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  1. #1
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    What multi-tool would you recommend for a Specialized Crosstrail and Trek Neko?

    Hey guys, my girlfriend and I just picked up our first "real" bikes, '13 Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc and '13 Trek Neko-S.

    I'm looking for a versatile multi-tool that can be used for these two bikes. Being that they're two different brands, I'm not sure if I would need a multi-tool that has tools in it specific to either one of these bikes.

    It seems like most of the bolts require an Allen key or Philips head. Any of you gurus out there know if there are specific bits in either of these bikes that require a special tool?


    Also, (excuses my newb-ness) is there any other tool you would recommend having available in a multi-tool for roadside emergencies/general tinkering?

    I'm not familiar with what can go wrong on a bike ride other than a flat tire, but what else can go wrong on the side of the road and what tool would I need to fix it (ie can the chain come off, rim can bend, etc.)?

    Thanks for your patience, I really appreciate your help. I'm looking forward to learning a lot on this forum but for the time being I'd like to put together a tool kit so I can strap it on the bike asap.

  2. #2
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Not knowing where you are, Harbor Freight has bicycle multi tools at a very reasonable price. Pick that up, and a Leatherman (or similar) pliers, multi tool. You can fix a lot with those two tools available.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
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    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  3. #3
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    All multitools are made for use on almost any bike, old or new.
    I carry a Topeak Alien (can't remember which model) in each of my bike seat packs.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

    I thought of that while riding my bicycle -- Albert Einstein

  4. #4
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    Thanks.

    Other than the general Allen Keys/Philips/Flat-head, are there any other tools that I should learn the names/purpose of for biking? (again showing my newb-ness here).

    I usually do have a Leatherman around, I'll be sure to toss one of those in the kit I'm building.

  5. #5
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Northern Tool is your friend for pliers type multi tool, and Amazon is your friend for bicycle multi tools (get one with a chain breaker for about 15 bucks.)

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  6. #6
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    Thanks.

    Is a chain breaker and chain tool the same thing?

    Are chain tools all designed pretty much the same way? Is anyone one brand's design superior to the others? (ie Leatherman's multi-tool pliers are the best in the business)

    Also, are replacement pins necessary to have when fixing a chain?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Do either of those bikes have disc brakes? If so, look for a multi-tool that has a torx bit.

    Aside from that, you'll be surprised how much you can do with only a 5 mm allen wrench. 4 mm and 6 mm allen keys would be my next priority. Everything else is pretty much a bonus. A chain tool is in the nice to have class but I rarely carry one with me on the road.

    Don't expect any multi-tool to be able to do everything. For instance, try installing a water bottle cage using one.

  8. #8
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...6683_200326683 or others

    http://www.amazon.com/EyezOff-18-Fun...ool%2C+bicycle or others

    My opinion, you don't need them for brain surgery, just occasional emergency repairs. Cheap may be better. And, yes, I could install a water bottle cage with these.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  9. #9
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Do either of those bikes have disc brakes? If so, look for a multi-tool that has a torx bit.
    I've never used the Torx on any of my multi-tools. Never needed them out and about,and whenever I've installed/replaced a rotor at home,it was with one of the half dozen Torx drivers that came with Avid BB's I've bought.

    Interestingly enough,I've also never used the corkscrew on any of my SAK's to open a wine bottle,either.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    I've never used the Torx on any of my multi-tools. Never needed them out and about
    Treat yourself to some Crank Bros kit, they use Torx over hex screws, so you can make use of that under utilized tool there.

  11. #11
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    You can also purchase this stuff very reasonably from places like Nashbar, Performance...... etc

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...6683_200326683 or others

    http://www.amazon.com/EyezOff-18-Fun...ool%2C+bicycle or others

    My opinion, you don't need them for brain surgery, just occasional emergency repairs. Cheap may be better. And, yes, I could install a water bottle cage with these.
    You ever done it? I'd be willing to bet that Amazon multi-tool won't do it because the bulky handle catches on the cage.

  13. #13
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I'd be willing to bet that Amazon multi-tool won't do it because the bulky handle catches on the cage.
    Sad thing is, I bet you're serious.

  14. #14
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    My advice is to keep it simple, non-bulky, and easy-to-use...get a Ritchey CPR 9 tool and save space in your seat bag for stuff you'll actually use, like nitrile gloves, bug spray, lightweight jacket, energy bars, tire levers, spare tube, a zip tie or two...really anything else you might imagine other than a chain tool, which I can pretty much guarantee you'll never use.

    In fact, if you ever used more than a couple of Allen wrenches, I'd be surprised, but the marginal cost of stepping up from two Allens to the CPR 9 is tiny, so that's what I carry myself.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  15. #15
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    I normally ride with a Park Tool MT-1. It's small, light, and basic, but it does pretty much everything I'd need to do on the side of a road somewhere. (I don't have disc brakes, so I don't need a Torx driver.) If I feel the need for a chain tool, I can bring along my Park Tool CT-5 "Mini Chain Brute". Those two items combined are still smaller and lighter than a lot of multi tools.


    I also have a Crank Brothers 17-function multi tool that I keep with my spare bike. If you prefer the" everything but the kitchen sink" approach, it's a great little tool (if a bit heavy).

  16. #16
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    You ever done it? I'd be willing to bet that Amazon multi-tool won't do it because the bulky handle catches on the cage.
    Yes, some you tighten from outside the cage, and some from inside.... adapt and overcome.....

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  17. #17
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    I've never used the Torx on any of my multi-tools. Never needed them out and about,and whenever I've installed/replaced a rotor at home,it was with one of the half dozen Torx drivers that came with Avid BB's I've bought.

    Interestingly enough,I've also never used the corkscrew on any of my SAK's to open a wine bottle,either.
    If you had newer campagnolo components you would need the torx.

    I like the topeak alien II.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  18. #18
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    I have never had a multitool that was much use. They are too short and bulky to fit in a lot of spots and two thirds of the tools on them are useless on any given bike. I have started building a little tool kit where every piece is functional and useful on the bike. I have 4-5-6mm allen wrenches (bought a cheap set at HF and robbed that to keep my good set intact.) I have used screw drivers, both phillips and flat, that have a bent rod handle so they are flat. I found them at sewing machine stores. For my IGH I need a 15mm wrench for the rear axel so I took a cheap 15mm/16mm open end wrench and used a bolt cutter to cut off the 16mm end to make a short light wrench. I need a pair of pliers to disconnect the IGH cable so I robbed a pair from a set of cheap Husky pliers I had in a drawer. I also have one shop cloth for various uses and hand cleaner tissues and alcohol swabs. The alcohol wipes are useful for many things, cleaning a tube for a patch, cleaning off grease or tar, first aid. The shop cloth is very clean and can be used for first aid along with its more obvious uses. I carry tire repair stuff and CO2, but I have never had a flat (touch wood) so I may scale that down. I carry a phone and credit card so that is the fall back position.

  19. #19
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    If you had newer campagnolo components
    Why on earth would I want that?

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clawed View Post
    I have never had a multitool that was much use. They are too short and bulky to fit in a lot of spots and two thirds of the tools on them are useless on any given bike. I have started building a little tool kit where every piece is functional and useful on the bike. I have 4-5-6mm allen wrenches (bought a cheap set at HF and robbed that to keep my good set intact.) I have used screw drivers, both phillips and flat, that have a bent rod handle so they are flat. I found them at sewing machine stores. For my IGH I need a 15mm wrench for the rear axel so I took a cheap 15mm/16mm open end wrench and used a bolt cutter to cut off the 16mm end to make a short light wrench. I need a pair of pliers to disconnect the IGH cable so I robbed a pair from a set of cheap Husky pliers I had in a drawer. I also have one shop cloth for various uses and hand cleaner tissues and alcohol swabs. The alcohol wipes are useful for many things, cleaning a tube for a patch, cleaning off grease or tar, first aid. The shop cloth is very clean and can be used for first aid along with its more obvious uses. I carry tire repair stuff and CO2, but I have never had a flat (touch wood) so I may scale that down. I carry a phone and credit card so that is the fall back position.
    I'm curious as to why, if you think you won't get a flat and are willing to dump the flat repair stuff, would you need to carry the tools to remove your IGH wheel? I thought one of the benefits of IGH is that there's very little to go wrong with them?
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocipedist View Post
    Im not familiar with what can go wrong on a bike ride other than a flat tire,
    If you can handle your own flat tires, you're AT LEAST 90% there. Get that stuff first.

  22. #22
    Senior Member GeorgePaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocipedist View Post
    I'm looking for a versatile multi-tool that can be used for these two bikes.
    I'm partial to the Lezyne CRV 12. Relatively small, well built, has everything I need.

  23. #23
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    http://www.pricepoint.com/Accessorie...ol---New--.axd

    This, a mini-pump, and a set of Park tire levers, should be all the tools you need.

  24. #24
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    What are your thoughts on the Topeak Wedge bag with tool kit vs. the Topeak Alien II 26.

    Wedge bag with 17 piece tool kit:
    http://www.topeak.com/products/bags/sidekick_stw

    Alien ii 26 multitool (+ the above wedge bag only without the tool kit):
    http://www.topeak.com/products/Mini-Tools/ALiEN_II

    The Alien multi-tool is a bit bulky but it separates into two pieces.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Whenever I read one of these threads I'm frequently impressed by how much stuff some folks claim to pack with them on every ride. Once I get a new bike dialed in, I only carry enough stuff with me to fix a flat tire or two. I'm typing this from home so I've obviously always found a way to get back.

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