Mountain bike tools: for home and on the road

Good tools are necessary to be able to tinker with your mountain bike. You have to think further than just a set of Allen keys: it is therefore handy to also have a torque wrench and a chain tool at home. It’s also smart to have MTB tools with you on the go. On this page I tell you everything you need to know about MTB tools.

What kind of MTB tools do you need?

At MTBdex.com I pay a lot of attention to adjusting your mountain bike. This is very important, because no body is the same. But, to adjust your mountain bike you do need the right tools. Check out a list below with all the tools you should have at home to be able to maintain your mountain bike in the basics.

mountain bike tools
Good MTB tools are indispensable when adjusting and maintaining your mountain bike. © MTBdex.com

Torque wrench

A torque wrench is an indispensable tool when you want to adjust your mountain bike. With a torque wrench you can adjust how hard you want to tighten a screw. On some mountain bike parts it is indicated in Nm what the maximum tightening strength may be. You can set this to a torque wrench, after which you can tighten the screw with confidence.

Without a torque wrench there is a chance that you will tighten a part too tightly. This can cause cracks in the parts. You can use a torque wrench to replace an MTB handlebar, among other things.

Allen keys

You will use an Allen key very often when you are going to tinker with your mountain bike. In particular, Allen key 4 and 5. The Allen key is particularly useful for adjusting cables or components on the handlebar. Think, for example, of mounting lock on MTB handles or repositioning the brake levers.

mount mountain bike grips
An Allen key for mounting mountain bike grips. © MTBdex.com

Torx wrenches

Some parts need to be mounted with a Torx wrench. A torx screw resembles an Allen screw, but has pointed edges instead of angular. There are complete torx key sets with which you can get a wide range of different keys.

Chain tool and missing link pliers

When you want to clean your MTB chain, it can be smart to remove your chain. For this you need a missing link pliers or a chain tool. Even when your chain breaks, these two mountain bike tools are indispensable. With a missinlink pliers you can easily open the bicycle chain at the missinglink.

replace mtb chain
The BBB Linkfix missing link pliers for replacing the chain. © MTBdex.com

Some multi-tools also have a chain tool. That can be useful as MTB tool for on the road, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

Pedal wrench

In my MTB pedal replacement manual I already talked about using a pedal wrench. Although you can also easily (dis)assemble a pedal with a normal wrench, a pedal wrench makes this a lot easier. This type of MTB tool is provided with an extra long handle, so that the pedals do not get in the way.

In addition, the key is positioned at an oblique angle, making it easier to tighten the mountain bike pedals.

Cable cutter

Do you want to replace the MTB gear cable? Then it is useful to have a cable cutter at home. This allows you to cut both the outer and inner cable to size. A good cable cutter easily cuts through the cable, without the cable splitting. Therefore, always choose high-quality pliers.

Cassette taker

To be able to disassemble the MTB cassette, for example if it is due for replacement, you will have to use a cassette remover. This fits exactly in the washer that keeps the cassette on the body. However, you can not only replace the MTB cassette with a cassette remover. You will also need a chain whip.

Chain whip

When you want to unscrew the washer with the just named cassette remover, the cassette will rotate with it. To prevent this, you can use a chain whip. This type of tool is provided with a piece of chain, which you can place over the cassette, after which you can clamp it. You can then loosen the locking ring with the cassette remover.

Screwdriver set

Well, a screwdriver set can of course not be missing. Various (small) parts are fitted with small cross-head screws. A flat screwdriver can also be used for many things, for example when maintaining the MTB crankset. For example, the cranks are equipped with a small locking pin, which you can click up with a small flat screwdriver.

Chain Wear Gauge

It may be more of an aid than a tool, but this should not be missing in any MTB tool set: a chain wear gauge or a bicycle chain checker. This is a handy tool with which you can check to what extent the bicycle chain is worn. Does the chain wear gauge fall into the chain? Then you have to replace the MTB chain!

bbb chain tool
The BBB Chain Tool, a chain wear gauge. © MTBdex.com

Tire levers

To replace an MTB tire you will have to use several tire levers. You simply insert these under the tyre, after which you hook them behind a spoke. You also do this with a second tire lever, a little further, after which you pull it through to pull the tire over the rim. It is – just like a multi-tool – a piece of MTB tool for on the road.

MTB tool set on the road

Along the way you may need mountain bike tools to quickly continue your route. For example, consider the following situations in which MTB tools are indispensable for on the road:

  • Flat MTB tire
  • Broken gear cable
  • Broken bicycle chain
  • Loose parts

Tools are indispensable for these kinds of problems. Let’s take a quick look at what you can take with you.

Mountain bike multi-tool

It is the must-have for every mountain biker: a mountain bike multi-tool. This tool is equipped with several tools that you probably need in case of bicycle breakdown. Think of various Allen keys, Torx keys and supplies to stick a tire.

mtb multi-tool with chain punch
Some multi-tools even have a chain tool. © MTBdex.com

A multi-tool is very small, so you can easily take it with you on the road in an MTB backpack. Recently I tested a popular multi-tool from Crankbrothers. Read my experiences in the Crankbrothers M13 Multi Tool review.

Tire repair kit

And of course a small tire repair kit should not be missing on the road. It is also best to have an inner tube with you on the road. Then you can quickly replace the inner tube and repair the inner tube at home with the right tools!

Other on-the-go tools

Finally, in addition to MTB tools, there are also other tools that you could take with you on the road. I list them:

  • Tape
  • Tie wraps
  • First aid kit
  • Mini bicycle pump or CO2 cartridges

Also make sure you have money with you so that you can always buy something on the go.

Buy MTB tools: buying tips

If you do not have any tools yet or if you want to expand your MTB tool set with new tools, it is smart to pay attention to a number of things. View my buying tips below and score the best tools for your mountain bike.

  • Buy a complete MTB tool set (tool case) if you don’t have anything at all yet. With this you get everything at home in one go. You often also have a nice suitcase to keep everything together.
  • Go for quality tools, then buy tools at a bicycle shop and, for example, not at a supermarket.
  • First check which tools you already have to avoid duplication of tools. Check the above tool list and take a look in your garage.
  • Choose tools from a good brand. Think of BBB, Pro, Park Tool, Trivio and Topeak.

Mountainibke Tools FAQ

What tools do I need for a mountain bike?

You need different tools for the maintenance and adjustment of your mountain bike. You need at least a set of Allen keys, Torx keys, screwdrivers and open-end wrenches.

Is there also a complete MTB tool set?

Yes, they certainly are. In fact, I recommend that you buy a complete MTB tool set if you don’t have any tools yet. With this you get everything at once and you immediately have a suitcase to keep everything neatly together.

What are good tool brands?

In the field of mountain bike tools, there are a number of brands that stand out. Namely BBB, Pro, Park Tool and Trivio.

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