A brain surgeon would never attempt a lobotomy with a pipe wrench. While using the wrong tool to repair your bike might not cause severe brain
damage, it can still do serious harm. Using the right tools
H The Garage Files
The right way to use the most
the right way makes life easier and can prevent damage to
your bike, your toolkit and your wallet. These are just a few
of our favorite tools and the tricks we’ve learned to use them
the right way and keep the wrecking crew’s bikes running in
The most used tool on any mountain bike is the simple Allen
wrench. Do yourself a favor and spring for long T-handle-style
wrenches with a ball end on one side, a square end on the other
and in at least the most common sizes.
The ball end of the wrench allows you to quickly spin in bolts at
an angle. This is particularly handy when working in tight places
where other components get in the way of standard wrenches.
The ball end allows the wrench to pivot up to about 30 degrees
while still tightening or loosening a bolt. The ball end of the
wrench does have one weak spot, though. It should never be
used for high-torque situations, because it’s much more likely to
strip the bolt head.
Instead, use the ball end to get the bolt almost all the way in, and
use the square end to finish the torque. This will not only save you
the stripped bolt, but can also save you from breaking the ball end
off your new wrench.
For the beginners:
For the beginners:
With screwdrivers it’s one size fits all, right? Wrong.
Determining which size to use is trickier than with the Allen
wrench since sizes are rarely labeled.
We find that the largest-size screwdriver head that fits the bolt
will give you the most purchase and be least likely to cause
stripping. Remember, just because the screw itself is small, it
doesn’t necessarily mean you need a small screwdriver. This
little limit screw on our front derailleur fit best with our largest
screwdriver in the toolkit. Interesting.