Home » Bike Maintenance » Basic tools and repairs » Tools and equipment “Transmission and Wheels” – part 4

Tools and equipment “Transmission and Wheels” – part 4


  • Chain-cleaning box.
  • Brush for chain cleaning.
  • Crank extractor(s). Essential for removing square taper, ISIS and Octalink cranks and accessing the bottom bracket. You will need a spanner to drive the inner part of the extractor once the body is firmly screwed into the crank. The cranks are refitted using just the crank bolts – you don’t need the extractor for this. There are two types of extractor: one for the newer splined axles, the other for the older square taper axles. An adapter allows you to use a square-type tool with splined axles, but splined tools will not fit square taper axles.
  • Cassette-remover and chain whip. The cassette-remover fits into the splines at the centre of the cassette. You then need a big adjustable spanner to turn the tool. The chain whip fits around a sprocket and prevents the cassette turning as you undo its lockring. You don’t need the chain whip for refitting the lockring; the ratchet in the middle of the cassette stops the cassette turning.
  • For freewheels (how rear cogs were fitted on your wheel before cassettes were invented), you need the appropriate freewheel tool.

Tools and equipment


  • Cone spanners. These are for cup-and-cone bearings. Cone spanners are very thin, so they can slot onto the narrow flats on the cones. Common sizes are 13, 15 and 17mm and 22mm but you’d best take your wheels to the bike shop and check the size before you buy.
  • Spoke wrench, to fit your spokes. Take your wheels to the bike shop to check the size. Too small won’t fit, too big will round off the nipple, which is really annoying.
  • Wheel jig. This makes the job of truing wheels much easier and is essential for wheel building.