Everyone thinks they know best when it comes to tools, maintenance, and spending time with their bike when they’re not riding it. I’m here to tell you you’re all wrong – and I’m right. Here are the tools you can’t live without.

Truing stand

When the metronomic whisper of a calliper brake pad suggests your back wheel is out of whack, just whip out your phone and satnav your way to the nearest LBC. With a bit of luck, an annoyingly proficient mechanic will demonstrate the sans outil (without tools) method of wheel-straightening.

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Most bike shops are happy to true your wheels for a tenner, especially if you’re close to tears and look ashamed. But the reason for owning a truing stand is more than just being manly or worldly.

Truing stands are about zen, peace, and making yourself a better person. Here’s the BMX-friendly explanation on how to true wheels properly. It takes time to do it right. Take a deep breath.

Track pump

Sometimes, cycling is about going fast – and the tool that makes you go the fastest is the track pump. And I mean a proper track pump with a decent pressure gauge. Use it at the start of every ride.

Riding at the right pressure makes you a better cyclist. If you have a great ride, nine times out of ten it’s because you nailed the tyre pressure. But there are many variables that dictate which pressure to ride at – what terrain are you tackling? Is it wet weather, and what’s your BMI?

This next video is about road bike tyre pressure – probably the simplest one to get right. And yet there are still many variables to consider.

Chain tool

You’re probably wondering why a chain tool is so important – surely you just get your chain replaced at the annual bike service? Wrong – you swap out your chain monthly, leave one degreasing for a month, spend a month cleaning another, and the third chain is on your bike.

I call it the Christopher Ashley System, and the eternal maintenance is not only FUN, it ensures your chains will last a full month longer than normal. Now that you know the top 3 tools you can’t live without, what other tools are next most useful in a cyclist’s workshop?