This guide is to help you get your tools at an affordable price. If you are new to fixing bikes and have no tools, this guide is for you. Bikes require a lot of specialty tools that can be really expensive, or you can get some of the cheaper options. Sometimes it just makes sense to bring your bike in to the shop because the tool needed is too expensive. I’m going to suggest cheaper options when it makes sense. If you just want the best tools you should buy everything from Park Tool. They make great stuff and also have lots of great videos to help with repairs. I will suggest their tools when it makes sense.
Starter tool kit
The best way to get started is to buy an affordable kit with most of the tools you will need. From there you can add more specialty tools as needed. The kit will give you plenty of tools to get started and includes a nice case. Here is one of my favorite options on Amazon:
You will definitely want a good tire pump, preferably one with a gauge on it. Here is a pump that I really like:
I’ve been using it for years now and have no complaints. It has a gauge and works with Presta and Schrader.
Bike Repair Stand
All repairs are much easier if you have a good stand, and some of them really require one. I strongly recommend you get one. This stand by Bikehand has worked great for me and is affordable relative to other options.
Cable and Housing cutter
I’ve tried some cheaper options when it comes to cables and I’m not completely happy with them. Because of this I recommend you just get the Park Tool CN-10, for the price it is really worth it.
Master Link Pliers
If your starter kit didn’t come with a master link pliers and you need one, I recommend just going with the Park Tool MLP-1.2. I do prefer chains with master links btw.
Hex Wrench Tool
A good hex wrench tool is great to have around when you work on bikes. I recommend the Park Tool AWS-10, it’s only a little more expensive than other items. I like mine a lot:
You will definitely need a good torque wrench, so your fasteners all stay tight. I have found the Marque torque wrench works great and is an affordable price.
If you need an affordable spoke wrench that works well, get the Park Tool SW-7.2.
Grease and Lubricants
You will need some good grease and lubricants when you are working on bikes. I recommend you just go with the Park Tool bike specific options. They are only a little more expensive than other options. I use their Polylube 1000 for most my needs.
Screwdriver for Shimano derailleur
If you have ever tried to adjust a Shimano derailleur you probably noticed, you can’t find a Phillips screwdriver that fits it quite right. They are actually JIS, here is a good deal on a nice screwdriver. Get one before you strip those screws.
Cone Spanner Wrench
You will find yourself needing to use a cone spanner for a few different repairs including adjusting hubs and even removing/installing pedals. Here is an affordable option for 15, 16, and 17mm.
9 thoughts on “Frugal Guide to Affordable Bicycle Tools”
I can’t get there from here. I can get to your home page and to other posts, but three different browsers gave me the same message about too many redirects while trying to see this post.
I think with tools the definitions of “frugal” and “affordable” are open to interpretation. I did not buy an inexpensive floor pump. Then again, I’m still using that pump 49 years later. I have spent a few dollars replacing seals on it. I eventually replaced the hose and gauge. I have other tools that could be handed down to my kids when I die. My Craftsman wrenches are also about 50 years old. Cheap Allen (hex) wrenches won’t last and may damage fasteners as well. I see you agree about the flexibility of “affordable”, as you sometimes state that you did not buy the cheapest you found. With a torque wrench, be sure it works for the torques you need.
Yes they are. I’m just trying to make suggestions for when it makes sense. Often times you are much better off getting the good stuff.
Thanks for the advice. There are some tools that I will need.
You are welcome.
I agree, Park Tools are the best. They also hold up to a lot of use. True, they are more expensive but I won’t risk another when wrenching on pricey bike components. Nice post!