Bicycle Tool Sets: Pros, Cons, and Buying Guide

Posted at: Jul 28, 2021

A "bicycle tool set" is a set of tools necessary for bicycle maintenance and is reasonably priced. The following is a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a bicycle tool set and points to keep in mind when buying one.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Bicycle Tool Sets

Advantages of Bicycle Tool Sets

The major advantages of tool sets are as follows.

  1. low price per tool and high cost performance
  2. you can get more tools than you need at once
  3. comes with a special storage case

The most important point is that the case also comes with the tool box. A proper tool box may cost a good price, and the special case prevents the tools from shifting inside.

Disadvantages of Bicycle Tool Sets

On the other hand, the disadvantages of bicycle tool sets include the following

  1. some tools are unnecessary
  2. some of them may contain inaccurate tools

There is no problem if there are unnecessary tools, but be aware that there are a surprisingly large number of tool sets that contain inaccurate tools.

Tips for choosing a bicycle tool set

Does it have all the tools you need?

Bicycle parts are often installed with hex screws or Phillips-head screws and nuts, and common tools such as Allen keys and wrenches are often not a problem, but tools with bicycle-specific standards may be surprisingly not available.

In particular, BBs and wheel hubs often use special standards, so be careful.

For BBs, recent tool sets often come with BB wrenches for Shimano’s Hollowtech, but many low-priced bicycles do not have Hollowtech BBs but a common square type, so tools for Hollowtech cannot be used to work on them.

Also note that most sprocket removers in tool sets are for free cassettes, which will not remove the boss free.

Whenever possible, use manufacturer’s genuine dedicated tools for tools that require a lot of torque.

When servicing a bicycle, it is safer to use genuine Shimano or other manufacturer’s tools if the tightening torque is high, or if the connection standard is not hexagonal or Phillips, such as BBs, but a special shape.

In particular, parts around BBs, cranks, and sprockets have special standards and high tightening torques, and are prone to sticking due to rust and other factors, so there is a possibility of licking threads or breaking tools by using cheap tools, so be sure to choose high-precision tools.

In addition, the things that bite the adapters can lick even the genuine manufacturer’s tools, so it is safer to prepare a dedicated tool from a reliable tool manufacturer.

The following tools are the ones you should buy dedicated tools for.

  1. BB wrench
  2. cotterless puller

This is around the crank. Since it is the part where the most force is applied, the tightening torque is high, and it is easy to rust and stick due to sand and other factors, so it is best to buy a solid tool to prevent parts and frames from being broken.

For carbon frames and forks, also purchase a torque wrench!

Most bicycle tool sets do not come with a torque wrench to measure tightening torque.

Carbon frames/forks are made of carbon fiber epoxied together, so they are vulnerable to pressure at points, and in the worst case, there is a risk of cracks in the frame or frame rupture.

Prepare grease as well!

When you buy a tool set, you will also want to buy grease.

Bicycle parts work fine without greasing, but if rain or sand gets into the parts, it can cause rust to form inside the parts and cause the parts to stick.

If you grease up your bicycle, the grease will fill such gaps, preventing water and sand from getting in, and preventing rust and sticking.

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Know how to prepare and use tools.

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