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which tools???????

scazzerscazzer Posts: 254
edited December 2008 in MTB buying advice
Hi all,

After some advise on what tools to buy in order of importance(i'll explain) :wink:

Seen some tool sets on the net ranging from £30 and upwards and i always think if you buy cheap stuff then it wont last as long as the dearer stuff and i want to start doing bike maintenance myself......
So at the moment ive a problem with cassette n freewheel not moving as free as it should so just been to LBS and bought tools to do the job with,so now im gonna try and buy a few tools every month so eventually will have built my own tool set to do any jobs required,so before i start buying im after some info of what tools do you think i should be getting 1st ie. tools that get used more often than others or any tools that i dont need to buy as they would never get used,also wot make to buy...............



  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    For bike-specific tools, just buy them as you need them. For general-purpose tools start with a set of open-ended/ring spanners, a socket set, screwdriver with interchangeable bits (inc. torx), a couple of adjustable spanners :wink: and some ball-ended hex keys. A big rubber mallet also comes in handy.

    Mega-buck tools are fine if you're going big with the spannering but I've always found inexpensive (as opposed to cheap) tools to be perfectly OK for DIY maintenance and repairs.
  • scazzerscazzer Posts: 254
    blitz,thx very much for help m8 appreciate it :wink:

    when you say inexpensive tools, wot make would you recommend as i know park tools are the daddy of tools for bike maintenance and come at a cost,but like you say for DIY purposes dont think i could justify buying 'Park tools' :roll:
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    The £30 lifeline kit from Wiggle is pretty much ideal- the tools are good enough and you get a good range. Unfortunately some you already have, cassette tool and chainwhip, so that's a shame but you'd still get conme spanner, spoke keys, cable cutter, pedal spanner, an external BB tool, crank puller, chain breaker (which I have to say is very nice, it's a blatant Park Tools ripoff), some other stuff. It randomly doesn't come with a splined internal BB tool for Shimano, which to me is odd, that's still a very common fitment. But buying that stuff individually would cost you a fair bit more. This'd be a no-brainer if you hadn't already got some of the tools, for a beginner as far as I'm concerned it can't be beat. ... 360031531/

    It's worth also buying a suitable quality spanner for your brake bleed nipples (if you have hydraulics), you don't want to use a cheap adjustable on those. And a good T25 Torq as well, stripping a disc bolt head would be annoying. And a set of good quality T-handle allen keys, quality here is well worth paying for as good allen keys avoid destroying bolts. (Usually I prefer a ratchet set with allen bits, but for mountain bike use I use T-handles)

    There's various other decent budget kits- Revolution, Icetoolz- but mostly they come with less useful stuff than the Lifeline one, and are a bit padded out with, well, tat. Horrible adjustable spanners, cheap allen keys etc. The Lifeline kit is more basic but I'd sooner spend my cash on bike specific tools. And the quality's good enough.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • MombeeMombee Posts: 170
    Yo Scazzer,

    a general toolkit, like blitz mentions, is a good start. And I agree that picking up tools as you need them is a good approach... I've just rebuilt my MTB wheels, so bought new cone spanners for that (it's easy taking hubs apart without them, but next to impossible to put them back together properly without them).

    If you haven't already got one, then a good quality minitool is a worthy investment - some might the build quality of professional tools but, because they're bike-specific, they'll get you out of trouble in the garage as well as in the wilds.

    The only useful tools that might be worth investing ahead of you really needing them are:
      Pedal spanner - most modern pedals can be removed or tightened with an Allen key, but the spanned makes the job very much easier (especially if they've not been removed for a while).

      Chain-splitter - it's handy to be able to remove a chain sometimes or just take out a stiff or twisted link, and it's a tool-specific job.

      Some chainlube and WD40 is also a good investment.

      Cheers, Mombee. ... more than just bikes.
      Cannondale CAADX Disc
    • Another vote for the Lifeline tool set on Wiggle.

      I've managed to change headsets, BBs as well as maintain hubs with that set.

      And it's a whole heap cheaper now than when i bought it.
      Whyte 905 (2009)
      Trek 1.5 (2009)
      Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp (2007)
    • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
      scazzer wrote:
      when you say inexpensive tools, wot make would you recommend as i know park tools are the daddy of tools for bike maintenance and come at a cost,but like you say for DIY purposes dont think i could justify buying 'Park tools' :roll:
      Whatever you can afford. I've got some Draper and Snap-On tools that I'll be able to hand on to my kids and they'll probably be able to pass them on to their kids, but for DIY maintenance they are OTT. The only probs I've had with tools are cheap screwdrivers and open-ended spanners but bike-specific tools tend to be pretty good. I've got some cheap cone spanners, a chain tool and a crank puller and for DIY use they are pefectly OK.
    • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
      Those 30 quid tool sets are great - and that is from an ex mechanic is is used to using only the very best. Cost you double to buy them all seperately. Chain tools are usually the weak link, just be careful with them.

      I bought one 4 years ago, still use it.
    • dav1dav1 Posts: 1,298
      If you are finding that you only need one or two tools then buy them as you need.

      If you need a long list of specific tools then you will be better off buying a kit IMO as it will cost you the earth to buy it all in one go!. If you buy a toolset the obviously the more expencive ones will have better quility tools.

      That said a cheap starter kit that you replace as it gets worn out or breaks can work.
      I bought the LIDL £20 tool set a while back, some tools were good, some useless but it was a cheap start. Im not just replacing tools as they wear out (the chain tool broke on its second use)
      Giant TCR advanced 2 (Summer/race)
      Merlin single malt fixie (Commuter/winter/training)
      Trek superfly 7 (Summer XC)
      Giant Yukon singlespeed conversion (winter MTB/Ice/snow)

      Carrera virtuoso - RIP
    • scazzerscazzer Posts: 254
      :D:D cheers fellas for help,just what i was after replies with experience and thats why i posted question.Good info all round which i will follow and then all i need is confidence to start taking things to bits :wink:
    • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
      Good thing about the lifeline one too is it comes with cable cutters - many don't, usually another tenner to spend.
    • Is there anything that park tools do between the "beginner set" at £60 (not much in it) to the £200+ "AK37" set?
    • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
      TBH I'm not sure that a socket set is a good investment for bike use, they're great tools but the only time I've ever used one on a modern mountain bike was to drive another tool (my BB tool has a nut on the back so can be used along with a socket set or spanner, for instance).

      Draper Expert, Clarke Pro (from Machine mart) and Halfords ranges are all decent. Basically, if a tool range has a "pro" and a "normal" range, generally the pro range will be adequate but the normal range will be made of toffee. I really like Teng Tools, they're well made, precise and very tough, but they're expensive- too expensive for the typical DIYer really.
      Uncompromising extremist
    • The budget toolkits out there are good for different things.

      Its best to take a look at your bike and figure out which toolkit offers the best tools for you. e.g. Does your bike have a Hollowtech 2 type bottom bracket? If it does and if you plan on ever removing it you'll need a hollowtech 2 tool. The Ice Toolz tool kit is the only one in the budget range that has this (I think)... but it doesn't have a cable cutter so if you plan on changing cables it might not be ideal for you and the Lifeline kit would be better.

      Its probably worth taking just a little while having a think and choosing the best one for you.

      Oh and in my humble opinion (and I'll probably get slated for saying this one) Park Tools are inferior to Pedros Tools. So if you were thinking about a top tool brand I'd recommend looking at Pedros too.
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