Although nothing can replace a good bike mechanic, there is a lot of regular maintenance and bike repair you can do yourself at home. If you are just getting started, it can be daunting to know what you really need.
Bikes are weird because there are many specialized tools to work with them ̵
Tools: The Necessities
When it comes to bike maintenance, there are a few tools you really need. Others may not be absolute temples, but we do come a little to them. For now, let's look at the things you absolutely want.
A Work Stand
If you've ever tried working on your bike while on the ground, you know what an absolute pain can be. To work properly on your rig, you need the right setup. You need it to be at eye level, stable and able to spin freely. For that you need a work stand.
There are a number of stands available at different price points. And as with most things, you get what you pay for. Here are a few things you might want to check out:
- Bikehand Pro Mechanic Stand ($ 90): If you're just getting started, choose something affordable like this. It will cover all your basic needs, even though cheaper stands are not stable with heavier bikes. If your bike weighs more than 25 kg, this may not be the best choice.
- Park Tool PSC-9 Home Mechanic Stand ($ 140): Park Tool is one of the best names of bike repair, and the products are always first-class. However, this is the most basic repair rack. You need a little more to get something more robust.
- Feedback Sports Pro Elite Repair Stand ($ 230): If you're looking for a more robust stand, I can't recommend this stand enough. It's incredibly stable, tackles almost any bike, and folds up to be quite compact for easy transportation. I've been using this stand for at least three years for routine maintenance on my bikes, and it's been rock solid all the time.
Now that you have your bike in a good position to work with, you need some tools to get the job done.
Hex keys and torque wrenches
Most parts of a bike use hex screws, so you need a good set of hex keys to keep everything tight. There is a good chance that you already have a set around the house you can use.
If you don't, but here are some options to get started:
- TEKTON Long Arm Hex Keys ($ 10): This is about as basic as a set of hexagonal keys gets And that's all you need for most applications.
- Park Tool PH-1.2 P-Wrist Hex Wrenches ($ 75): If you want something more premium, PH-1.2 is where it is. They are expensive but have a more robust design than a basic set. And you can use the buttocks as a T-style wrench.
- Park Tool AWS-3 3-way hex key ($ 11.50): For the most basic tasks, it is useful to have a simple three-way hex wrench around as well. The ergonomic grip makes it faster and easier to use than a regular hex key. This is my wrench for regular adjustments to areas such as stem and seatpost binder. Note that there are two versions of the AWS-3 with less than 2, 2.5 and 3 heads; and one with later sizes of 4, 5 and 6. You want the latest for most tasks.
I also recommend investing in a torque key. Almost every bolt on a bicycle has a torque rating (that is, how tight each bolt is to be welded down). If you miss the sweet spot, it can be harmful to both the components and you. If you do not turn it enough, you run the risk of slipping; Get it too tight and you risk damaging important components or expensive parts.
The most common parts of a bike you need to fine-tune are the rods and seat post clamp, both of which usually have a torque of 4-6 Nm Newton Meters). The good news is that there are many wrenches out there that cover the whole spectrum:
- Park Tool ATD-1 Adjustable torque driver ($ 65): This adjustable wrench works in half Nm between 4-6, so it is quite versatile and covers many of the smaller bolts on a bike. It also comes with three different pieces, so it is useful in many places.
- Pro Bike Tool Adjustable Torque Wrench ($ 40): This wrench is not as adjustable as the Park Tool model with options for 4, 5 and 6 (not half-Nm options), but it should do the rush in most cases.
- Pro Bike 1/4-inch Drive Click Torque Wrench ($ 67): This is a micro-adjustable wrench with a range between 2-20 Nm. It is a super versatile wrench at about the same price as the Park Tools basic model. Keep in mind that it is a much larger wrench, so it will not work as well in tighter rooms.
When the wrench situation is covered, it is one more important tool that I think is an absolute must for the home user.  A Good Tape Measure
If you change components such as steering, trunk, seat post or hall, you'll need to take some basic measurements to make sure you get the new stuff properly positioned. Because you need a good tape measure.
When working with bicycles, most are measured using the metric system because it is simply more accurate than Imperial (and generally makes more sense). Here are my choices for both:
Your bike has tires. Tires need air. So you need a pump. But seriously, you need to check your tire pressure before each trip. I know it works too much, but tires with high pressure (such as mountain bike tires) lose air faster than something like car tires. There are many variables here, but ultimately, by checking the tire pressure before each turn, it helps prevent pinching equipment. As for what pressure you should run, well, it's a completely different conversation.
For most home programs, a regular old floor pump is all you need. Here are a few I have had good luck with:
- Topeak Joe Blow Max ($ 35): I have had this pump for years now, and it still goes strong. It's still my go-to pump to check the tire pressure on the regular.
- Serfas Digital Pump ($ 75): If you want a most accurate reading, this digital pump from Serfas is where it is. I originally thought it was more of a novelty, but after spending a while, I was sold. It's a killer pump.
Now that you have all your tools, let's talk about one-time maintenance articles – lubricants, sinks, degreasing agents and all the good ones!
More essentials: Lubes, degreaser and Bike Wash
Proper bike maintenance doesn't just mean tightening bolts occasionally – it actually means cleaning that thing too! The power train (ie chain, gear, chain and crank) needs special attention, which includes both lubing and degreasing regularly.
If you've used the WD-40 to lubricate your chain, stop Keep WD-40 away from your bike Permanently You need real chain butter
Why? Because WD-40 doesn't even lubricate, it's more a degreaser (and not even a good one) When it comes to chain butter, there are two main types: wet and dry, stay with me here, as this can be a bit confusing, wet lubricant is made for wet conditions, while dry lubricant is used in dry, dry conditions. dusty conditions. Wild, right?
Unless you live in a very wet environment – you know where it rains more often than not – then you probably need a dry lubricant. ode news is that there are tons choices. Here are some of my favorites:
- WD-40 Wet Lube ($ 9): Yep, the WD-40 has a line of bike tubes and they are amazing.
- WD-40 Dry Lube ($ 9): It also comes dry!
- Rock N Roll Gold ($ 8): This has been my go-to chain lubricant for many years. There is a good balance between dry and wet, as it is made for use in all conditions (except the most extreme).
- Rock N Roll Absolute Dry ($ 8): One of the "fastest" chubs available, which means it gives less resistance than anyone else. The problem? It wears quickly, so you need to replace it more often.
- Rock N Roll Extreme ($ 8): This is Rock N Roll's wet lubricant. It is really designed for extreme conditions. So if you plan to ride during a monsoon, you want this.
While talking about lubes, you may be wondering how often you use the lubricant. The general rule is about every 100 miles or so, but immediately after a wet ride. This should extend the life of the chain.
For good maintenance of the chain, you must also degrease that thing occasionally (every 500 miles is the recommendation). For that you need a good degreaser. There are two different styles of degreaser: aerosol and pouring types. The former comes in an aerosol container under pressure – you know, like paint or hairspray – while the latter is just an open box that you rather put on a rag.
Here's a look at some of the best options available now:  WD-40 Bike Chain Degreaser ($ 7): Do you remember how I said WD-40 is more a degreaser than a lubricant? Well, even then it's a pretty dirty degreaser. Therefore, WD-40 also makes a product especially for bicycle chains.
A Chain Cleaning Tool
While aerosol degreasing agents are excellent at quickly spreading the chain and cleaning it, there is a better way – a chain cleaner. You load this case with degreasing agent, place it on the chain and spin the crank backwards. It degreases the chain quickly and easily, saving you a lot of time and trouble. It's great – and cheap!
Here are my choices for the best chain cleaning tools out there right now:
- White Lightning Bike Chain Cleaner Kit ($ 15): I have this and it gets the job done. I question how well it will last over time and repeated use, but it has gone well the few times I have used it so far.
- Park Tool CM-5.2 Cyclone Chain Cleaner ($ 26): This is almost twice the price of White Lightning, but I will bet that it is a little more robust. Park makes things long term.
- Pedro's Chainpig II Chain Cleaner ( $ 24): Another reliable name in all bike repair, so this is good. In addition, it looks like a pig, and it's just cool.
Remember, if you get one of these, you need a good pouring degreaser (instead of an aerosol) to go with it.
Finally, you need a way to keep the rest of your bike clean. While only could snake it and use some dish soap to clean it, a dedicated bike wash is better. Check it:
- WD-40 All-Purpose Bike Wash ($ 9): WD-40 is all in on the cycling scene, and this sink is amazing. I've been using it for a while, and it cuts through grease, dirt and road scrap to make my bikes look good. Plus it's cheap!
- White Lightning Wash & Shine ($ 11): White Lightning makes many good things, and this bike wash is no exception.
- Finish Line Super Bike Wash ($ 13): I used these things for years and it does the job.
- Muc-Off Nano Tech Bike Cleaner ($ 17): As I said earlier, Muc-Off makes some of the best things in the game, and this Nano Tech cleaner is where it is for cleaning agents of high quality.
- Muc-Off Bike Protector ($ 16): If you want to take the bike cleaning game to the next level, you can also throw some of this off after you've finished washing it.