Essential Bike Tools: Buyer’s Guide for the Beginner Mechanic

essential bike tools

Updated 11/20/16

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.

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10 Cycling Gifts Guaranteed to Impress the Cyclist in Your Life

Looking for the perfect gift for the cyclist in your life? From the latest technology to keeping legs toasty, here are our 10 favorite cycling gifts.

Zwift

 zwift                                           Zwift cycling

Winter can be a lonely time for cyclists accustomed to in-season group rides. But the solution is as simple as picking up an ANT stick and a $10 monthly subscription to Zwift. After downloading the software and syncing devices like power, cadence and heart rate, you can invite your buddies on a virtual training ride or hit the road with other cyclists (including pros) across the globe. Vie for Strava segments and points or follow Zwift’s virtual training programs as you ride one of two routes, including Richmond, Virginia’s World Championship course.

Zwift Review: How to Boost Your Cycling Fitness Now

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