Bike maintenance is arguably the most important and commonly avoided part of cycling. More often than not we just want to get out and ride and the thought of doing maintenance sounds like a chore. However, when staying safe on the road is a top priority, having a well-maintained bike is going to be integral to making that happen.
For most of us visiting our local bike shop for every small repair is probably going to be out of the question. I can assure you that most basic maintenance checks are going to be pretty to easy to pick up and something that you can do at home.
Before you get knee deep in learning on how to do the repairs, you’ll need to pull together a basic set of tools to get the job done. You will find that most of the adjustments that you are going to be performing can be done with multi-tool that you carry in your saddlebag. However, this might not be the best way to work on your bike at your home workstation.
We have put together a list of must-haves in your home kit.
Screwdrivers – Flathead & Phillips head is going to be your best friend. These come especially hand as you set your work on adjustments for your drivetrain, as well as a number of assorted fixes that you can perform across your bike.
Allen Keys – Now you might be thinking, my multi-tool got me covered right? These are a great “on the road” option, but if you are working at your home station individual Allen keys work best. Now we understand that you might not be looking to a full set of Allen keys, so if you were to get just 3 we would recommend 4mm, 5mm, and 6mm. These will allow you to complete most of your basic maintenance tasks.
Floor Pump – This seems like a no-brainer, but a good quality pump is totally worth its weight in gold. I tend to opt for the pumps with a dual valve chuck. This makes switching between Schrader and Presta valves a breeze.
Must Have Supplies
Chain Lube – If there was ever one essential to have, it would definitely be chain lube. Simply by wiping down regularly and apply lube, you will be off to the races and running silky smooth.
Grease – Not to be confused with chain lube, grease comes in handy for most of the screws and bolts that come on your bike.
Small Brush – It lets you really get in clean the nooks and crannies on your bike. I find that it is especially helpful when I am cleaning the cassette. You will be able to get the crud out that is deep in between the chainrings on your cassette.
Cool Beverage & Favorite Jams – Working on your bike should never be a stressful thing. As I am getting my workstation all set up and my tools laid out for the task ahead, I like pull out my favorite record and crack a cool sparkling water. When I am jamming out to Black Cow by Steely Dan or Juicy by Biggie I know I going to do my best work. For any musical inspiration, check out our very own playlists.