Mountain biking isn’t all about riding your bike and blasting immediately out into the trails. You also need to have technical knowledge on how your bike works and how you’re going to fix it when worse comes to worst.
You want to tweak and service your bike for yourself so you can have a more personalized experience when riding it.
You can do this by having the tools for customizing and repairing your bike at home. This gives you the freedom to fine tune your bike to your preferences and make sure it can survive anywhere you bring it.
We’ve compiled the important tools you need at your home or on the trails for maintaining and customizing your bike to the way you want it to perform.
So, what mountain bike tools do I need?
Tools You Need for Basic Mountain Bike Maintenance
Having a work stand makes it easier for you to service your bike as you have something to hold it in place.
You can make a DIY work stand or get one from Park Tool. They have a workstation that clamps to the seat post of your bike. This makes sure that it won’t rock around when you’re tightening something up.
You will definitely need a set of Allen keys no matter which part of your bike you’re servicing. Almost every part of your bike from your handlebars to your full-suspension frame contains Allen bolts that you need to remove during maintenance.
And the only way to remove them and bring them back up is by using Allen keys. The Crankbrothers M19 is one of the best choices out there.
Floor pump and shock pump
It’s essential that you have an air pump for both your wheels and your air-shocks. This way, you won’t have to go to your local bike shop to get the right PSI on your bike.
Having a dedicated shock pump for your suspension allows you to get the precise PSI. You also need a floor pump to quickly inflate your tubes.
Using plastic tire levers on your tires makes it easier for you to remove the tires. You should also use this instead of a screwdriver as this can damage the side of your rims. Or worse, puncture the tubes of your wheels.
Every mountain biker wants to get their bike clean, so it lasts longer than the dirty ones. Investing in a chain cleaner helps you clean your chain from any muck or dirt that piles up during your ride.
Cleaning and re-lubing your chain after every ride increases its lifespan. This brings it to peak performance.
You can’t safely install the chain of your bike without a chain cutter. It allows you to get the proper measurement of your chain so it can fit into the drivetrain of your bike.
You need a locking tool to undo and tighten the lock of your cogs. I usually use this when you’re replacing your old drivetrain with a new one or if you will service your hubs. You also need a chain whip to keep the cogs in place when you’re removing them.
You’ll need something to hold and tighten things whenever you’re doing maintenance on your bike. Having a good needle nose plier gives you extra grip to fully tighten small parts on your bike that your hands can’t hold on to.
You need a screwdriver when adjusting the tension of your drivetrain. This also comes in handy when you’re adjusting the low and high limit screws of your derailleur.
You’ll need a torque wrench if you want to get the right amount of tension in all your bolts. Bike parts, especially the carbon ones, are expensive and you need to properly tighten them to prevent it from breaking.
The Tools You Need to Bring During a Ride
A multi-tool allows you to make quick adjustments on your bike before riding. Or if you need to change the settings on your bike due to emergency reasons. It features a set of Allen keys and flat and cross screwdrivers. Some even have a chain cutter.
You need a patch kit if you’ve got a flat tire in the middle of the trail. This seals up the punctured area of your tire tube so you can still enjoy your ride. Be sure, though, that the patch kit isn’t yet expired because they can be brittle and can crack if still used.
Related: How To Change A Mountain Bike Tire
Hand pump and spare tube
It’s also a good idea to carry a spare tube with a hand pump. You need a spare tube in case the puncture on your tubeless setup tires are too big for the sealant to handle. You also need a hand pump to inflate your tube to the exact tire pressure or just to treat a deflating wheel.
You need to bring a tire lever whenever you’re on the trails. You need something to remove the tire from the rim to replace the inner tube with a new one in case you’ve got a flat tire. Give this a bit of TLC for better removal.
When Should I Visit a Mechanic?
No doubt you can do general maintenance on your bike at home. But you still need to take it to a professional mechanic at some point especially if the damage is too hard for you to fix on your own.
Leaving it to a mechanic prevents you from touching sensitive parts in your bicycle which can break if you’ve made the wrong move.
A mechanic can repair this and even tell you when it’s time to replace this part of your bike before you harm yourself from a malfunctioning bike part.
You’ll need a lot of time and money to keep your bike at an optimum performance. And sometimes, using your ‘ole mountain bikes tools isn’t just enough.
Take your bike to your local mechanic if ever you don’t know how to repair its issues. This can help you save the costs of repairs and prevent you from further breaking it.