Author Topic: Tool time  (Read 5235 times)

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Offline lembeh

Tool time
« on: April 12, 2010, 01:11:00 pm »
I am looking to buy a few tools for bicycle repair for my tour.

Can you make a few suggestions on the must haves? Also if you could recommend any "kits"ie all-in-one packages with all the tools in them that would be much appreciated. Im assuming that to be a little cheaper than buying things individually.

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Tool time
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2010, 04:40:15 pm »
I find that there is no substitute for "real" tools.  After a minor repair or two using one of those all-in-one tools (Crank 19), I gave it to someone just starting out with bicycles.

  • I went through my bicycle and found all the allen wrench sizes I would need.  I bought a special kind of articulated allen wrench from Fastenal, only in those sizes.  Multitools can't reach, say, the tension bolts for brake levers. 
  • A "real" chain tool such as Park's Chain Brute is in my kit. 
  • Emergency spoke, e.g. FiberFix, and/or extra spokes. 
  • Spoke wrench
  • A small bottle of dry lube and wet lube (when going out more than 200 miles)(squeaks drive me nuts).

I have never needed more than these tools, but I haven't toured outside the US.  YMMV.  Depending on your faith in your platform and how far you are going: cassette tool, cable cutters, tire boot, cash.  (user:waynemyer)

Offline John Nelson

Re: Tool time
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2010, 05:49:19 pm »
What tools to take depends on your risk tolerance, how far you'll be from civilization, and your weight tolerance. Multitools may be less expensive, but you may find that individual tools may allow you to take less weight by taking only exactly what you need.

Certainly take allen wrenches in sizes and shapes to fit all your bolts, and something (an allen wrench or pedal wrench) for your pedals. Take a chain tool. Some things on your bike take screwdrivers, so take a pair of those too. Take at least one tire lever. Take a spoke wrench. You might also want something to remove your cassette for spoke replacement.

In my opinion, those are the essentials. Decide on what else you might need to feel comfortable, such as cone wrenches. Some people (not me) take small vice grips, pliers, cable cutters, etc.

Note that I've just dealt with tools, because that's what you asked about. Certainly spare parts and supplies are other important components of your repair kit.

Offline whittierider

Re: Tool time
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2010, 06:27:54 pm »
Besides the obvious flat-fixing supplies (including tire-booting material which pretty much eliminates the need to carry a spare tire), I'll echo close to the same as above:  an allen wrench of each applicable size (except I don't carry the 8mm for removing my Truvativ crankset), a spoke wrench, and a screwdriver for my cleats.  I carried a chain tool for 50,000 miles and never needed it, so I quit carrying it.  Small screwdrivers are for derailleur adjustment and brake centering, and those simply do not change at all merely from use, no matter how long.

Otherwise, if you know your bike and maintain it, there's no reason to have to fix anything on the road.  It's normal to go many, many thousands of miles without a single repair, either at home or on the road.  My current bike has 21,000 miles (relatively new), and two things have broken:  one aerobar cracked and I had to kind of hold it together to get home (it might have been good to have some kind of tape to tape it up), and a freehub body went out, although it took a few rides to figure out that that was the problem.  If your tour were super long, it might be good to have the stuff to remove the cassette and replace the freehub body, and carry a freehub body too; but I wouldn't unless I were leaving the country.  If your wheels are well built for the application, it is even unlikely that you'll need spare spokes except possibly in the event of an accident, although it doesn't hurt to take one spoke of each length your wheels use.  Changing a rear one might require removing the cassette.  I've thought about taking spare cables, but the truth is that I've never had a cable fail on any bike, ever.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Tool time
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2010, 11:09:05 pm »
I have found the multitool to be very useful.  I also carry a leatherman and have used it many times, especially the pliers. Fop long trips I always have a little duct tape and some black electrical tape.  I carry an extra cleat, and have never needed it, but my partner did once.  It saved the ride.  I have an assortment of little parts--spoke nipples, seat bolt, any other thing I've broken before.  On small items like these, when they break, I buy an extra and then carry it for trips. 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline bike2

Re: Tool time
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2010, 11:38:12 am »
Cables can break.  They are very light weight and, on a long tour (one week or more), should be considered.  It's hard to find a bike shop open on a Sunday.  Although not really a tool, a roll of duct tape can be a life saver.  Roll the tape on itself, so there is no cardboard core, until it is about one inch in diameter.