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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 07-18-16, 12:33 PM   #1
Bolo Grubb
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Do I need a multi-tool?

Was just looking at what I carry in my seat bag on my road bike and realized I have never used the multi-tool.

Do I need to carry one at all? is there a minimum tool that i should carry no matter what?

I think I do a good job of keeping my bikes well maintained and so far in the last 10 years or so the issues I have had are flat tires.
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Old 07-18-16, 12:35 PM   #2
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I have one and usually only put it in my jersey when I've recently done maintenance that might require tweaking (like recabling) Or maybe I'll carry the specific hex key that I need if I'm messing with saddle height. I think I've actually used the multi-tool on a ride once in the last 6 years.
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Old 07-18-16, 12:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb View Post
..... realized I have never used the multi-tool. Do I need to carry one at all?
[I just] realized I've never used the spare tire on the car I've driven for the last ten years. I'd say I don't "need" the spare. But it sure would be awfully convenient to have.... if I was to need it.

I've only used the multi-tool I carry in my bicycles saddle bag one time (to adjust the saddle). But I think I'll keep it.
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Old 07-18-16, 12:47 PM   #4
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I carry this:

Topeak® Cycling Accessories ? Products - Mini 6, longer version

It's so small and light that why not carry it? Or Park i beam

Yes I mainly use it to dial in saddle height on a new bike but I've also had little things come up like bolt on my cleat or bottle cage coming loose over time and it's nice to be able to tighten it on the side of the road
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Old 07-18-16, 12:48 PM   #5
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I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

I have used mine at least once that I can think of. I broke a spoke and used the multi-tool to remove the broken spoke so I could continue my ride without the broken spoke slapping the fork with every rotation.
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Old 07-18-16, 12:57 PM   #6
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I always carry one. Never know when you might need it.
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Old 07-18-16, 01:00 PM   #7
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I always carry a multi tool. if I crash or hit a road hazard that tweaks my bars or knocks something else loose, I will be able to get back on the road. Also the only time I have actually had to use my multi tool on a ride was to help a fellow cyclist on the side of the road.
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Old 07-18-16, 01:02 PM   #8
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Good points all, maybe I just need a smaller one or a better one.

Not sure the brand but the one I have is kinda of bulky
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Old 07-18-16, 01:05 PM   #9
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I have a really small one and a busted up old bike. I use it a lot.
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Old 07-18-16, 01:10 PM   #10
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Good points all, maybe I just need a smaller one or a better one.

Not sure the brand but the one I have is kinda of bulky
I recommend this one. Incredibly small and has the basics. I'm sure someone will recommend something with spoke wrenches and chain breakers and torx keys and everything, but most bike related things can be solved with a few allens, which is what that one has.
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Old 07-18-16, 01:14 PM   #11
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I've migrated to 'multiple tools'

Two allen keys, a small chain tool, & mini needlenose pliers (surprisingly useful).
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Old 07-18-16, 01:21 PM   #12
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For a modern bike, I cannot recommend anything more highly than the Ritchey CPR 9 tool. It's the most smartly designed and lightweight tool that has ever been, insofar as I can determine.

It's a one piece tool which makes handling easy and accurate, and the tools are of the appropriate length and orientation for the job they're supposed to do.

Really, using one of these makes brilliant sense and every other multitool will seem poorly designed, heavy, clumsy and awkward.

Recently out of production with the launch of the CPR12+, but there's still stock out there, so now is the time to grab one... for every bike.

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Old 07-18-16, 01:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
[I just] realized I've never used the spare tire on the car I've driven for the last ten years. I'd say I don't "need" the spare. But it sure would be awfully convenient to have.... if I was to need it.

I've only used the multi-tool I carry in my bicycles saddle bag one time (to adjust the saddle). But I think I'll keep it.
I run run-flat tires, so not only do I not need a spare tire, there is not one included with my car nor is there even a place to store one, other than just sitting in the trunk.

But yeah, I carry a tiny Topeak multi tool. I've used it many times. I've even tossed my Ritchey Torque key in my bag if I was fiddling with fit.
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Old 07-18-16, 01:26 PM   #14
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I've migrated to 'multiple tools'

Two allen keys, a small chain tool, & mini needlenose pliers (surprisingly useful).
I also carry a chain tool. Probably more useful than the multi-tool.
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Old 07-18-16, 01:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb View Post
Was just looking at what I carry in my seat bag on my road bike and realized I have never used the multi-tool.

Do I need to carry one at all? is there a minimum tool that i should carry no matter what?

I think I do a good job of keeping my bikes well maintained and so far in the last 10 years or so the issues I have had are flat tires.
If you do a good weekly check/clean then you don't need to carry a tool except to help others in need.

I carry 2 tubes, 2 CO2 cartridges, 1 tire tool and an inflator head and have only had 2 instances in the last 10 years where I've not got by with that. Both involved busted chains, so I would have needed a multi-tool with a chain tool and a spare link.

In our group rides, there are usually a few people that feel the need to bring an entire bike shop with them on their backs though.
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Old 07-18-16, 01:28 PM   #16
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For a modern bike, I cannot recommend anything more highly than the Ritchey CPR 9 tool. It's the most smartly designed and lightweight tool that has ever been, insofar as I can determine.
That's a decent looking tool but I'd only carry that in a seat bag. I wouldn't want to fall on it.

I've use the 8mm allen key a few times for a loose crank and the other keys for some minor adjustments. I carry one in my backpack but not usually on longer rides.
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Old 07-18-16, 01:38 PM   #17
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I always carry a multi tool. Have used it over the years to adjust seat height, tighten water bottle cages, and adjust my cleats.
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Old 07-18-16, 01:40 PM   #18
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That's a decent looking tool but I'd only carry that in a seat bag. I wouldn't want to fall on it.
If it's merely decent looking to you, you need to give it proper consideration; it is, in fact, exceptional!

But no, I wouldn't carry it in my jersey pocket either, but then I wouldn't carry any multitool in my pocket.
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Old 07-18-16, 02:08 PM   #19
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maybe I just need a smaller one or a better one.
The one I carry is very small... and light. No chain tool or anything like that.

Coincidentally.... I very recently discovered EDC. Short for "Every Day Carry"... it is sort of a prepper gear idea. I was intrigued by the idea of a mint-tins full of keychain sized survival items (like stormproof matches). Or backpacks with pounds of gear to assist in getting home after the... world comes crashing in on us... I guess.

It was fun and entertaining (as well as a little educational) to watch a few YouTube videos on such things. A couple people have even put together survival [mountain] bicycles. Painted camouflage.... of course.

But anyway... it made me wonder if I really need that tube I carry with me. I've had a few flats! And I always just replace the tube with the new tube I carry. Then when I get home I repair the tube and re-use it. I carry a patch kit along with the tube. I wonder if I might just be better off to only carry a patch kit.

Which is it.... is less more? Or [is it] as the preppers say: 2 is 1... and 1 is none. (I need to stay away from YouTube!)
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Old 07-18-16, 02:15 PM   #20
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I wonder if I might just be better off to only carry a patch kit.
Replacing the tube is already taking up your time do you really want to add to that waiting for glue to dry?
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Old 07-18-16, 02:23 PM   #21
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Park Tool's second smallest. weighs about 3 ozs.
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Old 07-18-16, 02:27 PM   #22
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At what point does the size of the tool begin to hinder it's application?
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Old 07-18-16, 02:28 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
For a modern bike, I cannot recommend anything more highly than the Ritchey CPR 9 tool. It's the most smartly designed and lightweight tool that has ever been, insofar as I can determine.

It's a one piece tool which makes handling easy and accurate, and the tools are of the appropriate length and orientation for the job they're supposed to do.

Really, using one of these makes brilliant sense and every other multitool will seem poorly designed, heavy, clumsy and awkward.

Recently out of production with the launch of the CPR12+, but there's still stock out there, so now is the time to grab one... for every bike.

I had one of these. light for sure. but found it to be an odd shape and difficult to use, so I opted for a standard issue.
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Old 07-18-16, 02:30 PM   #24
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At what point does the size of the tool begin to hinder it's application?
When it's smaller or larger than it needs to be.
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Old 07-18-16, 02:37 PM   #25
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I had one of these. light for sure. but found it to be an odd shape and difficult to use, so I opted for a standard issue.
Surprising, since the shape and placement of the fixed tools are it's most brilliant aspect. There's no folding out to do, so you have access to all of the tools with only one hand. There's no stabilizing to do because the tools don't pivot, so it doesn't fall out of position if you change your grip. The 5mm and 6mm hex heads are the longest so they can reach into bottle cage bolts, while the 2mm is the stubbiest for short-reach jobs like pedal tension screws. From a design perspective, it's really smart.
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