Welcome to Maintenance 101! In this section, we speak with resident BikeTiresDirect.com mechanic Tommy Tuite about his favorite tools, how best to clean your bike, the best lube, and what a home mechanic can do to improve their ride. Any time you have maintenance questions, we hope you'll get in touch with us at [email protected] or 1-800-682-0570!
Tommy started his wrenching career by attending the Olympic Training Center's Bill Woodall Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado. But he says that most of what he's really learned he picked up at a neighborhood bike shop in west Oakland, California. His mechanic skills have been further honed since by living, working, and most importantly racing (road and cyclocross) in the Pacific Northwest. His focus is on maintenance and racing mechanics.
BTD: What are the most important tools in a home mechanic's shop?
Tommy: Wow! That's like asking which is your favorite child. For home mechanics, I'd have to say the Park Tool CN-10 Professional Cable and Housing Cutter, the Park Tool PAW-12 Adjustable Wrench, the Park Tool PH-1 P-Handled Hex Wrench Set, and the Ritchey Multi-Torqkey 5Nm.
BTD: What can a home mechanic do to improve their bike and ultimately their ride?
Tommy: Clean your bike and inspect it for problems, reapply lube, and check your tire pressure and quick-release skewers.
BTD: What's the best chain lube for any condition? Is there just one?
Tommy: PMS Products Boeshield T9 Bicycle Lubricant. Apply and clean off the excess. For wet conditions, use it more often.
BTD: Anything else to add?
Tommy: Get out and RIDE!