One of the more important aspects of owning a bike is looking after it. A little bit of TLC goes a long way to keeping your bike going well and looking good. And it doesn’t take a lot of effort.
Now I’m no bike mechanic, but I do know the basics of how to keep my bike(s) going. Over the years I haven’t spent much on tools, but I have got some specialist tools that from my point of view are invaluable. Spending a few quid on the right tools really makes the job easy!
Firstly, you can’t work on your bike without having a stand. I was lucky to pick up the daddy of bike stands second hand a few years ago – the Park Tools PCS-4. But you don’t need to go to this expense, you can pick one up in Aldi or Lidl for €30 or €40. If you haven’t got one yet, keep an eye out for those ones!
Next up allen keys or hex wrenches, whichever you prefer. Make sure to get the ones with the ‘ball’ ends – this allows them to be used at an angle – invaluable for example when trying to remove bottle cages.
A good cable cutters! I persevered for years with an ordinary cable cutters and many frayed cables later I splashed out my tenner for a proper one! Probably the best tenner I ever spent!
A track pump – that’s the one that you stand on. Again you can get them for cheap from the German discounters – my advice – spend €30 or €40 on a decent one.
And finally, a little more specialised – but a really great tool – a master link pliers. Like the cable cutters – I spent many a year messing around and generally swearing a lot with long nose pliers trying to open those magic chain links. This tool does that job in seconds. And the point is when it can be done simply and easily, then you’re more likely to do it – and if you can remove your chain easily it means you’re more likely to give your drivetrain a good clean.
I could go on, the potential list is endless - cassette removers, crank pullers, bottom bracket removal tools etc..etc.. but in my view, if you have those pieces of equipment above in your shed you’re off to a good start!