I was cleaning out my garage today and found this old set of bicycle tools. I don't know what they are or what they're supposed to be used for on a bicycle. Can you identify them for me?

Image of various bicycle tools

  • 1
    Excellent question - thank you for joining this stack to ask.
    – Criggie
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 22:41
  • For any people with many of the combination spanner tools (far right), I used them as fishing weights. You can cut it to different lengths to get different weights and, due to their shape, grip well on river/shore/lake floor.
    – abdnChap
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 8:44
  • Where's the banana?
    – Strawberry
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 13:05
  • @Strawberry the emergency banana for scale got eaten on the last ride. It was delicious.
    – Criggie
    Commented Aug 19, 2020 at 0:00

3 Answers 3


The tool on the far left is potentially a tire spoon for removing a tire. I don't think that was its original use as it looks more like a tobacco can or possible a a patch adhesive lid tool. the second appears to be a combination flat head screwdriver and an allen wrench. The third is a brake adjustment aid. It squeezes the brake pads to the rim to allow for proper pad placement or cable adjustment. The far right is a multi size wrench. It is almost but not completely obsolete as most bikes now use allen head hardware.

  • 1
    I suspect that the second has two different allen sizes. Or perhaps one end is square. In any event, it's a wrench. And you're right that the tire tool appears to have been MacGyvered from a can opener. Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 21:26
  • 1
    Thanks. This is helpful. Since all the bikes in my household are now 6 years old or less (and I won't likely be doing brake adjustments myself) these are useless, but I may keep them for posterity. It is possible that the one on the left is a paint can opener. I remember getting a paint can opener when buying some paint a decade ago. It might have gotten mixed in with bike tools by accident.
    – J. Lenthe
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 22:15
  • 3
    On closer inspection the can opener may also have a bottle opener built into the handle.
    – mikes
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 1:36
  • 13
    Number two looks like something you'd find from a particular Swedish furniture manufacturer...
    – Bamboo
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 9:44
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    If the second tool it what I think it is (an ikea hex key) then i'm pretty sure both ends are the same size. They are really crappy hex keys too, I have had at least one peice of Ikea furniture where the supplied key couldn't apply enough torque to get the fastners in and just rounded out. Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 18:38

From left to right:

  1. Paint can lid opener
  2. Combination Allen key
  3. Third hand brake tool
  4. Combination wrench
  • 7
    Confirming #1 is an opener for a paint can, should go nowhere near a tyre or rim unless its last-resort. Seems to be extra-bent too, perhaps overstressed, or someone made a bodgy tool for extra-stubborn tyres (marathons perhaps?)
    – Criggie
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 22:38
  • 3
    #4 is also called a "dog bone spanner" because it looks vaguely like a dog's bone. They lack in leverage because of length, and shape is awkward to use, but better than nothing.
    – Criggie
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 22:41
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    The combination Allen key looks like it's from Ikea
    – D Duck
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 14:08
  • 1
    #2 & #4 are probably meant to travel along with the cyclist, right? I'd think you would want to use normal full size tools back in the shop / garage, space permitting... Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 19:16
  • 1
    You forgot #1's more important function, it can be used to open beer
    – Sam
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 22:28

The tool on the right side is a spanner with several sizes. Not exactly a top quality tool as far as spanner go, but this one was once very common in Germany. It is short and it was standard to have it in a small bag hanging underneath the back side of the saddle. I am not sure whether it is still sold nowadays.

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