Must Have Ebike Tools: For the Road and the Garage
August 20, 2021
Most of us have amassed some form of tool collection, no matter how small, for helping us get odd jobs done around the house; whether that be hanging pictures or repairing decks. If you enjoy riding your ebike a lot then you have undoubtedly noticed that you have started to accumulate tools specifically for that part of your life as well.
As with many niches, ebike repair tools can be very specific, although basic ebike tools differ very little -if not at all- from regular bike tools. If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person then this guide is going to show you many of the things that you need in order to perform a lot of repair and maintenance tasks on your ebike. If however, you’re not too DIY, and are only looking for the essential electric bicycle tools to get you by then this is a great guide to cherry-pick from!
Before we get into building a wall of tools for working on ebikes we’re going to start by going through the essential ebike repair tools that everyone should be taking out on the road with them to help them in case of an incident. After that, we’re going to go through the rest of the ebike repair tools -and you repair tools- that you may want to take out with you when you’re out ebiking. Once we’ve discussed these then we’re going to go through the ebike mechanics' tool kit that you can collect in your garage so that the home mechanic in you can repair and tune your ebike when needed. So without further ado, let’s saddle up and get down to it!
Essential Ebike Repair Kit
The bare essentials for when you’re out and about on your ebike are as follows:
Puncture Repair Kit - A good puncture repair kit will contain the following: tire levers, vulcanizing patches -in a variety of shapes and sizes-, vulcanizing cement, and metal files. Many of them also come with instructions on how to repair a puncture; even if they do it’s good to know how to remove and replace a tire before you have to do it for real on the side of the trail.
Multitool - An ebike specific multitool will have all the Allen wrenches, a.k.a hex keys, screwdrivers, and open wrench pieces that you’ll need to work on your ebike on the side of the trail. The most important part of this tool is the open wrench that will help you get the nut off your tire, allowing you to remove it from your ebike and repair it. If it doesn’t have this tool then you should add this to your essential ebike road kit.
Portable, Mini Pump - We spoke about how to inflate an ebike tire without a pump a few weeks ago, and whilst CO2 canisters are great for getting that tire pumped once your canisters are empty they’re empty. If you carry these you may want to carry a pump as a backup. Pumping may take more effort and a lot more time but a pump will never run out on you. That being said, make sure you have the correct fitting for the valve on your tire and that it can inflate to the pressure required for your tires.
The Extended Ebike Repair Kit
The above is the bare minimum to carry if you’re heading out on a short ride. If you’re heading out on a long journey, perhaps a whole day trip, then you’re going to want to top that kit up with the following items so that, no matter what happens or where you find yourself, you’re always covered.
Spare Inner Tube - Sometimes a tube is just irreparable, and when that happens it truly sucks. It is rare, but valves can get ripped out, and holes too big for repair can also happen. Having a spare inner tube means that you’ll always be able to salvage the situation and get yourself home.
Headlamp - If something happens later in the evening or close to dusk then having a headlamp on hand to help you see what you’re repairing will get you back on the road quicker and, hopefully, home before darkness settles. It also allows others to see that there’s someone on the side of the road or trail.
Zip Ties - Zip ties weigh next to nothing, take up almost no space, and have an almost infinite number of uses. From holding gear down to curtailing flamboyant wires and cables, having zip ties on hand is always a good idea. Keep an array of lengths in your kit for good measure.
Pen and Paper - You’ll never know when you need to jot down some information, be it a license plate, or someone’s details. It is a good idea that on one side of the paper you have your address and any emergency contacts written down too.
Cash and Change - If your phone dies, and its batteries never do last too long, and there’s not enough juice left in your ebike to charge your phone then having some spare change can be your savior. This is why you may want any emergency contact numbers written down,
Duct Tape - Duct tape has a million and one uses and should never be understated. There’s no need to carry a whole roll, but you can stick a length or two to the inside of your bag and then peel off sections and use them as needed.
Basic 1st Aid Kit - With all these tools for repairing your ebike in your bag be sure that you’re also carrying the stuff to repair the human element of the ebike.
Poncho - In case of an unexpected, heavy downpour a lightweight poncho can be the difference between a lot of fun and well… none. If one isn’t available then a large garbage bag can serve the same function.
Battery Charger - Carry your battery charger with you just in case you ever get close to running out of juice whilst you’re out and about. You could also carry an extra battery with you, and this might be good if you’re heading far out into the woods, but usually, just the charger will suffice.
Ebike Mechanics Tool Kit
Below are listed the electric bicycle mechanic tools that are essential if you’re going to be repairing, tuning, and tinkering with your ebike in your garage. There’s no need to rush out and buy all these ebike fixing tools right away; you’ll accumulate them as they’re needed.
Floor Pump - These pumps are a dream for helping pump up ebike tires. They require considerably less effort than their handheld counterparts and are much more ergonomically designed.
Ebike Stand - Many maintenance and repair tasks can be completed on flat ground, but if you’re working on your ebike often enough then raising your ebike off up the floor so you can work on it whilst standing up makes a huge amount of difference. It also means the tires are off the floor should you need to rotate them.
Pedal Wrench - Instead of fiddling with adjustable wrenches get one designed for the task. Just remember that left pedals are reverse threaded.
Spoke Wrench - Everything can come loose, even if it’s not meant to. A spoke wrench is a simple tool that gives you the ability to tighten your wheel spokes. They’re cheap, durable, and fit multiple-size spokes.
Cable Cutters - A good pair of cable cutters make trimming cables, zip ties, and cable housing a breeze. They’re also a great tool to have around the house should anything tough need trimming.
Masterlink Tool - This works on pretty much all chains in production today and allows you to break the chain should you want to remove it. They then also help you to put it back together.
Chain Wrench - Helps to hold the rear cassette of gears in place should you need to remove them.
Socket Set - To provide ease of use a basic socket set facilitates the easy removal of nuts and bolts.
Hex Keys a.k.a allen wrenches - are the most common type of heads found on ebike and regular bicycle screws. Your multitool will have these but in order to ensure that it stays in your “essential ebike repair kit” having a set of garage hex keys are always advisable. They’re also much easier to use when they’re not attached to a multitool.
A Final Word: Your Local Ebike Shop
Not all ebike repairs can or even should be complete in your garage, no matter how nifty you are with your tools. These modes of transportation are expensive for a reason and a slip, or trying to do something without the right know-how, could damage an important part of your ebike permanently. This is specifically why we have not mentioned any tools pertaining to electrical repairs.
In light of the above, it is worth noting that one of the greatest tools in your ebike maintenance and repair arsenal is your local ebike shop. They are experts and will be able to repair those things that you can’t. They’re also a great repository of knowledge and are almost always willing to share it with you; so don’t be afraid to call or pop down to the shop and ask them any questions you may have!