How do you store your bike tools? One of the fun things about bikes is that – if you want to – it’s easy to keep your bike maintained yourself.
Although there’s loads of stuff you can do with a hex key set or a multi-tool, your tool needs will soon balloon if you want to do anything more complex.
Bike components tend to need specialist tools such as chain whips, shock pumps and torque wrenches, so you can quickly develop quite a collection – some burly and some delicate. Many are also expensive, so careful storage is a must.
Finding the right tool quickly can be really frustrating if you’re in the middle of a messy job, so having somewhere dedicated to store your tools with some form of organisation is essential. A knackered cardboard box just won’t cut it – particularly if you get it wet.
Let’s run through the options for storing and organising your bike tools.
If you’re not into fixing your bike yourself and have a friendly bike shop nearby, you might get away with a minimum of tools you can stash into a saddle bag. A multi-tool, pump and tyre levers will cover the majority of trail- or road-side repairs.
However, if anything more serious goes wrong, you’re going to be a bit stuck and may need to get a lift home before heading to the shop for repairs.
You’ll probably find yourself deciding to buy the tools required to fix the problem next time it happens – and your tool collection will quickly start to grow.
A bit more committed? A cantilever tool box will up your storage capacity and make it easy to find stuff because you get multiple shelves to keep smaller and larger tools and parts separate. The cantilevered drawers mean that you can see everything as you work.
It’s still relatively compact, so it’s not going to take up too much room and the handles mean it’s easily portable, so you can pop it under the stairs out of the way when you’re not working on your bike. You should be able to fit in all but the largest bike tools.
Tool bag or case
Providing similar capacity to a tool box, a tool bag or a tool case is a good option if you need to travel with your tools. It’s easier to move around, lockable and some options come with wheels and a telescopic handle, making for even easier transport.
There’s plenty of room to store your tools and the internal dividers and fixing points mean you can keep them well organised.
Small tool chest
Now we’re getting into serious tool-toting territory.
A robust multi-drawer plastic or metal chest gives you loads of storage capacity. You can add internal dividers to keep your fiddly bits organised and away from your large tools.
Most options go from two to five drawers with modular inserts, so you can choose one to match the size of your tool collection.
The tops of many tool chests have raised edges, so they’re a great place to put bolts and bearings as you work so they don’t end up rolling under the freezer.
You don’t get the manoeuvrability of more compact options though, so you’ll need somewhere like a workbench to keep your tool chest.
Roller tool chest
Next up is a roller tool chest.
With casters underneath, it’s easy to move to the site of the action on your bike.
Some chests give you the option to add rollers later and you can buy a chest with up to 100 litres capacity, so there’s room for your tool collection, no matter how large it gets.
Like the smaller versions, you typically get a ridged top with raised edges to keep your tools and parts where you want them as you work. Again, it’s a solution for someone who has the room for a dedicated workspace.
Okay – so now you’re just showing off.
But a tool wall is the ultimate solution for a home workshop. If your shed or garage is set up for full-on fettling, a tool wall will really help you keep your tools in tip-top condition and make it easy to find exactly the tool you want – no more searching around.
Most tool walls let you put hooks and holders exactly where you want them, so everything is to hand.