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Old 03-23-11, 11:18 AM   #1
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Basic tool kit

Any suggestions for a basic tool kit for in-home bike repairs/adjustments? I'd like to be able to do "almost" anything - especially involving derailer and gearing adjustment - but I don't need specialty tools for exotic parts or really big operations.

I saw the Park Tools AK-37 kit which seems good though a bit pricey. Any other suggestions?

Is a bike stand really necessary or can most things be done just by flipping the bike over?
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Old 03-23-11, 11:34 AM   #2
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for a basic home tool kit I would recomend (which if you fidle around with cars or gocarts you may have) a nice Craftsman (not that new Eco Craftsman stuff) combination wrench set from about 6mm to 17mm, a Craftsman screwdriver set, a set of metric Bondhus style allenwrenches, a good pair of wire cutters, slipjoint pliers, and a small rubber/plastic mallet.

buy bike spefic tools as you need them.

unless your bike is older you may not need a ratchet for removing the cranks.
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Old 03-23-11, 11:45 AM   #3
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The Park AK-37 (or whatever) too kit is probably overkill and will have tools you don't need. If you're only working on one bike, or multiples with similar components you only need a few tools which you can buy as needed.

the list varies and is specific to your bike.

Basides basic stuff, you'll need in no particular order

a set of hex keys, including at least 3, 4,5, & 6mm, with 5 and 6mm most important.
a crank puller, of which there are two basic sized, one for square taper, and one for the larger splined spindles. Some models can do both.
a pedal wrench
hub cone wrenches to fit your hubs, a pair is needed for each hub, but often the same pair for front an rear. Many moern ubs don't use cone wrenches, so this might be a pass.
a spoke wrench to fit your nipples. three common sizes of which you only need one or two for now.
tire levers
Bottom bracket tools, either 2 or three flat spanners for older cup and cone models, or one splined tool for modern internal cartridge style, or a external spanner for external cartridge models.
cable cutters, diagonal cutters will do, but cable cutters do it nicer and reducing the risk of fraying.
chain tool for cutting chains, for closing you need a special tool for Shimano pins, or can use connectors which don't use tools.

Those are the basics, and will cost far less than a kit. There are others, like a gear hanger gauge, but you can cross that bridge when you get to it. Buy them as you go along when you need them.

I'm not a fan of working upside down on the floor, but if you have exposed rafters in your garage you can hang your bike by the handlebars and seat using ropes strung from the rafters. This is the way most shops in Europe work on bikes.

That's it for starters, have fun.

headset tools, either one or two flat wrenches, usually 32mm, or a hex key for threadless.
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Old 03-23-11, 12:29 PM   #4
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+1 on buying what you need, when you need it. As for a work stand, it isn't necessary but it sure makes it easier.
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Old 03-23-11, 12:40 PM   #5
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Check out the Spin Doctor Essential Tool Kit. It has most of what you'll need for the basic maintenance and repair items on your bike. Plus, it's on sale at Performance Bike for $60.

Then you can build your tool collection from there and add other tools as needed.

If I didn't already have the Park Tools Roll Up Tool Kit I would have bought that one. (I actually won the Park Tools kit in a Cane Creek contest a few years back!)

The only things I've really added to my tool kit are a cable puller, scissors, Chain cleaning tool, tube cutting guide and some Park Tools 3-way hex wrenches. (I already have pliers, hacksaw and other stuff I got from my days of wrenching on cars.)
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