We have three Ortler Mainau bicycles in our family that I would like to maintain. We don't have a garage but only a smallish cellar, and I would like to work there (e.g. I cannot use toxic things there).

The maintenance tasks I would like to do in short term: - Adjust the breaks/gear/seat post/etc. as it is necessary. - Regularly clean the chains - Fix a flat tire

The tasks I would like to do medium term (if I need): - Fix a slightly warped and twisted wheel - Fix the lightting - Rewire the breaks/gears if it is necessery

I have no tools at all, so my question is that what tools I have to buy in order to be able to maintain those bikes in short term?

I live in Switzerland close to the Alps so the weather is quite wet (e.g. I assume that I need different oil for wet weather than for dry weather).

Thank you in advance!

(Updated according to the admin requirements)

  • 1
    Your question as phrased is too broad -- similar to this question which was closed for that reason: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/31514/…
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 12:10
  • 2
  • Hi @RoboKaren, thank you for the comment! I am not sure if the question is broad (I don't think it is), but I agree with you on that the answer can be long. Thank you also for the links. Although there are similarities between the questions, I am not looking for tools that I can carry with myself all the time. I think the question is quite realistic: you don't have any tools, you have a bike that you want to maintain, you go to the shop, what should you buy in that case. If you are experienced, you have some ideas. I am not, so I am looking for those ideas. :) + Again: the links were good. :) Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 13:07
  • Broad in stackexchange terms can include things that are too vague or too long to be canonically answered. For example, you don't set any limits as to budget or weight. So I might think you absolutely need headset bearing facers in your toolkit, regardless of the cost and that a home mechanic would most likely never use them (but if you did need them, you would). One could easily come up with a $10,000 list of must-have items -- just as another could come up with the < $150 list. Basically, you as the OP have to select one answer as "best" - what is your criteria?
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 13:11
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    Start with one of those 20-25 piece toolkits in a blown-plasic case, and add tools as you find need for them. They're good enough, and I'm still using about half of what came in mine. I've replaced the chain tool, added extra spanners and cone spanners, and added tools that weren't in the kit like a chain joiner pliers and cable cutter. Buy decent tools as you need them, when you need them.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 20:55

2 Answers 2


Lennard Zinn has written books on maintaining road and mountain bikes (a trekking bike probably falls under the "road bike" category in terms of maintenance). He lists four levels of tool kits based on how ambitious you want to get with servicing your bike. I think this is a reasonable approach, especially since we don't know how ambitious you want to get servicing your bikes in particular.

Also, to some extent, a tool's necessity will be determined by what kind of bike you have, for instance, my road bike has no torx bolts; with a carbon bike, a torque wrench is probably more important. So any advice also needs to be tempered by the bike you're servicing.

  • Very good point, thank you for the comment and the link. I am going to buy one of these books. Currently I am really curious, and would like to keep the bikes in a healthy state. In the last three months I have not cleaned the chains, but used the bike for daily commuting. I have a lot of strange, rusty mud on it that is quite difficult to clean up. I do not even know what liquid I should buy to clean it properly. I bought some kind of oil, but it does not seem to help. Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 17:31

Multitool is enough. Other to do in bicycle workshop. Also patch comlect. Pump. and teargas ballon for stupid dogs )))

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  • Where in the world can you buy a teargas balloon for stupid dogs? That sounds like a great invention.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 21:51
  • Guessing from Sergio's profile: Russia and some other former Soviet Union countries.
    – ojs
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 12:27

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