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Gate Keys and Drill Bits

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I guess this forum may be the most appropriate to ask the question. I find myself being drawn in more and more into the technical side of the racing world, as opposed to coaching, as my son get further into the race program. I volunteer at numerous races, and working on Technical Certification. I am even the Chief of Course for my son's upcoming race on Saturday (J5 equivalent).

As such, instead of depending on whichever club to supply certain items, I would make the investment in a gate key and gate drill bit, which always seem to be in short supply. Question is, where's the best, meaning cost effective, place to order. Is there anywhere else besides World Cup Supply or Reliable Racing that I should know about? Also, what is the most common drill bit diameter 30mm?

post #2 of 8
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yep. I knew that R.R. carried them, just looking for other sources. Actually the key there is amongst the least expensive, but maybe there is a garage machinist who makes them as well.
post #4 of 8
The Reliable keys are a headache,

our club is addicted to making random orders from them and as part of our coaching package last year we each got a key... and they ordered like 10 more than we needed :x... anyways they are heavy, bulky, hard to work with and they don't fit with our 27 Mil gates...

Find a universal small aluminum one and you will never regret it!
post #5 of 8

Too heavy, bulky and hard to work with?

I don't have a lot of experience with aluminum keys, but the ones I've used don't stay on the base once slid down over top, or the way they do stay on sucks and is a PITA to deal with. I like the way the RR key stays on the base - especially when trying to screw into boilerplate.

The extra beefiness of SS doesn't suck either ... I mean, it's not like I'm skiing around with that thing in my pocket. What's the weight difference?
about 2.5 pounds?

I'd rather have a tool designed for the purpose than one designed to carry around.

I'm not trying to pitch RR keys, I'm just a tool guy ...
post #6 of 8
My two cents- try before you buy. Some prefer one type over another as you can see. If your coaches/program has several types or brands try them all and settle on what YOU like. I wouldn't be so concerned as to saving a buck or two if your going to dislike using it in the long term.

post #7 of 8
The drill bit question is interesting. I just looked at the reliable site and hadn't realized there was such a selection. I guess you would use a smaller one for stick in bases, larger one for screw in bases...and I think I remember some coaches picking different ones for different snowtypes?
post #8 of 8
I had the chance to use one of the stainless shorty keys this season at one race. i kind of liked it, but was used to the larger Reliable Racing ones. The RR are heavier and when in my "hammer" holster swing around a bit too much, but I like the hieght of the handle when screwing in the gate, I don't have to bend over as much.

If you are always going to be cheif of course and always carrying the thing strapped to you. I would go for the shorter aluminum one. But like others said it is personal preference.

As far as getting your own drill bits and such. I'd say its a waste of money most clubs have at least two drills and bits, if not more, I would think that should really be enough per course.

I'm as big of a gear geek as anyone, but I leave this expense to the clubs I am working with. Most of our coaches and racers laugh at the gear geeks at other races, where every coach is strapped with gate measuring tapes, gate keys, radios, holsters, drills, etc. All for a Juniors race on a 200' hill. My advice is don't go overboard, but have fun.
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