Author Topic: Tools / parts to carry on tour  (Read 1207 times)

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Offline Slowroller

Tools / parts to carry on tour
« on: May 09, 2024, 11:58:32 am »
Hello! Im new to this forum and new to bike touring. Im starting touring from my home and some of the stretches im riding can be 300 miles to the nearest bike shop.

So far i have: m19 multitool, tubes, tire levers, patches, quick links, casset tool, BB wrench, extra spokes spoke wrench, pump.

Is their anything else i might need/use to fix the bike? Should i carry an extra derailer hangar? Extra cassette?

Thanks in advance for your help

Offline davidbonn

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2024, 02:08:12 pm »
How long is this trip and over what type of terrain?

If you are worried about your cassette or bottom bracket I'd recommend overhauling and/or replacing them before the trip.

On wheels if you are worried about broken spokes my experience has been that if you have a high-quality custom wheel built for touring broken spokes are pretty rare.  It might be a better investment to buy better wheels and carry fewer spare spokes (I carry one fiberfix spoke).

Some stuff I might consider carrying (and often do):

Chain lube.
A little tube of grease.
Brake pads.
Cable and cable housing.
Tire boot.
Shoe goo, sewing awl and thread, and other stuff to fix a ripped tire.
Valve core tool and spare valve cores.
If you have presta valves, carry a presta-to-shrader converter.
Duct tape.
Cable ties.
Loctite.
Super glue.
An old toothbrush to clean the drivetrain.

Also, make sure your multitool has all the tools you need to work on your bike and that the multitool can reach all of the bolts with sufficient force for you to do useful work.

Offline Slowroller

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2024, 07:35:23 pm »
Thanks for the info, my first few trips will be around 350-500 road and gravel. Riding all the local roads in Alaska close to my home

Offline davidbonn

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2024, 09:34:54 am »
A few other things to think about:

I carry a bunch of spare bolts, not just for racks and fenders and bottle cages, but any weird little bolts that would be hard to replace on tour and would make the bike difficult to ride (a lot of the ones that hold brake levers and shifters in place are good examples).

If you have hydraulic brakes, they now have bleed kits that are feasible to do in the field and are compact enough to carry with you.

If you run tubeless, carry some spare sealant and also top off the sealant and clean out the valve cores before you start your trip.

Pliers are often helpful, either a mini leatherman-type or the excellent Knipex mini pliers are a good choice.

Don't laugh, but I'd recommend practicing some routine maintenance like adjusting the derailleur and brakes with your multi tool and make sure you have a good idea about how easy or hard it will be.  Sometimes it just makes sense to throw in the regular hex keys you'd need to do those jobs.  Also, if/when you swap out components on your bike, try to upgrade to components that are easier to work on with a multi tool.

Stuff doesn't fix itself on a long ride.  So before any trip, go over the bike end to end and fix or replace anything that looks like it might not make the trip.  It also helps after you do that yourself to have another set of eyes, either a trusted and experienced friend or a good bike mechanic, go over your bike and pick out anything you missed.

On any longer ride (say over 500 miles) I'd for sure replace the brake pads, chain, tires, and possibly tubes before the trip.  Then I'd go ride the bike hard around home, sometimes loaded with all my stuff, for a couple of days and make sure everything is perfect before the trip.

bikepacking.com has had some good presentations on repair items for hard riding in atrocious conditions:

https://bikepacking.com/plan/three-bikepacking-repair-kits-video/

https://bikepacking.com/gear/bikepacking-repair-kit/

https://bikepacking.com/plan/five-bikepacking-tool-kits/


Offline Slowroller

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2024, 11:09:49 am »
What about a spare freehub body or the ratchet fingers and springs inside? Do bottom brackets get loose or come apart?

Bike is brand new panorama forillon

Offline davidbonn

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2024, 01:55:04 pm »
What about a spare freehub body or the ratchet fingers and springs inside? Do bottom brackets get loose or come apart?

Bike is brand new panorama forillon

Especially in abrand new bike, I wouldn't worry.  If you inspect them before each trip and service them once a year you are unlikely to have any trouble.  And any trouble would give you plenty of warning before a trip.  A threaded bottom bracket is really unlikely to come loose or fall apart.

That looks like a very nice bike.  I am curious if you plan to run tubeless on it?  For the distances and the kind of terrain you are talking about tubeless is a good fit.

Offline Slowroller

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2024, 03:03:20 pm »
I know alot of people are sold on tubeless but im not yet. I guess i figure if tubes were good for 140 years and still being used  by motorcycles they should still be good on a bike. Easy to pull off a tire and throw a spare tube aNd keep rolling. Not  interested in having all that goo all over me on the side of the road.  One of my friends has tubeless, he's constantly messing around with it and airing, and he carries a tube!!! Hahaha

So what am i missing here, please educate me

Thanks again

Offline davidbonn

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2024, 09:23:44 pm »
...
So what am i missing here, please educate me
...

There is a pretty unforgiving learning curve for tubeless installs.  I've observed that getting rim tape and valve placement just right are more art than science and to some extent you need to relearn for each rim.  Also, frustratingly, tubeless tires and rims aren't 100 percent compatible with each other and you'll probably go through some trial and error finding combinations that will work well.

Also, when you start out on this you probably won't have the right tools to do this in your garage (and I sincerely hope you are doing this in a garage and not in your kitchen!).

Having said all of that, if you do struggle and go down the learning curve you get a couple of things that may or may not be worthwhile to you:

  • You run lower tire pressures on the average then you would with a tube.  That means when you are riding bumpy you will be a bit more comfortable.  With 47mm 650b tires I typically run 40-45psi with tubes and 30-35psi tubeless.
  • In tough situations, like soft sand, muck, or slushy snow, you can run really low tire pressures without risk of snakebite and get a bit more traction.
  • You can expect that 99 percent of punctures are easily and quickly solved without removing the wheel.  Usually by just airing up the tire and possibly using a tire plug and then airing up the tire.  You'll carry the inner tube and tire boot for that catastrophic 1 percent, usually from a ripped sidewall.
  • This is more a Your Mileage May Vary thing, but I've found a noticeable improvement in ride quality with tubeless.  This is probably mostly due to a tubeless system weighing quite a bit less, especially if you are running wider tires.

Having said all that, for long-distance touring tubeless is still kind of a mixed bag.  In particular if you'll need to replace tires over the course of your trip.  And if you are riding on pavement most of your trip the benefits aren't as large and might not be worth it.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2024, 01:48:49 am »
There have been other threads here on what tools and parts to carry. Some of these threads have gone on a long time. There's a wide range of opinions. Here's one such thread that has 44 posts.

https://forums.adventurecycling.org/index.php?topic=17607.0

I tend to think about things that might go wrong that would stop you dead in your tracks, vs things that will need attention within the next few days. E.g., a ripped tire needs immediate attention, but a bottom bracket that's going bad or a broken spoke can usually wait a few days.

Think about where you are going to tour. Is it in a remote area with few bike shops (e.g., South Dakota)? Or a more populated area with lots of bike shops? You might want to carry more in the former areas than the later areas. In some places, you can go more than 500 miles without seeing a bike shop.

A tight schedule is also a factor. Can you afford to take a few days to get something fixed? Remember that the nearest bike shop may not have the part you need in stock, or you may have to order something off the web and wait for it to arrive. For lesser used parts and tools, I like to leave them in a box at home and have the family send them to me should the need arise.

Also think about how much satisfaction you get out of being self-reliant. Are you the kind that likes to depend only on yourself? Do you consider hitching a ride to be failure? It's usually possible to find a generous and kind person to give you a ride to the nearest bike shop.

Offline Slowroller

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2024, 02:50:29 pm »
Great advice thank you all so much!!
Im glad i found this forumn with nice people willing to help

Offline Patco

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2024, 11:53:28 pm »
What I have developed to take on my tours is generally based on what has happened to me on previous tours. A big "for instance" is on one of my first tours I had a rear rack fail at the seat post connection (while staying attached at the wheel), causing the rack to pivot down and scrape away about six inches of rubber on the tire, leaving a thin layer of rubber covering the tube. And about 70 miles to a bike shop for a new tire. I didn't make it, which is another story. But that resulted in carrying a spare tire, which I have had to use on one other tour. Last several tours I have foregone the extra tire and I now just carry several tire boots. Of course that incident made me now check all bolts, screws and fasteners before the start of every day. Also, I carry three spare tubes because of another story that resulted in significant angst. Now that I think about it, most of my problems on tour have been tire related

Offline davidbonn

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2024, 09:56:19 am »
That is why a lot of us put threadlocker on all rack and fender bolts.  Some of us had to learn that the Hard Way.

I can't overemphasize that a solid pre-tour inspection and preventative maintenance and possible replacement of anything that looks borderline is way better than bringing specialized tools along for any imaginable contingency.  And major ugly failures like from a hub or bottom bracket usually give you lots of advance warning so you are likely to catch them with a good pre-tour inspection.

A blog post about what should go into a pre-tour inspection would be awesome...

Offline froze

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2024, 09:02:27 pm »
Don't carry more tools and parts than you are comfortable doing.  Even then one can overdo it.

I do long-distance bike camping myself, but my tools are rather thin because I do a very extensive pre-ride inspection before I go, and do one every morning.  But this is a practice I've done for the last 50 years, about 40 before I started multi-day trips, and I've never had a mechanical breakdown on the road, not including flats of course.  Every morning, I go through my water bottle cages, fenders, and pannier racks to make sure the bolts are tight, those things seem to be the most likely to loosen, but so far they haven't.

What I carry is a Park MTB3 multi-tool, a small pair of folding pliers, zip ties, duct tape, and 2 FiberFix spokes, that's it besides the typical flat repair stuff.

The only spare parts I carry is a bolt in case a fender, pannier, or bottle cage bolt comes off I can replace it, and the FiberFix spokes.  I do carry a spare tube, but just one.

The FiberFix spokes mean I can replace a spoke or two without removing the cassette, so no tool is needed. However, with low spoke count modern wheels the concern is if I break a spoke the wheel will probably taco and I don't carry an extra rim!

Flat stuff is typical with most riders.  I carry a long 11-inch Lezyne Road Drive pump with a hose that has a built-in gauge, so no separate gauge is needed.  The longer pump makes it a lot easier to pump with.  I rarely get a flat and haven't had a flat on my touring rig yet, but I use higher-end Schwalbe Amotion tires that have the lowest rolling resistance of any touring tire, but they now come out with a tire with even lower rolling resistance called the Marathon Efficiency, so when mine wear out I'm going with those. I do cheat though, I use Clear Motion Armadillo flat liners, they are tougher than Mr. Tuffy and lighter in weight.  Of course, I carry patches for the tube and boot patches for the tire, and two spare tubes.  I also carry 3 tire irons, two of them are Lezyne XL power levers, and the other is a Kool Stop Tire Bead Jack that I cut off about a 1/2 an inch off the handle so I could fit it into the seat bag. The Schwalbe tires are very tough to put on and the Kool Stop makes it possible to put on the last couple of inches of tire.  I use 2 reusable wide Zip ties when putting on those tires to lock one end of the bead to the rim so it won't slide out of the rim while putting the other side on. I have a Presta to Schrader converter.

I decided to go with mechanic disk brakes so there is no fluid to carry or worry about leaks.  I'm another person who is not sold on tubeless tires, though the tires on my touring bike are tubeless I use tubes.  But I can also fix most flats on any tubed tire without removing the wheel off the bike!  It's simple to do if you can find the hole, simply leave the wheel on the bike, then remove half the bead with the hole in the middle, and then pull out about a fourth of the tube with the hole in the middle of the tube, patch like normal.

Offline Slowroller

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2024, 12:40:59 pm »
I was riding with a friend and the inside teeth on his cassette body stripped out. He was dead in the water. The pedals would just spin and we were in thr middle of nowhere. I though maybe we could zip tie the top granny gear to the spokes and ride it like a fixie. But he declined and got a ride out. I still wondet if my idea would have worked. Put a zip tie on ever adjacent spoke running throught first gear on cassete. Then ride it easy and dont shift in 1st!!!

Offline davidbonn

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2024, 10:25:37 am »
...
I do long-distance bike camping myself, but my tools are rather thin because I do a very extensive pre-ride inspection before I go, and do one every morning.  But this is a practice I've done for the last 50 years, about 40 before I started multi-day trips, and I've never had a mechanical breakdown on the road, not including flats of course.  Every morning, I go through my water bottle cages, fenders, and pannier racks to make sure the bolts are tight, those things seem to be the most likely to loosen, but so far they haven't.
...

Agreed the pre-ride inspection is super important!

On rack and fender bolts and keeping them tight, Loctite is your best friend.  I've noticed that some bolts are more likely to loosen up than others, so it might be a good idea to ride around home with your bike fully loaded for a few days and figure out which bolts those are.  But I'd recommend putting a threadlocker and all of the rack and fender and cage bolts.

You mentioned wheels and spokes... my experience has been that broken spokes under mostly normal use is usually a sign of a poor wheel build.  High-quality custom wheel builds with alloy hoops and an adequate number of spokes are not grossly expensive (on the order of $300 each) and you can abuse the heck out of them and they won't let you down.  Usually from a return on investment standpoint wheel upgrades are a very good deal.  If you do basic maintenance (checking your wheels to make sure they are still true) you aren't likely to have problems.

I'm curious though.  You didn't mention chain oil at all.  At least for me riding dusty and dirty I usually need to clean the chain and reapply chain lubricant every couple of days.