Over the last few years, my tool collection has ballooned massively, so I thought I might make a quick post on tools, and which are important to have, and those that are helpful, but not a nessesity for the home mechanic.
Tools, that are important
Allan Keys. These are probably the most important item you can have. Each time you work on the bike, you’ll be using an hex wrench. Generally, you’ll need 4,5 and 6mm for the majority of bike stuff. For cartridge brake pads, you’ll need a small 3mm too. Most sets of hex wrenches will have every size you’ll ever need.
Cable cutters. Wire cutters and pliers just won’t do for bike cables, unless your just trying to mash the cable! Cable cutters will neatly cut the cables and housings. A metal file is also handy to square off the housing ends after cutting too.
Chain tools. Chain cutter, chain wear tool,chain whip and cassette lock ring tool
Spirit level, long handy to have for saddle adjustments, and ensuring shifters are level..
Spring clip pliers
Bike Repair Stand
If you’re planning on doing even the most basic bike repair maintenance, don’t underestimate the importance of a quality repair stand. Yes, they can be a little expensive and yes, they take up a little room in the garage. That said, a quality stand will save you from a lifetime of turning your bike upside down and bending over to make repairs and adjustments.
So I had my bike up in the workstand cleaning the gunk after the very, very wet ride I had earlier. In the lower gears, the chain jumped off the lower jockey wheel, jamming between the jockey and cage.
Not being quite sure what was causing it I started to look into it. I initially didn’t think it could be Todo with the wet ride so I looked at the jockey, not worn, so cleaned it off and ensured it still spun freely. Put it back on and the same thing happened. Ok, perhaps the derailleur cage is bent. Nope, that was fine, so check the hangar, that’s perfectly straight.
Could it be the chain? Time to break out the chain cleaner. A good scrubbing of the chain, and bingo, no skipping off the jockey. So all I can think of is that some filth had worked into a chain link causing it to be skipping off the jockey.
I went out the other day for a ride. Only the second ride for a good few months, and still had the dry lube on. I’d applied squirt lube, and this ride was very wet. I mean it wasn’t just a bit wet, it was properly chucking it down. I’d not had reason to think of the lube during the ride.
Gear shifts where remaining crisp and even, chain noise wasn’t an issue. I’d heard that Squirt was a good lube even in the damp, and this certainly was a wet ride.
Getting home, I dried off the bike, and did the ritual of spraying the derailers with GT-85, and running the chain through a rag to dry it off, the lube had gone a little runny with the rain, but it was still there doing its job.
Squirt really is a great lube and well worth the cost. It is however time to change back to the wet lube now the winter is here…
For a while was trying to get steps as a main goal. This isn’t working for me. So I had a think, and decided active minutes was a much better goal.
There was an article recently about the origin of 10k steps: as I recall, it came from a doctor in Japan encouraging office workers to get up from their work desks and get some exercise. There was no basis for 10k, it was simply a target to increase movement.
I believe the idea is to get 60 minutes of total exercise daily. As that’s based on your average resting heart rate, the more you exercise, the more you’ll need to be active to get to the 60 minutes goal over time.
Your Fitbit tracks exercise minutes. Get it up to 60 or more!