Choose to know what to do with a adjustable spanner for bike tyres…

Let’s gain some knowledge that will help when you are reaching for this particular bike tool under a little bit of time pressure and you need it to work the first time. All you want is for everything to go smoothly so you can get on your way, how hard could that be?

To ‘get ready’ you need to invest a little bit of time to understand your bike tools. Choose to know what to do then you can goRide with a SMILE.

What is it?

A tool with a head and handle used to loosen and tighten different size bolts.  It can do this because it has an adjustable head width.  Adjustable spanners come in a range of head sizes & handle lengths. The best match to bike tasks is a 6 to 18mm head range and a 6inch or less length.  The longer the handle length the easier it should be to use but it will become heavier & harder to carry.

Adjustable Spanner. Bike Tool. goRide

Adjustable Spanner, 6 inches long

Axel bolt on rear axel - needs a spanner to open

Rear wheel axel bolt.  Loosened or tightened with a spanner

Where do you use it?

Anywhere there is a bolt. Most kids bikes are built with some bolts holding them together so an adjustable spanner is a useful tool for maintenance and repairs of kids bikes.  Look for bolts on wheel hubs (centre of the wheel) and seat post tubes.  Being able to loosen these bolts will let you take the wheel off and adjust the height of the seat – both really handy skills.

The spanner is not a bike specific tool so you may have one in your garage that will do the job.  Also remember to check your bike multi-tool, if you have one.  If it is a large multi-tool it will have a few blades with spanner heads on them.

If you are keen to learn a bit more about repair and maintenance of your bike it’s a good idea to have an adjustable spanner for at home.  You should always carry one with you when you ride with the kids – see Family Bike Tool Kit (coming soon).  Anyone doing long rides (2hrs or more), bike touring or bike holidays should consider carrying an adjustable spanner that matches the bolts on their bike.

How do you use it? 

Firstly you need to change the head to the correct width using the adjuster.  Once you have the right width inserted the head of the spanner onto the bolt you need to turn.  Repeat after me “Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey”.  A word here about unleashing your she beast. If a bolt is not moving don’t force it. Check you’re turning it the correct way. Turning the handle to the right (clockwise) will tighten the screw, to the left (anticlockwise) will loosen it. If it’s not moving spray a little lubricant on the bolt, let it soak in and try again. The opposite also applies don’t over tighten a bolt so that next time you want to deal with it, you can’t move it.

That’s the basics of an adjustable spanner covered.  I hope it helped you gain a little more understanding of the mechanics of your bike.

get Ready and goRide –  Bike Tools, Adjustable Spanner

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Bike Tool Terms

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