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Basic Home Mechanic Tool List

Perform general maintenance yourself with this home mechanic tool list

Maintaining your own bike can be fun, but it can also be confusing. What do I need? Are certain sizes needed? Where can I find these items? Below is a recommended home mechanic tool list for general maintenance of the average road or off-road bike.

* Bicycle repair stand

Bikehand Pro Mechanic Bicycle Repair Rack Stand.

* Metric wrenches (8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 13mm, 15mm, 17mm, 19mm open ended box wrench)
* Hex wrench set (1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm)
* Cone wrench (13mm-16mm)
* Screwdriver set (3/16″ and 1/4″ straight blade and #0 and #2 Phillips)
* 12″ adjustable wrench
* Drivetrain cleaning kit (how-to instructions)
* Cable cutters

A floor pump is essential to your home mechanic tool list.

A floor pump is essential to your home mechanic tool list.

* Chain lube
* Zip ties
* Shop rags
There are several ways to purchase tools, including local bike shops like Mellow Johnny’s. Non-bicycle specific tools are usually available at hardware stores, automotive shops, tool stores, and some department stores.

Understanding Brake Issues

Become knowledgeable about brake issues with this advice

Having brake issues? If so, you might be able to identify the problem yourself. There are three main reasons brake levers typically malfunction:

  • Your brake pads are not close enough to the rims
  • The system is not tight or fully “engaged”
  • Your levers are damaged or dirty

Always check that your brake pads are close enough to your wheel rims. Before you reposition them, check that the pads are not too worn down. Replace the pads if needed.

If the pads are okay, then turn the cable adjustment knob counterclockwise until the desired pad-to-rim distance is achieved (1/8th of an inch is standard). The cable adjustment knob is located either where your brake cable enters your lever or on the brake caliper.

Most modern braking systems have a quick-release mechanism that allows you to loosen the cable system without affecting your brakes effectiveness. This is the “slack” in the system needed to open the brake arms wide enough to get your wheel out. Some quick-releases are located on brake assemblies. Others are located on brake levers or elsewhere along the cable route. If you find too much “slack” in your braking system, check these quick-release mechanisms first to make sure they are engaged properly.

You may need to clean or repair the brake levers if your brake quick-releases are connected properly but the levers function poorly.

If you’re still having brake issues contact James Balentine of City Limit Cycles. You can schedule an appointment and he’ll make repairs at your home or office!