A stitch in time saves nine and bike niggles are easily fixed at home. A small set of core tools goes a long way in adjusting and fixing these niggles. This set of core tools doesn’t cost much and takes only a bit of storage space. Yet, they save you time, money and trips to the bicycle shop to fix mundane problems. So here is a set of 5 essential tools every bicycle enthusiast should have-
1. Floor pump with gauge
A floor pump with a gauge is crucial for maintaining the correct tire pressure. Always check the air pressure before heading out on a ride. It doesn’t matter which tyres you ride - cheap or expensive. The correct tyre pressure will make your ride more comfortable, save watts and extend the tyre life too. A floor pump also makes fixing punctures much easier and faster. Look for one with a dedicated nozzle for both Schrader and Presta valves. A popular floor pump like the Decathlon Cycling Floor Pump 500 requires you to take apart the nozzle to fit Presta or Schrader valves. This gets tiring very quickly. If you’re low on budget a frame pump will serve, but it is much easier and faster to use a floor pump for everyday use.
2. Tyre levers
Wide plastic tyre levers are essential for removing wired tires without damaging the rims or pinching the tube. They save your hands and are a must-have for any cyclist. While plastic tyre levers they might bend, they don’t break off easily.
3. Allen key set
Modern bicycles often use Allen/Torx bolts, so a Y wrench with 4, 5, and 6 mm bits is recommended. These sizes cover the most common bolts, and a Y tool makes switching between them easy.
4. Drivetrain cleaning tool
Cleaning your drivetrain is essential for bike maintenance. A chain cleaning tool simplifies this process, saves time, and prevents messy degreaser stains. Look for one with replaceable innards to save money in the long run.
5. Bike Stand
A simple bike stand that lifts the rear wheel off the ground is incredibly useful for inspecting and maintaining the drivetrain, brakes, and wheels. A portable “A” shaped stand is a good option for apartment dwellers. It also takes the least amount of space when packed away. If your bike doesn’t have a kickstand you can always use the repair stand as a parking stand.
In addition to these core tools, it’s also helpful to have some miscellaneous home tools like a screwdriver set, pliers, high-grit sandpaper, and an adjustable wrench for various bike repair and maintenance tasks. Finally, don’t forget to repurpose old cotton garments and toothbrushes as rags and cleaning accessories.
With these tools, you’ll be well-equipped to handle basic bike repairs and maintenance, saving you time and money in the long run. As you become more comfortable working on your bicycle, you can consider adding more specialized tools to your collection.