles for leverage and a solid grip, this custom tool makes quick work of customer’s lockrings day in and day out. A perfect DIY project for a rainy day that will make a handy addition to nearly anyone’s home shop.


  1. dontcoastJune 15, 2009 at 11:57 am

    marcus is the man! his strange shop is one of the few things i miss alot about chicago.

    wouldn’t it be even more effective with vice grips though? you could probably mod a cheap chinese vise grip just as easily. just a thought.

  2. THIS is what you need. | lockedcogJune 15, 2009 at 12:49 pm

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  3. GenghisKhanJune 15, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I love’s me some home grown ingenuity! Cool on Marcus–maybe he should get the patent and then chat with the boys in blue at Park! ;o)

  4. jimmyJune 15, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    ho-ly genius!

  5. kylejJune 15, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    i wonder how long before the teeth finally give out?

  6. Ghost RiderJune 15, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    If there’s a patent available for such a tool, it’s already in effect. VAR or Hozan or Cyclus (I can’t remember which) used to make just such a tool, and may still…I remember them being quite expensive, though.

    That being said, I like Marcus’s better — DIY and inexpensiveness trump frighteningly pricey every time!

  7. c brizzleJune 15, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Hozan lockring pliers are the same thing; actually they are far superior to this.

  8. thiefJune 15, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Consider this idea stolen :O That’s brilliant great for when the dodgy home mechanics who have burred the life out of there lockring.

  9. gusJune 15, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    I HATE lockrings! I just cannot get them tight enough. Even when I smack them with a screwdriver and hammer to tighten them up the last little bit they still come loose.

    I have, however, used these pliers to tighten the lockring and/ or hold the adjustable cup. I think I might go that step further…. and buy some locktight!

  10. JTJune 16, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Hey Gus, I may have an assist for you. First is to make sure the cog is on super snug. Next, wrap the lockring threads in a a bit of teflon/plumber’s tape, and then tighten the lockring down. Of course, using a good lockring helps an awful lot too. Hammers & screwdrivers are definitely not your friends when it comes to installing them.

  11. ernaJune 16, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    something stolen here..


  12. marcusJune 19, 2009 at 8:18 am

    I’ll be the first to admit the idea wasn’t mine. I copied it about 15 years ago.

    One advantage over the Hozan design is that the head is offset: you can apply more force and get more leverage before the tool “wants” to slip.

    Thanks for visiting Brad!

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  14. pedroAugust 27, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Es una llave grifa. la que lleva Paco el fontanero

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