Cycle Saloon provides public access to quality bike tools for anyone to use to repair their own bicycle(s). Here are some of the tools available and some tips on how to use them:

Chain tool – used to push the chain pins out and in to remove links from the chain and rejoin it. Be careful not to break the pin in the tool. It needs to be lined up exactly with the chain pin and the chain needs to be exactly perpendicular to the tool pin.

chain tools chain tool use 1 chain tool use 2 chain tool use 3 chain tool use 4 chain tool use 5 chain tool use 6 chain tool use 7 chain tool use 8 chain tool use 9 chain tool use 10 chain tool use 12

Cassette lockring tool and chain whip – used to remove and install the cassette lockring:

cassette lockring tool cassette lockring tool chain whip cassette lockring tool chain whip use

Cone spanners – very thin spanners made for the sole purpose of adjusting the bearing cones in hubs:

spanners cone screwdriver flathead use spanner cone use 3 spanner cone use 4 spanner cone use 2

Spoke keys and truing stand – spoke keys are used to tighten or loosen spokes in the wheel. The 4 sided Spokey brand tools shown are excellent. A truing stand can be used to true a wheel precisely or it can be done with the wheel in the bike using your thumbnail as a guage to sense deviation in the rim:

spoke keys spoke key use 2

wheel true stand spoke key use 1

Pedal spanner – a narrow 15mm spanner for fitting/removing pedals into/out of cranks. Remember, the left (non-drive) side pedal has a left hand thread:

pedal wrenches pedal wrench use

Crank bolt socket wrench – a 14mm ratcheting socket wrench to remove and install crank bolts/nuts. There is a 14mm socket on one side and a 15mm socket on the other so check you have the right end. Very occasionally you may find a 15mm crank bolt:

crank bolt wrench screwdriver flathead use 6 crankbolt wrench use 2 crankbolt wrench use

Crank extractor – used to remove cranks from the bottom bracket spindle. Be extra careful with this one. If you damage the thread in the crank then it’s very difficult to remove. Before using the extractor, inspect the head of the centre pin/bolt and check for any flange that may have formed at its edge from previous use and file this back to a cylinder shape if it has (see photo 6).¬† Back the centre pin off until it is inside the outer case (shown in photo 2). Make sure the crank bolt and washer have been removed from the crank. Now, thread the outer case of the extractor into the crank by hand. Don’t put a spanner on it until you’re certain it’s threading in straight. Once you’re certain, use a shifter to tighten the outer part of the extractor all the way into the crank, as far as it can go. Now, turn the inner pin/bolt until it starts pushing against the end of the spindle, then keep turning until the crank pulls off the spindle:

crank extractor 1 crank extractor 2 crank extractor use 1 crank extractor use 2 crank extractor use 3 crank extractor care

Bottom bracket tools – used to remove and install bottom bracket bearings. The bearing cups are usually tight so it’s wise to use a bolt (8×1.0mm) to secure the tool into the cup, then use a long ring spanner on the tool (a 15/16″ ring spanner fits the tool perfectly). A ratcheting socket wrench can be used with the tool when the cups are loose. The left (non-drive) side cup has a standard right hand thread but the right (drive) side cup, in the vast majority of cases, has a left hand thread. Loosen the non-drive side cup first and then the drive side. When installing a bottom bracket it’s the reverse: tighten the drive-side first and then the non-drive side:

bottom bracket tool and bolt bottom bracket toolsbottom bracket tool use bottom bracket tool use 2 bottom bracket tool use 3 bottom bracket tool use 4 bottom bracket tool use 5 bottom bracket tool use 6

Headset spanner and hook spanner – the 36mm headset spanner can be used to tighten the drive side cup of an unsealed bottom bracket (remember, this usually has a left hand thread) without removing the cranks. Be careful doing this as the tool can easily slip and your hand can follow through right into the chainring teeth. Try to position the tool so that, if it slips, your hand (and arm) won’t hit anything. Also, don’t over tighten it as this increases the chance of slipping which damages the tool.

The hook spanner is used to tighten the lockring on the non-drive side bottom bracket cup. Again, be careful that it doesn’t slip and try to get the tool in a position where you won’t hurt yourself if it does slip. You can also open your hand and push with your palm rather than gripping the tool (as shown in photo 2). If the tool slips here then the soft open face of my hand will glance off the frame instead of punching it with my knuckles.

headset spanner use 2 hook spanner use

Headset spanner (and shifting spanner) – the headset spanner has sizes 30/32/36/40mm for adjusting threaded headset bearings, often used with a shifting spanner on the locking nut:

headset wrench headset wrench use headset wrench shifter use

Cable cutters Рwill easily and cleanly cut cables, both brake and gear, inner and outer cables. Not to be used for cutting spokes.

cable cutters cable cutters use

Spoke cutters – a one-handed bolt cutter that cuts through rusty/defective spokes with ease. We save good quality spokes for reuse.

IMG_1334 IMG_1333

Calipers and vernier calipers – measure hub dimensions to calculate spoke length for wheel building

tool calipers use A tool calipers use B tool vernier tool vernier use

Micrometer – measure the rim thickness. Braking will gradually wear through the rim and this modified micrometer can help judge when to replace it.

tool micrometer tool micrometer use


Handlebar support blocks – useful for working on the underside of the bike (wheels, chain, bottom bracket):

floorstand blocks floorstand blocks 2

Seat tube stand – useful for working on the underside of the bike (wheels, chain, bottom bracket):

seat tube stand seat tube stand use

1 thought on “Tools”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *