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  1. #1
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    Must have tools for caring for a FS bike

    I have realized that I can't afford to keep shipping my bike down to the local bike store when something needs to get adjusted. Time to start getting involved and fixing it myself.

    I just bought an Anthem2 with a Fox34 Rhythm & Float Performance shocks. I do have some tools but just trying to wrap my head around what I will need to get.

    I know off the top that I will need to get something to replace the chain on this bike. Funnily this is an immediate need as when I purchased the bike I upgraded the front chain ring to a 34tooth from a 30. the bike store assured me that the chain was long enough and that I didn't need a new one. After watching a youtube video from Singletrack on how to measure a chain for an FS bike, I gave their method a try and found out that the chain is too short and at full compression of the rear shock the derailleur would be ripped off the hanger as the chain isn't long enough.

    So I have ordered a new Shimano 701 chain, that I know will need to be shortened. I did at one point have a cheap chain break tool but I have long since misplaced it. I don't know if it is worth paying the $60 for a Park chain tool or if any of the cheaper Amazon ones that are out there will do the trick just as well. I am planning on using a sram powerlock chain connector rather than the old solid pin of yesteryear Shimano.

    I was thinking of picking up however a park CC-2C chain wear guide and the mlp-1.2 chain link pliers. I have a stand & the park CWP-7 Universal crank puller. What other tools will I need likely in the next year to keep the bike at top performance from a maintenance side?

  2. #2
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    Get to know various on-line bike sites...Have used many of them for years to get whatever I need for parts / upgrades at a fraction of cost at a bike shop. I even buy my bikes on line.

    Many sell a 'universal tool kit'...comes in a plastic case about 1' square. They are like $50 and have just about everything you need for most repairs. Over time you will see that some tools are worth upgrading but I have used the same kit for years. I also have a huge snap-on rollaway tool chest with TONS of tools for auto and motorcycle work but that little bike kit is easy to throw in my truck so it's all there if needed at trail head.
    12 Santa Cruz Heckler
    18 Kona Process 153 AL/DL (27.5)...

  3. #3
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    Good t handle hex wrenches, brake bleed kit and hydraulic oil, torque wrench (most necessary for putting pivots back after greasing pivots or bearings), and my favorite of all the park tool derailleur hanger alignment tool! When something is going iffy with the drivetrain always check the hanger as one of the first things

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Learning to maintain, service and repair your own ride will pay dividends. Not only will this be in terms of dollars and time, but in personal satisfaction coupled with a better understanding of your bikes mechanical functions.

    You didn't mention the depth of repair or servicing you intend to delve into, but learning and addressing the basics will provide you with the confidence to take on the more complex tasks.

    You did mention starting with chain service so you'll need a decently functioning chain breaker and it doesn't have to be an expensive one. If it has a replaceable extraction pin, you might want to get one of them too since they do break on occasion.

    You mentioned a replaceable master link so I would suggest buying a pair of Master Link Pliers. They are not a requirement, but they make disconnecting those links a complete breeze. And, you can find them pretty cheap.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Learning to maintain, service and repair your own ride will pay dividends. Not only will this be in terms of dollars and time, but in personal satisfaction coupled with a better understanding of your bikes mechanical functions...
    ...and you'll know exactly who's responsible when something goes wrong.
    Do the math.

  6. #6
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    The best value option is to buy a tool kit. It doesn't have to be a really expensive one, just find one that has tools that apply to your bike and looks like it isn't junk.

    For occasional use, even cheap tools work. I have a dirt cheap chain tool that is s till doing the job fine.

    Then just buy additional tools as you need them.

  7. #7
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    Get the Zinn & the art of MTB maintenance book, it pays for itself quickly.
    Todd

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    The best value option is to buy a tool kit.

    Then just buy additional tools as you need them.
    We differ on this one. The bike tool kits generally have a bunch of crap that you'll never use. The quality of what you can use is usually sub-par to very sub-par.

    My philosophy is if you intend on making this a long term interest in maintaining your bike, then focus on buying quality tools as you will need them. The first quality investment should be a very good set of Allen Wrenches. My suggestion is to splurge on a high-end set and even high-end sets are not that expensive.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    We differ on this one. The bike tool kits generally have a bunch of crap that you'll never use. The quality of what you can use is usually sub-par to very sub-par.
    This is true, if you buy completely the wrong kit! ;0)

    You have to look at what's included in the kit and get one that is appropriate for your bike. Even if there are tools you don't need, the kits are usually still good value and the cheapest way to get that many tools.

    If you avoid the really cheap stuff, the tools are fine. In fact even the cheapest tools still work. I've bought better tools as they are nicer to use but I'm struggling to think of a cheap tool that has failed.

    Especially if you don't have any tools, a decent kit is a good start.

  10. #10
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    Pig has a pretty nice bike shed with most of the nice stuff, I would suggest just hanging out with Pig and getting your stuff done at his place.

    Oh, you'll need to bring a few boxes of chocolate muffins or the pig ain't doing nuffin'!
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Pig has a pretty nice bike shed with most of the nice stuff, I would suggest just hanging out with Pig and getting your stuff done at his place.
    That's pretty much exactly what people do. And they eat my chocolate! The horror.

  12. #12
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    I don't buy park tools unless no one else makes it at a reasonable price. I don't think they're very good tools. It's a lot of cheesy stamped steel stuff. I skip it whenever possible. My chain tool was 15 bucks, and it's about 10 years old. Its solid high polished metal with a ppadded handle. $60 for a park seems nuts!

    Pedros makes great tools. Everything I have from spin doctor is good. I wouldn't sweat the brand much. Bikes are pretty light duty.

  13. #13
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    The bondhaus t handles are just plain nice to use. They're cheap too, I think they're a great buy. I don't think they're drastically better, but I like comfy tools.

    My 3 sided Y-hex tool gets more use than anything.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I don't buy park tools unless no one else makes it at a reasonable price. I don't think they're very good tools.
    I buy some Park but I agree. Most Park tools are of similar quality to cheaper 'mid-price' tools so there isn't much point in buying them. Their top tools are good though.

  15. #15
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    Chain breaker, quick link pliers ( I hate Shimano pinned chains) crank puller are all great buys for any bike owner but as said above park tools are expensive.

    A derailuer alignment gauge is great if you plan on riding forever, takes a while to pay off unless you get a great deal.

    Chain gauge is also nice.
    Good cable cutters are a must.

    PVC pipe for seal drivers unless you use flangeless seals.

    Fork oil/oils

    Large old spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol

    Big bottle of fox fluid for the rear shock

    Digital metric calipers

    tube of good waterproof grease

    C clip pliers

    Spoke wrench

    Rubber mallet

    Dental pick set

    Above is a short list of tools I've bought over the years. I do a lot of bike repairs. And having the tools on hand lets me buy project bikes in rough shape at winter time, tune em up and sell em in the summer. Makes for fun winter projects, tools that pay for themselves and extra bike money for summer upgrades.

    I would suggest holding off on purchasing tools you don't need at the moment. Just buy what you need and skip the shops unless you fail at the fix yourself.

    eBay can sometimes be the best place to buy used tools. They just have to work well, they don't have to be expensive or new.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    PVC pipe for seal drivers unless you use flangeless seals.
    I have been using PVC as a driver on flangeless seals with complete success.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    Chain breaker, quick link pliers ( I hate Shimano pinned chains) crank puller are all great buys for any bike owner but as said above park tools are expensive.

    A derailuer alignment gauge is great if you plan on riding forever, takes a while to pay off unless you get a great deal.

    Chain gauge is also nice.
    Good cable cutters are a must.

    PVC pipe for seal drivers unless you use flangeless seals.

    Fork oil/oils

    Large old spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol

    Big bottle of fox fluid for the rear shock

    Digital metric calipers

    tube of good waterproof grease

    C clip pliers

    Spoke wrench

    Rubber mallet

    Dental pick set
    There is a lot of stuff on that list I wouldn't describe as essential. Basic maintenance doesn't require circlip pliers, calipers or even quick-link pliers. If you have a big pair of conventional pliers you can get a quick-link off no problem. What would he use the calipers for?

  18. #18
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    Hmm I might have gotten carried away on that list. Started with my must haves and it morphed into favorites....

    Can I substitute Slickoleum instead of digital calipers? Love me some Slickoleum

  19. #19
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    Hex wrenches, spoke wrench, chain tool, housing/cable cutters, decent tire levers along with 'standard' stuff like screwdrivers, hammer, box wrenches, pliers, assortment of bits, etc will get you through most regular maintenance.

    Next stuff would be BB tools, cassette tool and chainwhip, bleed kit, tubing cutter, chainring backing nut wrench, chain checker.

    Oh, and a bottle opener is probably most essential of all.
    Sinister Bikes
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    Love me some Slickoleum
    I don't know what that is?

    Excluding common household tools, like a hammer, my basic tool kit list would be something like:

    Allen keys (quality long ones, Bondhous maybe)
    Spoke key (a Spokey one)
    Pedal wrench
    Hub cone wrenches (if you have cup/cone hubs)
    Chain tool
    Cassette tool
    Crank/bottom bracket tools for the crank-set you have
    three-pin chain gauge or steel ruler
    Chain whip
    tyre levers

    Apart from the fork and shock, you can cover most of a bike with that and most of it can be bought in a kit.

  21. #21
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    Slickoleum is light grease used on suspension seals and bushings. I've rebuild or serviced more than a few forks with it and it does a fantastic job of reducing stiction and keeping things working smoothly. It's literally relabeled buzzies slick honey, but in bulk and cheaper.

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