Bicycle Maintenance | Key tools for servicing your bike at home

Words by Will Crump

on 19/02/2021 11:50:00


Vital tools for when it comes to maintaining your bike.

There is nothing more frustrating than needing to repair or upkeep your bike and not having the correct tools for the jobs. Most essential maintenance that needs performing on a bike can be done with a small range of quality tools as well as a few bike specific utensils.

When it comes to purchasing tools it is often recommended to deem them as an investment and not a cost. By purchasing high quality equipment you will save yourself more money and time in the long run as you won't have to keep forking out for new instruments.

In this blog, in our maintenance series, we will be exploring the world of crucial cycling tools in order for you to service, repair and work on your bike. Together, we will create a list of equipment that will be useful for maintenance on the move as well as tools that can stay at home, in the garage.

Tools for when you're out and about -


When you're out on a ride - whether it be road, mountain, commuting or leisure cycling - nobody wants to stop and have to repair their bikes. It's a real pain. Unfortunately, we all have to stop every now and then and mend our bikes.

As riders, we also don't want to be carrying around a rucksack full of toolbox equipment in case something was to happen. On a road bike, more than likely you're only going to have a saddle bag and your jersey for storage so its best to keep our tools as small as possible.



To solve this issue, investing in a solid cycling multi-tool which can act as the perfect bike tool to fix everything that can possibly go wrong with a bike whilst you're out. Multi-tools are often constructed with a large range of allen keys, screwdriver heads, torque allen keys, tyre levers, spoke keys and of course - a trusty bottle opener! In the event of a puncture, it might be handy to carry around a larger spare tyre lever to get more leverage on your tyres.

Shop our full range of Multi-tools here!

Puncture Repair Kits

As stated previously, we have gotten tyre levers covered but it is worth carrying around puncture repair patches or tyre repair plugs if you have tubeless tyres. Another essential accessory to carry around, just in case of a puncture are CO2 canisters and adapters. These can quickly inflate your tyres with enough air for you to carry on riding. Note: make sure to use gloves or protection over your fingers when using one as they can freeze upon usage.

Tools for your home bike workshop -


When you're at home, you can keep a larger range of essential tools that you will be able to execute larger repairs and better upkeep. To ensure that your home maintenance goes as smoothly as possible, investing in a sturdy Work Stand will become very beneficial. You can arrange your tools around your bike meaning that your repairs can be performed efficiently and stress free.

Ball head allen keys

Having a full set of ball head allen keys is absolutely crucial within your homemade workshop. The addition of the ball head ends allows you to still use the allen keys even when the bolt head is at a funny angle. Furthermore, allen bolts are all over your bicycle so having a strong set is literally vital to conduct any repair.

It is also useful to consider purchasing a smaller set of Torque allen keys which are star shaped in comparison to the traditional hexagon. Torque allen keys are commonly found on disc brake fittings.

Shop our range of Allen Keys here!

Torque Wrench


Investing a good torque wrench with all of the adapters will come in very handy within your workshop. All bolts have a recommended torque tightening number on them, if you fall short of this number you run the risk of it becoming loose and if you tighten it too much then you may snap the head of the bolt. Using an adjustable torque wrench means that you can tighten your bolts to the perfect strength to make your bike as safe as possible.

Shop our range of Torque Wrenches here!

Tools for your chain


Your chain is one of the most replaced parts on your bike considering it needs changing every 2000 miles or less depending on how and where you ride. To check when your chain's life is coming to an end, you can purchase a little chain life measuring gauge that tells you exactly how worn it is as a percentage. If your chain is over 0.75% worn then it needs changing immediately unless its a 12 speed which needs changing at 0.5%.

Another utensil for your chain is a chain tool splitter which does what it says on the tin - it splits the chain. This can come in handy for chains that do not have an easy to use split link or for the rider who goes through chains at a rate of knots.

Shop our range of Chain tools here!

Pliers & Cable Cutters

At some point or another, you're going to want to either trim or replace your cables on your bike. To do this, you are going to need some regular pliers but then some bike specific cable cutters which can cut both the outer housing case as well as the cable inside. These will come in handy at times when you least expect it to or when you perform a yearly service on your componentry.

Shop our range of pliers here! Shop our range of Cable Cutters here!

Bike Pumps


A good pump is an obvious necessity - it doesn't matter if you ride either road or mountain, you need to ensure that your tyres are running the correct pressure to avoid a fall off. A good foot pump with a PSI gauge will be good for home as you can easily and efficiently pump up your tyres to an accurate amount without guessing. When you are on your ride, you can carry a little fold away pump on your frame.

Shop our range of Bike pumps here!


Finally, screwdrivers should almost be a given in any bike mechanics life considering they can adjust so many different variables on our bikes. It is useful to have both phillips and flat blades in sizes 0, 1 and 2 to ensure that you have the tool for any job that is needed.

Find your nearest Rutland Cycling store