Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there are a set of bike tools that all riders need in their bike maintenance tool kit.
Below are the essential tools for basic bike repair and maintenance that all riders will need. These will let you carry out all the key fixes and fettles that you’ll need to perform out on the road or at home.
Allen / Hex Keys
On modern bicycles, the majority of components are fastened to the frame or adjusted with hex key bolts. As such, a good set of Allen Keys is absolutely vital to your toolkit!
The strength and durability of the material that Allen Keys are made of can vary widely, and it’s important to make sure that your set are made of quality steel. The higher the quality of the materials that the tools are made of, the harder they will be. This means that they will remain true to their hexagonal shape for longer, and will be less likely to round off the bolts of your bicycle. What’s more, a better set of keys will have a wider range of sizes, meaning no bolt is too big or small to work on!
Fortunately for you, our Allen Key set is made of heat treated S2 steel and so the keys are extremely durable. In addition, our set includes keys ranging from a tiny 1.5mm to a chunky 10mm, so we’ve got you covered there!
If you’re only working on a few sets of bolts at once, or need something with a bit more of a ‘handle’ to help you apply force, our Y-Wrench is a great option, as it includes six interchangeable tool bits, including four Allen key bits, a torx key, and a screwdriver.
Screwdrivers are also an essential addition to your bike tool kit. Although there are less frame components that are fastened with crossheaded or Phillips head screws compared to Allen bolts, there are typically screws that are used to make adjustments to complex components such as brake callipers and derailleurs. If you’re riding with cycling shoes and cleats, it’s likely your cleats will be fastened and adjusted with screws as well.
Although the majority of brands use Allen bolts in their components, you will find that some brands, such as Bianchi and Focus, tend to use star shaped Torx keys instead. As such, it’s always worth having a few of these in your bike maintenance kit as backup! We’ve included the most common sized Torx Keys in our Y-Wrench and Mini Ratchet Tool sets, just to make sure you’re not caught out when carrying out your key bicycle maintenance.
Chain Wear Checker
The most important part of your bike’s drivetrain is your chain, and a worn chain will significantly reduce the quality of your ride.
A chain wear checker is a simple piece of kit that will indicate when it’s time to change your chain. The sooner you change a worn chain, the less damage you will do to other parts of your bike, such as the cassette and chain rings.
Chain Tool and Master Link Pliers
There are two types of chain; those with master or ‘quick’ links, and those without. If the chain has a master link, pliers will be required to help you compress the link and split the chain. You’ll also need these pliers to apply enough tension to a newly installed chain with a master link to ensure that the link is fully connected.
For chains without a master link, you’ll need a Chain Tool. This tool allows you to force a link out of the chain and thus ‘break’ it. You will then need the tool again to force the joining pin into the new chain so as to connect its two ends together.
We recommend that you have both the Chain Tool and the Master Link Pliers as you never know what chain you’re going to be able to buy when you drop into your local bike shop. Having both Master Link Pliers and a Chain Tool means you’re covering all bases!
Let’s face it, the time will come when you’re going to have a flat tyre, or will want to replace an old tyre altogether. And when you do need to do this, the easiest way to get your tyre off the rim of your wheel is with a good set of tyre levers.
You want to look out for a set of levers with a nice wide tip for digging into the bead of the tyre, with a precise edge to help you dig underneath it. You want the levers to be strong and sturdy so that they don’t snap if you’ve got a particularly tight tyre. Also, try to find some that are made of a plastic-based material, rather than metal, so that they don’t scratch or damage your wheels!
A Floor Pump, also called a Track Pump, is the quickest way to pump up your tyres before you go out for a ride. It’s important to ride at the correct tyre pressure to make your bike ride safer, faster, more comfortable, and to minimise the risk of flat tyres.
Whilst our Mini Pumps or CO2 Inflators are a great option for when you’re out on the road, the large barrel of a Floor Pump means you can inflate your bike tyres nice and quickly so that you can get out riding! As an easily portable option, you could of course go for our Mini Floor Pump, which blends the portability of a mini pump with the big power of a floor pump.