You’re smart right? You’re capable? You’re able to figure things out yourself, aren’t you? Hell yeah you are, you rock!
Since you rock so much, you are probably perfectly able to do some bike maintenance of your own. Doing your own bike work will save you money (not having to take it into a shop every time), and it will be yet another feather you can put into your already crowded hat. And who doesn’t want more feathers in their hats?!
But before you get started with DIY bike maintenance, you will need some tools (beyond just feathers). Here are the most important tools that every beginner should have in their toolbox:
By far the tool you’ll use the most is a floor pump. Check the psi rating on the sides of your tires and make sure your tires are always pumped up to a number within that range. Do not overpump. You should check your tires about once a week.
Not technically a tool, but still something you definitely want. You should lube your chain about once every other week by just dropping a drop of lube onto each chain bolt. If you ever hear squeaking from that part of your bike, a good first bet is to lube your chain.
Almost every single bolt on your bike will be tightened or loosened with a hex key. Most toolboxes will already have them, but you want to make sure that you have the right sizes. You can buy a set of 8 for around $10.
Adjustable Crescent Wrench
What a hex key can’t get, the crescent wrench will. Most hardcore bike mechanics have a wrench set of 8-15 wrenches that are sized for common bike needs. However, for beginners, getting one adjustable wrench should be good enough.
Needle Nose pliers with cable cutter
There are several parts of the bike that you will need pliers for, everything from cable to chain to the occasional bolt extraction. It’s a good idea to pliers that can cut cable too, because why not have two tools in one!
These small compact tools are great to keep with you while you ride, as they can solve most issues you will have on the road (minus flat tires).
Patch Kit and Hand Pump
While these are two seperate tools, they work very much in unison. Like the multi-tool, these are to be kept with you on the road, as they remedy the most common form of bike maintenance — flat tires. The patch kit patches up a punctured tub (duh.), and the hand pump will let you inflate your newly patched tire so that you can get home safely.
Another good tool to have on the road. These handy little guys give you the leverage you need to pull your tire off of your wheel, and put it back on. Since flat tires are the most common form of bike maintenance, being fully equipped to combat them is important.