The goRide Way get ReadyLet’s learn some jargon. The kind that will help you when you are reaching for your 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? AAhhhhh!!! Unfortunately (or fortunately) not all tools are the same or work the same way so to ‘get ready’ you need to invest a little bit of time to understand your bike tools. So take a deep breath and lets begin with one bike tool – The Screwdriver. Remember, in your own time, at your own pace, the fun, supported way – The goRide Way.

Screwdriver. Bike Tools. goRide

A goRide SERIES finding out about basic bike tools – The Screwdriver.

What is it? A tool with a handle and shaft used to loosen and tighten screws by inserting the tip.  For use on a bike you will deal with two different styles of tip and maybe a couple of different sizes (widths).  The two styles are called phillips head and flat head and are easy to tell apart.  A phillips head is meant for a X head screw and the flat head or blade screwdriver fits a slotted head screw.

Phillips head


Flat head


Where do you use it? Anywhere there is a flat head or phillips screw. Most bikes are built with some screws holding them together so a screwdriver is a useful tool for maintenance and repairs.  You need to do a bit of investigation here as every bike is slightly different. I want you to go and find your bike.  Then get out some screwdrivers, or borrow some from someone.  Now work out which type and size screws are on your bike.  The screwdriver is not a bike specific tool so you may have a set lying around in your garage that will do the job.  Also remember to check your bike multi-tool, if you have one, as it will more than likely have a screwdriver.  A couple of examples of places you are likely to find screws are around the brake levers, around the front and rear derallieurs (thing that moves down by your chain when you change gear), holding a water bottle cage or bell onto your bike.

Bike tools

Red tool is a flathead screwdriver. Lilac tool is a phillips head screwdriver


If you are keen to learn a bit more about repair and maintenance of your bike it’s a good idea to have a range of screwdrivers for at home.  You should also consider carrying one with you when you ride in your bike toolkit – the easiest way to do this is on a multi-tool.  Anyone doing long rides (2hrs or more), bike touring or bike holidays should definitely carry a screwdriver that matches the screws on their bike.

How do you use it? Firstly – is it a flat head or phillips head that you need?  To tighten or loosen a screw you have to find the matching size screw driver.  Once you have the screwdriver tip inserted into the screw you need to turn it.  Repeat after me “Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey”.  A word here about unleashing your she beast. If a screw 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. Spray a little lubricant on the screw, let it soak in and try again. The opposite also applies don’t over tighten a screw so that next time you want to deal with it, you can’t move it.

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

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories and resources support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Bike Tool Terms

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