MTB: How to buy spoke wrenches

It’s easy to buy a bad spoke wrench. You usually learn this by buying bad spoke wrenches and having to replace stripped/crushed/bent spoke nipples.

Spokey Spoke Wrenches

Spokey Road (red, left) and MTB (black, right) spoke wrenches

Spokey spoke wrenches are the best I’ve ever used. They grab the spoke nipple really tightly – which means they’re unlikely to strip or bend the nipple – and they have very good leverage. They come in a range of sizes – each size comes in a different colour. I rarely see them in stores, but you can get them from Amazon (etc.)

Park Spoke Wrenches

Park Spoke Wrenches

Park spoke wrenches are easy to find in stores and colour coordinated so you dont confuse the sizes and use the wrong wrench. They have two weaknesses though: 1) they don’t provide as much leverage as some other styles, and 2) you can turn them without properly seating them on the spoke nipple – so they often strip or deform spoke nipples if you’re not careful. This is why I don’t recommend Park Spoke wrenches.

I don’t know what size I need – should I get a triple wrench?

Never buy a multi-sized spoke wrench – you’re very likely to use the wrong size and strip the nipple.

Park multi-sized spoke wrench

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