Bike maintenance and repairs needn’t be a mystery. The majority of bike mechanics have reached their level of skill through training, practice, education, patience – and using the right equipment. In no way am I her e to discount the skills of a trained bike mechanic, but I would like to cast a light on what is required to perform a few basic maintenance tasks and bike building processes. PRO, Shimano’s accessory arm, make a myriad of tools available separately that will suit the home mechanic, and they now have options for tool collections from the Essential Pack we have here, all the way to the ‘XL’ Toolbox that sells for $739.
UNROLLING THE ESSENTIALS
The Essential Pack contains a robust chain tool, three tyre levers, a chain ring nut tool, disc truing tool, cable cutters, 15mm pedal wrench, chain whip and cassette lock ring tool. All in all, a great set of tools that should help you remove or fit new drivetrain essentials, and keep your brakes and shifting running smoothly. I think the strength of any tool collection is based around a chain tool, cable cutters, 3-way Allen key set and t-handled Allen keys. This product doesn’t have those last two. But they wouldn’t roll up nicely in a tool roll either. The 15mm pedal wrench will be perfect for many, but if you use a higher end Shimano pedal like the M540, XT or XTR units then you are better served with an 8mm Allen key. Similarly with the chain ring lock nut tool, higher end Shimano crank sets require a Shimano T27 Torx tool. But if we consider this is a small essentials pack that you will add to and customise, it’s a very good selection. The chain tool is better than some I have used in workshops, and the same can be said for the cutters. Sure, there are higher quality professional tools on the market, but as the tools in this pack are unlikely to be cutting dozens of cables, or breaking and joining countless chains per day in a busy workshop, comparisons aren’t worth making. As it stands they both work really well, and the chain tool has a replaceable pin, so you should have it for a long time. The chain whip and cassette lock ring tool are functional, and the rotor-truing tool is very useful – as long as you have the patience for the task. All in all, the selection and the roll itself make a very neat package. It is easy to roll out onto your workspace at home, and keep stored out of the way. And with a folding Allen key set, and a dedicated 8mm instead of the pedal wrench, plus a mini shock pump, rag and small bottle of lube, I found it perfect for travelling with, either to the trail head or in the bike bag. If you are looking to build up your tool collection and your mechanical knowledge – this is a great place to start.