If you ride your bike often enough, eventually you'll need to work on your tires — whether that means keeping them properly inflated or repairing them when you get a flat. Here are all the tire tools you need:
- Pump : If you haven't already purchased one, you'll want to buy a bike pump that matches your valves — either Presta or Schrader. Some of the better-quality pumps will handle both types of valves.
If you have two or more bikes — with both types of valves — you can find a pump that is reversible, allowing you to switch back and forth between types of valves.
Smaller pumps designed to fit on a bicycle frame are convenient for taking with you on trips — although, they require more pumping to fill a tire, because they're designed only for emergency repairs on the road and not for routine maintenance inflations. Having a larger pump at home or even an air compressor will make pumping tires a breeze.
- Pressure gauge: To take the guesswork out of filling your tires with air, you can use a pressure gauge. This will help you inflate tires to the proper pressure as indicated on the sidewalls.
Many higher-quality pumps have a built in gauge. With the gauge on the pump, you won't have to search for it at the bottom of your toolbox every time. Plus, you don't have to go back and forth, between pumping and checking pressure.
- Patch kit: Sooner or later, you'll have to patch a leak and unless you want to buy a new tube each time, you'll want to keep a patch kit available at all times. A patch kid includes
- An abrasive to rough up the surface of the tube to improve adhesiveness
- Tire levers: Tire levers are usually made of stiff plastic and are used to pry a tire off a wheel rim. You'll probably need three levers, although on some mountain bikes the tires are loose enough that one or two may suffice.