16 Bike Tools Every Cyclist Should Have

4. Minipump

As minipumps go, you can't get bigger dependability than the Crank Brothers Power Pump Alloy ($38). It's not the most expensive model, nor the lightest available. But its durable, CNC-machined barrel and accurate dial gauge make it ideal for the roadside or trail. Set it to high volume to fill tires quickly to about 80 psi; when the pumping gets tough, twist a knob to switch into high-pressure mode and inflate up to 130 psi.

5. Chain Tool

These come in many varieties, from compact, budget models that simply get the job done to gorgeous, lust-worthy pieces of art that make every chain replacement feel like a sacred ritual. For a 10-speed drivetrain, the Shimano TL-CN32 ($155), with its stunning wood handles, might be the finest tool on the market. And your 11-speed drivetrain calls for the elegant precision and function of Campagnolo's UN-CT300 (not shown).

6. Eight-, 9- and 10mm Combination Wrenches

Accessories such as racks and fenders are often fitted with small nuts and hex bolts. Snap-On wrenches ($22 each) are legendary for their quality, and in these sizes they aren't much more expensive than those at your local megamart. Get the best and be done with it.

7. Tire Levers

If you have Mavic wheels, it's best to change tires with Mavic levers ($10). Even if you don't, the broad, flat blade and rigid plastic build make them kind to tires and rims and just as effective on stubborn ones.

8. Cable Cutter

The Felco C-7 cutter ($67) was the first bicycle-specific tool I purchased for my toolbox more than 20 years ago, and I still use that same one to this day. And I know mechanics who have had theirs for even longer. Sure, it's expensive, but you just can't argue with longevity like that.

9. Compact Scissors

Many pros love Fiskars 5-inch Micro-Tip scissors ($17). They're handy for trimming handlebar wrap and snipping vinyl tape. And you'll know right where they are next time you have to liberate a new toy from an irritating blister pack.

How to Choose the Right Seat for Your Seat

10. Hex Keys

Of the hand tools that are a necessity for every cyclist, first and most obvious are these. (Many people call them by the brand name, Allen.) Bicycle-specific toolmakers make sets, but quality metric keys from a hardware store work fine. Bondhus ($20) is a popular brand, known for its often-copied ball-shaped tip, which allows you to easily spin bolts from an angle, where access is limited. Get the following sizes: 1.5-, 2-, 2.5-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 8- and 10mm. These will work with tiny setscrews on suspension-fork adjuster knobs, crankarm fixing bolts and everything else.

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