essential bike tools and maintenance thread

semlin

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i am a newby to working on mtbs. i trying to figure out what stuff to get to maintain my bike. i have spent time looking and there doesn't seem to be a good intro "kit" that has what i need without duplicating a bunch of stuff in my vehicle tool kit (i have plenty of wrenches/sockets/hex drivers/torx drivers/screwdrivers). so i am thinking i may have to go ala carte.

for tool kits this is about $250 and seems like overkill, but i can't see anything cheaper that looks to have decent quality and cover the waterfront:
Park Tool Website

for maintenance items like greases, oils etc... i have no idea what to get.

for "essential tools", i have done some research. my working list is as follows:

bike stand
tl602g04_new.jpg


allen key multi-tool

bottom bracket tool
PARK TOOL BBT-22 BOTTOM BRACKET TOOL at JensonUSA.com

tl402b03.jpg


crank puller
PEDROS UNIVERSAL CRANK REMOVER at JensonUSA.com

rear cassette socket tool
PARK FR-5 CASSETTE REMOVER at JensonUSA.com

tl707a05.jpg


cable cutter
41207.jpg


chain whip
sr1.jpg


pedal wrench
pw3.jpg


chain tool
ct3.jpg


if it matters, i have two bikes to maintain. one has circa 2003 xt hubs, xtr rear shifter, xt front shifter, raceface forged cranks and hayes 6" discs. the other has circa 1999 lx/dx shimano stuff and sidepull rim brakes.
 
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Don't buy one of those "all in one" kits unless you have nothing to start with.

All those tools listed look great. I would add that instead of an allen multi tool buy a good set of individuals for home repair. Park again has a really nice set. I would also add in a really nice chain cleaning tool. I have a Pedro's and I like it better than the Park it replaced.

Cleaning supplies: bar none: Pedros Citrus cleaner
Bike paint: Finish line protectant (like a wax for bikes)
Chain lube: DuMond tech both wet and dry depending on season and riding condtions, also works well for shifter cables and deraillers.
Grease: only one Phil's Waterproof Grease.

As with any repairs take your time and enjoy. One area to be extra careful is the bottom bracket. This can be easily stripped and or cross threaded during repairs. I would also recommend the "Zen: Art of MTN bike Maint" book. I saw them at Costco here in Portland last Christmas.

Clint
 
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Semlin-
I know us landcruiser wrenchers like good tools but i must say for the price, i have been happy with the spin doctor set (at performancebike.com). There big toolkit has the same tools as the monster parktools kit at 1/3 the price. The best part about the performancebike toolkit is the 100% satisfaction guarantee which means lifetime warranty. Yes i've had tools break (but i wrenched on a ton of bikes over the past many years) and they continue to send me new tools to my house no questions asked and no need to even return the broken tool. That customer service that is tough to beat. And if you are worried that the tools are made overseas, just read the backs of the other tool manufacturers (ie. pedros).
 
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My "home" bike tools are Wrench Force. I think they are made by or for Snap-On. I seriously doubt there are appreciable quality differences between them and Pedro's or Park or the tools manufactured for Performance and Nashbar. The tools in semlin's photos will do quite nicely.

I have a bunch of specialty tools though (headset install/removers, truing stands, aligners, facing tools, reamers, etc) and they're all one-time purchases. They range from some very nice stuff from Campy and Bringheli to high quality Park stuff. Problem is, other than the truing stand, I've used the vast majority of them maybe once or twice in the last 20 years or so. The collection in the first post is about all you really need.
 
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I have a mixture of bike and shop tools that I use for mtb repair and maintenence. I tend to buy the nicer (read more expensive) bike tools as it just seems to get the job done right and quick. The cheaper tools tend not to be ergonomic or precise leaving messed up bolts and knuckles as the tool flies off the part you're working on.
 

2mbb

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I can't tell with the bike stand but you should spend the money to get a clamp that raises and lowers and rotates.

A good set of tire levers--I like the pedros levers for all around use. The concept of the speed lever is nice, but I've broken one under heavy use. Park makes a heavy duty one, but it's overkill for home use.

If you're going to rebuild your axles you'll need cone wrenches.

x2 on the full set of allen wrenches. The multi-tools often won't let you remove the freehub fixing bolt, etc. I like the kind where the long end has a ball end and the short end a squared end.
 
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semlin

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Don't get an expensive tool set. A lot of tools included are for old bikes (eg. Cone wrenches are for adjusting preload for old style wheel hub bearing, although I found them very useful as generic tools in the garage). Today's bike are much simpler, 4,5,6mm allen (hex) wrench is pretty much all you need throughout the bikes. In addition, you might need special wrench for bottom bracket, cassette. (due to lack of standard, you will have to get those fit your bikes, but throughout time you will accumulate enough for a bike shop:cool:). A chain tool is also a must and if you don't have thin profile open wrench (15mm), you might also need a pedal wrench.

A good quality small set might be a good starting point, you can add more as needed.

As of the stand, you can try to build one your own as there are plenty of good plans on the web. Or keep an eye on the craigslist, I got mine professional Park PRS-2 for a very good price (pictured below).


Have fun:wrench:.
park_aws_1.jpg
park_prs-2.jpg
 
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Just a comment on chains and the options for removing/cleaning/re-lubricating: when I was racing (1970-1987) we had a choice of inexpensive $10 Regina chains and expensive $30 Regina chains. The difference between the two was wear durability. It made more sense to race an inexpensive chain for a few weeks and replace it rather than cleaning the expensive chain. Cleaning chains really takes the fun out of things. And that little bend you do to a chain after you tighten down the chain tool to get rid of the "kink" really starts to worry you when you think about chains breaking in sprints et cetera. You always wonder HTF does a chain break, when you see a little guy scraping his face across the road at 40 mph, when you outweigh him by 50 lbs and sprint / climb faster than him.
 

davegonz

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Semlin-
I know us landcruiser wrenchers like good tools but i must say for the price, i have been happy with the spin doctor set (at performancebike.com). There big toolkit has the same tools as the monster parktools kit at 1/3 the price. The best part about the performancebike toolkit is the 100% satisfaction guarantee which means lifetime warranty. Yes i've had tools break (but i wrenched on a ton of bikes over the past many years) and they continue to send me new tools to my house no questions asked and no need to even return the broken tool. That customer service that is tough to beat. And if you are worried that the tools are made overseas, just read the backs of the other tool manufacturers (ie. pedros).

Erwin,
Does that Spin Doctor kit have the tools to service the newer bottom brackets? I have a bunch of old Park tools, but don't have the right stuff for that Race Face crankset I bought from you. I think I need to update my bike tools.

My favorite bike tool is my Shimano cable cutter. Made in Japan and cuts like new (14 years old).
 

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