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Tools - Getting Started.

Whether you are wondering how to true a wheel, how to fix that clicking sound or simply maintain your bike for the long haul, the Workshop & Maintenance forum is your one-stop online mechanic shop.

Moderator: Pricey_sky

Tools - Getting Started.

31 Aug 2015 22:06

"if the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail" - Abraham Maslow

You can't do much useful work on a bike without a basic assortment of tools.
Bicycles have specific fasteners and threads that require specific tools to fit them.

Simple repairs do not require a Workshop, although, it is nice to have a comfortable well lit space to work in.
For easy repairs you will need the following tools to get you started.

There are many more tools that you can add to your collection as you progress, but lets just call this the "Getting Started Selection"


1) Tyre Pump - with a gauge and a valve head to match your tubes either presto or schrader.
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2) Standard Slot Head Screwdrivers - one small, one medium.
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3) Phillips Head Screwdrivers - one small, one medium.
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4) Tyre Levers - set of 3 assuming you have clinchers tyres.
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5) Spare Tubes - at least 2 of the correct size for your bike.
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6) Baby Powder - for coating tubes and inner casings of tyres.
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7) Patch Kit.
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8) Adjustable Wrench - 6 inch is a good size for the bike.
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9) Pliers - regular and needle nose.
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10) Metric Allen Wrenches - or hex keys that includes 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm.
also a set of Torx Keys to compliment the hex.
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11) Metric Open Ended Wrenches - include 7mm, 8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm & 17mm.Image

12) 15mm Pedal Wrench.
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13) Chain Tool - please check compatibility before using.
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14) Spoke Wrench - make sure it matches the nipple size on your wheels.
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15) Bicycle Specific Grease.
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16) Chain Lubricant - Choose non aerosol as its easier to control, uses less packaging and wastes less in over spray.Image

17) Rubbing Alcohol - For light cleaning.
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18) Rags - lots of them. I find old t-shirts and underwear work great.
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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31 Aug 2015 22:26

Latex Gloves to keep your hands clean.
ray j willings
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31 Aug 2015 22:45

I also keep a 1 inch paintbrush for degreasing components, and an old apron!
User avatar 42x16ss
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Re:

31 Aug 2015 22:49

ray j willings wrote:Latex Gloves to keep your hands clean.


depends on the work you're doing

in a shop scenario i've found a great hand cleaner works better than getting gloves on and off all day

for messy drive train work or bikes that are filthy and haven't been cleaned in years
i prefer nitrile gloves over latex

nitrile has no natural rubber proteins and eliminates the well-documented protein risks associated with natural rubber latex.....asthma & dermatitis
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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Re:

31 Aug 2015 22:53

42x16ss wrote:I also keep a 1 inch paintbrush for degreasing components, and an old apron!


yes!!

using a brush to apply degreaser is a great way to work it into difficult areas for a quick degrease

an apron or set of overalls comes in very handy
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Re: Re:

01 Sep 2015 09:40

JackRabbitSlims wrote:
ray j willings wrote:Latex Gloves to keep your hands clean.


depends on the work you're doing

in a shop scenario i've found a great hand cleaner works better than getting gloves on and off all day

for messy drive train work or bikes that are filthy and haven't been cleaned in years
i prefer nitrile gloves over latex

nitrile has no natural rubber proteins and eliminates the well-documented protein risks associated with natural rubber latex.....asthma & dermatitis


Good call.
I take a couple of pairs with me for rides. I have a little bag for rides [pump tube etc] that fits in my pocket.
Nothing worse than being on a ride and having chain dirt/ lube [ not me] on your hands. It then gets on your bars shifters etc.
ray j willings
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Re: Re:

01 Sep 2015 16:48

ray j willings wrote:
JackRabbitSlims wrote:
ray j willings wrote:Latex Gloves to keep your hands clean.


depends on the work you're doing

in a shop scenario i've found a great hand cleaner works better than getting gloves on and off all day

for messy drive train work or bikes that are filthy and haven't been cleaned in years
i prefer nitrile gloves over latex

nitrile has no natural rubber proteins and eliminates the well-documented protein risks associated with natural rubber latex.....asthma & dermatitis


Good call.
I take a couple of pairs with me for rides. I have a little bag for rides [pump tube etc] that fits in my pocket.
Nothing worse than being on a ride and having chain dirt/ lube [ not me] on your hands. It then gets on your bars shifters etc.


i get the feeling that you're a very clean particular ocd type of guy

i'm very much the same way

use a tyre lever when your moving the chain off & on the cassette for roadside repairs to keep your hands clean(er)
a small rag comes in handy
black bar tape and hoods for me

bike(s) always get a clean when they get home
bar tape is an easy clean up and swapping it out for new stuff should be a regular thing - can become a health and safety concern.
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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01 Sep 2015 17:29

Great advice, everything except the adjustable spanner... I hate them with a passion, all they do is round off nuts and make it increasingly difficult to work on your bike. Use the right spanner for the job, if you're out on the road a dumbbell spanner is perfect.


Also. A chain whip (preferably one with a track lock ring tool on) and a lock nut tool are vital to save you service costs.
Vincenzo Nibali:
"I know how to ride a bike"

Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
User avatar King Boonen
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01 Sep 2015 17:51

thanks for the contribution king

i'm sure you've got plenty to add to this section of the forum

i have a chain whip listed in the "tools - the next level" thread
perhaps a good addition to the entry level list

i have done away with my chain whip and now use a set of these which i find cleaner & easier

Image
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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01 Sep 2015 18:44

No worries, I'll add as much as I can! Great section by the way, this forum can become too much about racing and not enough about bikes and the simple pleasure of owning one at times.

Very nice grips, do they just grip the spacer in between the sprockets? (the steel/alloy attached ones obviously!). How well do they work on track sprockets? Must admit I do get annoyed at slippage with the the chain whip. Doesn't happen often but has the potential to make a mess of your hands/fingers.

Being able to change a cassette saves a lot of money, as most shops will want to charge close to retail for the cassette as well as £10 or so to fit it.
Vincenzo Nibali:
"I know how to ride a bike"

Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
User avatar King Boonen
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01 Sep 2015 18:59

they grip the actual teeth of the cog(s)

i find they work extremely well which is why i went to them after one use

very adjustable and once you have them set to a specific sprocket, you can lock it in and not have to squeeze the grips hard while removing the lock ring

Image
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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01 Sep 2015 19:16

Very nice! I'll have to consider them...
Vincenzo Nibali:
"I know how to ride a bike"

Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
User avatar King Boonen
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02 Sep 2015 05:28

push the new pedals & shoes idea to the back burner

and get yourself a workshop stand and some new tools
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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02 Sep 2015 08:28

Workstand and that sprocket grip would be great... I also need a dropper post...
Vincenzo Nibali:
"I know how to ride a bike"

Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
User avatar King Boonen
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02 Sep 2015 16:42

wants v's needs

i want a new seat post (Thomson) saddle (Fizik) & wheel set (anything lighter than the stock set I have)

i need this rain to stop so i get out for a ride before work
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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16 Sep 2015 14:41

I'm just gonna make myself comfortable in this section here as I have a profound (and perhaps somewhat perturbing) love for bike tools.

I don't get the fanciest and most expensive stuff, but something like a bike repair stand is absolutely essential. I've had this one for over two years, it's not the best but it does the job well enough.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Choice-Products%C2%AE-Adjustable-Telescopic/dp/B00BLPBSXG/ref=sr_1_8?s=outdoor-recreation&ie=UTF8&qid=1442413221&sr=1-8&keywords=bike+repair+stand

For basic tools I have this little surgery kit, it has a surprisingly decent selection of stuff. (Some of which I haven't had to use yet.) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NMKVFOA?psc=1

I have had to order a bunch of individual tools for individual jobs, unfortunately there is no way around it as bike parts are very specific and simple household tools just will not do. (That is not to say that I haven't used a sledgehammer on a stuck bottom bracket before, or that I haven't had to boil an ancient pedal off a crank in a pot in the past, but that is more for the adventurous type of mechanic who's got nothing to lose.)

Anyhoo, think I've spent more money on tools now than I have on my bikes, we all have our crosses to bear.
User avatar Tricycle Rider
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16 Sep 2015 17:32

with that stand and tool set you are off to a very good start Tricycle Rider - nice job!

here is the latest new release from park tool co https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRTKi3fOv9w

also
there are quite a few other manufacturers of bike specific tools worth considering
park tool and pedros have great exposure here in nz and seem to dominate in the workshops

others to consider are: -
cyclus tools - http://www.cyclus-tools.eu/werkzeuge.html?&L=3
VAR - http://www.vartools.com/en/
hozan - http://www.hozan.co.jp/cycle_e/
bicycletool - http://www.bicycletool.com
stein - http://www.steintool.com
phil wood - http://www.philwood.com
chris king - https://www.chrisking.com/type/tool/
dt swiss - http://www.dtswiss.com/Accessories/Proline-Tools

to name just a few
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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Re:

16 Sep 2015 19:57

JackRabbitSlims wrote:park tool
Park Tools is a good place to go, I've gotten a whole bunch of tools from them.

It's also true you can never have enough rags, I use old t-shirts as well.

Can't believe I've forgotten one of my most essential tools - a freaking MAGNET for grabbing those pesky little nuts and bolts and small metal whatnots! (I may have lost a few bolts here and there, where they reside now I have no idea. But, sometimes you can fish them out of tight places with a magnet... if you know where they are.)

Also, a pan or some kind of a box where you can put all the parts you had removed from your bike - chances are you're gonna have to put them back on, so it's best to keep them in an organized place.
User avatar Tricycle Rider
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Re: Re:

17 Sep 2015 04:06

Tricycle Rider wrote:
JackRabbitSlims wrote:park tool
Park Tools is a good place to go, I've gotten a whole bunch of tools from them.

It's also true you can never have enough rags, I use old t-shirts as well.

Can't believe I've forgotten one of my most essential tools - a freaking MAGNET for grabbing those pesky little nuts and bolts and small metal whatnots! (I may have lost a few bolts here and there, where they reside now I have no idea. But, sometimes you can fish them out of tight places with a magnet... if you know where they are.)

Also, a pan or some kind of a box where you can put all the parts you had removed from your bike - chances are you're gonna have to put them back on, so it's best to keep them in an organized place.

Good call on the magnet. Another thing I find really handy cabling frames with internal routing is fishing line.
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Re: Re:

17 Sep 2015 05:38

42x16ss wrote: Another thing I find really handy cabling frames with internal routing is fishing line.
May I ask what model/year you are working on? (I won't even pretend I know anything about the latest carbon fiber stuff.)

I just know with the vintage types you can use the old housing to feed a new cable through, and once you get the new cable through you can replace the housing.
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