What Are the Different Types of Bicycle Repair Tools?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Allen wrenches, which are used to fix bicycles.
Allen wrenches, which are used to fix bicycles.

Many specially designed bicycle repair tools have been developed to service certain parts of the bike. While many repairs can be done with a set of Allen wrenches and screwdrivers, other repairs require the specially designed tools and cannot be done successfully without them. The most common bicycle repair tools are tire levers, which help a cyclist pry the tire away from the rim in order to change a punctured tube or replace the tire. These levers are made of plastic in most cases to avoid damaging the rim, though metal levers are also available. These can damage the rim, however, and are not recommended for most bicycle applications.

Cone wrenches may be used for adjusting the hubs of bicycle wheels.
Cone wrenches may be used for adjusting the hubs of bicycle wheels.

Other bicycle repair tools include spoke wrenches, truing stands, and nipple drivers. These tools are used to build and maintain bicycle wheels. A truing stand allows a person to gauge how straight and round the wheel is at any given time, and spoke wrenches allow the person to tighten or loosen spokes if the wheel needs adjustment. A nipple driver is a specially designed tool that helps a person install new spoke nipples quickly and easily. Wheel building is a complex task that requires significant skill and practice, and it cannot be done well or at all without these bicycle repair tools.

Allen wrenches, wrenches, screwdrivers and tire levers are common bicycle repair tools.
Allen wrenches, wrenches, screwdrivers and tire levers are common bicycle repair tools.

Cone wrenches are very thin wrenches used for adjusting the hubs of the bicycle wheels. The wrenches are flat to allow a person to work the wrench into very tight spots; the wheel nuts and cones — which press against the bearings inside the hub — are counter-tightened against each other, so it can be difficult to get a good grip on these thin nuts. Cone wrenches make this process much easier.

Older or cheaper bike models typically require wrenches for maintenance and repairs.
Older or cheaper bike models typically require wrenches for maintenance and repairs.

A headset cup press is a device used to press unthreaded bearing cups into the head tube of the bicycle. The head tube is the part of the frame through which the bicycle fork is slid and attached to the stem, which is in turn attached to the handlebars. The press is threaded and puts pressure on the cups as the user threads the handle down further and further.

Other bicycle repair tools include a derailleur hanger alignment gauge, cassette lock ring tools, bottom bracket pullers, crank extractors, and various other specially designed tools. A hanger alignment gauge allows a person to straighten the part of the frame to which the rear derailleur is attached, should it get bent. Cassette lock ring tools allow a user to remove the rear cluster of gears. Bottom bracket pullers allow a user to remove or install a bottom bracket, which is a set of bearings at the bottom of the frame. In order to use this tool, the cranks of the bicycle need to be removed using a crank extractor.

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Discussion Comments

Raynbow

I ride a bicycle, and I always keep a bicycle tire pump handy. Riding over different types of surfaces often cause bicycles tires to lose air. Using a tire pump will allow a rider to keep his or her tires thoroughly inflated so the tires never go completely flat.

Rundocuri

Anyone who owns and rides a bicycle should invest in a set of different sized wrenches. There are many different types of bicycle repairs, and most of them can be fixed using a wrench. This is why having these bicycle repair tools handy is important to any bicyclist who doesn't want to let a repair slow him or her down.

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    • Allen wrenches, which are used to fix bicycles.
      Allen wrenches, which are used to fix bicycles.
    • Cone wrenches may be used for adjusting the hubs of bicycle wheels.
      Cone wrenches may be used for adjusting the hubs of bicycle wheels.
    • Allen wrenches, wrenches, screwdrivers and tire levers are common bicycle repair tools.
      Allen wrenches, wrenches, screwdrivers and tire levers are common bicycle repair tools.
    • Older or cheaper bike models typically require wrenches for maintenance and repairs.
      Older or cheaper bike models typically require wrenches for maintenance and repairs.