“Bike tools are confusing – I don’t know what I need to fix my bike.”
Something I find convenient about bikes is that it takes a minimal arsenal of tools to be able to do basic maintenance and repairs. If you’re wondering what bike tools have on hand, here is a list to get you started. Go ahead and buy these, even if you’re new to biking. You will need them at some point and will be happy you have them when that time comes.
- Hex Wrench: I found this to be the most common tool I’ve used on my bike, you probably already have a few lying around your house (especially if you’ve ever bought anything from Ikea). If you don’t have any, bike shops often sell mini-hex wrench sets that are conveniently small and include several sizes.
- Tire Levers: These will be helpful when (not if) you learn to change a flat bike tire. They are inexpensive and super easy to use. Check out this post on how to fix a flat tire to see how to use these guys.
- Wrench: Have a few wrenches on hand for tire and seat bolts, particularly if you do not have quick releases on your bike. You likely already have these in your tool box also so just track down the ones that fit your bolts.
- Pump: You can find small bike pumps to attach to your frame. I’d recommend investing in a pump with a pressure gauge. Make sure to get one that will work for the type of valve your bike has (click here to learn more about pumping tires).
- Lubricant/Bike Grease: A small bottle will go a long way to keep your chain properly lubricated.
Many of these tools are small and necessary enough to take with you on every bike ride (except the bike grease and big wrenches). There are even convenient bike seat bags that will hold all of these and even an extra tire tube (like this one).
Wondering if you need something more advanced? There are plenty of other tools from chain tools to pedal wrenches, but no need to buy those if you’re just getting started. Most bike shops are willing to help you figure out what tools and show you how to use them you need as you go.
Are there any I missed? What is your go to bike tool?
- Top Essentials to Bring on a Ride (mtbwisdom.wordpress.com)
- 8 Biking Essentials Under $6 (outsideonline.com)
- Everything You Wanted to Know About Biking, Part II (thebillfold.com)
- What’s In Your Saddle Bag? (bikenoob.com)