A bike tool kit is a great choice if you’re just getting into cycling or you’re looking for a more comprehensive set of tools for the car or garage.
Many people build up their collection of bike tools over time, but a specialist tool kit is an easy and often more affordable way to get all the tools you need for virtually any bike maintenance, from changing a cassette to installing new brake cables.
Take a look at the best bike tool kits that we have tried and tested below, and our guide to some of the essential tools a kit should include
In fact, a bicycle can roll along the street with a rusty chain, loose headset, wobbling wheels, and even a bent frame.
Bearing the wildest level of negligence, your loyal boneshaker can keep chauffeuring you around for an undefined time, until one day an inadequate wrench will strip out a rusty bolt breaking the teetering balance of the squeaking jalopy.
Definitely, to keep your low-maintenance machine happily rolling you need to use the proper tool.
To be sure, it’s all about the right tool: there are no YouTube videos and tutorials that can do better than a solid 5mm Allen key, a needle nose plier, and a spray of WD40. Even paired with the most unskilled hands, the right tool can work like a magic wand.
So, roll up your sleeves and dust off your DIY attitude: a work-stand and a tool kit is all that you need to get started.
In the following, we will firstly define the perfect tool kit every keen cyclist may need and how to build your own, choosing the right tools for a do-it-yourself bicycle maintenance.
We are going to present what are the most important tools and why it is better to go to a professional mechanic if you don’t have any of them. In the end, we will review the best bicycle tool kits you can find in the market.
Best bike tool kits in 2021
- PRO Advanced Toolbox
- Birzman Essential tool box
- LifeLine X-Tools Bike Tool Kit 37-piece
- Topeak Prepbox tool kit
Essential tools for a bike tool kit
Many modern bikes might seem more complicated than bikes of years gone by, but at their core they are still relatively simple to work on and use the same selection of tools for most maintenance.
In addition to your basic pump, tyre levers and puncture repair kit, these are the essential bike-specific tools any home mechanic’s tool kit should include and will cover some of the most straightforward jobs on a bike.
A set of Allen keys is a bike maintenance essential. Alex Evans / Immediate Media
A multi-tool is great for on-the-road repairs and adjustments but try to have a good set of Allen/hex keys in your toolbox.
A decent T-handle set with a ball end on the long side is a good place to start – this allows you access to awkward bolts with reduced risk of rounding.
Torque wrenches are available cheaply and you can get very compact bike-specific ones. The bonus to using them is that you avoid over-tightening anything, which can affect your warranty on – or simply break – parts you regularly tighten, such as the frame, fork or handlebar.
Just remember to undo the torque adjuster before throwing it back in the box.
A proper pedal spanner will give you a better chance of leveraging off pedals, especially if they haven’t been removed in a long time. A good pedal spanner is usually flatter and thinner than a regular spanner, which you may struggle to get between the pedal and crank arm to undo.
Always apply anti-seize compound to the pedal thread before installation to avoid wrestling with your pedals in the future. Check out our comprehensive guide on how to remove and change bike pedals for more info.
Chain breaker tool
You definitely want to have a chain breaker in your tool kit. Jack Luke / Immediate Media
A chain breaker tool is an essential bit of kit you should get familiar with using properly.
Use it to repair stiff links and to take your chain off for serious cleaning and so prolong the life of your chain and parts. You can even use it to take out a link and put a speed-link in to make removal/cleaning even easier.
Chain whip and cassette lockring tool
A chain whip holds the cassette in place and stops the freehub from spinning when removing the lockring of a cassette. It is also used to remove the cog from a fixed-wheel bike.
A good chain whip will have a decent length handle that will help you gain some mechanical leverage and make light work of removing a lockring.
Check that the chain whip is compatible with the width of the chain that you run on your bike. For instance, is it suitable for 11-speed chains?
You will also need a splined cassette lockring tool if you want to remove your cassette for replacement or cleaning. SRAM, Campagnolo and Shimano all use different standards for these.
Bottom bracket tool
A bottom bracket (BB) tool helps you remove or install a bottom bracket into the bottom bracket shell of a bike.
There is a wide variety of BB tools available due to the numerous bottom bracket standards out there and the different ways of installing and removing a bottom bracket, so making sure you have the right tool for the bottom bracket on your bike is a must.
Shimano Hollowtech II is arguably the gold standard with many brands opting to use it for external bearing and threaded bottom brackets. Shimano Hollwtech II tools also fit a wide variety of BBs from different brands and often work with adaptors for other standards.
Best bike tool kits
PRO Advanced Toolbox
4.5 out of 5 star rating
The tools only occupy one side of the box so there’s space for your own additions. Alex Evans / Immediate Media
- £200 / $290 / AU$453 as tested
- Quality feeling tools
- Needs to be topped up to be comprehensive
The PRO Advanced Toolbox has 25 tools that are well-made, a decent weight and feel like they’ll endure the test of time, as you’d expect of PRO (Shimano’s in-house parts brand).
Rubberised handles give great grip and enhance usability. The Allen keys have a precise fit and both the cassette tool and chain tool are 12-speed compatible. Quick-link pliers are a handy addition to the set.
The custom-cut foam inlay keeps the tools firmly in place, while the metal clasps on the carry case are robust and secure.
Ideally, it’d include a complete Torx set (it has T20, T25 and T30 wrenches) and a 1.5mm Allen key. If we’re being really picky, a flat-blade screwdriver would be nice too, but overall, there’s little to criticise with this excellent kit.
Birzman Essential Tool Box
4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Birzman Essential Tool Box includes everything from a Torx set to a Hollowtech II BB tool.
- £150 / $178 as tested
- Professional-looking kit
The Birzman Essential Tool Kit is a professional-looking kit, with each of the tools stowed in a labelled foam pocket within the hard plastic case.
Thirteen ‘pieces’ are provided (20+ tools), covering most of what’s required to build a bike. The chain and pedal wrenches are long enough to unstick seized parts. Notches on the Allen keys are useful for checking they’re inserted far enough.
Adaptors are provided so you can use the cassette and bottom bracket tools with the 8mm Allen key, avoiding the need to add an adjustable spanner.
We’d downsize the chain rivet extractor and add a pair of cable cutters.
LifeLine X-Tools Bike Tool Kit 37-piece
4.0 out of 5 star rating
The tools are clipped into place but do rattle during transportation. Alex Evans / Immediate Media
- £70 / €79 / $104 / AU$145 as tested
- Wide selection of good quality tools
- Some tools that won’t get a lot of use
The tools in the LifeLine X-Tools all have a quality feel that exceeds this kit’s budget price.
We particularly like the Allen keys, which fitted nice and tightly in every bolt we tried. The cassette tool can be used with SRAM XD cassettes, and the chain whip and chain tool are 12-speed compatible too, with the latter working especially well.
The dedicated ¼in bit driver makes the kit ripe for expanding in the future, as your mechanic’s skills grow.
The case feels fairly low-quality and the contents rattle in it when it’s carried. This kit includes an internal BB tool and crank puller, which aren’t that useful for modern bikes. It’s a shame there isn’t a full set of Torx keys, only T25 and T30.
Topeak Prepbox toolbox
4.0 out of 5 star rating
There are cut-outs for each tool in the internal foam. Alex Evans / Immediate Media
- £320 / €320 / $400 / AU$600 as tested
- 36 usable, good quality tools
- High price
The Topeak Prepbox has 36 tools and is fairly comprehensive. The tools feel weighty and high-quality.
The long Allen keys are easy to use, and the inclusion of the 1.5mm size is a bonus. It’s great to see a torque wrench included too, and we found the chain tool particularly good for helping to free sticky links.
The case is sturdy, with foam cut-outs for each tool and zipped covers. During transit, there was no rattling and the tools remained in place.
While the cable cutters are sharp, they don’t have the smoothest action. The cassette tool’s chamfered edges mean it doesn’t engage that securely with SRAM XD 11- and 12-speed cassettes.
A couple of the tools – the internal BB tool and crank puller – are virtually redundant now and could be replaced.
Halfords Essentials 25-piece cycling tool kit
3.5 out of 5 star rating
The Halfords Essentials Tool Kit includes a puncture repair kit, making it a good overall kit.
- £35 (international pricing N/A) as tested
- Wide range of tools
- Large size tools
The Halfords Essentials Tool Kit is an 18-piece kit that combines a large number of tools (Allen key sets, etc, are counted as single ‘pieces’) in a sensibly priced package.
There’s no T25 Torx wrench, though, which is widely used on modern mountain bikes.
The chain whip, 8mm Allen key and external bottom bracket tool have very long handles, which help when trying to loosen seized bolts. Angled jaws on the equally large pedal spanner reduce the risk of skinned knuckles.
Lower manufacturing tolerances mean the tools don’t have the same high-quality, durable feel as some of the others on test, and removing and replacing tools in the plastic box is fiddly.
3.5 out of 5 star rating
The Lezyne Port-A-Shop case has markings to show which tool goes where.
- £110 / $120 as tested
- Allen and Torx wrenches
- Glueless patches
The Port-A-Shop from Lezyne is more of a (well-presented) multi-tool expansion kit than the portable workshop its name suggests.
However, it provides a range of tools that should cover most car park bike-tinkering needs. The bulk of them are contained within three high-quality multi-tools.
There’s a wide range of Allen and Torx wrenches, and the inclusion of traditional and glueless patch kits is a nice touch. A separate spoke key would be easier to use than the one integrated into the chain tool.
The range of tools falls short of other kits here if you’re looking to fully assemble a bike.
Pedro’s Starter Tool Kit
3.0 out of 5 star rating
The Pedro’s Starter Tool Kit comes in the brand’s distinctive black and yellow colour scheme. Immediate Media
- £170 / $150 / AU$200 as tested
- Tool wrap case
- Some extra tools needed
Presented in a durable-feeling tool wrap, this selection of 19 high-quality tools is a good starting point for the home mechanic to expand upon.
Pedro’s ‘cog wrench’ is a hassle-free alternative to a chain whip, with a great handlebar-grip-style handle. The cable cutters are another highlight, slicing through both inners and outers easily.
You’ll need an adjustable spanner (not included, but there is room for one) to make use of some of the tools.