Touring - what multitool (standard multitool, leatherman, gerber etc.)
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I'm trying to get my touring toolset complete.
i have the standard biketools: multi-tool(s), pedal-wrench, NBT2, etc.
but, for those repairs on the road away from villages (I'm going to Patagonia next year) that
need that bit extra, like pliers, or a metal-saw or .... (fill in what I'm forgetting)
I'm looking for (a) solution(s).
it could be that i should take a lose metal-saw blade and a standard pair of pliers, but it could
very well be that there's a multi-tool around that does these things AND nicely complements the standard
Can anyone of you help me with info, or even better first hand experience?
08-31-07, 07:26 AM
A small adjustable wrench would be handy (for fixing brakes and tightening rack screws/bolts if you don't have them attached with allen screws) and a medium-sized one (if you don't have quick-release wheels and to adjust the seatpost, same caveat).
I've heard that duct tape rolled around a pencil can work wonders. I keep meaning to toss an extra brake cable into my kit. And don't forget a first aid kit.
A metal saw seems like overkill. Might as well bring a welding torch while you're at it. :)
it's just that one of the few things that i can't fix on the road at the moment
are broken bolts (especially rack-bolts). with the pliers i can fix lots of extra stuf and try to remove the
part of the bolt that's stuck inside the bosses. and with the saw i can try to make a slot in it so i can
use a screwdriver.
i never leave home without brake/derailleur cables and duct tape.
and the first aid is with me as well.
Why don't you go ahead and saw your slots before you go?
To answer your question, I prefer to take individual tools as opposed to a multitool, because I like the additional length/reach on full size Allen wrenches and screwdrivers. There are always a few tools in a multitool that have no application for my bike anyway, so I replace that dead weight with the fullsized versions of the tools I need.
that IS one way of thinking.
however, considering Murphy: something else WILL go wrong that would
have benefitted from you bringing the tool you left home.
and my mentioning a saw / pliers is just what i've been thinking about.
NOT necessarily all that i could/should take.
i'm just gathering intelligence at the moment (g*d knows i need some).
This why I eschew Murphy's Law in favor of Mcgyver's Law: "Anything that can go wrong can be fixed with parachute cord, zip ties, gum and a decent pocket knife. leaving ample time to score with the hot chick."
08-31-07, 09:30 AM
I always travel with a hypercracker, (a homemade version) which has a 15 mm wrench for pedals and works with the non sealed bearings on some of our bikes as well, spare spokes, real sized allen wrenches, a small chain tool (spare links) a small 4 inch cresent wrench, crank puller if your bike needs them and a leatherman with a small set of needle nose pliers. I fully agree with truman, leave the multitool at home. The leatherman seems like overkill but a fair number of the flats we seem to get are the wires from radial tires and those little suckers are hard to get out without some sort of mechanical advantage.
parachutecord.. (i do bring zipties, fishingwire and so on).
decent pocketknife: yep.. that's why i thought of the multitool
I haven't been impressed with any of the saws on a multitool (the Gerber one looks OK). If you think you need a saw, how about 1/2 a hacksaw blade with some duct tape as a handle? Would be very light, and enough to sort out the bolts.
The other thing you could do is replace all the allen bolts with hex-head bolts, less likely to damage them with a proper spanner (IF they are greased, and IF it is the proper size, not an adjustable spanner) than will and Allen key. Or just go for 5mm allen socket rather than eg. the 3mm on my bike.
Occasionally I use a pliers multitool, usually it is pretty frustrating. Lightweight jeweller's type pliers aren't tough enough.
I've sometimes thought that a locking variety (Leatherman Crunch?) might be useful. Depends a bit on your bike - good derailleur hanger and V-brakes rather than cantilevers or Mavic centrepulls make things easier.
I've been happy with my Leatherman Juice multi tools, very sturdy and a good assortment of tools. I had a Gerber years ago, the pliers snapped off when I was straightening the brake on a kid's ski binding.
I come from more of a backpacking background than bicycling. I weigh everything on digital postal scales. Most lightweight backpackers look at a large multi-tool as way too heavy. Getting back into light bicycle touring, I also keep track of weight. I would prefer lightweight individual tools. One example is the common multitool found at bike shops. If you only need 2 or 3 of the allen wrenches on it, why carry the whole gizmo. I find the screwdrivers awkward to use also on that particular bike tool. I also would prefer a small lightweight pocket knife to the one on the Gerber/Leatherman. Gerber makes nice small pocket knives that come in under an ounce. Also, if you break your Leatherman in the field, it's somewhat non-repairable. You would have a tough time tearing up a four-way screwdriver; if you lose it it would be easily replaceable.
If you need a saw for cutting small pieces of firewood, look at the Silky Pocketboy. Made in Japan; it is a fine tool and fairly lightweight. I purchased mine from www.forestry-suppliers.com. these are very sharp saws- don't cut your finger off.
09-02-07, 03:15 PM
The mini leatherman is out of production but pester Leatherman to bring it back. Full size pliers in half size package with metal file. I am on tour at the moment and had to remove a gear cable head + 1cm of frayed cable from my ergolever and only needle-nose pliers will do. I used to carry std needle-nose pliers.
For pataginia I would probably opt for the full size std leatherman as a my utilty knife and tool and leave the swiss army at home.
A wire saw is effective for wood.
A section of metal saw wont hurt but it is hard to see a use unless you find yourself in jail.
thanks all for your comments.
09-03-07, 08:24 AM
I have the Leatherman Juice and Wave. The Juice is currently in my seatpack. It has a small wood saw and a file with a diamond surface on one side of the file. The only tools I used on the my last overnight was the scissors and the serrated blade knife. For my next tour, I think I will pull out the Juice and put in the Wave. A bit larger pliers, larger blades and the tools are a bit beefier. Plus, the knife blades and file are accessible without opening the tool up.
09-04-07, 02:27 PM
If the choice is Leatherman vs. Gerber, then Leatherman is generally the better choice. Tools have always seemed to be of better quality materials and construction. I have been largely unimpressesd with Gerber's multi-tools...
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