Back into Biking After 30 Years
The combination of middle age spread and my youngest son wanting a larger bike led me back to biking. I just purchased a used Nishiki Ariel Mountain Bike (1989 model) at a yard sale at a great price. My youngest has a used Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo (1990) and my oldest has a TreK 820 purchased new. Additionally I have my original 10-speed Raleigh Record, still in great shape. For now, we are taking local rides and working on the Gary Fisher and the Nishiki. I am trying to determine if I should buy bike tools to allow me to work on the bikes. No way I want to pay a bike shop for a complete overhaul of a used bike I payed low bucks for. But the bike shop wants $150 to $300 for a set of bike tools. It would be cheaper to buy a couple of Schwinns at Targets! Any advice anyone can offer on what tools are needed for chain testing and replacement, lubrication of crank set and axles or other neccessary tools to maintain these bikes would be greatly appreciated. I have many tools from my early years when I worked on cars, but no special tools for bikes.
Welcome back to riding rocco. I only have a few basic tools such as chain tool, pedal wrench, hex set, tire levers, and just basic every stuff. I do a lot of my own tuning. When it comes to tearing down a BB etc I leave that up to the LBS. So I basically have very little money tied up in tools but do 90% of everything that needs done including all shifting adjustments, new cables, new chain, true wheels and keep everything else good and tight. That takes care of almost everything. Once a year I drop the bike(s) by the lbs (in the winter) and get the bearings, hubs and BB checked out etc,...
I have never bothered to buy a chain tester. A ruler works fine. Pin to pin should be exactly 12 inches on any bike (including motorcycles) Anything longer means your chain has stretched and it's time for a new one. On most bikes, the tools for tearing down a bottom bracket and rebuilding it are very cheap. I buy tools as needed for a specific job and now have enough to do just about anything. Regular metric wrenches, sockets, and allens will work for most bike repairs. I made my own wheel truing device out of an old fork. It's not as nice as a good quality truing stand but it works fine for the minor truing I do from time to time. As far as tools go, Park Tools are the industry standard, but often another company called Spin Doctor has a compatible tool for a much lower price. Spin Doctor tools are available from Performance.