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The Tools You’ll Need for Your Home Shop

Here’s a list of regular and specialty bicycle tools that will make it possible to perform most common bike repairs. To see photos of the bicycle tools, please visit the renown American bike tool manufacturer Park Tool and browse their outstanding selection.

If you’re interested in setting up your own home bicycle workshop, you’ll find design ideas, equipment information, comprehensive tool lists, organization tricks, safety tips and much more in my downloadable $19.95 eBook, Your Home Bicycle Workshop by Jim Langley.

Here’s a list of the basic tools to take along on bicycle rides so you can fix the most likely road and trail repairs.

Norman Cycles catalog
Click to enlarge and see the earliest bicycle tools. Yes, some of the first bikes were made by blacksmiths!

Basic bicycle tools assortment:

Regular tools:
  • small regular screwdriver
  • small Phillips screwdriver
  • medium regular screwdriver
  • medium Phillips screwdriver
  • pliers
  • needle-nose pliers
  • small Vise-Grip pliers
  • medium Vise-Grip pliers
  • waterpump pliers
  • diagonal cutters
  • awl
  • box knife
  • 6-inch adjustable wrench
  • 12-inch adjustable wrench
  • 8-ounce ballpeen hammer
  • plastic mallet
  • flat and half-round files
  • metal punches & chisels
  • scissors
  • 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, 10-mm allen
  • wrenches
  • 7- through 17-mm combination wrenches
  • hacksaw
  • tapered reamer
  • tape measure (marked in centimeters and inches)
  • outside caliper
  • 8-, 9-, 10-mm “Y” tool
  • 4-, 5-, 6-mm combination allen wrench
  • torque wrench
  • rubber gloves
  • goggles
Specialized bicycle tools:
  • repair stand
  • floor pump with gauge
  • chain tool
  • spoke wrench
  • 2 to 3 tire levers
  • pedal wrench
  • 13-, 14-, 15-, 16-, 17-, 18-mm cone wrenches (2 each)
  • cassette lockring remover
  • chain whips
  • bottom bracket cartridge tools
  • headset wrenches
  • third hand
  • crankarm bolt wrench
  • crankarm remover (puller)
  • chainring bolt wrench
  • suspension pump if you have front and/or rear shocks

Add these for more advanced repairs:

Regular tools:

  • taps (5mm x 0.8; 6mm x 1.0; 8mm x 1.0; 10mm x 1.0)
  • thread pitch gauge
  • Bondhus screwdriver allen wrenches (4-, 5-, 6-mm)
  • cable cutters
  • 6-inch stainless ruler
  • bench vise
  • electric drill with bits
  • tapered reamer
  • torque wrench
  • tubing cutter
Specialized bicycle tool:
  • clipless pedal axle removal tool

Add these for a professional setup

Regular tools:
  • solvent tank
  • air compressor
  • vernier caliper
  • electric grinder
  • snap-ring wrench
Specialized bicycle tools:
  • truing jig
  • dishing gauge
  • spoke tensionometer
  • valve tool for working on Schrader valves
  • dropout alignment tools
  • derailleur hanger alignment tools
  • headset installation tools

Easy Tool Organization

Want a great toolboard over your work bench? Do this: cut a piece of cardboard out of a bike box (or ?) the size of your tool board (3/4-inch plywood screwed to the wall works nicely).

Lay the cardboard down on the bench or floor and lay all your tools out on it the way you’d like them to hang. Put frequently used tools near the center, and don’t put tools too high or you’ll have trouble reaching them when they’re hanging on your tool board.

Next, draw a quick outline around the tool and mark where a nail would support the tool. Remove the tools, rest the cardboard against your tool board, drive nails through the marks you made, remove the cardboard template and hang your tools on the nails (use the outlines on the template as your guide).

The tools should now be organized exactly the way you planned. Try the arrangement and if you like it, use a Sharpie marker to outline the tools and you’ll have completed your custom toolboard.

You can reuse the toolboard template, so don’t throw it away.

For a screwdriver and allen wrench rack, just drill some holes in a section of 2 x 4 stock and screw it to your tool board.

Bicycle tools!

A great source is Bicycle Tools Etc.


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