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Home / Tips and Tricks / Everything you need for home bike maintenance and repair – Review Geek

Everything you need for home bike maintenance and repair – Review Geek

  Mechanic working on a bicycle.
Ramon Espelt Photography / Shutterstock

While there is no substitute for a good bicycle mechanic, you can do a lot of regular maintenance and repair at home. However, when you're just starting out, knowing what you really need can be daunting.

Bicycles are funny because there are many special tools that you can use to work with them ̵

1; especially for some of the niche parts. And since these tools are very specific, they are also expensive. The good news is that you do not have to spend a lot of money to do most of what your bike needs on a regular basis. You'll find everything you need – from tools to lubricants – to make sure your bike always runs like a top.

Tools: The Essentials

Some tools are required for bicycle maintenance. Others may not be an absolute must, but we'll talk about it soon. Let's take a look at what you definitely want.

A Work Stand

  Feedback Sports Pro Elite bike rack.
Feedback Sports

If you've ever tried to work on your bike while it's on the ground you know what an absolute pain that can be. To work properly on your rig, you need the right setup. They must be at eye level, stable and able to spin freely. For this you need a work item.

There are a number of stalls at different prices. And like most things, you get what you pay for. Here are some you might want to try out:

  • Bikehand Pro Mechanic Stand ($ 90): If you're just starting out, you might opt ​​for something affordable like this. It should cover all your basic needs, even if cheaper stands with heavier bikes are not stable. If your bike weighs more than 25 pounds, this may not be your best bet.
  • Park Tool PSC-9 Stand for Home Mechanic ($ 140): Park Tool is one of the top names in bicycle repair, and its products are always top notch. However, this is the most basic repair condition. You need to build a bit more muscle to get something more robust.
  • Feedback Sports Pro Elite Repair Stand (230 USD): If you're looking for a sturdier stand, I can not recommend it. It is incredibly stable, can handle almost any bike, and folds up compactly for easy transport. I used this stand for the routine maintenance of my bikes for at least three years, and it was stable from the ground up.

Now that you have your bike in a good working position, you need some maintenance tools to do your job.

Allen key and torque wrench

  Allen key and torque wrench on a table.
Cameron Summerson

Most parts of a bicycle use hex bolts Good set of hex keys to hold on to everything. There is a good chance that you already have a set around the house that you can use.

If you do not, here are some ways to get started:

  • TEKTON Long Arm Hex Keys ($ 10): This is about as simple as a set of Allen keys and it's all you need for most applications.
  • Park Tool PH-1.2 P-Handle Allen Key ($ 75): If you want more premium, the PH-1.2 is just what you need. They are expensive but more robust than a base set. And you can use the ball end like a T-wrench.
  • Park Tool AWS-3 3-Way Allen Wrench ($ 11.50): For the most basic tasks, it is helpful to have a simple 3-way Allen key, even with the Allen key around. The ergonomic handle makes it faster and easier to use than a regular Allen key. This is my first choice for frequent changes to areas such as the Binder for Stem and Seatposts. Note that there are two versions of the AWS-3: one with smaller 2, 2.5 and 3 heads; and one with later 4, 5 and 6 sizes. They want the latter for most tasks.

I also recommend investing in a torque wrench. Almost every screw on a bike has a torque (that is, how tightly each screw should be turned down). If you miss this sweet spot, it can be harmful to both the components and you. If you do not wear it tight enough, there is a risk of slipping. If you put it too tight, you risk damaging important components or expensive parts.

The most common parts of a bicycle that you need to make changes to are the handlebars and the seat post clamp. Both usually have torques of 4 to 6 Nm (Newton meters). The good news is that there are many wrenches covering the full spectrum:

  • Park Tool ATD-1 Adjustable Torque Wrench (65 USD): This adjustable wrench works in half-inch increments between 4 and 6, is quite versatile and covers many of the smaller screws on a bike. It comes with three different bits and is therefore useful in different places.
  • Pro Bike Tool Torque Wrench ($ 40): This key is not as adjustable as the Park Tool model with options for 4, 5, and 6 (no half-inch options), but should be in do the trick in most cases.
  • Pro Bike 1/4-Inch Click Torque Wrench ($ 67): This is a micro-adjustable wrench with a range of 2-20 Nm. This is a super versatile wrench for about the same price as the basic model from Park Tool. Remember, however, that it's a much larger wrench, so it does not work so well in confined spaces.

Given the key situation, there is another important tool that I think is an absolute must for the home user. [19659007] A good tape measure

  Starrett 3.5m tape measure.
Cameron Summerson

When you change components such as the handlebar, stem, seatpost, or saddle, you'll need to do some basic measurements to make sure you get the new stuff in the right place. For that you need a good measuring tape.

When it comes to bikes, most things are measured by the metric system because it's simply more accurate than the imperial one (and generally more meaningful). Here are my tips for both:

A pump

  The Serfas Digital Bicycle Pump.

Your bike has tires. Tires need air. So you need a pump. Seriously, you need to check your tire pressure before each ride. I know that seems exaggerated, but high-pressure tires (like racing tires) lose air faster than tires. There are many variables here, but ultimately it helps to check the tire pressure before each ride to prevent the tires from getting trapped. As for the pressure you should be running, this is a completely different conversation.

For most home applications, a regular old floor pump is everything you need. Here are some with which I was very lucky:

  • Topeak Joe Blow Max ($ 35): I have had this pump for several years and it's still strong. It's still my first choice if I check the tire pressure regularly.
  • Serfas Digital Pump ($ 75): For the most accurate reading possible, this Serfas digital pump is just right for you. At first I thought it was more of a novelty, but after a while, I was sold. It is a killer pump.

Now that you have all the tools on hand, you can talk about disposable care products – lubricants, detergents, degreasers and all the best!

Other Needs: Lubricant, Degreaser, and Bicycle Wash

Proper maintenance of the bike not only means tightening the bolts from time to time – it also cleans the thing! Special attention should be given to the powertrain (ie chain, gears, chainrings and cranks). This includes regular lubrication and degreasing.

Chain Lubes

<img class = "wp-image-19211 size-full" data-pagespeed-lazy-src = "https://www.reviewgeek.com/thumbcache/0/0/19c52d0d10a28b12590327edb8103602/p /uploads/2019/07/xf5bb8a6d.jpg.pagespeed.gp+jp+jw+pj+ws+js+rj+rp+rw+ri+cp+md.ic.a4BKOZyHn8.jpg "alt =" Bottle of Rock " N 'Roll Gold Chain Lube. [19659020] Cameron Summerson

If you've lubricated your chain with WD-40, stop. Keep the WD-40 off your bike Need Genuine Chain Lubricant.

Why? Since WD-40 is not even a lubricant, it's more of a degreaser (and not even a good one), which is the opposite of lubricant There are two main types of lubrication: wet Now, stay here with me, as this can get a bit confusing, wet lubricants are designed for wet conditions, while dry lubricants are used for dry, dusty conditions. "Wild, right? [19659004] If you do not live in a very humid environment – you know where it rains more often than not – you probably need a dry lubricant. The good news is that there are tons choices. Here are some of my favorites:

  • WD-40 Wet Lube (9 USD): Yes, WD-40 has a number of bicycle lubricants and they are great.
  • WD-40 Dry Lube (9 USD): It comes dry too!
  • Rock N Roll Gold (8 USD): This has been my favorite lubricant for years. It is a great balance between dry and wet as it is suitable for all conditions (except the most extreme ones).
  • Rock N Roll Absolute Dry ($ 8): One of the "fastest" available lubricants. That is, it offers less resistance than any other. The problem? It wears off quickly so you need to replace it more frequently.
  • Rock N Roll Extreme (8 USD): This is Rock N Rolls wet lubricating oil. It is really designed for extreme conditions. So if you want to drive during a monsoon, you want this.

While we're talking about lubricants, you may be wondering how often you should apply this lubricant. The general rule is about every 100 miles or so, but immediately after every wet ride. That should extend the life of your chain.


  A tin degreaser with White Lightning Clean Streak.
Cameron Summerson

For good chain maintenance, you must occasionally degrease the thing. (every 500 miles is the recommendation). For that you need a good degreaser. There are two different types of degreaser: aerosol and spouts. The former comes in a pressurized aerosol can – you know, like paint or hairspray – while the latter is just an open can that you pour directly onto a rag.

Here are some of the best options currently available: [19659012] WD-40 Bicycle Chain Degreaser ($ 7): Remember, as I said, WD-40 is more of a Degreaser is a lubricant? Well, even then it's a pretty lousy degreaser. For this reason, WD-40 also manufactures a product specifically for bicycle chains.

  • White Lightning Clean Streak ($ 10): This is another aerosol degreaser similar to the WD-40 offering. I have used it for years and can only say good things about it.
  • Muc-Off Pink Organic Degreaser ($ 17): Muc-Off makes some of the best bicycle cleaning products in the world, but they come at a premium price compared to similar products. However, if you want the best, this is probably the right thing to do.
  • Finish Line Citrus Degreaser Pour Can ($ 15): This is probably my favorite degreaser in the market. And it works perfectly with another indispensable tool: a chain cleaner.
  • a chain cleaning tool.

      a White Lightning chain cleaner.
    a White Lightning chain cleaner. Cameron Summerson

    While aerosol degreasers are great for quickly spraying and cleaning the chain, there's a better way – a chain cleaner. You load this thing with degreaser, put it on the chain and then turn the crank backwards. It degreases the chain quickly and easily completely and saves you a lot of time and effort. It's great – and cheap!

    Here are my tips for the best chain-cleaning tools available today:

    • White Lightning Bicycle Chain Cleaning Kit (15 USD): I have the following and the work is done. I wonder how well it keeps up with time and repeated use, but it was fine if I used it a couple of times.
    • Park Tool CM-5.2 Cyclone Chain Cleaner ($ 26): This is almost double the price of the White Lightning option, but I would bet it's a bit more robust. Park does things for the long haul.
    • Pedro's Chainpig II Chain Cleaner ( $ 24): Another trusted name in bicycle repair, so this is a good name. Besides, it looks like a pig, and that's just cool.

    Remember, if you have one of these you need a good degreaser (instead of an aerosol).

    Bike Wash

      A spray bottle with WD-40 bicycle cleaner.
    Cameron Summerson

    After all, you need to find a way to keep the rest of your bike clean. While you could simply jerk it off and use some detergent for cleaning, a special bicycle wash is better. Check It:

    • WD-40 All-Purpose Bicycle Wash (9 USD): WD-40 is in on the bike care scene and this wash is fantastic. I have been using it for a while and it cuts off grease, dirt and road scraps to keep my bikes looking good. Plus, it's cheap!
    • White Lightning Wash & Shine ($ 11): White Lightning does a lot of good stuff, and this bike wash is no exception.
    • Finish Line Super Bike Wash ($ 13): I used this stuff for years and it does the job.
    • Muc-Off Nano Tech Bike Cleaner ($ 17): As I said earlier, Muc-Out does some of the best things in the game, and this Nano Tech cleaner is just right for high quality cleaners.
    • Muc-Off Bike Protector ($ 16): If you want to take your bike cleaning game to the next level, you can also apply some of it after washing.

    General greases and lubricants

      A bottle of Tri-Flow lubricant.
    Cameron Summerson [19659003] While the powertrain is often the part of the bike that you need to routinely lubricate, it's also good to have some common grease on hand. Every time you change components, you can re-grease all screws when you put them back so they do not get stuck in the future. For example, if you change the handlebar, you should lubricate the stem screws when you replace them.

    Note: These are not the same lubricant as the chain. You can not use these for the powertrain.

    Here are my recommendations for general grease:

    • Park Tool PPL-1 PolyLube (8 USD): Park Tools Lubricant for the bike. I use it for years and did not have a problem yet. From the stem screws to the seatpost and the pedals everything is provided with this grease.
    • Finish Line Premium Grease ($ 7.50): If you are not exactly cool with Park Tool, Finish Line is also a good choice for fat.

    Aside from general greases like the ones mentioned above, it's also good to have a small bottle of oil – not for the powertrain too – but for parts that occasionally stick. There's a brand that's superior to me:

    • Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant ($ 11): For anything that sticks or shows the least resistance (like cable), Tri-Flow is my jam. And a bit of a long way, so a bottle can survive the rest of your life.

    Rags and Gloves

      A red rag lying on a box Gloves black nitrile gloves.
    Cameron Summerson

    Flaps are required to clean and degrease the powertrain, to clean the bike, and even to wipe your hands in between. Bicycles are dirty.

    I bought a pack of 25 for $ 11 on Amazon, and they were mostly fine. They sometimes seem to lose more than I would like, but otherwise they are fine . I'm shocked at how hard it is to find good rags that do not cost a ton. It is strange.

    Fat can enter your skin and be difficult to remove. So if you do not want your hands to look permanently dirty, I also recommend good mechanic gloves. I am using AMMEX black 6-mil disposable gloves for the dirtiest jobs and strongly recommend them . I will continue to buy these.

    I also have a set of reusable Finish Line mechanic gloves that I use for fast jobs. It's great to have them on hand (heh), so I do not waste the AMMEX gloves on something that only takes a few minutes (like changing wheelsets).

    I know, that seems to be a lot stuff. And it is somehow ! But hey – you bought a nice bike, now you have to take care of it. If, like me, you enjoy the maintenance of bike ownership, there are few other tools that you might want to add to your arsenal. If you want to keep it simple and pay the mechanic at your local bike shop to do the dirty work, you can probably skip the next section.

    The niche material that is practical

      A pedal wrench and a vice whip.
    A pedal wrench and a vice whip. Cameron Summerson

    If you've made it this far, congratulations. That's a lot of words about bicycle tools! Unfortunately, I apologize for nothing, because I want to make sure you know what's going on. Nevertheless, I will keep this section as short as possible.

    Here are some of my favorite tools that I should have outside of the absolute requirements:

    • A Pedal Key: I have the Park Tool PW-5 and it has so many pedals on some bike removed / installed.
    • Chain Whip : If you ever need to take the cassette (the gears on the back) off your bike, you will need a chain whip. You can keep it cheap and buy it for $ 14 on Amazon (it even comes with a cartridge removal tool). However, if this is something that you think you use frequently, the Park Tool Vice Whip is worth the $ 50 investment.
    • Cassette Tool: If you choose a Vice Whip instead of a conventional chainstop, then you also need a cartridge locking tool. This one from BW Bicycles should do the job and cost only $ 17.
    • Disc Brake Tools: More and more bikes are being delivered with disc brakes (unlike traditional rim brakes) able to take care of them when needed. When the rotor warps, a centering fork helps you fix it. I like this from Feedback Sports ($ 11). If you have difficulty centering the rotor, the Birzman Clam Disc Brake Gap Tool is a lifesaver . For $ 15 you do not get one, not two, but three – what a deal!

    So, let's go. This is by no means a complete list of all the tools you need to do everything you expect from your bike. This is a completely different beast – especially when it comes to proprietary components (which some bike manufacturers seem to love ). However, this list should be good enough for you to take care of most bike basics yourself.

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