The Right Tools For the Job
Upkeep on your dirt and/or mountain bike before and after you ride is crucial to make everything ride smooth and safe. You might be thinking, “Where do I start?”. Not to worry, I will give a good head-start on the right tools that are not only going to help with maintenance of the bike but tools that will most likely be used for the rest of your life. The first few of this list is going to seem obvious to most. However, don’t write this list off yet. There may be a few sleeper picks in here to surprise you.
Kicking off the list is probably the most obvious tool everyone should have in the toolbox, the Philips and Flat headed screwdrivers. This 6-piece screwdriver set can accommodate from small to large screw heads. It may possibly be the most used and universal tool in your arsenal. Definitely a must have!
2. Torque Wrench
The Torque Wrench is the cooler older brother to the screwdriver. I have heard some debates when it comes to using a torque wrench versus a socket wrench. To me it isn’t even a contest. The only way to really ensure the correct amount of torque is with a torque wrench like this one from Performance Tool. Being that safety is the name of the game, you CANNOT have anything coming lose mid-ride.
More specifically, when it comes to automotive applications like your dirt bike, ATV, or car those nuts and bolts need to be secured a certain level of torque and a basic socket wrench won’t be able to tell you if it is tight enough. A torque wrench can of course work for a regular bike or mountain bike as well.
3. Tire Irons & The Bead Buddy
There is already a tie on the list! This is because these tools work to essentially help do the same task. Your typical tire iron can be be used to take off the tire as well as be used to reapply it to the wheel. While both tasks can be done with simple tire irons, the Bead Buddy really makes this sometimes annoying task much easier.
The bead buddy acts as an extra hand keeping the place of tire that has already been tucked back into the wheel. With enough practice and skill, tire irons are really all that is necessary but at $13.49, the bead buddy is worth it for convenience, in my opinion.
4. Allen Wrenches/ Hex Keys
Keeping on down the list is a tool(s) that is essential to maintenance to your bike and that is a good set of hex keys or commonly known as allen wrenches. A lot of hex-headed screws can be found on the breaking system and around the handle bars. This makes them almost essential when working on your bike. If you have a way to keep your wrenches organized, this 22 piece set at $14.95 will be perfect. However, if you are like me and need a handy place to hold your allen wrenches, this Motion Pro set is the way to go.
5. Spoke Wrench
A spoke wrench is the next tool to have. The spoke wrench is used to tighten or loosen the spokes on the wheel. The technique to balance the spokes takes practice and finesse. There is no shortcut around this tool. The best thing to do is to set yourself up for success with a kit like this one from Bikemaster and maybe practice on another wheel and not on your bike at first, just to get it down.
6. Clutch Hub holder/ Clutch Pliers
This Clutch Hub holder from Motion Pro is a great tool to have when working on your machine. It isn’t the most versatile tool but they are relative inexpensive for the convenience it brings when working on the inner workings of the bike that are hard to get a grip on with the torque wrench.
7. Chain Breaker
Having a chain breaker is another tool that is important too. The Chain breaker from Bikemaster is a a solid choice. It is handheld and fairly robust. A chain breaker is used to remove the rivets in the chain. Once the chain is broken, more or less links can be added or removed. Getting out the rivets in the chain is difficult without this tool. Once again, its a tool that doesn’t break the bank.
8. Air Pumps
The last 3 items kind of all go together but serve different purposes. What happens if you are out on the track and the tire pressure needs adjustment? Riding is no longer an option unless you really want to replace a tire or a complete wheel. The answer is simple, an air pump. BTOSports.com carries a few styles of pumps. A portable compressor, a floor pump and a hand pump. Personally, I prep ahead at a local gas station and keep a hand pump all the time. All options mention are capable of easy transport.
9. Valve Core Removal Tool
The valve core tool is a cheap tool that simply removes the air valve from the air tube that is inside the tire. That valve is nearly impossible to remove but for less than $5, you get a tool that you will never have to replace it as long as you do not lose it!
10. Pressure Gauge
Last but certainly not least is the humble pencil pressure gauge. This pressure gauge comes in at less than $5. I keep one in the tool box and in my car. You don’t need anything really fancy. Spending any more money than this on a gauge not necessary. Making sure your tires are at the proper P.S.I., to reiterate, is VERY important!
Hopefully this list has been helpful to at least some of you out there. Are there any tools that you would replace from this list or are there some tools that you think I missed? Leave a comment down below! There are plenty more tools to choose from here at BTOSports.com.