Home Mechanic Tool List: Novice

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.


Novice Tool List

What do I need to know how to do?

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 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.

Besides being capable of performing the services of fixing a flat tire, lubricating the chain, and cleaning the bike, you want to be able to do things like replace the chain, gear cables and housing. You may want to get the wheels straight and true enough to clear the brake pads, and have the brakes adequately adjusted. Other repairs, such as bearing overhaul or derailleur replacement, we assume will be done by a professional bicycle shop.

Tool Description Park Tool Product More Information
Bicycle Repair Stand Portable Repair Stands Consider PCS-10.3, PRS-25, PRS-22.2, and/or PCS-4. Repair stands lift the bike off the ground and allow the bike to be rotated for easy work.
Metric Wrenches, esp. 8, 9, 10, 11 mm CBW-1 & CBW-4
Hex Wrench Set AWS-10
Screwdriver Set SD-SET 3/16″ and 1/4″ Straight Blade plus cross tip #0 and #2 (“Phillips”)
Used to adjust derailleur limit screws
Needle Nose Pliers NP-6 6″ needle nose
12″ Adjustable Wrench PAW-12
Cone Wrench, 13–14 mm DCW-1 Common sizes for front hubs and some hub locknuts
Cone Wrench, 15–16 mm DCW-2 Common sizes for rear hubs and some hub locknuts
Spoke Wrenches Spoke Wrenches Many possible sizes and options. Select the smallest size that fits.
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
Pedal Wrench PW-5
Chain Rivet Extractor CT-5 or CT-3.3 For removing old chains and installing new chains
Drivetrain Cleaning Kit CG-2.4 Includes CM-5.3 Cyclone Chain Cleaner, GSC-1 Gear Brush, and CB-4 Bio ChainBrite™ fluid
Cable Cutters CN-10 Cuts both cable and housing

Miscellaneous Supplies and Parts

Part / Supply More Information
Shop Apron SA-1
Bearing Grease PPL-1 — Safe for suspension elastomers, ceramic bearings, and carbon fiber
Bicycle Cleaning Kit BCB-4.2
Chain lubrication CL-1
Degreaser for chain and parts CB-4 Bio ChainBrite™
Hand Cleaner Available from grocery and hardware stores
Alcohol For cleaning brake surfaces and press fits
Polisher (glass cleaner) For cleaning frames
Spare Tubes Purchase to fit your tire size and valve type
Zip ties Various sizes and colors
Rags Lots and lots of cotton rags