With over ten-years experience working on bikes for teams, shops and brands, Madison Genesis’ head mechanic Chuck is – as you’d expect – very particular about the contents of his Park Tool collection.
We find out his top-10 must-have tools and why he chooses them.
Spot chain wear and save
Knowing is better than guessing. Replacing your chain at the right time will save more than this tool will cost you over a couple of years.
Quick crank removal
Shimano’s plastic preload cap for the non-driveside crank arm can be a challenge to remove without damaging. This tool holds firm and can reliably take a high load for those seized threads. It’s also great for high speed installation, freely spinning the cap home at pace.
Complete allen key set
A set of hex or allen keys is probably one of the first things the home mechanic will buy. Far superior and safer than using your multi-tool, I like the way the minimal size of this model allows me to access tight spaces. An extra special mention goes to the AWS-1 – a tri spoke 4, 5, 6mm hex which you can use to quickly check all the main points of the bike .
Complete torx set
Torx heads are becoming commonplace now – a set to match my hex keys is something I couldn’t do without.
Pro-grade chain breaker
Now you’re checking and changing your chain regularly, install a new one without worrying about the possibility of bending plates, which can happen with lightweight breakers.
Sharp, accurate cable cutters
Cutting cables should be one of the fastest, hassle free jobs in bike mechanics. It really is all down to having the right too for the job. No shortcuts.
Cassette swapping made easy
Having an all-in-one lockring tool means you never have to reach for an adjustable spanner – or wonder where you put that adapter – ever again. Genius.
Risk free cassette removal
Cassette pliers keep my hands looking young, beautiful and scar free. The death of the chain whip couldn’t come soon enough.
Adjustable torque wrench, with allen and torx heads
This adjustable and adaptable torque wrench is great to accurately tighten the main bolts on the bike. I love that it’s an all-in-one tool, holding 4, 5 and 6mm allen heads and a T25 torx.
It’s a great space saver and the range of between four and six Nm, covers everything I need.
Lightweight, stable workstand
A workstand might be a big investment in terms of space and cost, but once you’ve experienced fixing a bike held firm at hand height you’ll never go back to leaning against walls, or worse still flipping your best bike upside down.
They wrote the book on it...
Bonus item! If you’re still not sure where to start with maintaining your bike, Park Tool have a book for that - along with a comprehensive website featuring video walkthroughs of nearly every home-maintenance task.