Tools. What is absolutely necessary?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by Trey, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. Trey

    Trey $50 Cruiser

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    Something similar came up in a post today, and it made me think...
    What tools are absolutely necessary to build and maintain, the majority of kit-bikes? Your average off the shelf, 2 or 4 stroke production bicycle build. E-Bike folks, please make note that you are referring to E-Bikes for easier reference.
    Everyone will have their preferences for certain tools, but I'm hoping we'll be able to boil it down to the most basic, poor mans' minimum requirement. Safety is, as always, the number one priority, but a very close second in this case is cost.
    There is a huge amount of experience here (even the vice-grip nipple tightening type :) ) and your opinions would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    UPDATE: This thing has taken a slight turn. I'm now asking for links to tools that members have used, or own, that are for building and maintaining MABs. There's a bunch of new members now, and I'd like to get alot of tool specific info into one thread for all.

    I thank you all for your help :)

    Trey
     
    #1 Trey, Feb 18, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
  2. Intrepid Wheelwoman

    Intrepid Wheelwoman New Member

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    In all the years I've been tinkering with old cars and bikes I would have to say that a Swiss Army Knife is absolutely essential for any wheelwoman to keep in her handbag. I've surprised my daughter on several occasions when I've got her car going again armed only with a Swiss Army Knife.

    Make sure it is the genuine article though as there are many cheap copies about made from very poor quality materials that will bend and break if one so much as frowns in their general direction.
     
  3. DEVILSorchard

    DEVILSorchard New Member

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    Theres no way to properly answer that but For starters:

    A decent socket set and wrench set
    hex key set
    adjustable wrench
    vise grips
    measuring tape / steel rule
    spoke wrench


    Every tool you learn to use youl find soon enough you cant use to its full potential without another tool. There's almost no end to what you can do with hand tools for general building and fabrication.

    Power tools generally make things easier but they are expensive and can be a constant money drain. For example Palm sanders come in every shape and size you can think of usually with pricey replacement sanding pads and limited selections that wear out fast. Sanders designed for good old sandpaper will be far far cheaper to operate. For the price of an electric palm sander you could also get an assortment of different sized and shape hand sander blocks that take standard paper and always have the right tool. Its the same for most power tools there was always a manual way to do it before that power tool was made and usually that's the cheaper way to go.

    You may notice that different kits neglect certain sizes of sockets / wrenches 11mm and 18mm is commonly missing for example. You'll notice sizes like 10, 12, and 14 are common but 13mm is less common and 11mm is rarely used. But you will always run into these sizes if you don't have the tools, just the way it works.

    local classifieds for used tools is your friend best to just start collecting them all.
     
  4. Rudz

    Rudz New Member

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    Bicycle tool kit.

    I have one from spin doctor with an assortment of metric hex bits, sockets and small ratchet. This set alone built most of my bike.

    Digital calipers

    Impact driver and rubber mallet

    Case screws are stubborn and this prevents you from destroying them and having drill them out.

    Tire levers

    At least two, maybe more, because they break.

    Spoke wrench

    Bicycle pump

    Keep the stand up at home and the hand pump on the bike

    Patch kit

    Quality cable cutters

    Bicycle specific cutters are the best, I use Pedro brand cutters.

    Dremel and cutting wheels, grinding and sanding bits

    Voltage meter

    Metric wrench set

    Metric hex set small

    Metric hex set long handle T

    Flashlight

    Zip ties

    Screw drivers, both Phillips and Standard

    Bench grinder

    Bench vise

    Needle nose pliers

    Vise grips

    Adjustable wrench, various sizes

    Chain whip and cassette tool

    Blue loctite

    Yellow fuel resistant teflon tape

    Rtv silicone, oil resistant

    Epoxy putty
     
  5. GoreWound

    GoreWound New Member

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    I'm new to this, but the very first thing I found myself lacking in when it came to tools was stowage.

    I ended up putting a fanny-pack on my handlebars to keep a water bottle and a wrench in before I had the motor.
    Now I need a backpack to carry my tools with me.
    I'm shopping for a pair of ammo cans.

    frankly if it was reasonable to carry a trailer with a portable workshop in it around with my bike, I would call it 'my touring package'
     
  6. Rudz

    Rudz New Member

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    I carry a ibera PackRack with trunk and nashbar panniers
     
  7. boxcar

    boxcar New Member

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    Tough question.
    I have a fairly complete set of Park bicycle specific tools.
    I also have a full machine / fabrication shop.
    I don't own a tool that I wouldn't deem necessary.
    Do I recommend investing that kind of money just to maintain a bike , NO.
    But they are sure handy.

    A small hobbyist Bicycle tool kit would be a good start.
    You will get the basics in such a kit . IE: chain whip / pullers / crank tools / ETC.
    Just an example of sed tool kit NOT A RECOMMENDATION.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/BIKE-BICYCL...268?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item485cc89fb4

    There are better and more complete kits out there for the same $$$$

    A metric 1/4" drive socket set.
    Set of pliers.
    Metric Allen's.
    Metric wrench set.
    Cheap caliper set.
    Work stand.
    Chain split-er.
    Screw driver set.
    Bench vice.
    Bench grinder.
    Hand impact
    Brass hammer.
    Small set of punches.
    A Dremel is always handy.
    As is a good tire pump.
    And the all important wire ties.............

    The good news is other than the Bicycle starter set these tools can and will serve you for other tasks.
     
    #7 boxcar, Feb 18, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  8. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    Hand impact is a MUST HAVE tool for chinadoll engines.
    Or ANY engine with phillips head screws.
     
  9. boxcar

    boxcar New Member

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    I agree fully . Just forgot to add it to the list.
    I went ahead and edited the list. Hope you don't mind....
     
    #9 boxcar, Feb 18, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  10. kevyleven007

    kevyleven007 Active Member

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    I could use a swiss army knife. I have a bicycle multi-tool thing that's pretty handy. But a knife, that's something I could use.
     
    #10 kevyleven007, Feb 18, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
  11. Trey

    Trey $50 Cruiser

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    Ok, pretty good so far. Thanks!

    Not looking for a 'carry kit', but the absolute minimum tools a person must have to assemble, and maintain an MAB.

    Example; Chainbreaker tool. Very useful, makes the job alot easier. NOT absolutely necessary. Sure, you have to take more time, and maybe exercise more skill, but I'd like to compose a list of the bare minimum.

    Keep it coming, and I thank you all on behalf of the person who thinks they can't do this because they can't afford it.
     
  12. skitchfish

    skitchfish Member

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    I am certain a high percentage of coaster Brake owners who do there own bearings are not using cone wrenches. Proper cone nut tension is essential for correct assembly of coaster brakes.

    Cone wrenches do not have to be top of the line and can be had for a reasonable price.

    My point is, use the right tool for the right job. Cone wrenches should be a required tool for safety reasons alone.
     
  13. boxcar

    boxcar New Member

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    If ya wana go bear minimum I bet I could assemble a bicycle , motor or not with a pair of vise grips a bike pump and a pair of screw drivers. I wouldn't recommend it though.
     
  14. Trey

    Trey $50 Cruiser

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    Yup, you might... and that's exactly what I'm looking for.
     
  15. boxcar

    boxcar New Member

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    Call it the cave man build.....
     
  16. Davezilla

    Davezilla New Member

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    It really depends... if it's a small kit to keep with you while riding, a small tool bag, a set of screwdrivers, a folding allen wrench set (metric) small needle nose pliers, small slipjoint pliers, 4" vise grips, metric wrenches: 8, 10, 12, and 14mm, a handful of 6" zip ties, a small fix a flat kit, and a small tire pump. Everything should fit in this bag and the bag should be big enough to fit the tools you're carrying but not much bigger.

    This is enough tools to get ya out of a bind and back on the road if something goes south and you're stuck in the middle of nowhere so you can ride home instead of pushing the bike home. If one plans on a longer trip, I'd add in some spare parts like a spare mag coil, spare cdi, about 6 feet of 14 gauge wire, some wire splices, a small container with enough 2 cycle oil to mix up a gallon of gas, a small can of WD40, an extra spark plug, extra hardware, an extra inner tube, more zip ties, and a small led flashlight. Basically just enough stuff in case you take a spill and crack a spark plug or all your gas drains out from being tipped over and you're 10 miles away from home etc... This is for those "do what you can to get it running" fixes to get ya home where you can do proper repairs.

    This doesn't even come close to the tools to have at home...
     
  17. Semaj

    Semaj Electric Enthusiast

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    You can get an ebike slaped together with the most basic stuff, much less I would imagine than instalation of a china girl on a frame.

    Remove rear or front wheel. replace with hub motor.
    Secure batteries,(guess that one is a bit hary depending on what kind of batteries you end up with) and zip tie wires to frame.
    Id say adjustable wrench or two, and you could get away with zip tying the rest,
    I did use a drill to mount the controller to the frame of my bike
    so: adjustable wrench for bolts, and some channel locks for anything the wrench isint big enoufgh for.
    screwdrivers for tire instalation
    Probably an allen wrench as well for the handlebars depending on the type

    I presume they are going to be assembling a partially assembled bicycle and not starting from like a stripped frame or something? :S ive got no idea about how to deal with Crank instalation or dissasembly.
     
  18. Trey

    Trey $50 Cruiser

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    Good stuff folks. It dawned on me that I've read about tools in a few other places here.

    Even though the thread title wouldn't be exact, maybe we should make this a collection of links to members advice on tools... Please try to include tools that you have used, or own. Let's recommend things we can stand behind.

    http://motorbicycling.com/showthread.php?t=45124 Cheap tools to custom build a gas-bike

    http://motorbicycling.com/showthread.php?t=5296 Tool kit

    http://motorbicycling.com/showthread.php?t=32294 Tool kit

    http://motorbicycling.com/showthread.php?t=12663 Tool kit

    http://motorbicycling.com/showthread.php?t=6025 Tool kit

    http://motorbicycling.com/showthread.php?t=11566 Tool kit
     
    #18 Trey, Feb 21, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  19. boxcar

    boxcar New Member

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    This is an interesting thread.
    I just ordered one of these for my wife's new bike.

    [​IMG]

    While not quite everything one would want. For on road fixes it will sure come in handy.
     
  20. Trey

    Trey $50 Cruiser

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    Can you add a link or description on that McGyver tool?
     

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