Every adjustment, punctured tire or broken chain shouldn’t force you to take a trip to the bike shop. A few good tools—and the basic knowledge of how and when to use them—can keep you from dipping into your wallet to pay for simple repairs.
Before you head off toward the path of self-sufficiency, you’ll need the right equipment—and a little patience finding the right maintenance video on the Global Cycling Network—to get you started. Check out our list of 10 tools that you can’t do without.
Most cyclist carry spare tubes and tire levers on their ride, but not everyone carries a chain tool. What you’ll need it for: Replacing your chain when it’s worn or when removing a single link to repair a broken chain on the road. READ MORE
More and more bike makers are using Torx bolts for assembly. The most common sizes are the T10, T25 and the T30. What you’ll need it for: Adjustment some stems and seatpost clamps (T25), chainring bolts (T30), and hydraulic brakes (T10). READ MORE
If you’ve had your bike long enough, you’ll eventually need to replace the cable and housing to keep it shifting properly. Cable cutters will help you do the job cleanly and correctly. What you’ll need it for: Clean cuts on shifting and brake cables, crimping cable end caps, and for reforming housing ends and housing ferrules. READ MORE
Just like dirt and grime, a worn chain can ruin many of the parts in your bikes drivetrain. The problem is knowing when to replace it, which can be difficult even for the trained eye. What you’ll need it for: Chain checker gauge exactly how much life is left in your chain. The price of a chain checker is $16, that’s a bargain compared to the $80
you’ll spend replacing a chain prematurely or the $200 on a worn chain that’s eaten up your rear cassette.
Changing your cassette to match the terrain can give your performance a boost. But every time you go on a hilly ride, you don’t want to have to take your wheel to the mechanic to have him switch your 11-25 to your 11-28. It’s an easy job that requires a few tools. What you’ll need it for: A chain whip holds your cassette in place as you loosen the cassette bolt (they both spin in the same direction). Tip: Be sure to buy one with a sturdy handle, as the cheaper versions tend to break easily. READ MORE
CASSETTE LOCK RING
The other two tools you’ll need to finish taking off and reinstalling your cassette are a wrench and a cassette lock ring. Before you purchase the lock ring, be sure to buy the right one for your drivetrain (SRAM/Shimano and Campagnolo parts require a slightly different version. What you’ll need it for: Loosening and tightening the cassette onto the freehub. READ MORE
Anything can happen while your out on the road. A loose bolt on your bottle cage or a screw that needs tightened on your shoe buckle are a few small repairs you’ll need to be ready for. Luckily, today’s multi-tools have you covered for almost any repair you might need to make. What you’ll need it for: For tightening hex, torx, phillips, and flathead bolts you’ll need a well-rounded multi-tool. Most good multi-tools are equipped with a chain tool and spoke wrench-tools you might not think about until a disaster has struck. READ MORE
Spoke nipples come in different shapes and sizes, so you might need to purchase a few different types if you have multiple wheelsets. A loose spoke is pretty easy to fix if you have the tool on hand. It’ll save you from paying the bike mechanic for an hour’s worth of labor on a job that only takes about five minutes. What you’ll need it for: Replacing or tightening a spoke on your wheel. READ MORE
If you’ve got carbon parts on your bike, you’ll need a torque wrench to tighten your bolts to the manufacturer’s specifications. The torque wrench can keep you from causing a crack in your expensive carbon parts from over tightening. Several torque wrenches on the market come with bits that will fit various sizes of hex and Torx bolts.
What you’ll need it for: Tightening and installing carbon parts such as handlbars, stems, seatposts, and saddles with carbon rails. READ MORE
CO2 cartridges are nice, but what happens when you put it on the valve incorrectly and all of your air leaks in two or three seconds? A mini pump can save you when your stranded, even if it’s hard to get more than 50 psi in your road inner tube with most models. Some air is definitely better than none. What you’ll need it for: Fixing flats roadside. READ MORE
If you need any advice or help with your training, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org