When you get into bike restorations you quickly find out that you will only get so far with your basic screwdriver and hammer. There are many bike repair tools people build themselves to do bike maintenance. But nothing beats the ease of use specialty tools bring to the table when it comes to bike restoration projects. In this article I’m going to discuss the bike repair tools I’ve bought to make my life easier when restoring bikes.
Most of the general tools mentioned here I already had. But if I didn’t I often bought the tools from Park Tool, which is a company who specializes in bike repair tools.
Bondhus GorillaGrip 7-piece Fold-up Hex Tool, 2-8mm
Probably the most used bike repair tool in my arsenal. The Bondhus GorrillaGrip hex tool Cheap, easy to use and incredibly strong. There are a lot of hex screws on the average bike. From derailleurs, to seat posts, cranksets, brake levers, and brake arms. This tool is indispensable and highly recommended.
You can also easily take it with you. It won’t be the last time you find your brakes out of alignment or your saddle coming loose after many bumps in the road.
Gamma Hex Tool Set with Clip
Sometimes the GorrillaGrip fold-up tool proved to be too big to get into tiny spots. It’s when you want to use a small part of a single hex tool. A bike stand near your crank is one of those spots. For these types of repairs I use a clip which holds an assortment of individual hex tools.
Park Tool 12-Inch Adjustable Wrench PAW-12
My favorite bike repair tool is this huge adjustable wrench. Necessary because I needed to tighten headsets. But it’s also very practical when working with tight bottom brackets and bottom bracket tools.
I’ve got an assortment of spanner wrenches. Ranging from 7mm up to 22mm. I don’t even know how I got them in the first place. And even if I got them all in one place now, I still manage to lose them every now and then.
I either use pliers to hold onto something very tightly or tighten cables for brakes and derailleurs. I use the cheapest one that money could buy.
I would like to have a high quality cable cutter to keep cables from fraying, but I don’t.
You need a hammer more than you think to get stuff into place on your bike. Either with or without the help of a block of wood to prevent damage from steel on steel collision.
The best way to fasten things neatly without looking too DIY.
Electrical Insulation Tape
I mainly use insulation tape to protect something when bolting something else on it. This could be the case for the handlebar, bike racks or the frame itself. To actually fasten something I prefer zip ties because they’re so much stronger and can be tightened much more.
Bike Repair Tools for Cranksets
Park Tool Crank Bolt Wrench CCW-5C
I initially needed this crank bolt wrench for the 14mm part. But because of its larger size it’s also easier to use for crank bolts that necessitate a hex tool.
Park Tool Compact Crank Universal Puller CWP-7
If you want that crank to come off you’ll need a crank puller. It’s the first tool specifically for bike maintenance I bought.
Bike Repair Tools for Bottom Brackets
Park Tool Compact Bottom Bracket Tool BBT-32
After you’ve removed a crank arm with the crank puller, you’ll need this bottom bracket tool (and an adjustable wrench) to remove the cups.
Park Tool Bottom Bracket Tool BBT-4
Another different type of tool to deal with bottom brackets.
Park Tool Crank & Bottom Bracket Wrench HCW-4
Older style bottom brackets might need this bottom bracket wrench to remove the cups.
Park Tool Bottom Bracket Lockring Wrench HCW-5
This lockring wrench is necessary for tightening lockrings on older style bottom brackets.
Park Tool Adjustable Cup Wrench HCW-11
Yet another tool to remove the cups of older-style bottom brackets. How much are there anyway?
Bike Repair Tools for Chains
Park Tool Chain Tool CT-3.2
Only later did I find out my late father already had a chain tool. Another staple for your DIY bike restorations and necessary to break up your bike chains.
Park Tool Chain Checker CC-3.2
You cannot check the wear on your bicycle chain simply by looking at it. A chain checker is an extremely easy and relatively cheap tool to perform a chain wear check.
Bike Repair Tools for Cassettes
Park Tool Sprocket Remover – Chain Whip SR-2.2
The version of the chain whip I have seems to be discontinued and is no longer available at Chain Reaction Cycles where I originally bought it. They still have another version which does the exact same version of holding the cassette in place while you take off the lock ring, fixing it to the rear hub.
I found the chain attached to the handle to be pretty delicate. So I put the entire thing into a sock to keep it from being damaged when other tools are being piled on top of it. The stuff is expensive enough as it is.
Park Tool Freewheel Remover FR-1.3
A freewheel remover to remove old style freewheel cassettes.
Park Tool Cassette Lockring Tool FR-5.2G
While the chain whip keeps the cassette in place, you’ll still need a lockring tool to remove said lockring.
Park Tool Freewheel Remover FR-2
Older bikes which have a freewheel rather than a freehub will need this freewheel remover tool.
Bike Repair Tools for Pedals
Padre 15mm Pedal Wrench 831
A pedal wrench differs from a normal open spanner wrench. It’s longer and thinner enabling you to use more force with stuck pedals and easily stick it between the pedal and crank arm.
I didn’t need this one specifically, but it’s nice to have.
Bike Repair Tools for Wheels
Park Tool 15mm Shop Cone Wrench SCW-15
I used this cone wrench to hold the cone when tightening the lock nut on the Axles of my Cannondale M300. Another type of wrench is simply too wide to fit into the narrow space between the hub and the lock nut.
I did just use my hands before I had this wrench. In the end I didn’t want a loose axle which could possibly ruin the cone and bearings.
Spoke Nipple Tensioner
I bought this ring-type spoke nipple tensioner at a local flea market for a couple of bucks. Although it does the job, I’ve seen guys using spoke wrenches for just a single size. My guess is they’re much easier to use, because you don’t have to look up the correct number all the time when the ring rotates in your hand.
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