Here’s Jon with his top 9 tools for home maintenance. What are the tools that you couldn’t live without?
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Firstly, I cannot recommend enough having a good workstand to use when maintaining your bike. You want it to be sturdy and stable but not something you can trip over. I’ve seen it done. But why a workstand, well, for a start it really does make your life easy when you’ve got to work on a bike. I’ve seen people try and fix a bike upside down, and it’s not easy, I always say you don’t ride a bike upside down, so don’t fix it upside down. As well as things may not appear as logical when the bike is not in the correct orientation.
Personally I like to use a tripod style stand as the bike is nice and supported and I can spin the bike around with ease which is really handy when working on a bike. But there are lots of other options out there to suit all budgets. From an inner tube hanging from the ceiling, to this monster sturdy stand from Park Tool.
Get yourself a good quality set, there are loads of different varieties available. My preference are some like these, with a ball end so if you have to access the six sided sockets at an angle, you can. Some come like this, and others with what’s known as a T-Handle for a bit more comfort when working on a bike day in day out. If you don’t fancy these or don’t have the money, get a good quality multi-allen key set like this, I know for myself and Doddy from GMBN, we use these an awful lot. Normally because they’re closest to us in our home workshops, and actually fit the hand really well.
As for sizes, essentially you will need a 4/5/6mm as they are the most common sizes, but if possible, get a full range from 2mm up to 10 or maybe 12mm.
These keys are similar to a hex wrench in that they have a six sided contact, but, that’s really where it ends. Torx keys can generally have a higher torque put through them as the contact point between the tool and the bolt or socket are closer and work better together. For smaller fittings, this is very helpful. As it’s quite common for a poor fitting allen key and soft headed tool to basically round off, making adjustment a considerable pain. Hence the likely introduction of them into the cycle industry where we use lots of small fittings.
It is possible to use an undersized torx key on these sockets, and that is where problems may occur. Pay close attention to using the correct size as it’s easy to crush or distort a bolt head on small components.
Of course, if you don’t have or don’t intend to have any TORX fittings on your bike, you don’t need to worry about anything I’ve just said. But, it’s slowly being introduced more and more to our components, so I predict in the end you will have to give in!
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Music: Getting Tipsy 1 – Martin Landh
Photos: © Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images & © Bettiniphoto / http://www.bettiniphoto.net/
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