Advice on bike tools for workshop

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  • Advice on bike tools for workshop
  • geelo

    We’re looking for something that’s pretty robust as their going to be used by young people who have probably not used tools before.

    Premier Icon Drac

    So what is “little as we can then”, what roughly is your budget?

    Premier Icon PePPeR

    I used one of those basic toolkits as a starter then added the bits and pieces as I went along. The tools are fair quality and you don’t need to go buying Park tools just because.

    The tool kits have lasted 10 years of near daily use and I was working as a repair tech for 5 of those.


    The Planet-X one Drac links to is the same as the one on Chain Reaction, but cheaper. Perfectly adequate – I have one, bought when starting out, and have added extra tools as required.

    Bike tools tend to be burly so people being a bit robust with them shouldn’t be a problem.

    If you are really on a budget, also get small spanners, hammer, rubber mallet from pound shop


    I use Park tools on a daily basis.
    Some of them are great…… some are not.
    Don’t discount tools from Pedros, cyclo, unior etc.
    For sockets, screwdrivers and spanners I usually go for non bike specific brands, in my personal workshop I use Facom, britool, signet and snap on. Anything with a lifetime guarantee is worth a look.
    Halfords professional series are great.

    Premier Icon DezB

    Cyclo, BBB & Ice Tools are perfectly adequate. Bikegoo have a good selection

    Edric 64

    Things like headset presses are expensive but are easy to make from threaded bar some nuts and washers and a headset cup remover can be made from an old piece frame tube with the end cut and splayed


    Also, focus on some decent quality Allen keys, cheap ones can be too soft.


    I’d buy a large adjustable spanner, hammer, rubber mallet, screwdriver set, calliper (slide rule), small socket set from a decent hardware (halfords) place. Then look to brands like icetoolz for the bike specific bottom bracket tools, chain tool and allen keys. Superstatr mtb for headset tools and maybe splash out on a decent chain whip tool like the pedros one that will avoid the kids punching the cassette (blood) on their first attempts.

    Also, spend money (Park tools) on decent cable cutters.

    Be an idea to have a home made peg board with the tool outlines on it (if you have space) that way you can instil returning the tools (respect) in the kids and see what’s missing at a glance.

    If space allows, pick up a vice from machine mart, plus gas penetrating lube, GT85, Degreeser, clean rags, chain oil, grease, brake and gear cables (inner + outer) + some single / 8spd / 9spd chains that you can use for spares.

    Premier Icon hatter

    What’s the name of the charity? Let me know a contact number or e-mail and I may be able to put you in touch with someone who could help you out.


    Hi there.

    I’m statring a bike workshop for the local yoofs in the Crawley area.
    I’ve been looking around for a set of tools to get us going and getting a bit lost as to what to start with. Is Park Tool stuff really the best kit to go with? If so which set should I get? I think we’re going to go for 2 stands and a 1 set of tools at the begining.
    We’re on a budget as its a charity thing so we want to get as much as we can for as little as we can spend.
    Any advice would be much appreciated.


    Thanks for all the advice. There is some good ideas. I’ll look again at the Planet X kits.
    Hatter I have e-mailed you.
    Many Thanks


    Was in Lidl Edinburgh earlier and they still have the £30 workstand from last week. Might be some in other shops


    Geelo, email me details and also may be able to help


    Premier Icon Northwind

    You will never regret buying quality allen keys. You probably will regret buying bad ones.

    Superstar’s kit is surprisingly good. X-tools and Icetools are decent as well. Hard to argue with the Planet X one at the price though.

    Park tools are very variable, lots of their kit isn’t worth the price (some isn’t worth 50p). You could dip a jobbie in blue paint and sell it to some folks for £30 and they’ll insist it’s the best jobbie in the world.

    For example:

    binno – Member

    Also, spend money (Park tools) on decent cable cutters.

    Worst and most expensive cable cutters I’ve owned.

    Oh, lastly… Tools go missing at the best of times, so I won’t cast any aspersions on your kids but have you planned for that? The biggest number of people that can look after a set of tools without some wandering off is one, and even then sometimes they vanish! Binno is spot on, if you can peg and outline them then it’ll encourage them to put things away right and also make it easier to keep an eye on them…


    Park tools are not a byword for quality. In my experience, they’re pretty good, but tradespeople will probably recommend something like bondhus for Allen keys and snap on for wrenches.

    Don’t be swayed into buying bike-branded stuff without considering other quality brands as well.

    Having attempted to administer ‘club’ tools, I’d say that the risk of tools breaking is far outweighed by the risk of them getting lost/stolen/misplaced etc. I’d consider buying cheap tools, and buy two or three sets.


    Bondus for hex keys , cheap and the best plus have a proper lifetime warranty

    Some park is good cone spanners presses some not campy bearing pullers and anything from
    The home range
    Cyclus stuff seems like a good mix of value and robustness
    And def avoid bike brands for normal tools as was said above
    Lidle screw drivers pliers and spanner are very good ( and I’m a snap on addict )

    Edit ops a little slow

    The nasty people at park seem to have stopped doing my fav chain tool ct-3

    Dont buy the Park Tool crank pullers. They’re useless in a beginners workshop as the end peice goes missing and can’t be replaced. Get the shimano one.

    Parktool chain tools work well enough, but always need the pins changing. Not sure what a better alternative is.

    Park tool crank bolt removers are good but you might need to weld them together properly.

    Perdro cutters and kestrel stands are great. Neither are cheap. Draper cable cutters are cheap and fine and more reliable than PT, which fail for a pasttime.

    Halfords rachet spanners are ESSENTIAL and were on offer not long ago – £39. Talk to halfords and they might offer a discount. They did for us!

    Halfords roller cabinets are great too!

    Get an old record vice and a good solid work bench. Don’t buy a cheap chinese ebay vice. We did and we broke it on the first day.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes

    Bahco – not always cheap, but a brand to trust.

    And yes, make a shadow board for all your tools. This is essential! I recommend a black painted board with white or silver pen outlines. It will always look clean(ish).

    esher shore

    Park are not the same as some mechanics or bike store staff will remember from 5 years ago

    definitely “cheaped out” on their manufacturing quality during this period 🙁

    get reasonable non-bike specific tools from Draper, Stanley, Halfords, cannot go wrong really..Knipex make very good cutters

    A problem with tools is that they can be easily damaged if misused.

    Expensive tools do not fare any better if misused. They also get borrowed (stolen) or mislaid. Better to loose cheap tools than expensive tools.

    A good shadow board is worthwhile. Get 3/4″ or 1″ ply, paint it black and use a tippex white pen to mark out your tools. I can come back from being on vacation for a week, and immediately know which tool is missing from my workstation!

    This is what we use in my workshop:


    Thanks again for all the advice and tips.
    Bristolbikeproject, I like the look of what you guys are doing.
    Thanks for the shadow board pic Eshershore.
    Will Lockie I have emailed you.
    Think I’ll go down the route of buying the set of tools from Planet X (sorry for the initial responce Drac)and Park Tools stands and then some branded sockets and Allan keys.

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