Bike Repair Kits & Tools - What Should You Have?
Whether you cycle to work, go cross country or simply cycle for fun, keeping your bike well maintained and in top condition will make sure it is reliable and performing. Prevention is always better than cure and it is important to regular check and service your bike. There will be any number of specialist cycle shops that can do this for you but these will be both costly and time consuming and with the right set of tools there is nothing they can do that you can`t do yourself.
There are a variety of bike repair kits and bike tools on the market and it is important to know what you require. Price range is a good indicator of what matches your needs best. Multi tools tend to be less expensive and perform a number of jobs while individual tools cost more but perform specific jobs very effectively. Every cyclist should carry a pump as a prerequisite to travelling as tire inflation is the most common problem. Many pumps come with a holder that can be easily attached to the bike frame.
For any cyclist a puncture will stop you dead in your tracks so it is important to always carry a puncture repair kit. These are inexpensive and often comprise of scissors, rubber cement, patches and a needle. Find the puncture and seal it. Re-inflate the tire and give it a good once over before returning on your journey.
The wheels take the majority of the impact while riding so it is important to have the tools to fix them should they require it. A small set of spanners is a good set of tools to carry and will enable you fix most problems on your bike. Depending on your needs these can vary in price from a relatively cheap and portable multi tool set to a more expensive 16 piece case. Whichever you decide on it is always advisable to travel with a small multi tool set. It is wise to check that the front and rear dropouts are tight - the bolt that keeps the wheels attached to the frame as over time these can work loose and the last thing you want is the wheel coming of while you are riding.
Depending on your bike some joints may require an Allen key. This is common for the handle bars and sometimes the seat so it is a good idea to carry the right size with you. Again like the tires and wheels it is always a good idea to regular check the joints are tight.
In the event that your bike does break down the tools highlighted above will solve the vast majority of your problems and have you on your way again in no time. They all come in small portable versions and will fit into a small bag that can be attached to your bike frame.