Beginner’s Guide to Bike Tools



Arm yourself with these essential bike tools, and you can get most every bike maintenance job done at home—for less cash, and more street cred.

1) Lezyne Port-A-Shop | 2) Abbey Bike Tools | 3) TOPEAK Alien II Multi-Tool | 4) Best Value Torque Wrench Set | 5) Mini Ratchet Tool Set | 6) Pedros T-Handle Pro Allen Wrench Tool | 7) Bike Multitool – 18 In 1 | 8) Park Tool CG-2.3 Chain Gang Chain Cleaning System | 9) Park Tool 11-Speed Compatible | 10) Park Tool Bearing Tool Set for BB30.3 | 11) Lezyne Stainless 20 Multi Tool | 12) Park Tool AK-2 Tool Kit | 13) Crank Brothers Multi Bicycle Tool | 14) Park Tool Home Mechanic Starter Kit | 15) Spin Doctor Essential Bicycle Tool Kit | 16) Park Tool CT-3.2 Chain Tool | 17) IRONARM Professional Tool Kit | 18) Genuine Innovations Seat Bag Deluxe Ultra | 19) BIKEHAND Bike Bicycle Repair Tool Kit | 20) Park Tool Tool Roll Kit | 21) BIKEHAND Bike Repair Tools Tool Kit Set | 22) Deckey Bicycle Repair Tool Kit | 23) Nashbar Essential Tool Kit | 24) Crank Brothers F-15 Tool | 25) Park Tool Deluxe Double-Arm Repair Stand | 26) Park Tool PCS-10 Work Stand |

Save money and keep your bike running better by doing your own maintenance; here’s what you need.

You don’t need a vast array of specialist tools to work on your bike. Most essential jobs can be done with a few good quality standard tools and a handful of bike-specific ones.

If there’s an area where the adage ‘buy quality, buy once’ applies, it’s tools. Good tools work better, last longer and are less likely to damage the parts you’re working on. Think of them as an investment, not a cost.

Each bike’s different, but there are many tools common to almost all bikes. Here’s what you need for straightforward jobs such as changing cables, adjusting brakes and gears, tweaking saddle position and angle, setting up handlebars, changing and inflating tyres and changing your chain.

Ball-end Allen keys. Don’t skimp on these; you’ll be using them a lot. Ball-end keys allow you to turn a bolt from an angle, which speeds up many jobs. As well as being harder and more accurately made, and therefore less likely to mash the bolts you tighten with them, high-quality keys have a narrower neck for the ball, and therefore work at steeper angles, making them more versatile.

Screwdrivers. You want a couple of flat-blade screwdrivers and Phillips (cross-head) No 1 and 2, and possibly a size 0 too. A more extensive set will include sizes that are useful round the house too.

Combination spanners. I almost hesitate to include these because bolts with spanner flats are now rare on good quality bikes. You will almost certainly never need more than 8, 9 and 10mm, plus a 13mm if you have bolt-up hubs.

If you need spanners for other jobs, then the sets we’ve suggested have everything you need for the bike too, but if bike fettling is your only need, then it’ll be cheaper to buy individual spanners.

Pliers. A set of combination pliers has lots of uses, from generally holding and pulling parts to crimping cable ends.You’llo find lots of uses for long-nose pliers, so a set of three with side cutters is good value.

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