While you can certainly take your mountain bike into the shop every time you need something, it’s going to be cheaper and more efficient to get some basic maintenance tools of your own.
Pumps, repair stands, wrenches, and basic cleaning supplies are a great place to start!
Best Mountain Bike Pumps
If there’s one thing that every mountain biker must have, it’s a good bike pump! How else are you going to get your tires properly inflated for rides?!
While there are plenty of floor pumps on the market, most aren’t optimized for mountain bikes. Many floor pumps are intended for high-pressure tires and their gauges aren’t accurate at lower pressures such as those used in mountain bike tires. Secondly, they don’t help in any way with tubeless conversions.
At least they didn’t until the Topeak Joe Booster
Half air compressor - Half pump, the JoeBlow Booster pump just made it easier to install tubeless tires! This pump has an integrated aluminum air chamber that stores an air to quickly fill your tire and ensure the proper installation on a tubeless rim, just like a shop compressor.
While floor pumps are excellent for use in the shop or garage, you certainly don’t want to tote them around. They’re awkward, heavy, and best left at home or in your vehicle.
For fixing flat on the trail, you’ll want to keep something that’s much more lightweight!
For its versatility and efficiency, I recommend the Topeak RaceRocket Mountain Bike mini pump. Thanks to its smart head, it’s compatible with both Prest and Schrader valves.
It also comes with a side mount bracket included for attachment to your bike.
Tired of your back hurting from constantly bending over while working on your bike? A bike
I picked the Feedback Sports
A reliable work stand is the foundation of any home repair station, and the Feedback Sports Sport-Mechanic Work Stand offers aspiring home mechanics a durable blend of function and value! With a dependable tripod leg configuration that holds up to 65 pounds, the Sport-Mechanic Work Stand remains stable on flat or uneven surfaces and has an adjustable work height of 42 to 65 inches.
If you’re spending the money on any carbon components e.g. handlebars, stem, etc… then you better make sure that you’ve got a good
Amongst their many fantastic products, I like this adjustable
Best Cleaning Tools
When it comes to simplicity and effectiveness, look no further than the Park Tool chain gang cleaning system. This system is incredibly efficient when it comes to getting a sparkly, brand new looking chain. Better yet, you don’t even have to take the chain off the bike to use it!
This is perfect for a deep clean, or when you need to transition from a dry to wet lube or vice versa. Not only does this kit come with the cleaning housing, but also a brush for scraping the cassette and derailleurs, as well as a degreasing solution. Hard to argue with that kind of value!
A good set of brushes will be critical to keeping your bike clean and functioning well. It’s no surprise that your bike will get coated in mud and grime.
Rather than trying to share other brushes that you might have lying around the house, it’s worth investing in a bike-only set. This set is made by the well-respected Park Tool so you can rest assured that they’ve been perfected for bike maintenance.
Treat your bike right with Park Tool's Bike Cleaning Brush Set. The BCB 4. 2 offers you four different brushes that are designed specifically for bicycles: one soft bristle soaping brush, one frame cleaning dual-headed sponge/bristle brush, one tapered detailing brush, and one gear cleaning brush (the infamous GSC-1 brush).
No shop is complete without a good set of cleaning cloths!
This set from Simpli Magic comes with 60 premium terry cloth towels that are perfect for tackling any cleanup job. They’re strong, highly absorbent, and dry fast.
Keeping your drivetrain properly lubricated is incredibly important to keep it functioning well and lasting long. The type of lubricant that you use will be largely dictated by the environmental conditions that you’re riding in.
Wet lubes tend to last longer and are more robust in wet conditions, however, in dry climates they can cause a lot of dirt and gunk to accumulate. For dry areas, you will probably be better off using a dry lube.
Tri-Flow products Get You Movin' with triple action cleaning, protecting and lubricating to maximize your performance. This formula combines advanced ingredients with ideal application methods to combat your enemies on the road, trail or track - moisture, corrosion and metal-to-metal friction.
Finish Line's Dry Lube goes on wet and sets up with a dry 'wax-like' synthetic film that helps keep your chain clean by not absorbing excessive amounts grit, grime, or dust. Thanks to the added Teflon fluoropolymer, Finish Line's Dry Lube minimizes pedaling friction, repels moisture, and withstands rides up to 100 miles.
Instead of guessing when it’s time to replace your chain you can use a chain checker like this one by Park Tool!
While traditional chain checkers only give you an idea of how much stretch has occurred, this one helps you know exactly where it’s at.
This is important to ensure that you’re replacing your chain at the correct time, and avoiding unnecessary wear and tear on your other drivetrain components.
Now you can quickly and accurately determine the wear of nearly any bike chain with the Park Tool CC-2 Chain Checker. Simply insert the Chain Checker’s pins into two links, lightly press the swing arm gauge, and then check the gauge window for an accurate reading.
While you could certainly make your own chain whip using a piece of old chain, you’ll be better served for many years by simply investing in a great one like this option from Park Tool.