The lead image is my bike shed. There are many like it but this one is mine as the famous movie quote goes. An ever growing obsession with the sport has led to an accumulation of stuff over time from the metal signs on the doors and spare parts to the cleaning equipment that inhabits many sheds across the land.
The reason for this post is that I’ve come to realise that there are five things that every bike shed needs. There are, obviously, lots of tools and potions that are available for burgeoning obsessives like myself but I’ve found these to be the most consistently useful.
I got this exact one from Aldi for £25 when they first started exploring cycling events and it is still one of the best purchases I have ever made. The clamp is firm and holds the bike perfectly in position by the seat post, my bike has a top tube shape that makes it incompatible that way. I use this every single time I clean or do anything to my bike.
Do what now? Pipecleaners? Why?
Well, what’s the point of using your chain cleaner made out of two toothbrushes if your cassette is filthy? A cassette can look sparkling to the naked eye but in between the cogs lurks all kinds of dirt and grime. Sit with your wheel in front of you, cassette pointing away, then run a pipecleaner in between each cog, using the action of the freehub to get it spotlessly clean. (There are also thicker pipecleaners that you can use on the crankset too!)
Quite simply your go to tool for making sure that everything on your bike is tightened to the correct level. Most bolts (seatpost, stem, bars etc) are 5nm and this Bontrager wrench is brilliant. Fits nicely in the hand with satisfying click as you get to 5nm
Everybody should have these. Don’t rely on a multitool for your allen key needs while working out of your shed, these will make your life SOOOOOO much easier. The long, ball end side of the tool is excellent for reaching hard to reach bolts (bottle cages!) while the handle itself offers a significantly better grip for leverage against stubborn bolts. I’d recommend 3mm, 4mm and 5mm versions as these will cover the majority of bolts on your bike.
5. Cut Water Bottles – THE BACK OF YOUR CUPBOARD!
If, like me, you have a habit of collecting bidons from seemingly everywhere then this is a great way to use the old ones, especially rather rubbish promotional ones that get sent your way. Simple cut them in half and use the bottom half for a variety of tasks, from brush and tool storage to a receptacle for soaking that dirty chain in degreaser. Old bidons are cheap and extremely useful!
As I said at the top of the post there are so many tools and potions and accessories that you could buy to fill up that bike shed but these are the 5 things that I use a lot, certainly the pipecleaners and the cut bidons could be something that you’ve not heard of before. Let me know your must have bike shed essentials……