Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Useful bike-specific tools

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Useful bike-specific tools

Old 09-08-21, 09:50 PM
  #1  
Dr1v3n
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Useful bike-specific tools

I'll primarily be maintaining 1 road and 1 gravel bike (both Giants with Shimano groupsets). Over the years, I've built up quite a bit of general tools. I already have hex sets (SAE and metric), torx, pliers, channel locks, hammers, etc... This is what has turned me away from purchasing a complete "home bike mechanic" set - I already have half+ the tools.

What I'm wondering is, which bike-specific tools would you recommend purchasing e.g. to work with:

1. The chain
2. Disc brakes/rim brakes
3. Torquing the fasteners down to a specific spec (I have a HUGE truck torque wrench, not useful here)
4. Any other useful tools for dereilleurs, headset, or other general bike work?

One thing I did see were these sprocket brush tools that I want to grab, and perhaps the Park Tool 4B book or whatever its called. In general, I'd prefer Park or some other quality tool brand but even just general tool types and what they would be used for could be useful. Thanks.
Dr1v3n is offline  
Old 09-08-21, 11:46 PM
  #2  
Geepig
Senior Member
 
Geepig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Eastern Poland
Posts: 736

Bikes: Romet Jubilat x 4, Wigry x 1, Turing x 1

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
Liked 193 Times in 146 Posts
I cannot say what bike specific tools you need because I am not that familiar with your bikes; however, I would not be too put off from purchasing a set of tools if it had some very useful ones for my purpose just because I already have some of them. There will always be some unusual task that may require more than one of a particular tool, or one where tools have to be used in non-standard ways. For example, yesterday I was using two sockets plus a nut and bolt to press out a sleeve from one end of a rear suspension unit, and of course the nut required the same size socket.

Plus anything offering a 10 mm socket or spanner should always be considered....
Geepig is offline  
Old 09-09-21, 06:30 AM
  #3  
Hondo6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 136

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 45 Times in 30 Posts
If you do your own chain/cassette maintenance and replacements, a chain tool, chain pliers, and cassette lockring tool are IMO "must haves". If you do your own wheel/hub service, IMO cone wrenches are a must if any of your wheels have cup&cone bearings (not needed if your hubs are sealed bearing designs). These are all relatively inexpensive, even if you go the higher quality route (Part Tool or Ice Toolz).

Depending on how experienced you are with mechanical work and judging torque by "feel", a set (1/4" and 3/8" drive) of inexpensive torque wenches might be a good buy as well - the 1/4" drive in particular if you work on carbon components. Ditto a set of metric Allen wrench drivers (sets of 13 ranging from 2.5mm to about 10/12mm are available) if you don't have them already. But a pair of even lower-end torque wrenches are going to cost you around $50 or more. The set of Allen wrench drivers can be had for <$20.

Many other bike specific tools exist, but you may or may not need them depending on the precise equipment you have.

Just my proverbial "two-cents worth".

Last edited by Hondo6; 09-09-21 at 06:35 AM. Reason: Add info inadvertently omitted in the original.
Hondo6 is offline  
Old 09-09-21, 06:58 AM
  #4  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 7,441

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1847 Post(s)
Liked 1,106 Times in 701 Posts
By all means get yourself a CT-3.x chain tool, and the Shimano cassette lockring tool (FR-5.2). I suspect the 5.2G can be made to work with 12 mm through axles, if you have those, but I haven't personally verified that. The big CT-3 is worth having in your toolbox over the dinky little versions. I've done fine with regular pliers to get quick links off, so I don't think chain pliers are required. A good cable cutter is great, although you can get by with a Dremel cutoff wheel.

Think about what you'll need to fix common problems on the road. Each of my bikes has a seat bag with a spare tube, patch kit, tire levers, and multi-tool. Add your choice of either inflator and CO2 cartridges or a pump. (Note my flat tire kit gets a lot more use than the multi-tool.)

For the rest, wait until you need a tool to buy it. Steel bike with integrated derailer hanger? Might want a derailer alignment gauge. Wheels breaking spokes and/or going out of true? Load up with appropriate size spoke wrench, truing stand, and tensiometer. Unless you buy the Park catalog, there's always going to be a tool you didn't think of; and if you do buy one of everything, you're going to be sitting on a bunch of unused, expensive tools.
pdlamb is online now  
Old 09-09-21, 11:37 AM
  #5  
icemilkcoffee 
Senior Member
 
icemilkcoffee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,116
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 654 Post(s)
Liked 502 Times in 306 Posts
Good tools make fixing bikes way more enjoyable. But the first thing I would recommend, is a good sturdy bike stand!
icemilkcoffee is online now  
Likes For icemilkcoffee:
Old 09-09-21, 11:55 AM
  #6  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 8,337

Bikes: 85 team Miyata (modern 5800 105) , '84 Team Miyata,(dura ace old school) 80?? SR Semi-Pro 600 Arabesque

Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1679 Post(s)
Liked 1,221 Times in 764 Posts
Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Good tools make fixing bikes way more enjoyable. But the first thing I would recommend, is a good sturdy bike stand!
this the best tool I have ever bought was my park PCS 10

if you think you will be doing this on a regular basis buy good tools it is cheaper over time.... a $10 chain can work well until it doesn't but the $37 park works so much better and will last forever
squirtdad is online now  
Old 09-09-21, 12:43 PM
  #7  
Vintage_Cyclist
Senior Member
 
Vintage_Cyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Big Apple
Posts: 1,501

Bikes: yes

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 461 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 222 Times in 97 Posts
Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
this the best tool I have ever bought was my park PCS 10
I'll second the PCS-10. I used to have a PCS-1, which I named Mister Wobbles, for obvious reasons. Even if you get a different brand stand, it should have a vertical adjustment to raise and lower the bike. Your back will thank you.

One tool I have, that is not bike specific, is a 6" Dewalt trigger clamp. It works like a dream for adjusting rim caliper brakes.

Also, a JIS +2 screwdriver for those derailleur set screws (they're not Phillips).
Vintage_Cyclist is offline  
Likes For Vintage_Cyclist:
Old 09-09-21, 04:49 PM
  #8  
SoSmellyAir
Method to My Madness
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 1,510

Bikes: Cannondale Synapse, Trek FX 2

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 729 Post(s)
Liked 457 Times in 344 Posts
These are the bike specific starter tools which I have amassed so far:

1. Mini torque wrench: Amazon.com : Topeak Nano TorqBar 6 with 5 Tool bits, 6nm : Sports & Outdoors (there are also 5nm and 4 nm versions)
2. Tripod bike stand: Ultralight Bike Repair Stand | Feedback Sports
3. Cassette lock ring tool: Amazon.com : Park Tool FR-5.2 Cassette Lockring Tool - Fits Shimano, SRAM, SunRace, SunTour, Chris King, Others : Sports & Outdoors
4. Chain link tool: Amazon.com : Park Tool CT-3.3 Bicycle Chain Tool : Sports & Outdoors
5. Chain quick link pliers (for both opening and closing quick links): Amazon.com : Super B 2-in-1 Master Link Pliers (The Trident) : Sports & Outdoors
6. Chain wear checker: Amazon.com : Chain Checker Plus II, Black : Sports & Outdoors

In addition to the above, I also have Park Tool CWP-7 (crank puller), BBT-22 (bottom bracket tool), CG-2.4 (chain scrubber) and a 2 quart Crock Pot for chain waxing.
SoSmellyAir is offline  
Likes For SoSmellyAir:
Old 09-09-21, 05:24 PM
  #9  
SoSmellyAir
Method to My Madness
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 1,510

Bikes: Cannondale Synapse, Trek FX 2

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 729 Post(s)
Liked 457 Times in 344 Posts
Originally Posted by Hondo6 View Post
Depending on how experienced you are with mechanical work and judging torque by "feel", a set (1/4" and 3/8" drive) of inexpensive torque wenches might be a good buy as well - the 1/4" drive in particular if you work on carbon components. Ditto a set of metric Allen wrench drivers (sets of 13 ranging from 2.5mm to about 10/12mm are available) if you don't have them already. But a pair of even lower-end torque wrenches are going to cost you around $50 or more.
I agree that a torque wrench is mandatory for carbon fiber components. Luckily all the bolts for the carbon components on my bike are 6 Nm, so I bought this reputable but inexpensive one: (Amazon.com : Topeak Nano TorqBar 6 with 5 Tool bits, 6nm : Sports & Outdoors). An additional advantage is that this mini torque wrench fits where others do not, e.g., forward bolt of Cannondale Save seat post (15 mm offset).
SoSmellyAir is offline  
Old 09-09-21, 06:46 PM
  #10  
Hondo6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 136

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 45 Times in 30 Posts
Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
I agree that a torque wrench is mandatory for carbon fiber components. Luckily all the bolts for the carbon components on my bike are 6 Nm, so I bought this reputable but inexpensive one: (Amazon.com : Topeak Nano TorqBar 6 with 5 Tool bits, 6nm : Sports & Outdoors). An additional advantage is that this mini torque wrench fits where others do not, e.g., forward bolt of Cannondale Save seat post (15 mm offset).
FWIW, Harbor Freight sells a rather inexpensive but serviceable 1/4" drive torque wrench for just under $20, and a 3/8" drive model for not too much more. Both are "click" type vice beam. They're not truly what I'd call precision instruments, but should be accurate enough to avoid an expensive "Oops" followed by a lengthy period of swearing. (smile)

But neither comes with any Allen driver sockets. Those have to be purchased separately.

Last edited by Hondo6; 09-09-21 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Add info and correct poor wording.
Hondo6 is offline  
Old 09-09-21, 07:21 PM
  #11  
cyrano138 
Senior Member
 
cyrano138's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Venice, FL
Posts: 575

Bikes: 1986 Schwinn LeTour, 1977 Raleigh Super Course (converted to fixed gear), 199X GT outpost

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 126 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 32 Posts
This is probably going to make me sound like a complete dummy but I swear the"fifth hand" thing someone gave me has kept me from setting more than a few bikes on fire and walking away.
cyrano138 is offline  
Old 09-09-21, 11:05 PM
  #12  
zandoval 
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 3,019

Bikes: Univega, Peu P6, Peu PR-10, Ted Williams, Peu UO-8, Peu UO-18 Mixte, Peu Dolomites

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 413 Post(s)
Liked 588 Times in 403 Posts
Originally Posted by Dr1v3n View Post
...but even just general tool types and what they would be used for could be useful. Thanks.
Here are a few that I have found quite usefull over the years. Of course you may already have them...


__________________
No matter where your at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
zandoval is offline  
Old 09-09-21, 11:59 PM
  #13  
Hondo6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 136

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 45 Times in 30 Posts
Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
These are the bike specific starter tools which I have amassed so far:
6. Chain wear checker: Amazon.com : Chain Checker Plus II, Black : Sports & Outdoors
Good catch on the chain wear checker. Can't believe I forgot that in my first comment above - pretty "bike specific", and even a cheap version can save $$$ via avoiding premature chainring and sprocket wear-out. It really is a pretty essential tool.

The Pedro's unit you linked looks quite nice - much nicer than the one I have now. Might need to consider getting one of those myself.
Hondo6 is offline  
Old 09-10-21, 12:08 AM
  #14  
SoSmellyAir
Method to My Madness
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 1,510

Bikes: Cannondale Synapse, Trek FX 2

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 729 Post(s)
Liked 457 Times in 344 Posts
Originally Posted by Hondo6 View Post
Good catch on the chain wear checker. Can't believe I forgot that in my first comment above - pretty "bike specific", and even a cheap version can save $$$ via avoiding premature chainring and sprocket wear-out. It really is a pretty essential tool.

The Pedro's unit you linked looks quite nice - much nicer than the one I have now. Might need to consider getting one of those myself.
Yeah, the Pedro Chain Checker II is one of the few bike-specific tools which is better and cheaper than the Park Tool analog. It even has a chain ring nut wrench on one end.

I also forgot to mention the chain whip. Without one, the cassette lock ring tool is not all that useful.

Last edited by SoSmellyAir; 09-10-21 at 12:11 AM.
SoSmellyAir is offline  
Likes For SoSmellyAir:
Old 09-13-21, 01:07 AM
  #15  
Dr1v3n
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Thanks folks. I ended up purchasing a Pedro chain checker, master link tool, rivet tool, and torque wrench. That should get me a good start and the ability to replace my own chains as necessary and make sure my fasteners are tightened properly. Should I need to replace my cassette and such (or maybe even to do a deeper clean down the road) Iíll get a whip and the proper lock ring adapter thing when necessary. I also forgot to mention originally that I already had a bike mechanic stand.
Dr1v3n is offline  
Old 09-13-21, 01:50 AM
  #16  
Lazyass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minas Ithil
Posts: 9,330
Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2425 Post(s)
Liked 609 Times in 379 Posts
About 20 years ago I bought a cheap heat gun and I've used it countless times. Because it expands metal it will help break loose frozen bolts like chainrings, seat posts, ect. Nice for installing headset cups/lower bearing races, pressfit bottom bracket bearings, removes wheel decals and all kinds of other stuff you wouldn't think of. You can get one for less than $30.
Lazyass is offline  
Old 09-13-21, 08:47 AM
  #17  
Chuckles1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Foothills of West Central Maine
Posts: 378

Bikes: 2007 Motobecane Fantom Cross Expert, 2020 Motobecane Omni Strada Pro Disc (700c gravel bike), 2021 Motobecane Elite Adventure with Bafang 500W rear hub drive

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 159 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 133 Times in 86 Posts
1) bike work stand
2) chain whip
3) crank puller
4) cassette lock ring tool
5) bottom bracket removal tool
6) cable cutter (gotta get one of these myself)
Chuckles1 is offline  
Old 09-13-21, 05:17 PM
  #18  
SoSmellyAir
Method to My Madness
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 1,510

Bikes: Cannondale Synapse, Trek FX 2

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 729 Post(s)
Liked 457 Times in 344 Posts
Originally Posted by Chuckles1 View Post
6) cable cutter (gotta get one of these myself)
I too am looking for recommendations for a cable cutter (both braking and derailleur).
SoSmellyAir is offline  
Old 09-14-21, 07:27 AM
  #19  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 7,441

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1847 Post(s)
Liked 1,106 Times in 701 Posts
I've got a Pedros cable cutter that works well enough. Beats pulling out the Dremel to cut cables and housing.

Of course, perfect is the enemy of good enough. Wonder if anyone can find a Hozan for Christmas?
pdlamb is online now  
Old 09-14-21, 09:33 AM
  #20  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 25,160

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 136 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4808 Post(s)
Liked 2,362 Times in 1,397 Posts
Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
I too am looking for recommendations for a cable cutter (both braking and derailleur).
Itís hard to beat the Park CN-10. They are heavier duty than many others. The Pedroís, for example, have sheet metal handles while the Parkís are forged solid metal. They are a little less flexible. They also have a better crimping mechanism for cable ends.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 09-14-21, 09:43 AM
  #21  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 25,160

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 136 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4808 Post(s)
Liked 2,362 Times in 1,397 Posts
Originally Posted by Dr1v3n View Post
Should I need to replace my cassette and such (or maybe even to do a deeper clean down the road) Iíll get a whip and the proper lock ring adapter thing when necessary. I also forgot to mention originally that I already had a bike mechanic stand.
I hate chain whips! A much better tool for removing the cassette is the Pedroís Vise Whip. Yes, a bit expensive but it works so much better than a chain whip. Iíd also suggest the Pedroís socket handle for the lockring. Youíll need get sockets for the handle to use on lockring but itís a great tool that provides lots of leverage and doesnít slip like an adjustable wrench can. You can also get a variety of other tools that fit the socket for bottom brackets. I use mine all the time.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 09-14-21, 04:38 PM
  #22  
sapporoguy
Senior Member
 
sapporoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 187

Bikes: 2000 Santana Sovereign SE; 2005 Co-Motion Speedster; Kona Kilauea with various dorky commuter accouterments; Mercier Kilo TT fixie; Burley Fladbed trailer for groceries, bags of cement and the like.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 56 Times in 22 Posts
My precisely engineered custom chainwhip has worked like a charm for years. Just used it last night.
sapporoguy is offline  
Old 09-14-21, 10:20 PM
  #23  
SoSmellyAir
Method to My Madness
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 1,510

Bikes: Cannondale Synapse, Trek FX 2

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 729 Post(s)
Liked 457 Times in 344 Posts
Originally Posted by sapporoguy View Post
My precisely engineered custom chainwhip has worked like a charm for years. Just used it last night.
I like it! Environmentally-conscious product made from recycled materials, with that highly sought-after rustic, distressed, salt-of-the earth look and feel. On top of that, probably works better as a self-defense weapon than the $11 one I bought from Amazon years ago. Perfect product to heal our divided nation.
SoSmellyAir is offline  
Old 09-14-21, 10:25 PM
  #24  
SoSmellyAir
Method to My Madness
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 1,510

Bikes: Cannondale Synapse, Trek FX 2

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 729 Post(s)
Liked 457 Times in 344 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
... doesnít slip like an adjustable wrench can.
Someone on YouTube taught me to secure the Park Tool FR-5.2 lock ring socket onto the cassette lock ring with a QR skewer (without using the springs that come with) before turning it with an adjustable wrench.
SoSmellyAir is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.