When winter rolls around, a lot of us find ourselves spending less time outside on our bikes, and more time inside wishing we were outside riding our bikes. But why dream of spending time with your bike, when you could spend that indoor time doing some much-needed upkeep?
We wanted to help get you started, so we're taking a look at the tools, lubes, and how-to videos that we have to help you get your bikes in tip-top shape!
We'll focus on areas of the bike for the most part, but to start, we'll run through some tools that will be useful all over the bike.
These are the tools you'll find useful whether you're aligning your stem, removing your drivetrain, and myriad other tasks. These general-purpose tools can be easy to overlook, but using low-quality, or worn out ones (which will tend to be low-quality to begin with), risks damaging your bike, and making any repair much more difficult. Don't worry though: we've got you covered!
With all of the sizes of hex wrenches that you'll need for most tasks–all color-coded for easy locations–this top-quality, made-in-USA hex wrench set is an invaluable addition to any shop. Bonus: if you've only use hex shorter hex wrenches, prepare to be impressed! These wrenches have longer handles, which means that as you get into the larger sizes, you can put a lot of force into them which is really hand both for tightening and loosening bolts. Get yours here.
While the Bondhus Hex set is a great set, if you want to step it up a few notches, add more wrenches to your set, and have the whole thing come in a box that makes it into something you'll be proud to hand down to your grand kids some day, Silca's HX-One Home Essentials Kit is where it's at. This set not only has the wide size range, long handles and great quality you'd expect in a high-quality wrench set, but it also has a red polymer coating on the handles for better grip; polished wrench-ends for smooth, positive seating in the bolt head; and a selection of 10 other bits that are attached to the 6mm hex wrench. To top it all off, the box has a sweet magnetic closure so it stays positively closed when you want it that way. Get yours here.
Whether it's a bit of grease on some threads, or getting grease into the bearings of a hub, this is a handy little tool. It threads onto a tube of Phil Wood Waterproof grease for simple and mess-free setup. We normally stock the standard Phil Wood version, but due to very limited availability, we're offering this excellent Dualco trigger that's a perfect match for Phil Wood's tubes of waterproof grease. Get yours here.
When it comes to servicing your headset, you shouldn't need much more than some grease, and maybe a seal kit, but getting the right grease, and doing the job correctly will ensure that you're headset is good to go for the coming season.
Chris King's Blue Grease is specifically formulated for headset bearings and other applications where low-drag is not a consideration. It's extra-tacky, and designed to withstand extreme conditions making it ideal for headsets, and as a general assembly compound. Get yours here.
Servicing the bearings in your Chris King headset is easy once you know how to do it, and we'll show you just that in our how-to video! Check in out here.
Every now and again, you'll find that your Chris King headset has a torn seal or bent snap ring. In those cases, you just need a new seal kit to get the headset back to its former greatness! Get yours here.
Bottom brackets take a lot of abuse and get a lot of wear, so it's especially important to maintain them regularly. Whether this means replacing your old bottom bracket with a completely new one, or servicing the bearings on the one you have, we've got the tools you need.
In contrast to Chris King's Blue Grease, the company's Silver Grease is formulated to lower friction in bearings that will be spinning constantly. This means that when it comes to bottom brackets and hubs, Silver Grease is about as good as it gets. Get yours here.
Not quite sure how to go about servicing the bearings in your Chris King bottom bracket? No problem! Just check out our how-to video on the subject. While you're at it, check out all of the other how-to videos on our YouTube channel! Check it out here.
Park tool offers a range of bottom bracket tools for removal and installation of most types of bottom brackets. Get yours here.
Chris King makes a variety of installation tools for their bottom brackets. These are beautifully made in keeping with the rest of Chris King's parts and tools, and they're the perfect complement to your Chris King bottom bracket. Get yours here.
Servicing your hubs is arguably just as, if not even more important than servicing your bottom bracket. That's because a hub has more bearings, usually smaller bearings, and also generally a freehub unit in it, and that means that there are just more wear-areas. On top of all that, keeping your freehub properly cleaned and lubricated will not only ensure that it lasts as long as possible, but will deliver the lowest coasting drag, and the fastest, most secure engagement when you stomp on the pedals.
A few years ago, Chris King reformulated their RingDrive lube to be much lower-viscosity, and for use exclusively on the RingDrive mechanism of their hubs (as opposed to the old RingDrive lube, which was to be used in their bearings as well). If you have the old lube, you can still use it in your Chris King bearings, but we'd recommend getting the new RingDrive 2.0 lube for your RingDrive mechanism. The new formula has lower drag and allows for faster/more secure engagement, so it's just a great upgrade. Get yours here.
Sometimes you might notice that your Chris King hub isn't engaging as securely as you might like, but maybe you don't want to try to tackle a full hub overhaul. This is just the perfect time for a quick RingDrive service. You need very few tools to perform this job, and our how-to video will take you through the process so you understand what you're doing! Check it out here.
Since we already mentioned this in the bottom bracket section, we'll just say that it's also the recommended grease for hub bearings. We like the small containers because they make laying a bead of grease around the bearing an easy task. Get yours here.
When it comes to servicing hub bearings, the process is very similar to the one for servicing headset bearings, but most of the time you'll have the bearings removed from the hub, so we made another video to show you how to get your bearings all cleaned and lubed and spinning like new! Check it out here.
When it comes time to give your Chris King hub a full teardown, you'll need the appropriate tool (R45 tool for R45 hubs, and the standard one for everything else). These tools allow you to safely remove the bearings and drive mechanism from your Chris King hub, and then properly reinstall them after you've cleaned everything and serviced the bearings. Get yours here.
If you've got a white Industries rear hub, you've experienced the quick-engagement, super-low-drag, and nearly perfect sound of the freehub, but in order to make sure your hub maintains that superb function throughout its life, it's important to service it periodically. Our how-to video on the subject will help ensure that you don't run into any trouble and are able to service your hub quickly and easily the first time! Check it out here.
Recommended as the lube of choice for White Industries freehubs, but also used by many as a spoke nipple lubricant among an array of other uses, Phil Wood's super-tacky Tenacious Oil is one of those lubricants that you won't use on every part, but is super handy to have around for those areas where you need a high-tenacity oil. Get yours here.
Don't lets forget one of the most abused, and heavily-used items on the bike! Our chains are both out in the dirt and grime more than almost any other part, but they also have a massive number of exposed, moving parts, and that means that proper lubrication is critical. We've got a couple of lubes that will keep your chain, and other squeaky parts moving smoothly in all sorts of conditions.
Phil Wood's Bio Lube is a lighter lubricant that's made of all natural ingredients. It's a great all-around lubricant that can be used on your chain, a squeaky pulley, or the creaking back door of your house! Get yours here.
When only the fastest, cleanest, best will do, Silca's Super Secret chain lube is the ticket. This lube brings you the benefits of a hot-dip wax lube to the ease of a simple drip bottle. Using nano-scale Tungsten Di-Sulfide, which is ridiculously slick, this chain lube might be one of the least-expensive ways to make your bike faster, and we all want faster bikes, right? Get yours here.
We hope this helps you get stoked to get out into the workshop to give your bikes some attention so that your on your next ride you'll be able to feel the difference that comes from a well-tended machine. Have fun out there!
When you're investing a hefty sum in a pair of top quality hand built wheels, getting the best value means a product that's not only high quality, built to last, easy to service and upgrade but also able to be used for many different types of ride / terrain.
This week's Zipp 303 / Chris King wheel build of the weeks ticks all these boxes and more.
This weeks build of the week is another all made-in-usa build gives super stealth performance in more ways that one.
Velocity Blunt SS rims are one we use frequently for a variety custom wheel builds here at AVT. Specifically designed to be best-in-class for cross country MTB use, the Blunt SS is equally at home on a gravel or urban bike.