Bicycle Mechanics - Tools needed for bike build
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I am thinking of building up a new bike for my wife and have been looking at the Nashbar touring frame and fork. I have not built a bike before and not sure which tools, bike specific, that I may need. I will not be building the wheels so will not need a truing stand or dishing gauge.
What bike specific tools would I need to build up a bike and do it right? I have the basic tools like wrenches and screwdrivers and such.
08-30-11, 05:49 PM
The specialty tools needed are totally dependent on the bike frame and components you are going to use. Normal tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, sockets are more universal. In other words a bike built with Shimano components will use some specialty tools that will be different than if you were using Campy components. It is an impossible question to answer. Roger
I am learning stuff already. Did not know that there would be a difference but I am sure it will be built with Shimano components not Campy.
08-30-11, 06:13 PM
A basic set of tools will probably always include:
-standard #2 philips and flat screwdrivers,
-2.5,3,4,5,6,7,8,10mm allen keys,
-6,8,9,10,15mm socket wrenches,
-a 9-10mm open end box wrench,
-13,14,15,16mm cone wrenches,
-8 inch and 12 inch adjustable crescent wrenches,
-chain rivet tool
-bottom bracket tool(s) - depends on type (e.g. old style lock ring + hole spanners, isis, octalink, etc)
-crankset extractor tool
-cassette lock ring removal tool (usually a Shimano splined remover these days)
-manual screwdriver w/ bit set that includes torx, star, square, etc. bits
-pair of good scissors
-small channelocks (nice to have)
-set of good diagonal cutters (nice to have)
-good bike oil and grease
I probably forgot something on the list, but that should get you pretty far on the assembly. This is assuming the frame come aligned, and head tube and BB are faced, and the BB is chased, and all mounting holes and braze-on locations are de-burred.
08-30-11, 07:36 PM
bbunk: To gyozadude's list I'd add bike-specific cable cutters (Felco, Park, Shimano) and a medium-cut file to square the ends of the cut cable housings. A long-nosed pliers and a third-hand tool for attaching/tensioning cables come in handy too if you are working alone.
A pedal wrench is essential to avoid stripping out crank threads due to pedals working loose; a regular 15mm wrench may not fit nor give sufficient leverage. I like to use Tef-Gel grease to avoid dissimilar-metal joints, like pedals and cranks, freezing due to electrolytic corrosion. Stainless steel pedal washers are cheap and help as well.
If you are working at a workbench and don't want to invest in a regular repair stand, a "Sunlite Bottom Bracket Type Bicycle Display Stand" comes in handy, especially for derailleur adjustments. It's also useful for storage if you bike doesn't have a kickstand.
Good luck with your build!
08-30-11, 08:42 PM
Only tool you need is a 5mm Allen wrench. Just kidding but at least have a couple of them around so when you can't find one you have a backup.
Building a bike is a worthwhile endeavor. Enjoy it - even the frustrating parts.
And, be sure to come here for helpful advice.
08-30-11, 08:58 PM
bbunk: The Web is a tool as well; the Park Tool and Sheldon Brown Web sites particularly, as well as many others, are great resources which you may find useful. And this forum, of course!
08-31-11, 10:34 AM
If you want to save some cash and not buy a repair stand do the following:
1. Put utility hook or eye-bolt in ceiling/rafter.
2. Take a length of rope/utility cord (5mm thick) and tie it in a loop (if using an eyebolt pass it through the eye bolt before tying into loop).
3. Adjust size of loop so that when hung on hook in ceiling the end is about forehead level.
4. Put seat on seatpost.
5. install seatpost in frame.
6. Slip end of loop around seat and seatpost
7. Continue building bike.
Put the wheels on the frame (with tires/tubes) and place bike on floor to torque down bottom bracket.
08-31-11, 04:33 PM
I knew I forgot stuff on this list:
- Headset cup installer
- Headset cup remover
- crown race setter
- star nut setter
Most the above is possible to make yourself with some research online and going to Home Depot or other hardware store.
08-31-11, 05:20 PM
The reality is if you are using modern components you can pretty much get away with a few tools.
I built a bike up for my wife a couple of years ago using dura-ace and ultegra components and almost everything used a 5mm allen wrench.
The only component specific tools you would need are a chain tool, cassette tool, the tool to install your specific bottom bracket and something to press in your headset cups...there are ways around buying a headset press.
For the bottom bracket and the headset you can get a shop to install these for relatively little money and can save on buying these tools...though a bottom bracket tool is not very expensive.
For building a bike you don't need crank arm extractors as someone else mentioned...depending on your cranks/bottom bracket you will need a 14mm socket, 8mm allen, or 10mm allen wrench.
you don't need cone wrenches to build a bike if your hubs are already properly adjusted but if they need to be adjusted the proper size cone wrench is indispensable...unless you have higher end campy hubs or easton hubs that do not require cone wrenches to adjust.
Here is a list of parts fasteners and the tool you will need:
1. Headset (with cups already pressed into frame and crown already installed on fork) - 5mm allen wrench
You can get away with using a socket as guide to hammer in the star nut into the fork steerer tube or buy the appropriate tool
2. Seat post clamp bolt - most likely a 5mm or 6mm allen wrench...slight possibility a 4mm allen wrench
3. Seat post binder bolt - 5mm or 4mm allen wrench
4. Headset/stem top cap - 5mm allen wrench (possibly 4mm)
5. Stem bolts at steerer tube interface - 4mm or 5mm allen wrench
6. stem bolts at handlebar clamp - 4mm or 5mm allen wrench
7. Rear deraileur mounting bolt- 5mm allen wrench (possibly 4mm or 6mm but increasingly rare)
8. Rear derailleur cable anchor bolt - 5mm allen
9. Front derailleur clamp and cable anchor bolts - 5mm allen
10. Front and rear derailleur limit screws - #1 philips screwdriver
12. brifters/brake levers - 5mm allen (possibly 4mm)
13. water bottle braze-on bolts/riv-nut bolts - 4mm or 5mm allen
14. Brake calipers - 5mm allen
15. If using a threaded headset - 32mm or 36mm wrench X2
16. If using a quill stem - 6mm allen (possible a 5mm allen)
17. Cassette - Shimano/Sram compatible tool or Campy compatible tool depending on what brand you are using + either 1 inch wrench or a large adjustable wrench.
18. Bottom bracket - tool specific to type of bottom bracket
19. Crankset - if square taper- 14mm socket. If one key release 6mm or 8mm allen...if campy ultra-torque 10mm allen. Possibly also 5mm allen or 4mm allen for non-drive side crank of some models of external bearing bottom bracket compatible cranksets.
20. Front hub - 13mm cone wrench + 15mm wrench
21. Rear hub - 13mm or 15mm cone wrench + 17mm wrench
Also a needle-nose pliers is nice to have to pull cables taught with.
Hope that helps.
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