Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,025 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious as to what specialized tools I should have to maintain my bike. I don't want to talk to the guys @ a LBS or I'll end up buying a Snap-On truck worth of stuff that I don't need.
 

·
Derailleurless
Joined
·
9,122 Posts
Unless you're going to sink a bunch of dough into a starter tool kit (which I wouldn't recommend), I suggest your first purchase be Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance. Read the first section in that book, which gives recommended tools for various jobs, and then purchase tools as you need them. There aren't many required for the bulk of the routine maintenance needs of a bike, and this way you can take each on as an individual challenge.

Also be sure to visit ParkTool.com, which talks you through many of these same procedures and lists what tools they make for these various functions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,684 Posts
Nashbar and other shops sell a basic kit for $40-50. If you look at the pictures, you'll see they all sell the exact same kit with their brand on it. It's pretty decent. I haven't used all the tools in mine yet, but I've been satisfied so far.
 

·
Don't touch me!
Joined
·
775 Posts
The short list:

Some tire levers, hex wrenches, a pedal wrench, a chain tool, a set of screwdrivers, and a pair of cable cutters. A repair manual is also a very good thing to have handy.

You should also get some tire levers and a multi-tool for the trail if you don't already have them.

A repair stand is sort of optional. But after you get one, you'll wonder how you ever got by without it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,019 Posts
Speedüb Nate said:
...and then purchase tools as you need them.
Exactly. I think you'll find that most tools to do the job are about the same as paying labor for the same job. But then you'll have the tool for next time. (some exceptions like headset press and others, but even those can be made for cheap with some enginuity.)

As others mentioned, it might pay right up front to have the basics, such as a GOOD hex set, tire levers, etc...

I also find a Torque Wrench with Craftsman Hex-driver Bits to be an invaluable tool. A bit costly, but used ALL the time.
 

·
Do It Yourself
Joined
·
5,720 Posts
revrnd said:
Just curious as to what specialized tools I should have to maintain my bike. I don't want to talk to the guys @ a LBS or I'll end up buying a Snap-On truck worth of stuff that I don't need.
Agree with the guys above. Definitely buy tools as you need them. That way you only get what you need and it's easier on the cash flow. Get good tools too. For bike specifics stuff, go with Park. Whatever you do, DO NOT get cheap allen wrenches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
What's a tire lever?

Hi all,
Didn't want to start a new thread. As the title says, "what's a tire lever" and what is it used for. I had assumed it was for getting the tire off of a rim, until I got my first flat. I was able to just work the tire off the rim with my hands. Is this bad for the tire where I should be using a tool?

I've had my first bike 3 weeks now, and don't want to hurt it.
BTW Trek 4600.

See ya
Tommy
 

·
Get your freak on!
Joined
·
2,696 Posts
liltommy said:
Hi all,
Didn't want to start a new thread. As the title says, "what's a tire lever" and what is it used for. I had assumed it was for getting the tire off of a rim, until I got my first flat. I was able to just work the tire off the rim with my hands. Is this bad for the tire where I should be using a tool?

I've had my first bike 3 weeks now, and don't want to hurt it.
BTW Trek 4600.

See ya
Tommy
Yes thats exactly whats it's for. You just slip it under the tire bead and it pops the tire off. They can be had for really cheap and don't take very much space at all!
I would reccomend you get a tube, tirelevers, a patchkit, mini multitool and a Pump to carry round with you on longer rides:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Don't worry if you don't need tire levers to get your tires off. They are always needed for road bike tires, but mountainbike tires tend to come off easily with out them.

I don't have any tire levers, because I my tires come off easily. If I do have a problem, I can use part of my pump to lever the tire off.

Fred

liltommy said:
Hi all,
Didn't want to start a new thread. As the title says, "what's a tire lever" and what is it used for. I had assumed it was for getting the tire off of a rim, until I got my first flat. I was able to just work the tire off the rim with my hands. Is this bad for the tire where I should be using a tool?

I've had my first bike 3 weeks now, and don't want to hurt it.
BTW Trek 4600.

See ya
Tommy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
As the other people said, just buy tools as you need them. That way you won't get any tools that you don't need.

Tools I have and use the most are (in order)

Allen keys (I have a set like a pocket knife)
Pump
Puncture repair kit
Spoke key
Hub lock ring spanner (very narrow 15mm and 13mm spanner) (can also be used for pedals)
Chain breaker.

This list assumes that you have a normal tool kit with things like adjustable spanner, spanners, screwdrivers and pliers. If you are patient, a good pair of pliers can cut a bike cable. I don't think it is worth getting cable cutters, but I know that others will dissagree, but for the 4 cables I replace each year, it isn't a problem for me.

If I need a new headset or bottom bracket, I give the bike to the bikeshop. I can do the jobs, but I can't be bothered anymore :)

The other thing to mention is that you shouldn't waste your money on cheap tools.

Fred
 

·
Brass Nipples!
Joined
·
2,006 Posts
Chain checker tool.

Park Tool and Rohloff make them.

I've seen several newbies ride with stretched chains and ruin their entire drivetrains. Check the chain for stretch every 5-10 rides and replace it when it's 1% or beyond, and you may never need to replace your cassette and chainrings (very expensive proposition).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
Stretched chain?

Bob the Wheelbuilder said:
Park Tool and Rohloff make them.

I've seen several newbies ride with stretched chains and ruin their entire drivetrains. Check the chain for stretch every 5-10 rides and replace it when it's 1% or beyond, and you may never need to replace your cassette and chainrings (very expensive proposition).
How the [email protected]#$ do you tell if a chains stretched? :confused: I'm a Clysdale masher so I'm sure this is something I'd better watch for.
While we're on the subject, what do new chains cost

Tommy
 

·
Brass Nipples!
Joined
·
2,006 Posts
Chain stretch

liltommy said:
How the [email protected]#$ do you tell if a chains stretched? :confused: I'm a Clysdale masher so I'm sure this is something I'd better watch for.
While we're on the subject, what do new chains cost

Tommy
Chains wear over time and the distance between links increases, mainly by wear of the rollers (the circular inner bits that mesh with the cogs). Riding with a chain that's too long will cause wear of the cogs' teeth, and by the time you're getting chainsuck or a broken chain, the whole thing is remodeled. When you replace the chain, the new one won't work with the now worn teeth.

A chain checker measures the distance between a set number of links. Here's a link for the Park tool.

http://www.parktool.com/tools/CC_2.shtml

You can measure 20 links of a stretched-out chain with a ruler: they should measure exactly 10 inches when new. If the pin to pin distance of 20 links is over 10.1 inches (10 1/8 would be 10.125), you need a new chain. The chain checker just makes this a lot easier.

New chains cost in the neighborhood of $15-20, but you can spend more. If you have a 9 or 10 speed cassette, make sure you get a compatible chain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,684 Posts
FredNZ said:
Don't worry if you don't need tire levers to get your tires off. They are always needed for road bike tires, but mountainbike tires tend to come off easily with out them.

Fred
SOME tires tend to come off easily. Some tend to be tighter than others, and some wheels--Bontragers are notorious for this--can be very hard to get tires on and off of. They're way cheap(the levers, not Bontragers), only a couple bucks, so you might as well have a set in case you--or a friend--needs them some time.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top