Starting out as a cyclist can be overwhelming when it comes to the many components, tools, and technology that go into modern day bicycles. While much of the heavier service should be left to professional mechanics, there is a lot of at home mechanical work that you can handle yourself!
When you want to start wrenching on your own bike between rides the first thing to think about is what tools to acquire and where you will work on your bike. Bike tools are sold in pre-made kits from brands such as Park Tool and Pedro's. Kits are a great way to start as they offer a variety of commonly used bike tools at great price and include a tool box. Alternatively you can piece the tool set together and tailor your setup per your specific needs. It's often great to start out slowly, and acquire tools as you need them. We'll go into discussion on the different systems on a bicycle and what tools are commonly used to service and maintain your bike.
Bicycle Repair Stands
Working on your bicycle can be difficult as times due to not being able to effectively reach certain areas as well as wanting the wheels/pedals to move freely while working. A bicycle repair stand may seem over the top with a high price tag, but the ease of access and quality of work when using a bike stand is priceless. They come in different styles from free standing to repair strands that mount to a wall or table. Whatever style you choose a quality repair stand will make working on your bike more fun, effective, and save you from hours bending over your bike.
Bike Tools for General Bike Maintenance
Routinely servicing your bike between rides will not only lengthen the life of your components but provide a higher quality ride as well! Routine upkeep includes service such as lubing the drivetrain, replacing brake pads, cables, and housing, as well as fixing flat tires or refreshing tubeless systems. Here's some common tools to help with regular bicycle maintenance.
- Floor Pump
- Tire Levers
- Chain Brush
- Chain Lube
- Wrenches (6-17mm)
- Allen Keys (2-12mm)
Bike Tools for Maintaining Brakes
Quality brakes allow riders to go faster, and ride safer. Maintaining your braking system is very important and regular check ups on your pads and levers are recommended. Here's some tools to help when working on your brakes.
- Rotor Truing Tool
- Torx T25 Wrench
- Bleek Kit with Oil
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Wrenches (6-12mm)
- Allen Keys (2-5mm)
- Gloves / Rubbing Alcohol / Clean Rags
Bike Tools for Maintaining Drivetrains
The drivetrain of the bicycle is basically the engine. This includes the derailleurs, cables/housing, chains, chainrings, and cassettes. Often times derailleurs need adjusting, cables and housing can be replaced, and bottom brackets, chains, chainrings, and cassettes can wear out. Here's a tool list specifically geared toward working on your drivetrain.
- Adjustable Wrenches
- Screwdriver Phillips (multiple sizes)
- Screwdriver Flat-Head (multiple sizes)
- Torx T25 Wrench
- Allen Keys (2-12mm)
- Cable Cutters
- Chain Breaker
- Chain Pliers
- Chain Wear Indicator
- Lockring Remover
- Chain Whip
- Crank Arm Puller (specific to components)
- Bottom Bracket Tool (specific to components)
- Pedal Wrench
Bike Tools for Wheel Maintenance
Wheels are more complicated that other systems on the bike, and much of the wheel service is often left to professional mechanics. When a wheel spins evenly and smoothly it is considered "true". Having your wheelset trued and tuned is vital to a smooth ride and a long lasting wheelset. Wheels are stronger, faster, and smoother when trued properly. Here's some tools that come in handy when wanting to start servicing your wheels yourself.
- Wheel Truing Stand
- Cone Wrenches (13, 15, and 17mm)
- Spoke Tension Gauge
- Hub Centering Tool
- Valve Core Remover
- Tubeless Tape, Valves & Sealant
Miscellaneous Bike Tools
Here's a list of tools we find extremely handy around the warehouse. While these tools are not as commonly used as those previously listed, they are important nonetheless. If you are trying to improve your at home mechanical skills these tools will help immensely.
- Professional Bicycle Grease
- Air Compressor
- Metal Files
- DAG Tool (Derailleur Alignment Gauge)
- Shock Pump
- Cables, Housing, Ferrules, Cable Ends
Thanks for reading our article on the best bike tools for at home mechanics. If you have any questions or want pedal recommendations drop us a line and we'll get you rolling!
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