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Christmas Gift Guide for the DIY Cyclist

December 07, 2016
Christmas Gift Guide for the DIY Cyclist

So many cyclists love to tinker with their bikes. Whether it’s just to lube a chain, clean up after that muddy ride or try their hand at building a bike from scratch, tools and accessories to ease the tasks of home maintenance typically make for great gifts.

If you ever see that cyclist or mountain biker in your life disappearing to the shed or garage to play with bikes, this gift idea list is for you.

BBB Adjustable Torque wrench

BBB Torque wrench Christmas Gift Guide DIY Cyclists BikeExchange 1

As performance bicycles get lighter and faster, they also become more delicate. A torque wrench is an important tool designed to accurately set fasteners to the needed tightening torque.

There are two key types of torque wrench: Pre-set and adjustable. Pre-set models are cheaper, but only offer a specific torque and so are not as useful across an entire bike. Adjustable models allow the torque to be varied and so will fit with a range of suggested tightening torques, they are however, more expensive.

The adjustable torque wrench from BBB is a high value option that comes with a commonly used bits and a useful storage case. The torque wrench itself is similar to that sold by other big bike tool brands, and so offers proven accuracy, compact clearance into tight spots and easy use.

Zinn and the Art of Maintenance books (Road, Tri and MTB editions)

Zinn and the Art of Maintenance books Christmas Gift Guide DIY Cyclists BikeExchange 1

Bicycles are made up multiple components that each hold their own intricacies, getting a bike to work perfectly is a matter of having each component dialled. For a complete go-to resource, it’s hard to beat a good book, and when it comes to bicycle repair, there are none better than Zinn’s Art of Maintenance.

Split into Road, Mountain Bike or even Triathlon options, the Zinn book series are kept up to date, offer valuable illustrations and clear step-by-step instructions. The books cover both old and new component servicing, techniques and hidden tricks.

Only word of warning is that it may be a cruel gift to give such a gift without the addition of tools.

Park Tool SK-1 Starter Tool Kit

Park Tool Starter kit Christmas Gift Guide DIY Cyclists BikeExchange 11

A good starter tool kit should be the base of strong tool collection that lasts for a lifetime. With that, we’re big fans of buying quality tools from brands that stand behind the product. Brands such as PRO, Unior, Birzman, Pedros and Park Tool all offer quality starter kits and it’s hard to go wrong when looking at these brands.

For the DIY beginner, the Park Tool SK-1 offers a handful of commonly used tools. This kit will allow the fixing of flat tyres, changing of chains, removal of cassettes and servicing of common bicycle hubs.

Silca HX-One hex key set

Silca Hex 1 set Christmas Gift Guide DIY Cyclists BikeExchange

Does the DIYer you’re buying for already have everything? Chances are they don’t have a set of hex keys that’s the envy of every other spanner spinner!

There are plenty of nice hex key sets out there, but Silca’s HX-One is perhaps the pinnacle for the DIY cyclist. This full set of grippy red hex keys are made of premium S2 steel and have gone through an intricate series of heat treatments.

There’s also a full set of S2 bits for working with Torx and screwdriver-head bolts - basically all fasteners of a modern bicycle are covered with this set. However, the true lust comes from the CNC Machined Beechwood box that houses it all.

Ride Mechanic Bike Milk

Ride Mechanic Bike Milk Christmas Gift Guide DIY Cyclists BikeExchange

There are two hard rules of basic bike maintenance: keep the tyres inflated and the chain lubed. For the latter, there’s an overwhelming amount of choice and so often riders just end up using what the store first sold them.

Made in Australia, Bike Milk is a chain cleaner and lube in one. Normally we’re dubious of such claims, but this one has proved to work pretty well for Australian conditions! Once applied, the cleaning agent wicks away and leaves the lubed chain dry to touch - meaning dirt doesn’t easily stick to it either. It takes a few rides to flush out all the original oil, but eventually Bike Milk provides a clean and smooth-running chain.

This is a great lube for the majority of cyclists. We do warn that it’s potent smell makes it terrible for apartment dwellers and that it doesn’t last that well for all-day rides.

Feedback Sports Sport-Mechanic Work Stand

Feedback Sports Sport Mechanic Work Stand Christmas Gift Guide DIY Cyclists BikeExchange 11

A good work stand is fundamental to any regular bike servicing ambitions. Being able to hold the bike securely off the ground, with the wheels freely spinning can make all the difference to both the experience and outcome of working on a bike.

The most common types of stands are those that grab the bike by the seatpost. There are plenty of cheaper options here, but we’ve had far better experiences with the models from the main bicycle tool brands, namely Feedback Sports and Park Tool.

Built from a folding tripod base, the Sport-Mechanic work stand from Feedback Sports is sure to last a lifetime. It offers easy and compact folding, secure bike holding on uneven ground and plenty of strength for undoing stuck bolts. It’s often the clamps that fail first on cheaper work stands, something that’s absolutely not of concern on this or one of Park Tools models.

This item isn’t available on BikeExchange yet, but find your local dealer to see if they’re able to order this item for you.

Morgan Blue AquaProof Paste

Morgan Blue Aqua Proof Paste Christmas Gift Guide DIY Cyclists BikeExchange 1

Ok, so grease may not be the most exciting gift to give - but the promise of a creak free bike most certainly is. Sold in a small tub, this thick, clear grease is impressively effective at fixing problematic creaks that appear in the cranks, bottom bracket, pedals, seatpost or handlebars of bikes.

One tub should last the home mechanic a lifetime, but it’s sure to get use anytime a stubborn creak appears.

PRO Bottom Bracket Mount Work Stand

PRO Bottom bracket workstand Gift Guide DIY Cyclists BikeExchange 1

Just arriving in time for Christmas, this simple stand works by slotting into the hollow axle of common mountain bike crank arms (e.g: Shimano HollowTech, SRAM GXP and RaceFace). The stand design lifts the rear wheel off the ground, making basic gear and brake adjustments, bike cleaning and chain lubing far simpler.

It’s aluminium construction means it’s light and it won’t rust. When not in use, it folds flat for easy storage. Perfect to keep in the car, use at events or just for home.

This item isn’t available on BikeExchange yet, but find your local dealer to see if they’re able to order this item for you.

BBB Cassette Removal Tools

BBB Bike Cassette Removal Tools Christmas Gift Guide DIY Cyclists BikeExchange 11

Does the cyclist in your life already own a basic set of hex keys and some screw drivers but little else? Chances are a set of cassette tools will be well received. These tools work with common Shimano and SRAM-equipped bikes and are used to remove and install the cassette (rear cogs).

This task is commonly done during a seasonal bike clean, swapping wheels, for replacing a cassette or if replacing a broken spoke. It’s a relatively easy task to do and the tools will last a very long time. BBB provide a number of options for chain whips and lock rings that are durable, well priced and comfortable to use.

Park Tool Cyclone Chain Cleaner

Park Tool Chain Cleaner System Christmas Gift Guide DIY Cyclists BikeExchange 12

Keeping the bike’s chain clean is one of the most important things that can be done to extend the service life of the bike. There are many ways to clean a chain, but few easier than using a chain cleaner device.

Again, there are multiple chain cleaner devices on the market and many perform similarly. For us, we’ve had best success with the Park Tool Cyclone Chain Cleaner. This blue model seems to get deep into the chain and leaves a nice sparkle. It’s also plenty durable and replacement components are easy to come by.

If this list still hasn't ticked all the boxes on your list, trying searching over 35,000 bikes and accessories on BikeExchange to get your special someone exactly what they want.


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