Do you folks have an essential tool kit that you ride with every time out. I'm new to cycling and want to do things right the first time around. I know that i need a repair kit,"patches -tube-glue- wrenches- ect..ect.. the list goes on and on.When i go to the sites that sell tools it is a little overwhelming to say the least. I need to know from your experience what I need to have on my bike at all times. I'm riding about 5 miles daily now and expect to lenghten my rides as I build up my endurance more.I like the idea of the '' co2 '' flat tire repair but dont know if any particular brand is better than the next. Do most of you folks carry your repair kits in a seatpost kit. Any help at all is much appreciated. THANKS
I figure the tools based on the bike's need (what size what is used where). For even relatively short (12 miles and under) trips I like to be able to deal with:
a) one flat tire (tube, levers & pump)
b) saddle and seatpost adjustments (usu. 5mm & 6 mm allens)
c) brake adjustments (whatever it takes for pads & bike attachment & a screwdriver for the spring screw if there is one
d) rain, a plastic bag to protect my Brooks
e) complete breakdown, a lock, and a cell phone (& bus fare)
For longer rides I like to be able to deal with my stem, pedals, cleats, rack attachments (more allen sizes, wrench?) and a second flat (patch kit) and maybe even the chain (chain tool). I also throw in a couple zip ties, cuz people say they do alot in emergencies, tho I've never used 'em.
I carry a tire pump and patch kit on long rides, but your best line of defense against flats is a really good set of tires. The Continental and Specialized brands make some good ones that are flat resistant, meaning that in most areas of the country, you will not have a flat. Beyond that, I carry a multitool that has allen wrenches, screwdriver, chain tool, and a few wrenches on it. I carry this in a good sized wedge shaped bag behind my seat. Your number one concern on long trips is your tire situation.
Before any ride, hold your front end up by the handlebars, and spin the front wheel. If it spins freely, it's ready. Do the same for your rear wheel. If one is not spinning freely, look to see if it's touching the brake pads when rotating. if so, you'll have to adjust it so that it spins freely. If not, your ready.
On short trips around town, I don't feel the necessity to carry anything but a rain parka. Make sure you have flat resistant tires. it's your number one headache.