Most maintenance jobs on bike are relatively straightforward and most only require a few basic tools. Using the right tool for the job not only makes life easier it also lessens the risk of damaging components.
Below I have listed the tools that I have in my garage toolbox, I tend not to use bicycle specific tools as I find them overpriced for what they are. I much prefer to us non specific bike tools when they are available as they are much better value. There are some tools that are bike specific so there is little choice.
Circlip, Snap Ring Pliers
Some more complex jobs require circlips to be removed, for this you'll need a set of circlip pliers.
Needle nose pliers
A decent pair of needle nose pliers are required to pull cables and pull out parts.
A full set of combination spanners makes life a lot easier, yes you could just get an adjustable spanner. However these are liable to slip and damage the nut you are working on. Also they tend to have a bigger head than a standard spanner.
Picks are used to remove o rings and the like from there hidey holes.
Hex (Allan) Keys
A decent set of hex keys are a must, a bad set will lead to bolts getting rounded. You will need a decent range of sizes from 1mm upto 10mm.
A decent set of sockets comes in handy for a lot of jobs, you'll need a decent range, including sockets as well as torx and hex bits.
Vital for ensuring that bolts are not overtightened to avoid damage, whilst ensuring that they are tight enough not to come undone. Don't be tempted get a bicycle specific torque tool set that you can carry in your pack, get a proper sized one to keep at home, it will last long and do a better job all round. Also will be more use for other jobs should you need it.
Chain Rivet Extractor
Need to change the length of a chain or remove a broken link? Then you'll need a chain rivet extractor.
Chain / Cassette Tool
For removal of rear cassettes, a must to get cassettes on and off. Without one removal of cassettes will not be easy.
Master link pliers
For chains with 'missing links' this tool helps you open and close the missing link, saving your fingers and hands.
Keep an eye on the state of your chain, measures for chains stretch and allows you to know when you need to change your chain.
Modern mountain bikes have a number of bearings, bottom brackets, suspension link, ubs, headset etc. A bearing press is invaluable for getting bearings in straight without damaging them. Sure you can belt them in with a hammer or squash them in with a vice, however a bearing press will do a better job.
If you replace any cables, gear, brake, remotes you'll probably need to trim them to length. To do this neatly and to minimise fraying you will need a set of decent cable cutters, standard wire cutters wont get through cleanly and you will end up with a frayed cable end.
Required for setting up suspension forks, rear shox and seatposts. A small pump that is capable of pumping to high pressures and keeping the air with in the fork / shock when disconnecting.
Vital for removing pedals, when a standard spanner won't fit in the small gap, also 15mm isn't a very common spanner.
For Tightening spokes and truing wheels, a task which is not possible without a spoke key. Using a decent one will save you from a lot of pain as it is all too easy to round off spoke nipples or even snap them.
If you need to cut a Threadless fork steerer quickly and accurately a saw guide will make life a lot easier. Also very handy for trimming down handlebars giving a nice clean cut and straight edge finish.
Need to pump up those tyre, you'll need a decent pump, with a decent gauge so you can keep your tyres at the right pressures.
I keep a Tool List over on Amazon which i add to as I find useful bits and pieces.
Now you have the tools, you can carry out repairs and maintenance keeping your bike in tip top condition. Need more help? Feel free to drop us a line or comment below and we'll see about adding a guide.