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Spares box (4)

Tools and equipment “Suspension and Components” – part 5

Shock tools. These depend on the make and model of the shock. Check the owner’s manual (which you have neatly filed) for the tool list. If you have lost the manual, most are available on the internet. Check the list of resources at the back of this book. Air-sprung forks need a shock pump. These have narrow barrels and accurate gauges to allow a precise volume of air into your shocks. If you buy a new air fork, it may include a shock pump. You can also get tiny trail versions to fit in your poc...

Spares box (3)

Tools and equipment “Transmission and Wheels” – part 4

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, ...

Spares box (1)

Tools and equipment “Spares box” – part 3

You need a box of spares as well. It’s worth keeping bits and pieces in your house so you don’t have to rush off in the middle of a job to pick them up. Two tubes: the right size, with the correct valve for your wheels. Brake blocks or pads. Two brake cables and a length of brake outer casing. Two gear cables and a length of gear outer casing. Ferrules (the end caps on casing) and end caps (the end caps on cables). Powerlinks to repair standard chains. ...

Tools and equipment – part 2

Allen keys. The best starter packs are fold-up sets of metric wrenches (keys) that include 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 6mm sizes. You can use the body of the tool as a handle and bear down hard on it without bruising your hand. We’d rather choose a set with a wider range of keys than you get with screwdrivers, which are intended for trail use. Later, you will want separate Allen keys as they are actually easier to use. Those with a ball at one end allow you to get into awkward spaces. Torx keys. The s...

Tools and equipment – part 1

Of course, everyone starts off with very basic equipment. Then gradually, as you get more confident fixing your bike, you find you need various other pieces of kit. Your toolkit grows and grows, until it reaches the happy point where you can tackle complicated tasks without investing in any more tools. ...