13 tools in the arsenal of a true cyclist
After buying a bicycle, one way or another, the time comes to take care of it, and each owner, as free time and money as possible, chooses who and how will monitor the technical condition of his bicycle. You have a choice: specialized workshops or buying your own bike repair tool at home. The first option is more expensive, especially if you travel a lot, but the quality of the work performed is always at a professional level. The second option, apart from the budget for the purchase of the necessary equipment, is slightly cheaper. Also, if you have your own bike tools, you are not tied to the workshop’s operating mode and the need to drag a half-dead bike across the half of the city, or even the region. In this article, we’ll share 13 essential tools in every cyclist’s arsenal.
Bicycle repair tool. scroll:
- Hex key set. A must-have for any cyclist, as most of the components on the bike are secured with Allen screws. It is advisable to have the maximum choice, because who knows what upgrade you are planning. In bicycles, there are bolts with hexagon heads in the following sizes: 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 mm. The smallest keys regulate brake levers or calipers (hydraulics or mechanics), sizes 2, 2.5, 3. are used in grip locks, bicycle lights and computer mounts. Hexagon 4mm. most often these keys fix the steering wheel and stem bolts, as well as additional accessories in the form of fenders or trunk. 5mm Allen key is used to adjust the brakes and shifters of the transmission, in particular to fix the shift cable and brakes, brake pads (V-br), brake caliper (disc brakes), derailleur housing to frame. Hexagons in sizes 6, 8 and 10 mm are used to attach more loaded components, such as pedals, cranks, etc.
- Multitool. a compact and simple set of the most essential wrenches, screwdrivers, and sometimes a full-fledged workshop that can fit in a or saddle bag. The most essential elements for each multitool are: 4, 5, 6mm hexagons, Phillips and flat head screwdrivers. This is enough to make not only the adjustment of the brakes or transmission, but also to make minor repairs in the field. In nature, there are versions with integrated chain squeezing, sorting shovels and even pliers. But such a set is needed only on a long hike and only for those who can perform complex operations with a bicycle.
- Forcing the chain. will help you easily change a worn chain or disconnect it to remove the switches. Also, chain breaks do not sometimes occur and in order to repair it, this tool will be required to remove the broken link. There are standard squeezes (more often suitable for home or workshops) and compact, which you can take with you on a trip.
- Floor pump. irreplaceable assistant. After all, even a high-quality camera or tire has micropores through which air is released over time. What can we say when you need to replace a tire or a puncture happened. In this case, the floor bicycle pump will help to inflate the necessary pressure in a matter of seconds. There are models with a pressure gauge (scale for measuring pressure) and conventional ones, where you touch the amount of inflated air.
- Compact pump. one more detail that you must always carry with you. After all, no one is insured against punctures, and no one wants to drag a bicycle for several kilometers (if you are lucky enough to drive off nearby). Compact bicycle pumps allow you to repair the cameras and return to service in a matter of minutes, but you will have to sweat over pumping the wheel.
- Boarding paddles. as well as a pump with patches should always be with you. They will help save your fingers, nails, and the camera from damage while disassembling the wheel. Soft plastic does not damage the camera (unlike screwdrivers) and the wheel rim, while it has hooks for convenient two-handed operation. It is recommended to have a pair of shoulder blades.
- Circuit meter. this tool will allow you to monitor the condition of the chain and change it in time, which will have a positive effect on the condition and increase the resource of the front and rear chainrings of the bicycle.
- Whip. an uncomplicated key, most often looks like a metal tire (handle) and a piece of chain. With its help, you can unscrew the lockring of the cassette, because unscrewing it to the side it turns freely.
- Cassette remover. As with the previous bike tool, it will help you remove the cassette from the rear wheel for replacement or other operations. Also, this wrench is suitable for fastening brake rotors of the Center Lock standard.
- Spoke key. Curved wheels won’t make anyone happy, but with a spoke tension tool, you can even align the eights without much experience. Spoke wrenches come in different sizes and this point is the envy of your bike. There are also universal options in which almost all sizes are presented, but they are more suitable for those who have more than one bike.
- Wire and shirt cutters. those who travel a lot often have to change the bag necessary elements to control the transmission and brakes. cables and shirts. The cables stretch, the shirts wear out, and you can only bite them carefully with a special tool. Cutters for cables and shirts allow you to make an even cut without ripping the cable or bending the hole in the shirt.
- Phillips and flat screwdriver. this type of tool can be found in any home, the main thing is that the size fits. In a bicycle, a cross and flat screwdriver is used to adjust the switches, namely, their extreme positions. Various small accessories (computers, flashers, reflectors) are also fixed.
- Wrenches 8, 9, 10, 12, 15mm. These are the most common bolt sizes used to attach the roof rack, fenders, reflectors, footrests, pedals and many more useful accessories. These key sizes are often found on budget bikes.
As you can see, the list of tools and keys for repairing a bicycle at home is not so long. It is not necessary to purchase expensive professional equipment, an amateur kit of average quality is enough. This list is suitable for mountain, road, hybrid and city bikes. Take a look at the section with bicycle tools, here you will find many useful things;) What tools do you use to repair your bicycles? Let us know in the comments and we will add them to the list of essential!
How to remove a chain from a bicycle
Depending on the style of riding, the question of removing the chain arises either almost immediately after the start of riding, for example, in a trial or downhill, or after many kilometers of walks, when maintenance and replacement of the chain is required.
Chain Removal Situations
Maintaining your bike is very important, and there may be several reasons for removing the chain:
- Deep cleaning. it is recommended to remove all elements from time to time and clean from grease and accumulated abrasive.
- Link damage and replacement.
- Replacing a worn chain.
- Length change with a new sprocket combination, e.g. on a mountain bike.
Home wear is primarily determined by elongation. An overstretched chain is cause for concern as misalignment of the links will severely damage the sprockets and can be hazardous to derailleurs.
It is quite difficult to notice wear by eye, and to determine it there is an indicator. the length of 24 links:
- if it is equal to 305 mm (304.8 value for a new set), everything is in order;
- 306.5-307.5 mm. it’s time to change;
- 307.5 mm. if the bike was still in use with such wear, then most likely the entire set of sprockets is damaged;
- 308 mm. the value of the damaged transmission.
Objectively, it is recommended to service the transmission every 500 kilometers, but this value is not fixed, since even 50 kilometers on rough terrain with an abundance of sand and dirt in wear can correspond to another thousand on clean city roads.
Some people choose to cut the chain, but the stretch is usually evenly distributed, and the links can still damage the stars that cannot be repaired.
In addition to conventional devices, there are models with a lock. a special link, which is slightly different in shape from the rest, and allows you to open the link using reverse tension without using a squeeze or other tools, the main thing is to put the lock link correctly. It is not recommended to open the links next to the lock, as this will reduce the reliability of the entire mechanism.
It is very important to remember how the chain is connected to the system, cassette and switches before starting the removal. without a little experience in installation and dismantling, it may be difficult to put it back on.
Standard withdrawal process
All guides describe the same removal procedure. This will require, first of all, a small set of tools. without them it will be quite difficult.
- key for removing the rear wheel;
- pliers for holding segments and pin;
- squeeze. a device for pressing out pins, without a lock. the most important tool in the process.
Let’s take a step by step how to remove the chain from the bike:
- We clean the links from dirt. it will interfere with each subsequent step.
- Removing the rear wheel is optional, but it’s much easier to work without it.
- Extrude the pin (the metal cylinder that closes each link) using a squeeze.
- Disconnect one link.
- Remove extreme links from switches.
The reverse sequence is the same. put the chain into place and assemble the structure back, riveting the pin with a squeeze, and rotating it in the opposite direction.
In the absence of squeeze, you can install everything back without it. Pliers and any sturdy cylinder, for example, a small hexagon, will help. Gently clamping the cylinder, the pin can be riveted similar to the work of the squeeze, it just requires a lot more attention and application of forces.
Models with a lock can be unhooked using a tight rope or cable. This allows for prompt repairs literally in the field, for example, when a chain suddenly breaks on a short hike.
Removing the chain from a bike is very easy if you have a simple tool or basic knowledge of the process. The most important thing is to act with care, as forceful action with extrusion can be dangerous.