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Old 06-01-09, 02:31 AM   #1
johnknappcc
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Portable Multi Tool Recommendations

I have been carrying an adjustable wrench, a set of metric hex keys, and some no-name nylon tire levers in a seat post bag for on ride adjustments/maintenance/repair. This allows me to do about everything on my bike.

Lately, I'm getting sick of hearing everything jiggle around, and I was looking at getting either a Park MTB-7, MTB-3C, or a Topeak survival bag (which has the multi-tool, bag, patch kit, etc).

I am also looking at getting another seat post bag anyway (one that I can remove and reinstall in a few seconds anyway).

What (among the ones I listed) or any others that I might not be aware of are the best and most functional multi-tool? I'm looking to do about 6-8 centuries this season so I need something that can last, is 100% functional, and isn't going to weigh me down too much.
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Old 06-01-09, 05:11 AM   #2
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I love the Nashbar woody, which has everything you need
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...00_10000_17003
though my all trime favorite is the Cool Tool as it has an integrated adjustable wrench, not made anymore but sometimes ebay has one
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Old 06-01-09, 05:43 AM   #3
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I've got the same version of that marketed by Performance (same owners as Nashbar). Indeeespensible. The addition of a chain tool is great.
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Old 06-01-09, 07:56 AM   #4
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I have the Park MTB-7 ( I think). Broke the chain tool the first time I used it. Quite probably due to operator headspace.
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Old 06-01-09, 09:15 AM   #5
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What ever you carry, use thin sheet foam from packaging to wrap all the stuff up in your seat bag. Keeps from rattling, and more important it will help protect your spare tube from being punctured by errant tools.

I ride both MTB and road, so I keep 2 seat bags stocked and ready. My favorite (and I think two of the best) multi-tools are the Park IB-3 and the Crank Brothers Multi 19. Both have chain tools (emergency only use). The IB-3 has a tire lever, but I carry 2 (MTB) or 3 (road) extra plastic tire levers just in case. If your bike(s) have hex head bits, then you may want to continue carrying a small adjustable (crescent) wrench.

IB-3:



CB Multi-19:

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Old 06-01-09, 12:47 PM   #6
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Topeaks seat pack/tool kit combo you mentioned would fit your needs. I have one on my second bike and it is a nice setup.

http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/...lToolWedgePack

This is my preferred kit ....

http://www.instructables.com/id/Bicycle-Mini-Tool-Kit/
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Old 06-01-09, 01:00 PM   #7
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Topeak Alien II. A bit heavy at 270g, but it has pretty much every tool you'll ever need (or other people have needed when I've been on organized rides).
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Old 06-01-09, 02:41 PM   #8
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I have the IB-3 and MTB-3 tools.

Both are OK, I guess.
From a functionality perspective, you can rely on them for most usual repairs/adjustments on the road.
The finish is not top notch, but very reasonable for the price.

You will find that the torque you can apply with these tools is not enough since you have no leverage. That only troubled me once on my fixed bike, since I could not remove the back wheel. Fortunately I was able to repair the puncture in-place. Since then, I'm also carrying a small 15 wrench.

Whenever I'm riding long distances, I carry the MTB-3, plastic tire levers, patches, a very nice compact pump, a tube and a folded tire. I never had to push my bike home with this stuff.
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Old 06-01-09, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkCloud View Post
I have the IB-3 and MTB-3 tools.

Both are OK, I guess.
From a functionality perspective, you can rely on them for most usual repairs/adjustments on the road.
The finish is not top notch, but very reasonable for the price.

You will find that the torque you can apply with these tools is not enough since you have no leverage. That only troubled me once on my fixed bike, since I could not remove the back wheel. Fortunately I was able to repair the puncture in-place. Since then, I'm also carrying a small 15 wrench.

Whenever I'm riding long distances, I carry the MTB-3, plastic tire levers, patches, a very nice compact pump, a tube and a folded tire. I never had to push my bike home with this stuff.
Anybody with a brain riding a fixie is gonna carry a wrench for the rear.
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Old 06-01-09, 04:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kenhill3 View Post
Anybody with a brain riding a fixie is gonna carry a wrench for the rear.
I didn't know that brains could ride fixies.
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Old 07-22-09, 11:27 AM   #11
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Pedro's Tulio builds the multi-tool into a quick release skewer. It is a clever design but won't be in bike shops until Spring 2010.
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Old 07-22-09, 01:05 PM   #12
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I would suggest a rubber band and some rubber gloves. Wrap your tools to make them quiet. The gloves will be handy iof a repair is needed. It doesn't sound like you need anymore tools.
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Old 07-22-09, 01:27 PM   #13
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I have a Topeak Alien II. Does more than I'll ever need - but I carry it for encounters with other cyclists who don't meticulously care for their bicycles.
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Old 07-22-09, 02:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
I would suggest a rubber band and some rubber gloves. Wrap your tools to make them quiet. The gloves will be handy iof a repair is needed. It doesn't sound like you need anymore tools.
Sounds like a really good idea, and I'm glad I have separate tools due to a problem I had on a solo-century on Sunday . . . in this thread . . . http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...53#post9331853
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Old 07-23-09, 10:53 AM   #15
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I'm wondering why you need an adjustable wrench. All my screws and bolts can be adjusted with Allen wrenches. If you have a hex head somewhere, maybe you can swap it for one that uses an Allen wrench.

I have four different multi-tools - one for each of the four bikes I ride. I don't like to have to switch tools and things before each ride. I'm likely to forget, and the time I did would be the time I broke down and needed tools. So each bike has a multi-tool, tire irons, patch kit, and spare tube.

I've never needed a chain tool on the road, though I carried one for years. However, the better multi-tools come with them, so I've got one on three of my bikes. The fourth bike is just for shopping trips around home. If I break a chain I can just walk it home.

I don't have any torx screws on my bikes, so I don't have them on my multi-tools.

I had a crank bolt fall out while I was riding my mountain bike. (My fault - I assembled the thing.) I didn't have a big enough Allen wrench on my multi-tool. I hand tightened it and rode carefully back to my truck. Then I bought a new multi-tool with a large enough wrench and moved the old multi-tool to the shopping bike. On a different bike (again - I assembled it) I had creaking noises from the crank area. It turned out I hadn't tightened the crank bolts enough on that bike either. Having the big wrench on my multi-tool made it possible to tighten them on the road and keep riding.

Maybe I should buy a torque wrench, huh?

I like to carry three tire irons. There's a metal one on one of my multi-tools, but I prefer the plastic ones, and they're so light I don't worry about the weight penalty. I carry a mixture. I like the generic kind with the hook. I hook it to a spoke and move a couple inches to insert the next one. I also like the flat Park type. I think they work better for some things. I carry a couple of hooked ones and one flat one.

On my touring bike I carry a couple of screws for the racks, and some LocTite. The only screws that have ever vibrated loose on my bikes (except for the crank bolts - see above) have been the ones that hold my racks on. When you have a heavy load on your rack and you're out in the middle of nowhere, that's a problem. Carrying a couple of extra screws is pretty easy, they're light, and you can fix the problem in two minutes and be back on your way. Of course, since I started using the LocTite, this hasn't been much of a problem.

On tour I carry a couple of extra spokes, a spoke wrench, and a lockring tool. Around home, none of these.

Okay, you wanted recommendations for specific tools. I have a wood one from Nashbar, one from Lezeyne that I got with a gift certificate at a shop that only carried Lezeyne. I think the other one is a Blackburn. They all work fine and don't weigh too much. The older one that didn't have a big wrench for a crankbolt is a Park that's about 20 years old. It has the basic Allen wrenches, but none too big or too small (you can't adjust the little, tiny adjustment screws on cantilever brakes, for instance); and two screw drivers. It has a metal frame, and it weighs quite a bit more than my newer multi-tools with lots more tools.
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Old 07-23-09, 12:10 PM   #16
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I have the Park mtb4, I think. Everything but the kitchen sink. A little heavy, but durable and well-thought-out. It's been run over after dropping out of my stupidly-left-unzipped seat bag and still going strong, after retrieval.
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Old 07-23-09, 12:18 PM   #17
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+1 on the Crank Bros Multi-19. My B-I-L has the Multi-17 and its smaller and lighter (duh) and does everything the other one does for quick adjustments/repairs.

If you really want to go minimalist...Park MT-1 - the only thing I missed was a Philip screwdriver tip...it was actually the tool I had with me when I actually needed to use a multi-tool for a roadside repair.

I have the Park Tire Levers but I've been using the Pedro's Tire Levers more and more. Bigger but they work great.
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