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  • Suggestions needed – £100 of tools
  • theflatboy

    Normally I have no problem finding ways to spend money, but some suggestions would be welcome here:

    My wife is giving me around £100 of bike tools for Christmas, and hasn’t got anything yet so I could choose something suitable. I have quite a lot of the obvious tools already, but am thinking either a comprehensive socket set from the likes of Proxxon, though this would be more general and not so bike specific, or something like a Lifeline tool kit which would have everything in it (though replicating a lot that I already have). I’m not totally committed to either option, though.

    So, question is what would you spend £100ish on if you had it to spend on tools?

    Any suggestions welcome!

    What bike tools do you have and what work do you want to be able to carry out? I’d make sure I had at least a decent chain whip and cassette tool, decent set of T handle Allen keys, Some decent spanners, a ht2 bb tool. Anything else depends on what you work on regularly really.


    I have found the Lifeline stuff to be quite overpriced as they are quite low quality.

    Personally I would buy decent quality Allen keys and “normal” spanners etc. Halfords Pro are decent quality and good value when they are on special offer, which is often.

    Decide which specialist tools you need/want and just buy them. Park are more expensive than Lifeline but are better quality.


    What do you have already? Is the million dollar question
    I can’t say I’ve ever use a socket set on my bikes, other than to press bearing in.. Do you already have good quality/branded basics like allen key, BB tool, chaintool etc? The type of tools you’d use to service a bike normally or change the chainset.
    If not get those first, good quality one, but not as part of a kit unless you have nothing at all!
    Next I’d be looking at tools like headset presses, bearing pullers, hydro cable cutter, headset removers, quick link pliers, that I can do without but would love to own

    Premier Icon edhornby

    the lifeline stuff is useful if you don’t have any but if you’re already building a collection I would either plug any holes or replace the stuff you use a lot with good quality bits – a decent chain tool, good cone spanners, a good chain whip would be the obvious tools

    Premier Icon lunge

    Obviously I’m not sure what you have already but here is start point:

    – Good hex keys. I’ve got Bahco which I got at a good price from Amazon.
    – Torque Wrench. Lots to choose from, I have a Norbar that is very good.
    – Work stand. Again, lots of choice and you good easily double your budget on that alone but it is well worth having one.
    – Good track pump. Simply essential.
    – Workshop style chain tool. My Park one is sooo much better to use than the small, fiddly one I had before.
    – Cable cutters. Good ones are an absolute revelation.

    Pretty much everything else I’ve added when needed and haven’t spend lots on them as they don’t get used that much, things like chain whips, cone spanners and free wheel tools are good to have but the amount you use them means mine are cheap jobs.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    I got the older lifeline kit back when it was better value, still using most of it… X-tools and Superstar kits seem to be good options now. But I already had all the non-bike standards like good allen keys etc.


    I’d avoid the ‘bike specific’ brands for ‘non-bike specific’ tools (if that makes sense)

    Bahco make top quality hex keys that are always a good price on Amazon.
    Bahco/Halfords Pro/Teng for a socket set
    Bahco/Knippex/Maun for cutters

    For the ‘bike specific’ bits, I just bought individual tools as I needed them. (MT2 tool/cassette socket/chain whip)
    The only ‘park tool’ I have is the pedal spanner I got for Christmas.

    However I did already have a roll-cab full of tools as have spent the last 20 years playing with cars/Landrovers.


    ok good suggestions, cheers – the reason i’m finding it tricky is that i have most things that i need, so any kit would overlap quite a lot with what i already have. it’s a question of either getting better versions of things that i already have or trying to identify gaps, of which there aren’t many. this present may have been more useful 5 years ago!


    Above all else (if you don’t already have one),a good workstand,track pump,portable tool box,cable cutters,quality chain tool,Park,Pedros or Bahco allen keys,good long pedal spanner,300mm adjustable spanner (does everything from straightening drop-outs and disc rotors/chainrings)and quality screwdrivers. Mount it all on a home-made toolboard and use the tool box when travelling….

    Premier Icon cookeaa

    A socket set is always worth having, but if it’s not going to be in constant use it’s not worth spending loads on one, I’ve got a couple of cheap Metric/Imperial sets which cover all the bases.

    I wouldn’t but an off the peg “bike specific” tool kit as you can almost guarantee it’ll be for the wrong bike and be missing the three tools you actually really needed.

    I’d suggest thoroughly Going over your bike(s) and noting anything for which you don’t already have a tool, a mate of mine is round every few weeks as he discovers yet another “obscure” BB/Cassette/Torx/chain tool he doesn’t own which I do, knowing me has probably saved him close to £100 in LBS workshop labour…

    Other than that, stuff generally worth buying (which you probably already own):

    +Bleed kit(s)?
    +A good set of Hex keys to live in the workshop?
    +A decent Track pump?
    +Misc spares (Split links, Cables and outers, brake pads, tubes, patches)?
    +Headset press/removal tools?
    +A decent bench vice?
    +A tool board or something to help keep them all organised?

    I could easily spend £100 on Miscellaneous tools and consumables for the garage and still need stuff…


    Add on,(just seen your post theflatboy),get a £100 voucher from LBS/Chain Reaction to use whenever tool breaks/gets lost or is wanted??…. 🙂

    If you get an adjustable spanner make it a good one, Bahco are the best (and rightly so, they invented them).

    Again, filling the gaps is the best method, there are times where you can justify splashing the cash if you use a tool regularly but TBH I find a reasonable tool fine for occasional use, I have a few Fat Spanner bits and bobs which have been fine over the years.

    Bike stand was £40 from Lidl, perhaps not the best but better than many at 2-3 times the price, always worth hanging back for one of those when they come on offer (latest ones are knurled on clamping faces to eliminate slipping found on earlier models).


    ok, more good points ta. annoyingly i have needed a torque wrench for a while, so a nice one with a few sockets would be the perfect thing, but my dad got me a cheapy topeak one. i’m sure it’s fine, but a decent one would have been just right! (i know, first world problems etc… 🙁 )

    Premier Icon mogrim

    A decent tool box or rack would also be good.

    Question, given your current bikes: What jobs can’t you do at home?


    I’m probably set for most things, in fairness. Except a proper headset press… a Park Tool press may fit the bill, or I may just put the money towards the Asgard unit I need to get anyway…

    Cheers all, useful input!

    Premier Icon wobbliscott

    Why not put it towards a nice stand or a tool cabinet? I was drooling over some pretty nice tool cabinets at Costco the other day. No sense blowing it on tools you’l hardly use or may never need. Anyway, having a tool for every job means you will lose your creative and innovative skills. There is nothing like getting halfway through a job, realising you haven’t got the right tool and successfully cobble something together that does the job perfectly. This is an essential man-skill that we will lose if we had every tool under the sun at our disposal.


    Wheel jig?

    Premier Icon nickdavies

    Torque Wrench? Saw a lovely Wera one the other day for £109 i think on sport pursuit.

    Edit: Just seen you’ve got one. I’d put £100 of tools towards a wheel jig I think and teach myself how to build and true wheels.


    park tools have left me underwhelmed in pretty much every case as they have either broken or not been any better made/designed than other makes half their price

    coincidently I bought a Bahco adjustable wrench yesterday just because it looked so well made I couldn’t resist!

    Edit: Having bought a secondhand headset press the other day and used itto fit a headset perfectly instead of pratting around with the usual mallet etc, I can’t believe it took me so long to get one. think I might even get a remover as well

    I hope you are returning the thoughtful gift by providing your wife with a sum of money for something she already has a saturated supply of and she has to choose herself…


    [/stw obligatory response that hasn’t been done yet]


    Park stuff is a little hit and miss. Most of the consumer stuff is overpriced tat. The stuff amied at shops Is mostly ok but but not perfect , there cir clip pliers are nasty

    Hex keys bondus
    Pliers: cutters knipex
    Spaners halfords or snap on
    Chain tool park ct2
    Genuine shimano/campag tool are often very good
    Screw drivers the lidl ones seem to last well

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