Know a cyclist who loves to tinker, always has a project on the go or is simply meticulous with their bike maintenance? Alternatively, do you know of a notoriously hapless rider, forever putting their bike and its components through long periods of neglect?
If the answer is yes, then the two-wheeled fanatics in your life are sure to appreciate any of the maintenance related gift ideas below. Read on for our picks of maintenance products every home-wrench or cycling enthusiast is sure to appreciate in their stocking this holiday season.
What is a workshop without a repair stand for the bike to be worked on? A good work stand should be sturdy, adjustable, fold away neatly for storage and have a clamp that won’t damage frames.
Options from leading brands such as Park Tool and Feedback Sports are perfect for heavier duty home or portable shop use and are sure to last a lifetime. Perfect for use when cleaning, or undertaking maintenance tasks from basic, through to full re-builds, a sturdy work stand is sure to be well received.
If one thing is certain, it’s that tyres need air. The traditional floor pump, also known as a track pump, is an essential item in any cyclists toolkit.
A good floor pump will feature comfortable handles, a stable base, and an easy-to-use pump head that suits both Presta and Schrader valves.
Alternatively, if the home-wrench in your life is working on a number of different bikes, one-up the traditional floor pump with a tubeless pump. A tubeless pump features an air chamber that can be preloaded with air, ensuring a tubeless tyre can be seated and inflated quicker and more efficiently than a standard track pump. Topeak, Azur and Bontrager are just a few brands to offer such a pump.
Bit Based Multi-Tool
Having a trustworthy multi-tool in your back pocket or spares kit is recommended for any cyclist. With cyclists continually on the lookout for maintenance items that are easy to use and compact, one-up the traditional multi-tool this holiday season with a bit-based multi-tool.
An evolution of the universally handy multi-tool, the increasing popularity of bit based multi-tools is thanks to the increased leverage and number of tools in a lighter and smaller package. Our pick is the [Topeak] Ratchet Rocket Lite DX, which features a ratchet mechanism hex bits from 2mm through to 8mm, T10 and T25 Torx bits and two phillips bits all housed in a sleek holder that’s equally at home in a jersey pocket as it is in the garage tool-kit.
For more information, check out the Best Bit-Based Multi-Tool Shootout over on CyclingTips
There are literally hundreds of chain lubes on the market to suit different applications and conditions and can include everything from solvent-based cleaners to waxes. As a consumable item, one can never have too much, and an all-rounder lubricant is always good to have on hand.
Metric Key Key Set
A workshop won’t be much use without a staple set of Allen Keys. Often overlooked and undervalued, spoil the cyclist in your with a set of dedicated hex keys.
Shimano’s own componentry outfit [PRO] offers a set worth owning. Heat treated and chrome plated for durability, the eight-piece PRO Bike Gear hex key set features 2, 2.5,3,4,5,6,8, and 10mm hex keys and a durable holder.
Looking for something with a true difference? The pinnacle is Silca’s HX-One set, professional-grade tools stored within a spectacular wooden case.
Chain Maintenance Tools
As one of the most common wear areas on a bike, a bike’s [chain] is a consumable that should be wear checked at routine intervals and replaced regularly to ensure your drivetrain performs at its efficient best. The good news is that with the right equipment, checking for wear and replacing a chain isn’t all that difficult. Best of all, the tools required won’t break the bank!
When it comes to wear checking, a basic chain checker such as the [BBB] BTL-51 is a simple and effective indicator for when, or if, a chain should be replaced. If a replacement is needed, then a tool like the [Park Tool CT 3.2] or [PRO Chain Breaker] is a great gift. Park Tool’s CT-3.2 is made from cast-steel and famed for the effortless leverage it provides, while the smaller PRO tool emulates the features of premium Shimano professional tools.
When it comes to fitting a new chain, the majority of modern chains will use a removable master link to reconnect the chain. A set of [master link pliers] such as the Park Tool MLP1 or [BBB LinkFix] makes eventually removing that new chain a breeze.
For more information, check out our Guide to removing and replacing a chain
Cleaning / Maintenance Kit
Having chemicals formulated specifically for bikes ensures that parts are not corroded or damaged, and are proven to leave the drivetrain cleaner, for longer. So why not top up the workshop with a fresh bar of cleaning products sure to get even the grimiest of rides [squeaky clean].
Our pick for value is the Muc-Off Dirt Bucket. The kit includes everything you need for complete washing, drivetrain cleaning, and post-wash lubrication. One gift to rule them all, this kit includes chain cleaner, bike wash, chain lube, bike protectant and an array of brushes to get into the most finicky of spots. What’s more, it all comes neatly packed in a wash bucket with an integrated filter, trapping dirt at the base of the bucket and away from the brushes!
Chainwhip and Cassette Tool
A chainwhip/cassette tool combination is something that needs a place in every home mechanic’s toolbox. Forgo the fidgety cassette tool of old and opt for an integrated unit like the PRO Cassette remover with matching chainwhip.
The PRO Bike Gear cassette tool includes an integrated pin for stability, and the dual compound handles feature extra grip, perfect for loosening stubborn lockrings. The matching chainwhip ensures the cassette remains in place during removal.
So if you or your giftee are constantly alternating between wheels, or just want to build up your home mechanic skills, this essential item is sure to be a great addition to any toolkit.
A must-have for any home wrench wanting to preserve the structural integrity of their prized possession and its components, a torque wrench ensures that bolts aren’t too tight or too loose.
Designed for the precise torquing of bolts, preventing both alloy and carbon fibre component damage, the Torque Wrench Set is an extremely precise and versatile bit of kit. The kit features a 1/4" drive torque wrench with a reversible ratchet head, chrome plated chrome vanadium Hex and Torx bits (Hex:3,4,5,6, and 8mm Torx: T25,T30) and a torque range of 2-14 Nm. Contained in a neat padded case, this is one tool that will look inconspicuous under the tree and is sure to bring excitement.
We hope this gift guide has been helpful in steering you in the right direction for all things DIY maintenance. Want to see more choices? Check out the wide range of bike tools for sale on BikeExchange available from leading retailers across the country