Bicycles have a wide variety of complex components that need tweaking from time to time. Since it is inadvisable to carry an entire toolbox with you, and Bicycle Repair Man has a limited range, it’s best to carry a compact tool.
For a basic multi-tool, go with the Park Tool I-Beam Mini, which covers the basics and slips easily into a jersey pocket. If you’d like to go full on Macgyver, we highly recommend the Blackburn Tradesman, which includes every tool needed for your cycling survival.
Your chain is the circulatory system of your bike – it transfers all the energy you put out into propelling the bike forward. Just like any other moving part, it requires lubrication of its hundreds of individual pieces.
The chain is entirely exposed to the elements, making it susceptible to contamination, corrosion, and drying out. Keeping your chain clean and lubed is a simple, but often overlooked process, so here is a quick guide to mastering chain lubrication, along with a few recommendations for the best chain lube for the job. Our top pick for lubing chains of all kinds is ProGold Prolink. It continually proves its mettle and has quickly become a workbench staple.
A good floor pump is the one tool every cyclist should own. Running tires at their optimal pressure not only improves performance, but reduces the risk of pinch flats. The goal is to spend less time wrestling with a pump and more time in the saddle. Here are our top picks.
DIY bicycle wrenching might sound intimidating, but consider this: Having a few essential bike tools and the skills to perform basic maintenance will not only save you significant cash in the long run, but could also save you from a long walk home if you snap a chain or pop a spoke in the middle of nowhere.
There are a few basic bike tools that every cyclist should own, some aren’t even bike specific (ie: they can be found cheaply at a hardware store). Every cyclist should know how to lube a chain, fix a flat and properly clean a bike. In fact, a cleaned and degreased bike should be first on the list before a tool ever touches it.
The right tools will help you replace a chain, cables and housing, as well as adjust brakes, remove a cassette or straighten misaligned wheels. I suggest pairing this guide with a bicycle maintenance book such as The Big Blue Book of Bicycle Maintenance or the recently updated Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance and, if in doubt, always consult your local bike shop before attempting a hero move that could compromise your bike or result in more repairs.