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No matter what you do, your bike will eventually break down due to regular wear. Taking your bike to the mechanic for small repairs can be costly, so why not just do it yourself? Bike tools are important to every biker — be it for daily routine maintenance or on the fly fixes.
Although each bike is different, most of the bike tools featured in this article work with any bike types or brands. You don’t need an entire garage of tools to work on your bike. All you need are standard ones and a couple of bike-specific tools to get things moving.
The old saying, “buy quality, buy once” applies to bike tools more than anything else. Quality tools last much longer, work better and are less likely to damage your bike compared to its low-quality counterparts. When buying bike tools, think of them as an investment instead of a cost.
The Best Bike Tools You Must Have for 2020
1. Chain Checker
Chains and cogsets have become very expensive over the years and misjudging the condition of your chain can cost you serious bucks. Chain Checkers help you gauge your chain’s condition accurately so you don’t end up using one that is so worn out or throwing one that still has several miles left.
Park Tool Chain Checker – CC-2
Park Tool’s CC-2 Chain Checker allows you to quickly gauge the stretch and wear of your bike chains. Simply insert the tool’s pins into two links and then read the gauge window after securing the swing arm gauge. This chain checker is compatible with 10- and 11-speed drivetrains.
2. Torx Keys
Most bikes nowadays are made with Torx bolts — from your disc, brake, and rotor. Usually, you will only need three sizes to cover everything: T-10, T-25, and T-30. But it never hurts to have more sizes at hand, just in case you need it.
Bondhus GorillaGrip Torx Key Set
The Bondhus GorillaGrip Torx Key Set comes with T6, T7, T8, T9, T10, T15, T20, and T25 sizes. Made from protanium steel, the keys are 20% stronger than their counterparts. The Bondhus GorillaGrip Torx Key Set features a ProGuard Finish which is 5 times more effective in driving away rust than the competition.
Topeak Sports II Floor Bike Pump
The Topeak Sports II Floor Bike Pump is a favourite among casual and professional bike riders. Made from high-quality components, this bike pump is built with durability in mind. The Topeak bike pump comes with a double-sided twin-head which works with Schrader and Presta valves — eliminating the need for adapters or swapping pump heads.
This bike floor pump comes with a steel base, a painted barrel, and an extra long hose.
BV Bicycle Floor Pump
The BV Bicycle Floor Pump features a twin-valve design that works for both Presta and Schrader valves without the need of adapters or switching pump heads. This floor pump has a maximum pressure of 160 psi and an extra long hose with a 360-degree pivot.
The BV Bicycle Floor Pump is made from an aluminum barrel designed to last for years.
Vibrelli Mini Bike Pump
The Vibrelli Mini Bike Pump is automatically compatible with Schrader and Presta valves. It has a 120 psi extendable telescope which allows you to easily switch between high pressure and high volume.
The Vibrelli Mini Bike Pump comes with a mounting bracket that easily attaches the mini pump to your bike while velcro straps hold it securely in place. This mini pump set from Vibrelli includes a glueless puncture kit to help you fix a flat tire anywhere!
Pro Bike Tool Mini Pump
The Pro Bike Tool Mini Pump is super compact — only 3.5 ounces in weight and 7.3 inches in length. Despite its small size, this mini pump packs a punch with its 120 psi capacity. The Pro Bike Tool Mini Pump is made from durable, machined aluminum alloy.
This mini pump is compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves. It also comes with a mounting bracket to easily attach the pump to your bike (pre-drilled holes required) while velcro straps securely hold it in place.
5. Chain Tool
If you have ever replaced a bike chain, you know how hard it is without a handy chain tool by your side. There are many kinds of chain tools in the market — from budget models to gorgeous pieces.
Oumers Universal Bike Chain Tool
Oumers Universal Bike Chain Tool is very durable. It features a rubber-coated metal frame grip for easy handling and an integrated chain hook that holds links securely in place during assembly. Oumers Universal Bike Chain Tool is compact and portable. It fits 7, 8, 9, and 10-speed drivetrains.
Topeak Universal Chain Tool
The Topeak Universal Chain Tool is a budget-friendly, basic chain tool that does the job well. It comes with a sculpted CrMo head that fits the hand comfortably and an integrated chain hook that securely holds the links during assembly.
The Topeak Universal Chain Tool suits most drivetrains. For more leverage, simply slip its hollow removable handle over a small Allen wrench.
6. Combination Wrenches
Biking accessories like fenders and racks are often attached using hex bolts and small nuts. Usually, 8, 9, and 10 mm combination wrenches are more than enough to suits your needs.
7. Tire Levers
The humble tire lever is an essential bike tool when changing tires. Despite its fairly simple task, it’s surprising to see a myriad of choices available in the market today. Here are some of them.
8. Cable Cutters
If you don’t want to leave any strands uncut or ruin the housing of your brand new cable, then a bike cable cutter is a must. This bike tool is crucial for doing work on your bike’s brakes or gears.
A multitool helps you make quick adjustments like tightening bolts and adjusting seat heights. This bike tool is pretty useful to almost anything that breaks on your bike.
Topeak Alien II
The Topeak Alien II Multi-Tool’s features a compact design that allows it to fit in your jersey pocket. The casing comes with 26 different bike tools for maintenance and repairs. Made from stainless steel and engineered plastic, the Topeak Alien II Multi-Tool is both durable and lightweight.
Wotow Multitool Kit
The Wotow Multitool Kit is enough to help you fix most of your common bike problems. Built from durable and high-quality materials, the Wotow Multitool Kit comes with 16 tools (Allen keys, socket hey wrench, Phillips screwdrivers, solid wrench, hex key wrench, pry tire rods, etc.)
Crank Brothers Multi-Tool
The Crank Brothers Multi-Tool comes with 19 bike tools for common trail and road repairs. The tools are encased in lightweight aluminum. The Crank Brothers Multi-Tool includes 7 hex wrenches, Phillips screwdrivers, Torx screwdrivers, universal chain tool, spoke wrenches, and many more.
The bike tools are made from high tensile steel and include a limited lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
10. Spoke Wrenches
Spoke Wrenches are handy when it comes to adjusting the tension in the spokes of a bicycle wheel.
When you’re riding, you need to be prepared for anything — flat tire, broken chain, loose bolts, etc. And the tools above are more than enough to get you through the common dilemmas faced by pro and casual bikers every day.
How to Carry Your Bike Tools
Going for a ride? Make sure to plan for any emergencies. Bringing the right bike tools with you is as crucial as packing enough water and food for your biking adventure. After determining what bike tools to bring, you will need a way to carry them. And fortunately, you have many storage solutions to choose from! Here are some of your choices:
Pannier bags – Comes in a variety of sizes, these bags are ideal for commuter biking.
Handlebar bags – Ideal for quick access storage. These bags clip onto your bike’s handlebar and has enough room for your bike tools and other essentials.
Saddlebags – Fits under your bike’s saddle. Has plenty of room for your repair kits and bike tools.
Rucksacks – These bags don’t go to your bike. They go on your back. Rucksacks are designed to adapt to your body’s movements for comfort and aerodynamic riding. It has plenty of room for your essentials (some models even come with a water reservoir), food, and of course, bike tools.
Looking for high-quality bike bags? Check out this article.