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New to bike stuff

Old 11-06-13, 12:08 AM
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New to bike stuff

i just recently started getting into cycling and want to do my own maintenance. My dad is a truck mechanic by profession so i have pretty good access to your general tools. are there any bicycle specific tools one would need to do basic work on a bike? and are there any good reference book type things (o.O) that would get me started with the basics
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Old 11-06-13, 12:56 AM
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Metric tools. A good set of metric Allen wrenches. Almost everything is metric.

Most things on a bike fall into one of two categories.

1) Simple fixes and alignment.
Allen wrenches, screwdrivers, and a crescent wrench are about all you need.

2) Specialized tasks.
You probably need a specific tool. You won't need these often. Either buy the tool, or take to a bike shop.
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Old 11-06-13, 12:59 AM
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Most of it is hex wrenches but a chain whip, cassette lockring tool and maybe a bottom bracket tool would be helpful, along with a couple cone wrenches. Your dad probably has a high range torque wrench but for carbon or Ti parts you'd want a low range wrench too.

Youtube and park tool have scads of useful videos, as well as the actual assembly instructions from the component manufacturer (my bike frame actually has an assembly manual too, go figure)
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Old 11-06-13, 01:28 AM
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A spoke wrench. Technically I guess one could work on spokes with small adjustable spanners, but the dedicated tool makes the job at least one order of magnitude easier. Tyre levers - for me they're essential, others say they get by with bare hands.

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Old 11-06-13, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
A spoke wrench. Technically I guess one could work on spokes with small adjustable spanners, but the dedicated tool makes the job at least one order of magnitude easier. J
A spoke wrench in the hands of the unknowing is one of the greatest income generators for bike shops. First, buy or borrow a decent bike repair manual and read it thoroughly. Also, as mentioned above, Park Tools and Sheldon Brown's web sites have great articles and tutorials on just about all aspects of bike repair and maintenance.

As to tools, yes, good quality metric hex keys and simple common hand tools will go a long way but some specific bike tools are needed beyond the basics. As you read the tutorials you will learn what's needed for various jobs.
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Old 11-06-13, 08:58 AM
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There are several main types of special tools for the bottom bracket and cranks, cassette or freewheel, and cone nuts, among others.

The problem is that there are multiple standards and/or sizes for each. Which exact tools you will need depends on your specific bike and components. Some repairs or maintenance actions (e.g. rebuild bottom bracket or replace cartridge) are not required very often, so you would only want to buy the tools if you were really into it. Probably buy the tools you need as the job becomes necessary.

Besides the bike shop, another option is a bike coop/community bike shop, which will probably have the special tools and maybe even free advice on which ones to use and how to use them.

EDIT: Noticed the poster recommending a chainwhip and cassette lockring tool. This is an example of something you wouldn't need at all if your bike uses a freewheel, which it very well might if it's not pretty new and/or expensive. If your bike is older, be wary of people who blithely recommend either inappropriate tools/methods and/or upgrades because they don't understand the diversity of technologies that are out there.

EDIT: Just for the sake of avoiding hubris, I'm an old-bike person, and I would probably destroy your fancy carbon fiber seatpost if you asked me for help affixing it, because I don't know anything about fancy-schmancy post-1980 technologies.

Last edited by Roll-Monroe-Co; 11-06-13 at 09:05 AM.
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