Whilst the development of bikes has become far more sophisticated in recent years, there are still some basic requirements for your tool kit that have changed very little during that period. Whether you have a mountain bike or road bike, irrespective of its vintage there are still some essentials that every rider should carry.
A good place to start is to buy a purpose made bike tool kit which will contain all the essentials that you need to keep you on the road. These will generally contain an array of Allen keys, spanners and other tools that are vital for any rider.
The first and arguably the most important tool is the adjustable spanner. Naturally it needs to be adjustable to fit all sizes of nuts and bolts and, as with all tools, it’s important not to compromise on quality. Above all, you need to be kept on the road so your tools need to be reliable.
It will be useful to find some fixed spanners in your tool box as well. 10 and 15 millimetre spanners will fit many parts of the bike including pedals and brakes and will save you from having to adjust a spanner continuously. Lastly, ensure that your kit carries a set of cone spanners which will deal with any wheel bearings that need adjusting or replacing.
Any tool kit should carry screwdrivers and although it may seem obvious, make sure your bike kit contains some flat head and star screwdrivers that will deal with minor adjustments of brakes and gears and more major issues around the bike.
For many riders, the most useful item in their kit is the spoke tool. Generally these are ‘multi sized’ and are extremely useful for adjusting spoke tension to your requirements and for making sure that your wheels run true.
The chain is at the hub of all bikes and it is important to keep this maintained and to carry tools to cover any eventuality. Make sure you have a multipurpose chain tool for cutting and joining and it would be useful also to acquire a chain cleaning kit to keep it in good condition at all times.
Maybe one of the biggest developments in bike manufacture over the years has been in the increase in tyre quality and the sophisticated tyres that we see in use today have improved beyond recognition.
Naturally, with this improvement, tyre repair kits have needed to become more sophisticated at the same time and there are kits designed specifically for the type of tyres that you have whether they are fitted to a mountain or road bike. Make sure you carry a basic puncture repair kit to keep you on the road and that your overall tool kit contains the correct tyre levers and that you have a quality pump.
Depending of the make and model of your bike, there are many more tools that can be carried and they can become more elaborate and tailor made to the model that you have. For all bikes however, it is important to attend to the basics and these tools are essential no matter what you ride.