Recommendations for bike tool kit

BobtheBuilder
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Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby BobtheBuilder » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:19 pm

Just looking for recommendations for a bike tool kit for home use.

My bias is towards good quality, but not unnecessarily fancy or obscure tools. Just the basic stuff to fully take apart 'normal' bikes (yes, I know that's a fuzzy term!) Including cable cutters, bracket removal tool, chain whip tool, etc.

Any suggestions / recommendations most welcome!

Including brands to avoid!

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Tim
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby Tim » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:52 pm

The problem with tool kits is that they usually contain certain tools that are of no use to you and your particular bike such as cone spanners that are the wrong size or a bottom bracket wrench for a bike with press-fit bearings (for example). Many of the kits aren't especially good quality tools either.
You're better off assembling a collection of tools bit by bit as each new maintenance or repair job requires.
For a complete bike disassembly/assembly I'd list the necessary tools and buy the best quality affordable. I have a loathing of cheap tools. I generally buy tools for a lifetime, not on a budget, hang the expense. Park Tools are overpriced but decent quality. Many of the tools such as pliers, cable cutters, torque wrenches, Allen keys, spanners, screwdrivers, cutting blades etc aren't bike specific and quality brands such as Sidchrome, Kinchrome and Stanley can be purchased at reasonable prices.
Explore your local hardware store, then check Buntings, then buy bike-specifics.

PS. Don't buy any tool named after an animal :D eg. Elephant Brand adjustable spanners, cheap Chinese crap.
Last edited by Tim on Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

BobtheBuilder
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby BobtheBuilder » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:00 pm

Tim wrote:You're better off assembling a collection of tools bit by bit as each new maintenance or repair job requires.



Thanks Tim, that's probably good advice - I do have lots of the basic stuff already. It's a bit easy to get seduced by a nice new, complete kit!

My problem, though, is that I live in a remote area and can't easily buy bike tools - it's either a 600km round trip to Darwin or a week+ after ordering online.

Do you know of anywhere that lists recommended tools? I should probably just identify what I need and source it.

You mention Park Tools is overpriced - which other brands are good quality (I hate cheap tools also) but appropriately priced, do you know?

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Tim
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby Tim » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:18 pm

Park Tools do make some very nice, and very expensive kits. I quite like the info on their website, I think they list the required tools for each job;
https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/
How's your financial situation?
To be honest, nearly all my bike special tools (not many) are from Park. I really don't know about the others.
Someone will chime in soon with some recommendations.
As a start though, what sort of bike/s do you have?
Some tools such as chain breakers work on all/most makes, models and types and others are more specific to individual bikes.

Edit; having stood all high and mighty on tool quality, on reflection some of the cheaper kits are probably perfectly adequate for occasional use, but I don't know which.

Trevtassie
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby Trevtassie » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:09 pm

Have a look on some of the German sites like https://www.bike-discount.de/en/shop/tools-boxes-354
I know Pro tools are ok.

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10speedsemiracer
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:00 am

BobtheBuilder wrote:Just looking for recommendations for a bike tool kit for home use.

My bias is towards good quality, but not unnecessarily fancy or obscure tools. Just the basic stuff to fully take apart 'normal' bikes (yes, I know that's a fuzzy term!) Including cable cutters, bracket removal tool, chain whip tool, etc.

Any suggestions / recommendations most welcome!

Including brands to avoid!


I have a weird mix of tools from various brands. Have a BBB spoke wrench, chain-breaker and cable cutter, Park Tool 4th hand cable stretcher (can't do centre-pulls without them really) and various other bits like bottom bracket tools from SuperB and IceToolz.

The issue with kits is that some of the components work ok once or twice. I've found this with things like cone and headset wrenches. And also crank removal tools.
And the other issue being you may need variations of a tool, like a Bottom Bracket removal tool, but the kit only has one type. So you end up adding to the kit anyway.

Maybe just find the bike-specific stuff individually, and use normal spanners/hex wrenches/screwdrivers etc.

So a crank puller :
Image
https://www.cyclingdeal.com.au/buy/bikehand-bicycle-bike-crankset-crank-arm-puller-re/YC-216C

a cassette removal tool for Shimano cassettes:
Image
https://www.cyclingdeal.com.au/buy/bikehand-bicycle-bike-shimano-freewheel-cassette-i/YC-126-2A

a Bottom Bracket tool :

Image
https://www.cyclingdeal.com.au/buy/bikehand-bike-bicycle-shimano-bottom-bracket-remov/YC-26BB-CP

Cable cutters :

Image
https://www.cyclingdeal.com.au/buy/cable-housing-cutter-repair-tool/SJ-1363

the problem though is that buying a kit like this :

Image
https://www.cyclingdeal.com.au/buy/bicycle-bike-repair-tools-tool-kit-made-in-taiwan/SC-168A

is far more efficient $-wise. Actually this kit doesn't appear to be too bad. If you were buying equivalent shop quality stuff (Park Tool, Hozan etc) you would be paying hundreds more to replicate.
Last edited by 10speedsemiracer on Wed May 02, 2018 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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BobtheBuilder
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby BobtheBuilder » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:13 am

Tim wrote:high and mighty on tool quality ... some of the cheaper kits are probably perfectly adequate for occasional use


I say keep standing high and mighty! My mate who knows a lot more than me about bike repair and has been giving me heaps of help recently with a few little projects got a cheap kit from Aldi and we've been feeling the pain ... and having to go to the local bike supply place (i.e. a tiny section of the camping/fishing/shooting shop, Rod and Rifle by name) for replacement parts, i.e. a crank puller that threaded both itself and a crankset (RIP), so more cost and hassle from cheap tools. With the bottom bracket tool we've resorted to clamping it in with a D clamp and putting a 1 metre length of hosepipe over it as leverage, a very two-person job!
These experiences have reinforced my desire for proper tools!
Though he did weld up a patented "crank persuader" to finally remove a very stubborn crank ...

BobtheBuilder
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby BobtheBuilder » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:18 am

10speedsemiracer wrote:Maybe just find the bike-specific stuff individually, and use normal spanners/hex wrenches/screwdrivers etc.

[...]

the problem though is that buying a kit like this :

Image
https://www.cyclingdeal.com.au/buy/bicycle-bike-repair-tools-tool-kit-made-in-taiwan/SC-168A

is far more efficient $-wise.


Yes, this is the conundrum. I have most of the basic things, like Allen keys, spanners, screwdrivers, sledgehammer, pile-driver but is buying the bike-specific stuff piecemeal cheaper than just getting a good-quality full kit all in one, even if you duplicate lots of the basic stuff?

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10speedsemiracer
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:32 am

BobtheBuilder wrote:
Tim wrote:high and mighty on tool quality ... some of the cheaper kits are probably perfectly adequate for occasional use


I say keep standing high and mighty! My mate who knows a lot more than me about bike repair and has been giving me heaps of help recently with a few little projects got a cheap kit from Aldi and we've been feeling the pain ... and having to go to the local bike supply place (i.e. a tiny section of the camping/fishing/shooting shop, Rod and Rifle by name) for replacement parts, i.e. a crank puller that threaded both itself and a crankset (RIP), so more cost and hassle from cheap tools. With the bottom bracket tool we've resorted to clamping it in with a D clamp and putting a 1 metre length of hosepipe over it as leverage, a very two-person job!
These experiences have reinforced my desire for proper tools!
Though he did weld up a patented "crank persuader" to finally remove a very stubborn crank ...


OK, then if you're not averse to spending some $s, start with this :

Image

https://www.pushys.com.au/super-b-21-piece-tool-set.html

and add the cable cutters and Cartridge BB tool from SuperB or BBB or even Park Tool. Have had good experience with all of these brands. The trick with a crank puller is to make sure the threaded sleeve section is screwed all the way in to the crank before going for extraction. I think we've all learned this the hard way.

Can't stress this one point too much, good cable cutters are a pleasure to use and make the job easy and professional-looking.
Bad cable cutters give you Anxiety/Depression/Anger regulation issues and the bike ends up looking like Stevie Wonder did the cabling.
Last edited by 10speedsemiracer on Wed May 02, 2018 1:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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10speedsemiracer
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:42 am

And I forgot, you will need a stand if you're going to be doing multiple bikes, otherwise it's all just too frustrating.

Image

https://www.pushys.com.au/kobie-bicycle-repair-stand.html

This is the cheapie that I have, there are lots of others.
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BobtheBuilder
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby BobtheBuilder » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:51 am

Post edited and moved.
Last edited by BobtheBuilder on Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby BobtheBuilder » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:53 am

10speedsemiracer wrote:The trick with a crank puller is to make sure the threaded sleeve section is screwed all the way in


Yeah, think that's where it went wrong!

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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby BobtheBuilder » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:56 am

10speedsemiracer wrote:And I forgot, you will need a stand if you're going to be doing multiple bikes


This bike-mania started a few weeks ago as a "I'm finally going to get those wrecks going", so am going to try resist the temptation to buy a stand. Can probably weld something up cheap that'll suffice. Or put up with it!

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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby bychosis » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:12 am

I’ve bought good tools over the years, the usual buy right buy once thing. I also made do with a chain breaker off a multi tool for a long time. I still think that the cheap Aldi bike tool kit (essentially the same as the cycling deal one) I bought wasn’t a waste of money. Sure, it duplicates some of the tools I’ve already got, but it’s come in handy for some of the older bikes I have fixed up covering all the standard old tools in a not unreasonable quality.

I’d recommend buying the kit, then if you find you are using a tool a lot get a quality replacement. Not point spending a fortune on expensive tools you will only use a couple of times.
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OnTrackZeD
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby OnTrackZeD » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:05 am

I use one of these, it has most of the special bike tools you'll need and is great quality for home use. I think its price is reasonable and has free delivery to Oz.
http://www.wiggle.com.au/x-tools-perfor ... -tool-kit/

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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby Neddysmith » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:41 am

The cycling deal tool kit while not the BEST quality is quite good quality for the price you are paying, and for the amount of use they will get would think be perfect for the first tool kit, s suggested as the tools break or whatever you can upgrade individual tools with better quality ones.

For tools i will be using often i am of the opinion of pay a bit bit more buy quality and itll last a lifetime, but for some of the more obscure tools or ones that get used less frequently cheaper ones will generally do just as good a job.

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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby RobertL » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:17 pm

Yeah - what they all said. The only thing that I can add is that you can get a good set of T-handle hex wrenches (Allen keys) from Bunnings or Supercheap or specialist tool shops from about $30 and upwards.

The big T-handles really make things easier. You can pay a lot more than that for really good hex wrenches, but the advantage we have working on bikes is that most hex bolts are at a relatively low torque setting (compared to motor vehicle or plant and equipment), so you do not need the extra strength of the very best sets.
Image

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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby BobtheBuilder » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:28 pm

Wot I shoulda done first.

List of what I think I need. I have most of the basic things you'd expect in a tool collection. Bike specific:-

Tools needed


* cable cutter
* bracket remover
* chain checker
* freewheel remover
* freewheel turner / chain whip
* pedal wrench
* cartridge bottom bracket tool (Shimano type)
* chain brush
* bottom bracket & headset lock ring tool – could just use multi-grip
* calipers - probably not necessary, but seems like a good thing to have
* headset wrench ?? - could get by with other tools
* hub-cone wrenches (13x14x15x16mm) ?? - could get by with other tools
* hex key wrench set – ball-end would be useful, have them otherwise
* adjustable bottom bracket cup tool – fairly unlikely to need

Anything missing?

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10speedsemiracer
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:13 pm

The kits are good for low-torque fittings and stuff like spoke wrenches. They tend to sick as far as bb tools and cassette tools are concerned.....and cable cutters. Would buy a mid-range kit to start with, like the Super B and add good cable cutters, a 3-way 4/5/6 mm hex wrench, and a good bb tool plus cassette tool (BBB or Park Tool).

The list you've compiled pretty much covers it.

There may be tools specific to the typed of bikes you work on but you'll determine that as you go. For example I went thru a phase of centre-pull brakes on bikes, so I grabbed a Park Tool cable stretcher (called a 4th hand). But most people won't ever need one.
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BobtheBuilder
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby BobtheBuilder » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:53 pm

Many thanks everyone for all your help and suggestions!

After being tempted by all the bangs and whistles I went for a fairly good quality basic kit augmented by a good cable cutter.

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10speedsemiracer
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:38 pm

Nice
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The Walrus
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby The Walrus » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:08 pm

I picked up a bike stand from Aldi for $40 a while ago. It’s great and seems to work well
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Re: Recommendations for bike tool kit

Postby Philistine » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:38 am

Anyone with carbon bikes in their stable should own a torque wrench. Carbon components are not as forgiving as steel or aluminium if you over-tighten them. I have two: a car size torque wrench for high torque jobs, such as tightening up a rear cluster, and a bike-specific wrench for handlebars, stems, and the like.

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