Bike Repair Tools

Everything You Need

This article outlines a tool list and supplies to equip you for these basic repairs. Some tools you may already own. Others are bicycle-specific instruments that we carry. There's no need to rush out and buy all these tools right away. Instead, assemble your selection as you need them. This approach ensures that you get tools that you really need for your brand and model of bicycle (tools required vary accordingly).

Bicycle Repair Tool Guide

One of the great things about bicycles is that they're relatively easy to maintain and repair. In most cases you can solve problems with the kit you carry on your bike, which should include a spare tube, tire levers, all-in-one tool and pump. This allows replacing the tube and handling minor issues, such as fine-tuning parts that loosen or go out of adjustment.

As you master simple fixes, you may get interested in doing more involved repairs, such as replacing worn cables, cleaning the drivetrain, upgrading certain parts or even straightening wheel wobbles. These tasks and more are well within your capabilities if you have the right tools and a little know-how.

How do you know which tools you need and how to use them? We recommend picking up a book about bicycle maintenance and visiting the Park Tool website, which includes informative explanations of their many bicycle tools and a complete repair section. And don't forget that we're always happy to advise, too!

Equipment and Supplies

Repair Stand

While it's possible to work on bicycles when they're propped on the floor or hung from a rafter or beam, once you've used a repair stand you'll wonder how you lived without one. It elevates the bike so you're able to inspect the parts up close and without throwing your back out in the process. It makes it easy to spin the wheels, and brake and shift to check adjustments. And, some stands are portable so you can easily take them with you to double-check your bike before the start of the ride. Tip: Most bumper/hitch car bicycle racks will work as repair stands in a pinch.

Workbench or Counter

A place to lay out your tools and that part you're working on.

Vise

To hold things so that you can use both hands to work on it. Tip: A vise is most useful if it's firmly attached to the bench so you can pound or pull without the vise losing its grip or moving.

Apron

The main purpose of an apron is protecting your clothes. Plus, most include pockets, allowing you to stash commonly used tools within easy reach for more efficient wrenching. Tip: When you're hunting for that "lost" tool, check your apron pockets first.

Rubber Gloves

While bicycle repair isn't as grimy as automobile work, it's still smart to protect your hands from lubricants, solvents, scrapes and other abuse.

Goggles

Eye protection is a must in any workshop.

Lubricants

Keep drip or spray lube and grease handy for easy access.

Thread Adhesives

Secures parts so they cannot loosen.

Anti-Seize

Prevents parts from rusting together.

Solvent

For degreasing/cleaning parts. Tip: Help protect the environment and consider biodegradable ones.

Alcohol

For cleaning rims and brake pads. Also great for installing handlebar grips.

Rags

You can't have too many.

Hand cleaner

This cuts grease faster than soap and may even contain lanolin to save your skin.

Zip-ties

Handy for attaching things.

Chain-Cleaning Kit

This is comprised of a plastic case with stiff brushes inside. You fill this with solvent and install it on the chain. Then by pedaling, you cause the brushes to scrub the chain clean. Tip: Some people prefer to remove chains for cleaning or to simply clean them with a rag dipped in solvent.

Regular Hand Tools

Small and Medium Screwdrivers

Regular and Phillips

Combination Wrench Set

Sizes: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17mm

Regular pliers
Needle-Nose Pliers
Small and Medium Vise-Grip Pliers
Plumbers' Pliers

Also called "waterpump pliers"

Diagonal cutters
6in Adjustable Wrench
12in Adjustable Wrench
Ballpeen Hammer

8-ounce size is about right

Plastic or Rubber Mallet
Hacksaw
Course and Fine File

Flat and Half-Round

Metal Punches and Chisels
Outside/Inside Caliper
Awl
Knife
Scissors

Tip: You may already have many of these tools, which are useful around the home/garage. If not, they're widely available in hardware stores or home centers.

Special Bicycle Tools

8, 9, 10mm "Y" Tool
Allen Wrench Set

Sizes: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10mm

Combination Allen Wrench 4, 5, 6mm or Folding Allen Wrench Set
Metric/English Tape Measure
Floor Pump with Gauge
Chain Tool
Spoke Wrench
3 Tire Levers
Pedal Wrench
Cone Wrenches

2 each: 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18mm

Axle vise
Cassette Lock-Ring Remover
Chain Whip
Cable Cutter
Crank-arm Removal Tools
Chainring Bolt Wrench
Adjustable Bottom-Bracket Tools
Cartridge Bottom-Bracket Tools
Threaded-Headset Wrenches
Torx Hex Wrenches
Torque Wrench
Truing Stand

Tip: alternatively, you can true wheels in the frame and fork.

Dishing Tool

Tip: Which specialty tools you need depends on the type(s) of bicycles you're working on. For example, you won't need the tools required for repairing adjustable bottom brackets if the bike you maintain is equipped with a cartridge bottom bracket. If you have any questions about which tools are required for your bicycle, ride it in and we'll take a look and show you what you need.