No fuss, no muss - here are 10 items you'll need to maintain your bike from home!
Without maintenance, your bicycle state will suffer – which can jeopardize your safety or spoil the pleasure of your bike rides.
Therefore it is always good to learn how to use some essential tools for the daily maintenance of your equipment.
Here's how you can start by building your own bicycle tool kit!
Having a floor pump at home is essential. With it, you can check the correct pressure of your tires and re-inflate them if necessary.
Your floor pump must be suitable for the different types of valves you will be using.
There are mainly two types:
1. Presta valves
- Used for road bikes
2. Schrader valves (similar to car tyre valves)
- Generally intended for mountain bikes, city bikes and mountain bikes
Many models are compatible with both systems, but check that your pump is suitable for inflating the valves on your bikes.
Floor pumps that come with a pressure gauge are also useful for fine-tuning tyre pressure.
You could create your own stand from some old pipes or just invest in a stand for your workshop.
Both solutions work: the main thing is to be able to hang your bike and have your two hands free to fix it.
This tool will be useful to you often, be it during simple cleaning and lubricating or assorted repairs you may perform.
Having a set of Allen keys is crucial for cyclists, as they are required to make adjustments or make some common fix on almost every bolt on your bike.
Although a multi-tool kit is more commonly brought on rides, we advise you to have a set of separate Allen keys in your workshop. This is because the L-shaped design of these keys are more suitable for reaching places that would be difficult for your multitool.
PRO-TIP: If some parts of your bike are carbon, invest in torque wrenches. They are certainly a little more expensive, but having them reduces the risk of weakening your seat tubes, stems or hangers by excessive tightening.
While most modern bikes are transitioning to a full ensemble of Allen or hex bolts, many legacy bikes and components continue to use either a Philips or flat screw, especially on parts like derailleur adjustments.
Therefore it is important that you keep one of each type in your toolbox to make the necessary adjustments.
Think of the pedal wrench as a fairly large Allen key, but with a much longer arm lever that provides you the strength you need to tighten or loosen your pedals!
This tool is inspired by physical law: the longer the arm, the more force you have to make the same effort.
With this tool, you can regularly grease the axle of your pedals or replace pedals automatically, for example.
A chain tool is essential for replacing or modifying the length of your chain.
- You'll find this tool useful when you break your chain, especially on mountain bikes because of rapid gear changes.
- Using a chain tool will also make repairs easier and simpler!
- You can settle for a lighter model that fits in your pocket. Some multitools contain a chain tool as well.
Over time, the spokes of bicycle wheels loosen after use. In the case of off-road use, the wheels can even buckle due to spokes de-tensioning under the strain of repeated impacts.
The spoke wrench (sometimes referred to as a spoke 'key') allows you to adjust the tension of your spokes and correct uneven tension.
Comprising of patches, tire levers and glue, the repair kit allows you to repair punctures during your ride or at home.
- Choose small patches for the inner tube of your road bike and larger patches for mountain bikes.
- Note that these patches will not work on tubeless tyres commonly found on modern mountain bikes. You can instead carry a specialized tubeless tyre repair kit similar to those used on automobile tyres.
Replacing your cables without proper cable cutters is a real pain!
Whether damaged or worn out, the rubber part of your cable housing tends to shrink over time and the excess wire casing needs to be cut off.
For optimum operation, invest in bike-specific cable cutters which finely slice your cables and sleeves, without pinching or damage. It will be much easier to slide in the cables through the housing.
It is better to be safe than sorry with the unpredictable weather in Singapore.
This Teflon all-weather lubricant is designed to keep your drivetrain (chains, cassettes, derailleurs) lubricated and functioning smoothly in all weather conditions during trainings and competitions.
Teflon provides very good adherence to the drivetrain, even in wet conditions.
Once your toolbox is filled with these useful accessories, it's time to learn how to use them properly. There are many free tutorials available on the internet that can aid you in your quest. Good luck and have fun!