If tinkering is a part of bike riding, then maintenance is absolutely crucial. While we like to leave the big work and those much-needed routine services to the pros, there are some tools that can make visits to them less (and less painful on the bank balance). Do you have these in your arsenal:
1. Torque wrench
Okay, bit of a disclaimer here: When/if you use certain tools incorrectly – such as our friend the torque wrench – you might end up with a whole lot more than just scorn and mockery from your shop mechanic. So, each manufacturer prints a recommended tension next to or on a bolt to make sure you do not over tighten the bolt. This counts for clamps and bolts to. Take care to tighten the bolt to where it should be, not where you think it should be. If you can exercise that type of restraint then this could be one of the most valuable and useful tools you’ll ever invest in.
2. Chain Checker
This humble piece of steel is the simplest way to test wear on a chain. (Riding with a worn chain can lead to far bigger problems, all of which will impact your wallet). The M-Wave Bicycle Chain Checker will alert you to when your chain is slack or stretched through use and needs replacement. It has pride-of-place in our workshop.
3. Chain riveting tool
To replace a worn chain, insert a hot link in a broken chain, or get a new chain to the correct length a riveting tool is invaluable. Operation is fairly self-explanatory and this model features an ergonomic handle and non-slip chain guide to make the whole process a lot less frustrating.
4. High volume floor pump with compressed air chamber or tire booster
Often the first ‘real’ home tool cyclists buy when they go from ‘hobby’ to ‘serious’ is a good floor pump. Take that a step further with this handy combination which features a high volume pump and storage for compressed air. We live in a tubeless world and this makes mounting tubeless tyres effortless. The spinoff to that (hopefully) is that you will be checking and replacing tyre sealant more regularly, which would lead to less punctures. See what we did there?
5. Tyre pressure gauge
Tyre pressure is one of (if not the) easiest (and cheapest) way to improve the performance of your bike. Whether you check that pressure with the gauge on your pump or by using an accurate digital gauge, it’s something that should be done be just about every ride. In simple terms, the lower the pressure, the faster rolling the tire, the softer the ride and ultimately the better the grip which leads to better performance.
Read more about tyres here...
Bonus: For the more serious mechanic
Gone next level? Get these:
Brake bleeding kit.
Crank removal tool.