Photo from: Bike Roar
If you’ve ditched your car and use a bike to get around town, chances are you’ll experience some wear and tear along the way. The good news: you can handle a majority of bike repairs yourself (especially the common ones). Trust us, it’s not as hard as it sounds—especially if you have these five tools.
Hex Key (or Allen Key)
Photo from: London Cyclist
The Allen Key is that do-anything tool for all the little tweaks you need to make to your bike. That means things like tightening your seat when it gets loose, adjusting your brakes after a lot of wear, etc. These are relatively inexpensive—we suggest picking up the folding variety for more size options.
Photo from: Topeak
If you ignore a worn-out chain, you’ll be facing bigger (and more expensive) problems down the road. But you’re in luck, because replacing your bike chain isn’t too hard at all. The one thing you need? A chain tool.
Photo from: The Bike Tube
How do you know if your chain needs replaced anyway? Answer: the chain wear tool. This little guy gives you an easy way to check if your chain is worn down. Just stick the hook side into the chain with the 0.75 mark on the opposite side facing down. Drop the 0.75side; If it falls into the chain link, then the chain needs to be replaced. You’ll want to do this about once a month.
Tire Levers + Patch Kit
Photo from: Pedros
A two-fer here, but they’re equally important. If you need to change your tire, you’ll need tire levers to remove the wheel. Then it’s time for that patch kit, which will patch up a puncture in no time.
Photo from: WikiHow
If your tires are quick-release, no need for this tool. If they’re not, you’ll use a wrench to loosen the nuts and bolts. This tool can be found relatively cheap, so no worries about breaking the bank.
Photo from: The Sweet Home
Okay, ideally you get each of these tools individually (as they’ll operate best that way), throw ‘em in a tool roll and be on your way. BUT, there is a shortcut, and it’s called a multi-tool. The multi-tool will get ya allen wrenches, spoke wrenches, a chain tool, screwdrivers, torx keys (star-shaped as opposed to hex-shaped like Allen keys), and tire levers.
And there you have it. The five tools to get you through almost any minor bike mishap, and even most common repairs. Get into something a little more serious? Swing over to your local bike shop (and if you need a local recommendation, our neighbors at Iron City Bikes do great work!).