Bicycle Tools

Bicycle Tool Recommendations [PDF coming soon]

Bike Tool Recommendations version 0.4, 01/11/2012

Must Have
2, 2.5, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 8, 10mm hex wrenches (Park, Pedros)
Used on newer components like brake/shift levers, brake/derailer cable pinch bolts, brake calipers and pads, stems, seatpost and seatrail clamps, chainring bolts, etc. * = most common, *8mm = hex crank bolts, *10mm = freehub body remover

8 thru 15mm metric wrenches (get a set with a ratcheting closed end, very useful) (TEKTON)
Used on older components like brake/derailer cable pinch bolts, brake calipers and pads, quill stems, seatpost and seatrail clamps, axle nuts, etc.

14mm socket (crank nuts & bolts)
Flat + phillips screwdrivers
Most derailer limit screws and v-brake spring tensioner screws are flat/phillips.
Hammer(s): Flat/ball peen combo

Nice to have
Workstand (Park)
Metric Socket/Bit Set (Park)
Headset wrenches for threaded headsets (Park, Pedros)
Cassette and/or freewheel removal tool + chainwhip (Cassette: Park, Pedros Freewheel: Park, Chainwhip: Park)
Cone wrenches (13 – 17mm at minimum) for overhauling hubs (Park, Pedros)
Pedal wrench (if your pedals don’t have hex in the spindle) (Park, Pedros)
Crank puller (for 3 piece cranks) (Park, Pedros)
Bottom bracket tools suitable to your bottom bracket style

  • English (non sealed) with lockring: Lockring spanner (Park, Park 2), 36mm wrench for fixed cup (Park, Park 2) and either a pin spanner (Park), 32mm wrench (Park) or slotted tool (Park) for adjustable side
  • Internal sealed bearing Shimano/ISIS: BB Tool (Park, Pedros 1/2″ drive), 3/8″ ratchet or breaker bar to turn Park BB Tool
  • External bearing (fits most Shimano/SRAM): BB Tool (Park, Park 2, Pedros 1/2″ drive), 3/8″ ratchet or breaker bar to turn Park 2 BB Tool

Cable + housing cutting tool (Park, Pedros)
Cable Puller (Park, Pedros)
Spoke wrench + truing skillz! (Park)
Torque wrench (Park, Pedros)
Tape measure + calipers (digital preferred) (Calipers: Park)
Chainring bolt wrench (Park)
Chain tool (Park, Pedros)
Chainwear Gauge (ProLink)
Adjustable wrench
Needle nose pliers
Wire snips (for zip ties, etc)
Additional hammers: deadblow, plastic tapper, rubber mallet

Expendables
Grease (I use White Lightning Crystal, but even car wheel bearing grease works)
Medium lube (Phil Wood Tenacious Oil is my favorite)
Light lube (Triflow or similar)
Liquid Wrench
(for stuck things)
Shift (compressionless 4mm) and Brake housing
Shift and brake cables
Road and mountain shifters use the same cable end. Mountain brake ends look like a little cylinder/puck, road brake ends look like a mushroom/acorn.
4 and 5mm housing end ferrules (I recommend Wheels Mfg machined ferrules)
Cable end crimps
Grade 25 or better bearings (lower number = higher quality, I do not recommend general grade 300 bearings)
Electrical tape (for securing housing & bar wrap to bars)
Zip Ties

Necessary for Cottered Cranks
Fucking persistence!
Liquid Wrench
A BFH (Big Fucking Hammer) and an 8mm centerpunch or a cotter pin press from bikesmithdesign.com
A fixed cup removal tool for stubborn bottom bracket fixed cups

Necessary for bike builds
Headset cup removal tool + press (Remover: Park, Press: Park)
Chain tool (Park, Pedros)
Torx wrenches + torque wrench for installing 6 bolt rotors (Park Torx, Torque: Park, Pedros)

Necessary for fork replacements/swaps
Crown race removal tool (Park)
Crown race setter (Park)
Hammer

Nice to have for fork replacements/swaps
Hacksaw w/appropriate steer tube material blade
Steer tube cutting guide (Park)
Star nut setter (Park, Pedros)

Nice for working on hubs
Bench vise
Axle clamp that goes in bench vise for holding wheels while working on hub cones / repacking (Park)

Nice for refurbishing

Various cleaning products:
Fine steel wool or aluminum foil for removing rust from chrome, scotchbrite pads, ultrasonic cleaner filled with simple green, pipe brushes, brass and stainless steel brushes, degreaser, silicone bike polish, etc.

Necessary for crash damage repair
Derailer alignment tool (Park)
Dropout alignment tool (Park)

Necessary for wheel builds
Mad skillz
Truing stand (Park)
Spokes + nipples + spoke wrenches
Wheel dish gauge (Park)
Spoke ruler (Park)

Nice to have for wheel builds
Spoke Tensiometer (Park)
Phil Wood Spoke cutter + threader

Necessary for carbon
Torque wrench (Park, Pedros)
Carbon paste (grease with micro particles that bite + grab mating carbon surfaces)

Nicer to have
Bottom bracket tap/chase & face tools (Park Tool)
1” fork threading die (Park)
Metric tap + die set (Mibro economy set)
Disc brake mount facing tool (IS Mount: Park, Post Mount: Park)
Head tube ream/face tool (1.1/8 Park, 1.5″ reamer)
Disc rotor truing tool (Park)

A note on which tools to buy. For a heavy use environment I definitely recommend either Pedros or Park Tool for the bike specific tools and Craftsman or Husky for generic tools. For light use the Spin Doctor tools are OK, some are better than others, I have a few Spin Doctor tools in my kit. You can purchase the more generic tools at places like Northern Tool or Harbor Freight.

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