As an electrician, I always went for Quality. You may have heard the expression, “Only a rich person would buy cheap tools.” My main research criterium was quality.
I remember getting my first set of tools at the beginning of my apprenticeship. At that time in Australia, Sidchrome spanners and Stanley screwdrivers were considered the best. For me, good tools are empowering, and allow you to fix, build, install, or alter things. Tools are useful around the house, to work on your car, not just at work.
I really hope you enjoy the array of mountain bike tools I have put together.
Mountain bike tubeless tire care and repair, and a variety of tools
I will be looking at the mountain bike tubeless tire care and repair, and a variety of tools. My main research criteria-point was quality. There are plenty of goodies here for the mountain bike enthusiast. I’m sure that most readers will find something new and interesting, breathing renewed interest into a fantastic pass time. I present a wide choice you can pick and choose from.
Tubeless Tire Care
Are your wheels tubeless?
Many who are passionate about mountain biking will tell you that a tubeless setup for your tires, gives the best off-road all-round performance. Once you slop in the sealant, most punctures will repair themselves
- Firstly the weight of an inner tube is removed and replaced with sealant
- The sealant patches up small holes while your riding
- You don’t have to worry about inner tube pinching damage when running on low pressure
Not all wheels are tubeless. In fact, the majority of them won’t be.
For a wheel to be able to be run tubeless it needs to have something inside the rim that prevents air escaping through the spoke holes.
On tubeless specific wheels this sometimes means a sealed rim bed where the rim is covered up by rim metal. On other tubeless wheels a tight-fitting band around the rim covers the holes.
If your wheels are not tubeless, don’t worry, you can convert them into tubeless wheels with one of the many tubeless conversion kits available from companies like Stans No Tubes. These typically comprise of some special airtight rim tape and/or a rubber strip that goes over the spoke holes, some tyre sealant and a valve (either on its own or built into the aforementioned rubber strip).
Sealant for a tubeless setup
Remember not to mix sealant brands
A relatively new sealant on the market is RevoSealant from Continental. It lasts longer than Stans. It uses a synthetic latex with improved durability and effectiveness. Small punctures seal instantly, and minimal pressure is lost if ever there’s a burp (air lost from a lateral shock on the tire in rough terrain).
- First, detach the wheel from the bike
- Take the tire off the rim.
- Make sure everything is clean before you begin.
- Refit the tire
- Hang the wheel with the valve stem at the 3 o’clock position
- With two levers 10 cm apart at 12 o’clock prise out a section of the tire and clip each lever to a spoke.
- Then rehang the wheel, so that the levers are at 6 o’clock and begin slopping in the sealant.
- Pay attention to the recommended volume for your tire.
- With that done, reposition the wheel so that the levers are at the top again.
- Roll the wheel through several rotations to ensure good coverage of sealant
- Fit the wheel back on the bike
- Inflate the tire until you hear a pop
Also occasionally you may want to replace the rim tape that shields the inner tube. Gorilla Tape does a good job of this.
Quick inflate you can take with you out back on the track
RideAir with Lock – The Effortless Air Pump with Mounted Lock. Portable Air Can for Bike Tires and Tubeless Seating by RideAir
- Quick bike tires inflation pressurized canister with attached cable lock
- Inflate tires with a push of a button
- Perfect for tubeless tires seating
- E-bike’s best companion
- Portable and Refillable can with a pressure gauge
Topping Up Your Tubeless Tire
From time to time, you need to check whether or not the sealant has dried up. As far as sealant brands go, be careful to consistently use the same product. You don’t want to risk starting a chemical reaction by introducing something different to the one you used before.
- Turn the bike upside down so you can listen for a sloshing sound inside.
- If you don’t hear anything or you think it’s low you’re going to need a top-up.
- Rather than take the wheel off, get yourself a MilKit Valve Kit and set your wheel up with milKit valves.
- Once you have those in place, you can top up the sealant without losing any tire pressure.
- First, remove the inner core of the valve (you won’t lose any air pressure)
- Then attach the syringe and pump the sealant straight in.
- This method isn’t as messy.
Specially purposed tire levers make the set up much easier. There is a range of products available at a range of prices. My choice, a 4 piece lever set from 50 Strong, was based on strength and quality.
They are made in the USA and designed to snap together for storage, no need for a rubber band.
Puncture repair for when your sealant has dried up or cannot cope with the size of the hole.
This beautiful little capsule fits in the palm of your hand and comes with vital tools that other kits don’t have.
- Kit includes 1 x Micro Pro tool, 2 x Pre-loaded insertion tubes, 3 x Spare soft point tips, 1 x Micro knife, 1 x Air stopper, 1 x Pipe cleaner
- Designed for the ergonomic bike rider in mind, this compact repair tool uses minimum space without compromising on functionality
Dynaplug Tubeless Repair Kit
The Dynaplug tubeless repair kit is a good investment to have with you out on the track.
Here’s a run-through of what you just saw on the video:
- Remove the stick or screw, whatever caused the puncture
- Keep your finger on the hole to stop air escaping
- Insert air stopper
- Prepare the plugin – insert into the pusher
- Take the air stopper out and push the plugin all the way down
- Withdraw the pusher, leaving behind the plug
- If the hole is large, 2 pugs can be used
- After that, you’re good to go
- After you get back home, you will need to boost this repair with a patch and some Gorilla or whatever, volcanizing glue on the top-side
If you’re unfortunate enough to get a slash in one of your tires, it’s time to use the spare tube you have in your pack. Then when you get home you’ll need some patching rubber you cut to measure as well as a good vulcanizing adhesive.
Failing that you can use cable ties to strap the ruined tire to the rim and you’ll be able to rice slowly and carefully home if you dare.
If you’re using tubes, whenever you replace any, be sure to keep the valve core as a spare part.
A comprehensive repair kit you strap to your bike
– 120 PSI Mini Pump & 16 in 1 Bicycle Multi-Tool with Handy Bag Included Glueless Tire Tube Patches & Tire Levers
- Comprehensive repair kit, to get you out of all sorts of trouble. You can quickly repair leaking tires and do basic maintenance.
- This repair kit contains 16 tools: 6 hexagon wrenches, 3 socket spanners, 4 flat wrenches, 2 screwdrivers, and 1 sleeve extension rod.
- The bike pump provides 120psi and supports both Presta & Schrader valves.
- It comes with a portable kit bag that can be strapped to your bike’s frame.
- 6-month warranty
Chain checker (often overlooked)
You’ll need one of these to tell you when to replace the chain. There are other ones more expensive, with more features, but this Chain Checker form Park Tool will do the job just fine.
It’s good to have a specially purposed bike toolkit. Cable cutters, for example, that crimp the cable making a nice clean cut that won’t fray, or larger tools with covered handles that won,t damage paintwork or mark anything by accident. The Park Tool EK-2 Professional Travel and Event Kit
- A professional-level toolset designed and built for portability.
- Features 56 tools to do hundreds of repair and maintenance tasks.
- Neatly organized in our world-famous BX-2.2 Blue Box Tool Case, this tool kit
- Features pockets, pouches, straps, and open space to add more tools and parts!
A good thing to have in your tool kit is a spoke wrench because from time to time you’re going to need to tighten a spoke or two. This Spoke Wrench from Park Tools will do nicely.
A multitool for the track and at home
The Topeak Mini 20 multitool may well be the only thing you need on the track and at home.
Vitally Important: This tool has a chain tool. Chains can break, and if and if you don’t have a chain tool your up that creek, if you don’t have a downhill run all the way home, you gotta walk.
Also important, it comes with a pouch, so it won’t scratch your phone or damage your spare tube.
Some say that torque wrenches are a must, although not absolutely necessary, it’s good insurance against overtightening and breakage, especially when working on fittings around carbon handlebars.
This Venzo Set comes in a great case and is a favorite tool of many professional bike mechanics, for example, Logan Mulally, mechanic for Neko Mulally, Team GSTAAD-SCOTT.
A wrench set that comes with a torque wrench, that is suitable to have on the road that is adequate for the workshop as well, is the Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite NTX+. It comes in a wallet and is really cool.
- Screwdrivers: #2 philips
- Wrench: [hex] 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm [torx] t10, t15, t25
- Other Tools: mini ratchet wrench, adjustable TorqueBit, chain tool
- Sheath Included: magnetic bit holder, protective case
- Recommended Use: bike maintenance
Mini Bike Pump
- Bicycle pump
- This pump will get your tire up to riding pressure with 30 percent fewer pumping strokes than conventional mini bike pumps. High pressure up to 100 psi 6.9 bar
- It’s compact and lightweight – 7.3 inches long and 3.6oz in weight
- Durable – CNC machined aluminum alloy
- Presta And Schrader Compatible – Secure thread-on valve connection, enables a tight seal with no air leaks. Not compatible with non-threaded valve extenders. For Presta valves with removable cores, extra care should be taken to tightly screw the core into the valve stem
- No Pump Rattles Or Lost Pump with a safe and secure frame mount bracket with a security strap. Important: Pre-drilled holes in bike frame required for installation of pump mount
Mini Stand Pump
Topeak Road Morph G Compact Bike Pump with Inline Gauge
- Used by both professional and amateur riders alike
- Made using high-quality materials and components
- Tested to ensure quality and durability
- See video below
What should you take with you out on the trail?
- Spare tube
- In case you cannot go on tubeless because of unfortunate damage to one of the tires
- Electrical tape
- Good for all sorts of jobs
- Cable ties
- Strap a shredded tire to the rim: the stuff of last resort
- Waterproof jacket
- Tire repair kit
- Tube puncture repair kit
Random extras for mountain bike maintenance.
- Heat shrink
- Spare cables
- Dry lubricant for the chain, a spray might affect your brakes
- Heavy-duty sponge for cleaning
- Brake fluid kit; mineral oil is better to bleed your brakes with because of the long shelf life
- Carbon-safe all-purpose grease
- Dedicated suspension grease
- WD 40
- Threadlock or Loctite
- All-purpose grease
- 3M Scotch Mastic Tape
- A rubber adhesive tape – 1 or 2 inches wide
- Has many uses around the bike
- Can be used as a chainstay protector
- The chainstays are the two parts of the frame that run from the pedals to the back wheel, maintaining chain tension
- Run along the length of the pipe, the tape will protect against damage from flying debris, and keep the frame clean from grease, etc.
- It can also be used to provide more grip on the brake levers, and more
I have been riding bikes all my life. Several years ago a friend of mine allowed me to take his mountain bike for a spin. It was first time and I was immediately a fan. When I got enough money together – I was back at university at the time – I went out and bought a mountain bike. It was so fast and so sturdy. It was a Giant, and Giant mountain bikes were considered the best in those days.
A few years after getting that first mountain bike, I went off to work in Japan for 8 years. I’m not sure what happened to it.
Good maintenance and happy trails. Please feel free to leave feedback or ask questions below. Thank you for reading.
For a camping biking and canoeing story:Grampians Adventure