Fifty Plus (50+) - Basic bike repair/maintenance kit
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01-10-08, 12:52 PM
As I plunge into the exciting world of bike wrenching, I want to get the basic tools I'll use often right away. I know many of you say that you wait to buy a tool until you need it, and for the more complicated things, that's what I'll do as well. But as I'm starting out, I want to put together the most commonly used things all at once, so I won't have to make several trips to the bike / hardware store.
I'm going to look for a used repair stand, but until then I will use my trunk mounted bike rack as a stand and work outdoors.
I have a multi-tool in the bike bag, and I have an assortment of slotted and Philips screwdrivers, a couple of crescent wrenches, a utility knife, some loose allen wrenches of various sizes, a wrench for removing pedals, and a few other odds and ends. I plan to get a small box to carry all this stuff out to the car.
So, what else would you suggest?
I would get a 3 ply, corrugated box, preferably in white.
01-10-08, 01:04 PM
So, what else would you suggest?
01-10-08, 01:05 PM
So, what else would you suggest?
A can of Billy Carter degreaser?
01-10-08, 01:07 PM
I knew I could count on this group!
01-10-08, 01:13 PM
You already have the tools you need- screwdriver- Pliers and a hammer- Don't lose the hammer.
Done some searching for you and PBK have quite a following in the US as some of their items are cheaper. And TODAY- there is an extra 15% discount. Just remember that we may be a little pricey here in the UK though.
01-10-08, 01:21 PM
The metric allen wrenches will take care of most of your maintenance. The multi tool is nice for taking on a ride....most bang for the buck, but for home an inexpensive set of L shaped metric allen wrenches works better. (you use the one you need without the others getting in the way)
A pair (1) of bicycle cable cutters and the above allen wrenches will give you the ability to recable a bicycle. By the time you have mangled a few cables and learned to make the necessary brake and derailleur adjustments to set up the new cables you will be well on your way to performing real maintenance.
Changing cassettes and chains is up next. Needed, a chain tool, a cassette removal tool and a chain whip (chips....dips....chains....whips!). Read the Park Tool Online guide to understand why. If you buy chains like SRAM you will only need the chain tool to remove excess links, you will never need to press in a pin because the magic replaceable link takes care of that.
Master these skills well and you are 90% there. Other jobs still go to the LBS..........see, I'm being gentile to you DG.
01-10-08, 01:28 PM
see, I'm being gentile to you DG.
01-10-08, 01:47 PM
To Maddmaxx's list I'd add:
Spoke wrench - one with multiple size slots will do.
Old toothbrush - to clean parts.
Lots of rags and good cleaning fluid
8 thur 11 mm open ended wrenches
If you're going after the bottom bracket you'll need special tools for that as well as special tools for replacing the headset. However, as you begin to do basic work, you may quickly gain I idea for how much of this work you want to do and how much, if any, you want your LBS to do. For example, I almost always have the shop remove and replace headset cups.
01-10-08, 01:49 PM
I would add a notebook/binder and either the spec sheets /instruction manuals with new purchases or search for PDFs to printout for equipment already on your bike.
The Shimano install pages walk through the specific steps for setting up brifters for example.
The Park tool site is also very good, but won't always point to the specific screw on your dérailleurs.
Notebook is handy for general tracking of maintenance - mileage at changing chain or tires or cleats. Especially when working on multiple bikes.
Don't forget brushes, degreaser, rags, etc
01-10-08, 01:53 PM
The most important tool in the box is Zinn's "The art of roadbike maintenance" It gives the reasons why the parts are what they are, the history of why they got that way and the ways to fix them. And Zinn's writing is fun to read. Almost as much fun as the Sheldon Brown Chronicles.
01-10-08, 02:13 PM
Starting to get serious now- but the basic kit to work on a bike is
Allen keys-selection of METRIC from 2mm to 6 but as you buy them in a set- 2 to 8 is the norm.
Screwdrivers- Flat head and Phillips and a kit of 3 of each can be had at most hardware stores
Spanners- Only size I ever use is a 10mm spanner but a small adjustable suffices-And a pedal spanner.
First job you may have to do is change the cables. First tool you have to get is a cable cutter. from experience- the Shimano one is best- others I have bought work just as well but were cumbersome to use (Pliers do not cut cables well)And If you wish to attempt it-Outer cable and cable ends- both inner and outer.
Then as jobs come up- buy the tools to do the job- but for simple maintenance- You do not need much more. The special bike tools are expensive- and although i have used cheaper ones- they do not last.
Possibly the next line up of tools to purchase are Cone Spanners-2 of each and all sizes from 13 to 17 works for me. Then the rear cassete tools- bottom bracket tool- Crank removal tool and then you get above what you may need. Spoke spanner perhaps but don't try it yet.
Or you can get a "Full" Bike kit at an economic price if you look around. Not that it is a full kit but could give you the basics.
01-10-08, 02:43 PM
It would be a bit of an investment (close to $100) but this would get you up-to-speed (or just about) with a great set of tools. I've tried many. Generally, I like Park the best. The Park website also has a good repair section. Between that and the Zinn book, you could get in all kinds of interesting trouble.
01-10-08, 03:07 PM
Don't forget your cell phone and the six pack you normally leave for the bike shop mechanic. You're gonna need them both.
01-10-08, 03:09 PM
>>> So, what else would you suggest?
Tools for removing/replacing all the 'flavors' of bottom brackets you have.
15mm cone wrench. . .for pedals.
Make an explicit search for all the allen wrenches, drivers, and tiny wrenches you'll need on ALL you bikes and make sure they're in the kit.
Hire out all of your wheel, spoke, cassette, and headset work since it's low-frequency and sometimes takes a pro's 'feel' to get them right or require specific tools you'll use once per decade. . .just make sure your 'pro' is a mensch.
01-10-08, 03:49 PM
No regrets Coyote,
But please, never use a cone wrech for a pedal wrench. Far too thin.
Rick / OCRR
01-10-08, 03:49 PM
For cable work, I like a standard wire cutter for the cable, and a Dremel for the housing. Use the cutoff wheel slowly to avoid melting the outer cover or inner teflon... I use a method of touching the cutter to the housing and backing off repeatedly to cut through without heating it up too much.
However, if you have no other uses for a Dremel (polishing vintage bike parts etc) then the previously mentioned cable tool is your best bet.
A freewheel removal tool for your Fuji.
01-10-08, 08:34 PM
If the 7 speed bikes have cassettes, you probably need 2 chain whips to remove the cassette. I don't think they are freewheels, the 7 speeds I have are shimano and have a screw-on small cog, instead of a lock ring. The 8,9,and 10 speeds have lock rings and can be removed with 1 chain whip and a lock ring tool, (the same one).
Do get a chain breaker and practice putting the chain together. I carry a Ritchey multi-tool on the bike with a chain breaker and it has helped get people going again many times.
Also, practice truing wheels and get a feel for spoke tension, since you have so many wheels to practice on. I like to squeeze the spokes and spin the wheels when I am lubing the chain.
Time and experience will give you the confidence to tackle nearly any bike repair. Don't be afraid to ask questions, (I know you're not).
01-10-08, 08:51 PM
It probably doesn't have a freewheel removal socket but they are $5 - $10 each.
Most likely one is: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.cfm?SKU=712&item=70-1285&slitrk=search&slisearch=true
Cable cutter. I haven't found one that holds up yet.
01-10-08, 08:53 PM
Never mind my previous list....................Zinn...............now.................go.
Edit: You pay for the postage...........I'll send you a copy.
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