Home Mechanic Tool List: Essentials

Maintaining your own bike can be fun, but it can also be confusing at times to know which tools you will need to perform the service you want. Below are a series of recommended tool lists for general maintenance of the average road or off-road bike. Attempt to develop two sets of tools: one for inside a seat bag for on-the-trail/road use, and another set for home use.


Essential Tool List

Because these lists are for “average” bikes, your particular bike may need more, less, or slightly different tools than what is listed here. For example, if your bike has a “threadless” headset, you will not need the headset wrench listed for threaded headsets. When in doubt, bring your bike to a professional bike shop and ask about a specific procedure or tool. Better yet, sign up for the Park Tool School, a class in bicycle maintenance at your local shop.

There are several sources of tools. Non-bicycle specific tools are usually available at better hardware stores, automotive shops, tool stores, and some department stores. Check with your local bike shop for specialty bicycle tools. When a Park Tool product is our recommendation, the tool number is given. There are some cases where there may be more than one Park Tool that will work—in these cases, we will recommend either the most common or the simplest tool.

These are just the essentials to just to keep you on the bike keeping up the air pressure in the tires, fixing the occasional flat tire, and cleaning and lubricating the chain. Otherwise, we will assume that any technical work will be done by a professional bicycle shop.

Tool Description Park Tool Product More Information
Hex Wrench / Screwdriver Set Multi-Tools such as IB-1, IB-2, AWS-13, AWS-14, etc. Used to tighten bolts and adjust derailleurs
Tire Levers Tire Levers Levers vary in design and fit
Patch Kit GP-2, VP-1 VP-1 has glue in tube; GP-2 has pre-glued patches
Floor Pump Floor Pumps Pump head fits both presta and schrader
Drivetrain Cleaning Kit CG-2.2 Includes CM-5.2 Cyclone Chain Cleaner, GSC-1 Gear Brush, and CB-5 ChainBrite fluid

Miscellaneous Parts and Supplies

Part / Supply More Information
Shop Apron SA-1
Chain lubrication CL-1
Degreaser for chain and parts CB-4 Bio ChainBrite
Hand Cleaner Available from grocery and hardware stores
Polisher (glass cleaner) For cleaning frames
Spare Tubes Purchase to fit your tire size and valve type
Rags Lots and lots of cotton rags