Anyone who regularly reads my blog or follows me on Twitter will know that cycling (or being a “cyclist’s Dad”) is one of my major activities. I also commute by bike where practical – I have a Brompton folding bike, which has caused some amusement in the office (think BBC W1A) – though I mostly work from home and commuting by bike up two flights of stairs might be a bit tricky…
With more bikes in the family than I care to admit (I have at least 5 at the moment and my eldest son’s n+1 count is increasing too), I’ve been trying to do more of the servicing myself (or with my son) to reduce costs. This has been spurred on by a few things including:
- I needed to call on help from others to swap pedals at a race recently. I had the skills but not the tools. I then bought the right tools…
- I discovered that drive chains are supposed to be shiny, not grimy and that they perform much better when you know how to remove and degrease the chain, cassette, chainrings, etc. A chain cleaner is great, but if the other components are still covered in gunk then the chain quickly turns black again.
- I also had to remove the cranks and bottom bracket on a bike as part of another project so the bike-specific toolkit has been growing.
- My son was able to use his new knowledge and my tools to swap components between frames.
Luckily, it needn’t be expensive. Much as I would like to have a wall of Park Tool tools, that’s a stretch too far for my wallet, so this is what’s in the toolkit so far:
- Pedal wrench.
- Allen keys (hex wrenches).
- Torque wrench (I should really have a big torque wench too).
- Ratchet spanner and an assortment of bits.
- 1/2” socket bar.
- 1” socket.
- Chainring peg spanner.
- Cassette lockring tool (Shimano).
- Cassette lockring tool (Campagnolo).
- Chain whip.
- Chain rivet extractor.
- Chain link open/close tool.
- Shimano bottom bracket removal tool (some bikes may need a different tool).
- (All the usual stuff like inner tubes, pumps, etc.)
- Lube (I’m no longer using Muck Off wet and dry lubes but I’ve had good results with Morgan Blue products).
BTW, almost every task I’ve needed to complete has had a short video available on YouTube to tell me how to do it. GCN is consistently good.
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