Avoid cheap tools. Mild steel will soon become worn and rounded, whereupon it will damage your bike. Good tools aren’t cheap. Fortunately, like other equipment, they can be included in your Cyclescheme package. So they’re an affordable investment.
Here’s what to get first. Items marked with an asterisk are part of your on-the-bike toolkit. The suggested examples illustrate what’s required but there are lots of other excellent options. Be guided by your local bike shop staff.
A multitool like the Lezyne V10 can stand in for separates (but is better for roadside use), while a multi-piece toolkit such as the Birzman Essential Tool Box is a convenient workshop starter set.
Essential not just for innertube changes and puncture repairs but to keep tyres at the right pressure. Two pumps are best: a floor pump, or track pump, with a pressure gauge for home use; and a small pump for roadside emergencies. Examples: SKS Air-X-Press 8.0, Topeak Mini Morph.
You’ll need at least: a light spray lube for displacing water and dirt, such as GT85; chain oil, such as Fenwicks Chain Lube; and grease, such as Green Oil Eco Grease.
Two is sufficient. Invest in ones that are hard to break. Example: Pedro’s Tyre Levers.
Puncture repair kit*
Only for roadside use when you’ve used your spare innertube(s). Example: Rema Tip Top TT02.
3, 4, 5 and 6mm are often required, but you may need smaller and larger ones too. Example: FWE Hex Key Wrench Set - or your multitool’s.
Mostly used to adjust derailleurs. JIS #2 is the size required. Example: Park Tool #2 Phillips - or your multitool’s.
Commonly used for disc brake rotors and callipers. Your bike may use other sizes elsewhere (e.g. chainring bolts). Example: Cyclo Y Torx Wrench (T25, T30, T40) - or your multitool’s.
You’ll need this when fitting a new chain or fixing a broken one. Example: Topeak Super Chain Tool - or your multitool’s.
Chain wear gauge
Tells you when to bin a worn chain and fit a new one. Example: Park Chain Wear Indicator.
True your wheel or at least eliminate the worst of the wobble. Example: M:Part Buddy Spokey.
8mm and 10mm for things like mudguard and brake bolts, thin 15mm open-ended spanner for pedal fitting/removal. Examples: Britool Expert Combination Spanners (8mm and 10mm), FWE 15mm Pedal Spanner.
To trim brake and gear cables and their outers. Example: Shimano TL-CT12 Cable Cutters.
Grip cables to hold them taut when fitting/adjusting. Also useful to crimp end caps when you install new cables. Example: Unior Tools Long Flat Nose Pliers.
Makes working on your bike a pleasure rather than a chore and greatly simplifies gear and brake adjustment. Example: Park Tool PCS-9 Home Mechanic Repair Stand.
Master these, then make a list of more specialised tools for your next Cyclescheme package…
Cheap doesn’t have to mean nasty. Choose wisely and you can buy a decent new commuter bike for £250 or less.
When your bike folds to the size of a suitcase, your cycle-to-work strategies will be different. Here are some tips.
White lines provide straightforward instructions – which are sometimes misunderstood or ignored. Here’s how to adjust your riding accordingly.