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Old 02-23-09, 11:14 PM   #1
carlson201
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Important tools to have with you while riding

Hi everyone,
I'm in a design class and our current project is bike accessories. I am hoping to integrate a tool kit into a bike rack, and right now I am trying to determine what is important to have in that tool kit so I know what size it needs to be. I am trying to keep it as flat as possible, so I only want to include the things that would be the most important for a medium to long distance commuter to carry.
Here is a list of things I have compiled... please comment on them, tell me if any are not that important, or if I forgot any that are. Input will help me a lot!

-spare tube
-patch kit
-tire levers
-allen wrenches
-spoke wrench
-pump and cartridges
-first aid? if so, including which items? (bandaids, disinfecting wipes, gauze, antihistamine, etc.)
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Old 02-24-09, 01:00 AM   #2
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Old 02-24-09, 01:24 AM   #3
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I would add a chain tool and a couple master links.
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Old 02-24-09, 01:57 AM   #4
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mini adjustable crescent wrench, with a thin profile (so it can remove pedals too)
would not believe how hard it is to find one small enough to go in a repair kit...

tire boot or spare tire

5mm nuts and bolts

also, there usually isn't much point in carrying a spoke wrench unless you have spare spokes; trueing is done on the bench, if something goes untrue on the road is usually because a spoke broke
If it was on the rear wheel, you'll also need a tool to remove the sproket cluster.
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Old 02-24-09, 02:11 AM   #5
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If you rode/ride on Bontrager radial 20-spoke wheels they put on their Trek FX series - you'd be advised to have a Park black spoke-wrench around your neck on a chain. You will very likely need it. Those spokes don't break - with their 200+Kgf - they just go out of whack. So often that if not for the spoke-wrench, I'd have had to carry the bike home on my back.

Of course I'd also advise you get a real wheel.
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Old 02-24-09, 09:58 AM   #6
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I actually carry a first aid kit, or something like it. Just a couple of the large band-aids (skinned knee size) a few alcohol prep pads and some ibuprofen. That accounts for 90% of the injuries you get on a bike, well god willing it does.

I think there is a practical limit to what you need to carry, and there are some repairs that occur so infrequently that it's not worth being prepared for them. I carry my cassette remover and spoke wrench, along with spares while on tour, but commuting, the added weight slows me down more than a broken spoke in the city ever has (yes, it's almost no added weight, that's the point. I've never needed to do an emergency spoke replacement commuting).

I think your initial list is perfect, maybe a small adjustable crescent wrench for older bikes
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Old 02-24-09, 10:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlson201 View Post
-pump and cartridges
Presta->Schrader adapter so you can use the pump in any service station, if necessary.
2" square cut from old inner tube for use as a tire boot.
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Old 02-24-09, 10:12 AM   #8
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Pen and paper to write phone numbers, licence numbers, insurance details in case of accident.
If you have a broken spoke, a spoke wrench can be used on adjacent spokes to true enough to ride home
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Old 02-24-09, 10:23 AM   #9
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Just copy the old school 'cool tool' and improve on that
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Old 02-24-09, 12:24 PM   #10
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If you have a broken spoke, a spoke wrench can be used on adjacent spokes to true enough to ride home
Exactly. Once a big rock got flipped into my spokes, breaking 3 of them, all on the same side. Because I had a spoke wrench, I was able to true what was left enough to limp back (4-5 miles) to the trail head. Would have been a long miserable walk in bike shoes (gnat season).
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Old 02-24-09, 01:38 PM   #11
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tools

I would include a small screwdriver for adjusting anything held by screws, eg derailleur limits.
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Old 02-24-09, 06:30 PM   #12
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I carry this....

http://www.instructables.com/id/Bicycle-Mini-Tool-Kit/

Not in the kit, but carried are tire levers, patch kit, inner tube, pump, and a 4-inch adjustable wrench.
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Old 02-24-09, 06:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlson201 View Post
Hi everyone,
I'm in a design class and our current project is bike accessories. I am hoping to integrate a tool kit into a bike rack, and right now I am trying to determine what is important to have in that tool kit so I know what size it needs to be. I am trying to keep it as flat as possible, so I only want to include the things that would be the most important for a medium to long distance commuter to carry.
Here is a list of things I have compiled... please comment on them, tell me if any are not that important, or if I forgot any that are. Input will help me a lot!

-spare tube
-patch kit
-tire levers
-allen wrenches
-spoke wrench
-pump and cartridges
-first aid? if so, including which items? (bandaids, disinfecting wipes, gauze, antihistamine, etc.)
Too much. Make sure you bike is working soundly and things are tight before you leave. Then just bring your tube, tire levers and pump. Patch kit is iffy. Spoke wrench? If your wheel goes slightly out of whack, just loosen your brakes and fix it when you get home.

Just saying......
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Old 02-24-09, 06:38 PM   #14
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A crate of the finest local Ales in case you get lost and need to stop for the night remotely.
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Old 02-24-09, 07:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
Just copy the old school 'cool tool' and improve on that
Best idea yet, the cool tool needed a better way of keeping the allen wrenches in place. The rubber band just didn't cut it. Integral tire levers would be cool. Do you have a pic? I'm to lazy to dig mine out of my seatbag just yet...
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Old 02-24-09, 07:32 PM   #16
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Personally, on my road bike at least, I only carry enough stuff with me to fix one flat tire. For me that equates to a spare inner tube and something to inflate it with. A quick release skewer makes an emergency tire lever.

Never-the-less, it's hard to argue that having a few tools along isn't cool. A set of metric allen wrenches (and a torx for disc brake bikes) would be my first addition. A chain tool and spoke wrench comes next in importance.

While multi tools look nifty and sell well, I'm still a believer in separate tools. (I know - I'm a retro grouch.) If you have a mechanical problem on the road you're likely to be a little upset. When you're already upset you don't want to have to figure out how to position a spoke wrench that's part of some bulky multi tool.
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Old 02-24-09, 08:57 PM   #17
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Just copy the old school 'cool tool' and improve on that
+1. There are dozens of multi-tools out there but there are things a Cool Tool can do that nothing else can do easily.
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Old 02-25-09, 12:07 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlson201 View Post
Hi everyone,
I'm in a design class and our current project is bike accessories. I am hoping to integrate a tool kit into a bike rack, and right now I am trying to determine what is important to have in that tool kit so I know what size it needs to be. I am trying to keep it as flat as possible, so I only want to include the things that would be the most important for a medium to long distance commuter to carry.
Here is a list of things I have compiled... please comment on them, tell me if any are not that important, or if I forgot any that are. Input will help me a lot!

-spare tube
-patch kit
-tire levers
-allen wrenches
-spoke wrench
-pump and cartridges
-first aid? if so, including which items? (bandaids, disinfecting wipes, gauze, antihistamine, etc.)
First thing what is a medium to long distance commuter? Tube, levers and some way to fill it. Since you're a commuter carry a cell phone for a ride to work or home and repair it at home or take it to your LBS. When driving your car do you carry a full set of tools so you can repair it along side the road? If you're doing proper maintance on your bike you shouldn't be breaking chains and having to remove pedals. I commute all the time and I can't remember the last time I had a breakdown.
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Old 02-25-09, 12:12 AM   #19
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Baby wipes. Either via flat tire or tossing the chain you have to touch the chain and it usually ends up being more than you expect or want it to be. A small pack of baby wipes is in every trunk bag or backpack I own.

John
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Old 02-25-09, 01:06 AM   #20
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A spare key to Salma Hayek's apartment.


Whenever I break down it's my favorite place to hang out, and it's so annoying if I don't have the key.
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Old 02-25-09, 01:27 AM   #21
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A spare key to Salma Hayek's apartment.

Whenever I break down it's my favorite place to hang out, and it's so annoying if I don't have the key.
It is really annoying as all that banging a whimpering at her door can distract me from doing what I'm doing...

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Old 02-25-09, 07:48 AM   #22
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It is really annoying as all that banging a whimpering at her door can distract me from doing what I'm doing...

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Old 02-25-09, 09:29 AM   #23
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I carry an stubby adjustable crescent wrench, 2 tire levers, patches/glue/sandpaper, 5mm allen(I use locking skewers), co2&inflator, all in a cellphone holster. The holster is smaller than a seatbag and can be attached to my belt, under the saddle, or tossed in my bag.

I'll second the recommendations for a chaintool /w spare links(links for if you're using a singlespeed like me and can't afford to shorten your chain) Spoke wrenches are really handy too. Duct tape comes in handy as well. I usually keep the tape wrapped around a waterbottle.

I haven't owned a multitool before. Is the consensus that many of the tools provided are ineffectual due to the design of the multitool?
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Old 02-25-09, 10:33 AM   #24
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Add my pump and a spare tube (this changes depending on the bike) and I am good for anything...since I took this pic I swapped my Park chain tool for a chain tool with an integrated spoke wrench.

All this stuff fits in the pencil case.
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Old 02-25-09, 11:48 AM   #25
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I've broken a chain, I've had spokes break (on an old wheel) and had to true the wheel just to be able to ride at all, I've had a tiny shard of glass become imbedded in my tire's casing and I had to use my tool's knife to pry it out, I've broken a tire lever on the side of the road, I've had two flats in one day...

I will always carry..
*chain tool (pin removal and installation)
*chain clip (to hold ends of chain together)
*spare 2-3 chain pins
*spoke wrench
*knife
*2-3 tire levers, steel core, as I use wire bead tires

In addition to the obvious..
*hex wrenches
*2 spare tubes
*glueless patch kit
*pump or maybe co2 cartridges
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