Build your collection before the season starts for maximum efficiency.
Working on your bike can be extremely rewarding, leaving you with more money in your wallet, less down time while your bike’s in a shop, and troubleshooting knowledge handy for training and race day. But bikes evolve, and as they do, so do the tools required to maintain them properly. Advancements like disc brakes and tubeless tires require specific tools that might have been unfamiliar to triathletes a few years ago. So make sure you’ve got the tools to match your steed for seamless tweaks and fixes. Add these to your quiver to experience tri tool nirvana in your home bike workshop. Here’s to more time in the saddle and less in the bike repair line. Our scale from $ (not saving a lot) to $$$$ (saving a ton) helps identify how much you’ll save with these home bike workshop tools.
$160, Rei.com | $$$
GREAT FOR: Tubeless tires
Installing tubeless tires generally requires a pressurized, high-flow blast of air to seat the tire bead into the rim—which usually means an air compressor, something a little too large and noisy for your average home. Enter the JoeBlow Booster pump: Simply pressurize the boost chamber using the hand pump, attach the pump to your valves, and open up the air release valve to inflate the tire. You’ll save frustration from trying to do this with an ordinary pump or always having to bring your bike into the shop whenever you get new tubeless tires.
Park Tool Team Issue Repair Stand PRS-25
$324, Amazon.com | $$
GREAT FOR: Aero seat posts
Park Tool’s repair stand not only sets up or folds down in less than one minute, but it can easily grab onto any weirdly shaped aero tri bike seatpost. The wide base and solid construction create a steady platform for you to wrench, clean, or store your bike. It’s hard to imagine a better home-use repair stand. This is not an essential tool but certainly not one you’ll regret owning.
Muc-Off Pressure Washer + Snow Foam Lance
$175, Muc-off.com | $$
GREAT FOR: Dirty dirty bikes
Easily the most fun bike tool in our workshop, the Muc-Off Pressure Washer + Snow Foam Lance will easily get the dirt, sugary beverages, road grime, and other triathlon-related disgusting things (yes, even that) off of your bike with ease. There are lots of parts in the box, but assembly only takes a few minutes. Connect it to your garden hose, plug it into an outlet, and you can turn a disgusting bike into a relatively clean one in just a few minutes. The chain, cassette, and derailleurs will still need special care to get them pristine, but this tool does a great job getting 90% of the muck off your ride.
Lezyne Torque Drive
$50, Amazon.com | $$$$
GREAT FOR: Carbon everything
A torque wrench is a must for any bike with carbon bits. The Lezyne Torque Drive gives you the confidence that your screws are tight enough, but not so tight that something is going to get crushed. This travel-sized tool comes with a carrying case and any part that your bike could possibly use. It won’t replace a shop’s ratcheting torque wrench, but it’s perfect for home or travel use. Read the manual first!
Wolftooth Pack Pliers – Master Link Combo Pliers
$33, Competitivecyclist.com | $$$
GREAT FOR: Shimano and SRAM chains
Shimano and SRAM now both use master links to connect chains to your bike, and removing a masterlink is made easy with these WolfTooth Pack Pliers. Not only does this tool aid in chain removal, but it also holds two pairs of master links, integrates a valve core removal tool, and doubles as a set of sturdy tire levers—all in a very compact and lightweight design. Think: easy chain removal for cleaning. Travel often with your bike? Remove the chain (and rear derailleur) before you pack your bike.
CrankBrothers M19 multi-tool
$34, Rei.com | $$$
GREAT FOR: Doing it all
The do-it-all multi-tool. Though it’s slightly on the large side, it does just about everything. This can handle pretty much any routine maintenance: From basic wheel trueing to repairing a broken chain, to adjusting your seat height or cleats, this tool has you covered. Precisely built to last, it also features a lifetime warranty.
Tire Sealant Injector
$10, Rei.com | $$$$
GREAT FOR: Tubeless tires
Installing tire sealant is possibly the messiest thing you’ll ever have to do to your bike in your home bike workshop. Get it right, and you won’t spill a drop—get it wrong, and you’ll be cleaning up for hours. The No Tubes sealant injector is a necessity for tubeless tire users: Fill the syringe using the graduated markings on its side, remove your valve core, attach the easy fit hose to your valve, and easily inject sealant.
Pedro’s Tire Levers
$5 (per pair), Rei.com | $$$$
GREAT FOR: Tight new tires
Quite simply the best tire levers out there. These levers are so strong that they carry a lifetime warranty from Pedro’s—which is saying a lot. Even the tightest fitting tires and rims are no match for these beefy levers, and their wide, hard plastic surface has never damaged any carbon rims in this tester’s workshop. Brightly colored—so you shouldn’t lose them—and only $5 a pair in case you do. A must-have for any bike owner’s saddle bag.