Author Topic: Bike Tool Kits  (Read 2891 times)

ROY2007

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Bike Tool Kits
« on: August 07, 2015, 12:44:04 PM »
Hi Mustachians,

I'm working on polishing my bicycle mechanic chops. I have been looking for a tool kit that would fit my needs. No luck on craigslist thus far, but Nashbar seems to make a pretty decent looking set for $150.

Here it is: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_551678_-1___

Does anybody have any experience with this set or other recommendations in that price range? Park Tool seems to be the top choice in terms of quality, but I don't think I need something that nice at this time.

hyla

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Re: Bike Tool Kits
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2015, 04:20:26 PM »
No experience with that particular set, but it looks like a decent selection of tools.  Hard to say if it's suitable or overkill without knowing what you intend to do (overkill if you mainly plan to swap out cables and adjust brakes and derailleurs, good selection if you want to get into truing wheels and pulling apart bottom brackets and whatever else).
 
Another low cost route (what I've done) is to buy non-bike specific tools at the hardware store when they are functional equivalents (metric wrenches, allen wrenches, crescent wrenches, screwdrivers) and buy bike specific tools individually as you need them.  Because hardware store tools are so much more ubiquitous, you may find them at yard sales or craigslist, or when your local hardware store has a crazy sale.  I think the bike specific tools I've bought have been a chain tool, the pliers you use for cables and housing, 1 cone wrench to fit my hubs, a cleaning brush/scraper.


Jack

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Re: Bike Tool Kits
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2015, 04:45:19 PM »
Normal maintenance requires nothing more than a socket set, allen wrenches, a chain tool, and maybe some needle-nose pliers (to hold tension on cables while you tighten them down). I've taken my bike apart and put it back together again; except for the chain tool and some cone wrenches, I don't think I bothered buying any bike-specific tools. (However, I think I took the bike to the co-op when removing/reinstalling the bottom bracket.)

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Bike Tool Kits
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2015, 05:55:20 PM »
Bikes are not all the same. Different types of components require different tools. This kit may not have items you need, and may include items you don't need. For example, the kit includes cone wrenches used to overhaul and adjust hub bearings. But today, many bike hubs use cartridge bearings, which don't take cone wrenches.

The approach I took to learning bike maintenance was to pick a job to do on my own bike. Then I read about it, and then I bought the tools and parts needed. A basic job can be removing and cleaning the chain; adjusting brakes; replacing cables; removing and replacing tubes and tires. If you already can do that stuff, move to something more involved.

I learned how to do everything on my bike this way, including building my own wheels.

There is tons of material on the Web. sheldonbrown.com is a great source for information. For books, I like Anybody's Bike Book by Tom Cuthbertson.

BlueMR2

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Re: Bike Tool Kits
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2015, 06:32:06 PM »
Park Tool is the way to go for quality tools that will last a long time.  I don't think I own a total of $150 worth of them though.  Standard tools fill most of the bill as others have said.  I just add a tool as necessary to my collection.  I've been doing this for quite sometime and have worked on a lot of bikes.  I would not buy a kit on speculation that I *might* need all those various tools.

Heckler

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Re: Bike Tool Kits
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2015, 09:40:47 AM »
+10 on not buying a tool kit.  You won't need half of what's in there.

Every bike uses different sizes and types of tools.  Learn what you need for your bike(s) and buy quality. I would go generic for things like a metric Allen key and wrench set, and then Park, Topeak or Lezyne for custom tools like bottom bracket removers.  The Lezyne stuff is really nice!

http://www.rei.com/c/bike-tools-and-maintenance?ir=category%3Abike-tools-and-maintenance&r=c&page=1

http://www.lezyne.com/products-shoptools.php

http://www.topeak.com/products/Homeshop-Tools/universal_carnkpuller
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 09:47:13 AM by Heckler »

iamlindoro

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Re: Bike Tool Kits
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2015, 09:59:45 AM »
I generally agree with all the advice already given.  I work on my bikes a ton, but the only *specialized* tools you will need in most cases are:

Pedal Wrench
Chain Whip
Lockring Tool

Everything else like allen wrenches, etc. can be purchased very cheap at a normal hardware store.

moof

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Re: Bike Tool Kits
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2016, 11:09:09 AM »
Buy as you go.  I went for years before I needed a chain whip and a locking ring.  REI down the road had them when I needed them for a fair price.

What I do recommend is a good bike multi-tool (mine is an "Alien") with all the stuff you need for road-side emergency repairs.  I carry one I've had for 20 years of those and a spare tube, nothing more.  I keep the patch kit at home since half the year can be too wet to do a decent roadside patch.  I've only ever had to walk a mile due to a problem that didn't handle, which was when the bottom catastrophically died most of the way to work.

For the bottom bracket I just paid the $25 labor to have the shop do it, about the cost of the tool to do it myself and 1/10th the hassle.

Bikes are low enough maintenance that pre-planning for all scenarios is just a waste.

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike Tool Kits
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2016, 01:55:56 PM »
Buy as you go.  I went for years before I needed a chain whip and a locking ring.  REI down the road had them when I needed them for a fair price.

What I do recommend is a good bike multi-tool (mine is an "Alien") with all the stuff you need for road-side emergency repairs.  I carry one I've had for 20 years of those and a spare tube, nothing more.  I keep the patch kit at home since half the year can be too wet to do a decent roadside patch.  I've only ever had to walk a mile due to a problem that didn't handle, which was when the bottom catastrophically died most of the way to work.

For the bottom bracket I just paid the $25 labor to have the shop do it, about the cost of the tool to do it myself and 1/10th the hassle.

Bikes are low enough maintenance that pre-planning for all scenarios is just a waste.

I agree very much with this post.  Bikes are all different, and will need different tools.  Sometimes you'll find a job that you just don't like doing.  No point buying a big bunch of tools and then having them sit in a corner unused.  Get stuff that you find yourself needing when you need it.

A good multi-tool will cover very occasional stuff and most of your emergency needs.  If you find yourself using something on the multi-tool more than once a year, then look into fancier stuff.

(What I would recommend if you can swing it, is having two bikes if you depend on your bike for transportation.  This way you can swap parts back and forth, and if your bike is out of commission for a few weeks while you wait for a part or tool to be shipped in you can still get around.  It also leads to less angry breaking of shit because you can work on it without a stressful time crunch going on.)