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  1. #1
    dbg
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    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    Being prepared for any possible break down

    Being the mechanic for an annual group ride, I try to have parts and tools always with me for anything that could disable a bike (sort of a challenge not to be "stumped" while not carrying a giant tool and parts box on the bike with me). Larger wrenches are typically missing on the smaller multi-tools (10mm axle bolt, 15mm pedal, etc) so I've been carrying standard pliers as a poor substitute (generally needed only for tightening stuff that has come loose). But I learn new things each year. Some past learnings that aren't on a typical multi-tool:

    1) chainring bolts (small and easy to carry, loss of one or two makes a bike unridable)
    2) axle nut wrench (all my bikes are QR, but I've been stumped before when another rider flatted and no one had a 10mm wrench)
    3) shoe cleat bolts (who would think of this? but I had a rider lose an spd cleat. --still ridable but very awkward)
    4) nylon temporary spoke (these things work great)
    5) spare pump head parts (lost the sleeve once on my road morph G)
    6) pedal wrench (loose pedals can be repeatedly problematic and destroy the crank arm threads if you try to limp home)
    7) various brake hanger parts
    8) various chain master links

    anybody think of others (simple to carry; critical for ride ending problem)? Ideally everything fits in a medium saddle bag behind the seat.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  2. #2
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    You're on your way to becoming the support car operator . First aid kit, other volunteers who don't ride, ice cold drinks, and sandwiches. Collect money from the group and you're in business.

  3. #3
    dbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    You're on your way to becoming the support car operator . First aid kit, other volunteers who don't ride, ice cold drinks, and sandwiches. Collect money from the group and you're in business.
    This is our 22nd annual (ride across Wisconsin) and we have talked about getting a permanent support vehicle and operator --but no volunteers yet. And it won't be me. Back problems keep me from driving vehicles --actually sort of easier for me to ride a bike 100 mi than drive a car.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  4. #4
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    I've seen crank bolts come off and crank arms wobble loose. Maybe a few sample crank bolt/nuts for square taper spindles?

    Spare rear brake and derailleur inner cables?

    Something to boot a tire?

    Those little Reese's peanut butter cup single? Okay...those are for me.

  5. #5
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    My cheap 29'r has bolt on wheels, 15mm nuts. I picked up a 15mm 'stubby' wrench that fits nicely in my seatbag. It's large enough to get your hand on, it's the same thickness as a standard wrench, just about 2/3 the length. You could pound on the end with a rock, or stomp on it with your foot if the nut is really tight. And you could use the 15mm on pedals as well. You could carry a 12,13,14 15 and be set for almost ANY emergency, but the weight would add up.
    OR replace the pliers with a small vice-grip type tool, but they tend to be hard on nuts and bolt heads.
    I don't ever think I've seen a 10mm axel bolt.

  6. #6
    dbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
    I don't ever think I've seen a 10mm axel bolt.
    You're right. My bad.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Only time I carry extra tools are after I have changed or adjusted parts on the bike. Then it is only for the shakedown ride to check that everything works and the screws/bolts are tightened correctly.

    But I have lost chain ring bolts--Or rather had them come so loose that the FD did not work--Had wheel bearings tighten up so that the bike was unridable- and had cables that were replaced because they snagged and broke-Break again because I had not corrected the snag. BUT all in the shake down ride.

    Multi tool and puncture repair are all I ever take on a ride now with possible two tubes for longer rides.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  8. #8
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    I've seen crank bolts come off and crank arms wobble loose. Maybe a few sample crank bolt/nuts for square taper spindles?

    Spare rear brake and derailleur inner cables?

    Something to boot a tire?

    Those little Reese's peanut butter cup single? Okay...those are for me.
    My wife and I used to do loaded touring in fairly remote areas, so I brought all kinds of tools "just in case." But you can't plan for everything: we were camping in the Porcupine Mtns in the upper peninsula of Michigan when my bike toppled over and the stem broke. Nearest bike shop was 70 miles away in Houghton MI. There was a happy ending to the story, but of the serendipitous type, not the type of thing you can rely on in a tight spot.

  9. #9
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    shoe cleat bolts (who would think of this?
    That's actually one of the few things I do think of ...based on how many times I've seen it interrupt another cyclist's ride. I keep a pair of spare cleat screws in all my saddlebags.

    If I were That Guy, I would carry a couple spare derailleur cables. I've seen way too many cyclists sent home on the train or in a cab mid-ride because they broke a shifter cable in the middle of nowhere.

  10. #10
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I'll take a 700x25 folding tire. I've seen tires with large areas of damage that MacGyver couldn't patch.
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  11. #11
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    JohnDThompson: "There was a happy ending to the story, but of the serendipitous type, not the type of thing you can rely on in a tight spot."

    Well, what happened? Can't just leave people hanging like that!

    --Delma
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  12. #12
    Senior Member ctpres's Avatar
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    IDEA When tool load gets to heavy - split it up with other riders.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    My multi purpose tool is a cell phone.
    "If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go." -Mark Twain

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  14. #14
    Slogging along rubic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timtruro View Post
    My multi purpose tool is a cell phone.
    Well, not always. I have been in mountainous and out of the way areas where cell phone service is just not there. Then what? Better bring some tools and supplies.

  15. #15
    Senior Member curbtender's Avatar
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    This is our 22nd annual (ride across Wisconsin) and we have talked about getting a permanent support vehicle and operator --but no volunteers yet. And it won't be me. Back problems keep me from driving vehicles --actually sort of easier for me to ride a bike 100 mi than drive a car.
    The volunteers might be the ones who cut up the fresh fruit and make the sandwiches, after the riding group pays for the ingredients. Just any large SUV will do for now.

  17. #17
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timtruro View Post
    My multi purpose tool is a cell phone.
    Took a ride the last few days (and did a bit of cycling) through the back mountains of Colorado. No cell phone service for scores of miles.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  18. #18
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    This has been an interesting thread so far. There's quite a bit to go wrong -- loose pedals, overly tight cone nuts -- that I hadn't thought much about, that a multitool won't fix.

  19. #19
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    Speaking of loose crank bolts, I had them come loose, and they can be hard to tighten on the road. Specially if you need a 14 mm socket. A small tube of Loc-Tite and a drop on the bolt will help keep things from re-loosening.

  20. #20
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    You can not plan for every possible failure. How about a broken crank arm?

    Tell me more about the nylon spokes. J bend only? Sounds like a great idea.

  21. #21
    dbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctpres View Post
    IDEA When tool load gets to heavy - split it up with other riders.
    So that's a little bit of a sore spot. We often have new riders join us with a superlight CF and NO tools/pump/tube, etc. They roar up hills and set inappropriately high paces for some of the folks with racks and bags. I usually try to point out to them (very diplomatically) that they're just mooching off everyone else if a problem arises with their bike.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  22. #22
    dbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by oilman_15106 View Post
    You can not plan for every possible failure. How about a broken crank arm?

    Tell me more about the nylon spokes. J bend only? Sounds like a great idea.
    Another rider brought one of those and we had a low-spoke-count wheel go unridable after a spoke broke. I wasn't actually with them at the time (supporting another group because they were the experts), but they applied the nylon spoke, tightened it up to where the wheel was true, and rode for another 40 miles --on rough roads. End of the day that temp spoke was still rock-solid.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  23. #23
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    I think one of the best devices is to be proactive. There are things you can do to prevent problems from happening. Be sure your wheels are true. Be sure that you replace your tires when they get worn. Be sure that your bike is clean and lubed regularly. Check the wear parts like brake pads, cleats, chains and things and replace before they are shot. Carry basic tools and tubes or patch kits (boots are good too).

    I don't think that one can anticipate every possible problem. But in over 20 years of riding and well over 100,000 miles, I think I have had to call only twice for help.

  24. #24
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delmalpz View Post
    JohnDThompson: "There was a happy ending to the story, but of the serendipitous type, not the type of thing you can rely on in a tight spot."

    Well, what happened? Can't just leave people hanging like that!

    Ok... as I was heading down to the highway to hitchhike to the bike shop in Houghton (keep in mind there's not much traffic between the Porcupines and Houghton!), I saw a bike pull into the campground, then a tandem, then a couple more bikes, and finally a sag wagon. So I headed over to their campsite and explained my problem. They didn't have a stem, but they were about to break camp and drive home. One of the riders sold me the stem off her bike and I was on my way!

  25. #25
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    So that's a little bit of a sore spot. We often have new riders join us with a superlight CF and NO tools/pump/tube, etc. They roar up hills and set inappropriately high paces for some of the folks with racks and bags. I usually try to point out to them (very diplomatically) that they're just mooching off everyone else if a problem arises with their bike.
    Hand them each a big, melon-sized rock to carry instead. That'll even things out.

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