Back in 1956, it seemed everything was simpler and bicycles were no exception. At the time Park owned three bicycle shops and a common day of repairs consisted of a few flat tires, a broken spoke and possibly a coaster-brake hub overhaul. As the 1960's arrived, so did caliper brakes, shifting systems, and lightweight components.
And, one problem surfaced along with these sophisticated new parts: No tools! Park Tool's founders, Howard Hawkins, and his business partner, Art Engstrom, were both hands-on guys, usually figuring problems out for themselves. Both were up to the challenge as they crafted their own problem-solvers. Most of these early tools were built from scratch with whatever materials and leftovers they could find.
One of the first time-savers they invented was a stand that held the bike off the ground allowing easy, back-saving access to any part of the bike. This original stand was put together using legs from a dining-room table, an empty shell casing and a truck axle from a 37 Ford! As other shops, and eventually Schwinn Bicycle Company, saw the stand in action, requests were made for a production model. Park Tool Company was born!
Park's line-up grew quickly to include a truing stand, more repair stands including a double-arm shop version, wrenches, gauges, fixtures and consumer tools soon joined the company's offerings. In the early 1980's all three of the original Park retail shops were sold to concentrate on Park's expanding tool business.
Park's history says a lot about who they are and what they do. They still insist on a hands-on philosophy of invention, testing and production. The 35 employees of Park Tool take great pride in designing and building the best bicycle tools in the world. Since that first stand, they've built hundreds of thousands more, reaching bike shops worldwide. Park Tool's pledge for the future is simple: Build the best tools.
So whether you want to start fixing your own bicycles or just want the best tools available, Park has everything you need! Swing by our shop and we'll gladly introduce you to Park's fantastic products and explain what they can do for you!