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View Poll Results: Which tools have you ACTUALLY needed for roadside repairs?

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  • philips head screwdriver

    32 35.96%
  • flat head screwdriver

    20 22.47%
  • 4, 5, or 6 mm hex key

    71 79.78%
  • 8 mm hex key

    19 21.35%
  • < 4 mm hex key

    12 13.48%
  • chain tool

    20 22.47%
  • spare tube(s)

    78 87.64%
  • glueless patches or patch kit

    43 48.31%
  • T25 or T30 torx wrench

    10 11.24%
  • spoke wrench

    20 22.47%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #1
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    What tools have you needed on the roadside?

    I have an Arundel Dual saddle bag, which I love. But when I tried to pack a chain tool in the already tight space I wore a hole in the bag. It got me to thinking about what tools we really need, and I'm wondering if the multi-tools being sold miss the mark or not. So here's my variation on the question, which of these tools in the poll have you ACTUALLY needed while on a ride?

    Take note that I was limited by only having 10 choices. I consider some things to be no-brainers such as tire levers so I didn't include them.
    Last edited by ericcc65; 05-24-14 at 09:42 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Senior Member aubiecat's Avatar
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    So far I have only needed a Phillips head screw driver and a few of the hex keys.
    That being said, I won't limit myself to what I have used in the past. I always carry a Topeak Alien II multi tool. It has everything in the world on it plus a very good chain tool. My son has used the chain tool a couple of times so I know it works very well.
    Today out in the middle of nowhere a friend was having trouble with his rear derailleur. Lucky for him I had that multi-tool in my bag. It's heavy as hell but it has saved mine and several others day out on the road/trail.
    If you are wondering, I have a bigger bag than most people use as well. I have no trouble stuffing everything I need in there go get me out of a jamb and/or help others when they need it.

  3. #3
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    I guess I should have made it clear that if you helped someone else out because they were missing a tool then I would definitely include that tool being needed on the roadside in this poll.

    I don't care much about weight. Honestly because of my body size, bike fit, etc. there are very few saddle bags that don't rub my legs and create holes in my shorts. The Arundel Dual is one of the only ones I've found so far. Perhaps I'll just get a Tubi next and bring the kitchen sink, but for now I'm hoping we get a large enough sample size that we get an idea of what typical roadside repairs are.

  4. #4
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    I've never needed any tools on the road since I've never had a flat/mechanical in a few thousand miles of riding.

    However, I carry in my Fizik saddle pack:
    - Tire levers
    - Spare tube
    - Multitool
    - Patch kit
    - Topeak D2 digital tire gauge (awesome - see below)

    One time last year I helped a stranger with a flat who had a CO2 pump. He used my tiny frame pump to start, then used his CO2. His tire was rated for 110 PSI, so when he used my Topeak D2 and it showed 140 PSI, he knew to let some air out.

    The Topeak D2 is the only non-essential tool that I'd recommend carrying since it helps avoid under inflation with a hand pump or over inflation with CO2.

  5. #5
    Still can't climb
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    when your chain breaks, you are in big trouble. get a tool with a chain tool in it.
    coasting, few quotes are worthy of him, and of those, even fewer printable in a family forum......quote 3alarmer

  6. #6
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    I carry:
    1 spare tire
    C02 pump
    allen wrench
    tire wrenches
    tire patches (which I never use)

    I'd probably want to carry a chain tool too.... but since I went 11 speed. none of my small chain tools are made for 11 speed chains. I've used my chain tool a lot for mountain biking. Saved me and my friends from walking 10 miles home.

    But... in the past 3-4 years I've been road biking. I've only had to repair flats. nothing else was serious. On the mountain bike, I've had to repair all sorts of stuff that required more tools.

  7. #7
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    I carry a small patch kit, some allen wrenches, tire levers, spare tube and a small chain tool. I've used all of these over the years. Thanks for the heads up on the chain tool, TheSame. I've gone 11-speed now, too.

    Trek gave me a small allen torque wrench that fits many of the small bolts on the bike but it is too big to carry in the saddle bag.

    Does anyone make a torque wrench that I could carry when riding?

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I don't think I've ever used a screwdriver on a ride.


    But it is good to have something to use as a tire boot.

  9. #9
    Senior Member clausen's Avatar
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    Only flat repair for myself. I've only required other tools to fix others poorly maintained bikes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I don't think I've ever used a screwdriver on a ride.


    But it is good to have something to use as a tire boot.
    Yeah, that's a strange one...reminds us that an ounce of prevention (i.e. keeping the bike in good nick) is worth a pound of cure (i.e. roadside fixes).

    I haven't had a road mechanical in, well, I can't remember when. I have forgotten to tighten bolts sufficiently after adjustments, for example once when my bars slipped over a bump, and I was glad to have my allens for that.

    Other than that though, aside from flats-- emergency cash is a fine tear boot, btw-- I keep my bikes in excellent condition and have fortunately never had to fix or adjust anything out on the road, that I can remember, since the early '90s, when I did have a crummy wheel set that would loosen and break spokes regularly.
    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

  11. #11
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    What do folks use the Phillips for?

  12. #12
    Still can't climb
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    What do folks use the Phillips for?
    deraillur limit screws
    coasting, few quotes are worthy of him, and of those, even fewer printable in a family forum......quote 3alarmer

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    What do folks use the Phillips for?
    Quote Originally Posted by coasting View Post
    deraillur limit screws
    In other words, for fixing something on the road that should have been taken care of at home!
    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

  14. #14
    Still can't climb
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    In other words, for fixing something on the road that should have been taken care of at home!
    true. but until you ride outside with the force that normal riding generates, you can't really be sure it is right. put some standing effor onto the pedals and you might find that fd isn't quite perfect.
    coasting, few quotes are worthy of him, and of those, even fewer printable in a family forum......quote 3alarmer

  15. #15
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    Here is an interesting yet obscure fact: derailleur stop screws are not Phillips. Ever wonder why so many are buggered up? The derailleur screw does not have the indention needed to accept the point of a Phillips driver so there will not be complete contact, resulting in slip and strip. There is a name for the type of screw and a reason they are used but I can't remember.... Anyway, the point is to use a small flat head for limit screws.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    Here is an interesting yet obscure fact: derailleur stop screws are not Phillips. Ever wonder why so many are buggered up? The derailleur screw does not have the indention needed to accept the point of a Phillips driver so there will not be complete contact, resulting in slip and strip. There is a name for the type of screw and a reason they are used but I can't remember.... Anyway, the point is to use a small flat head for limit screws.
    true. i ended up switching to flat. why do they put the cross in the slots? confusing.
    coasting, few quotes are worthy of him, and of those, even fewer printable in a family forum......quote 3alarmer

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by coasting View Post
    true. but until you ride outside with the force that normal riding generates, you can't really be sure it is right. put some standing effor onto the pedals and you might find that fd isn't quite perfect.
    I'll concede there is some skill involved, and so rookie mechanics may be well advised to carry some tools because their work is not sound.
    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

  18. #18
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Makita power drill and sander.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Some things I've done on rides:

    Adj DR limit screws (also after crash bent RD hanger).
    Adj or tighten slipping seat post.
    Adj pedal tension.
    Adj threadless headset.
    Loosen spokes to account for a broken spoke or install a temporary or new spoke.
    Patch a tube after getting a second flat on a ride.
    Tighten bottle cage screws.
    Ride more. Fret less.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    Here is an interesting yet obscure fact: derailleur stop screws are not Phillips. Ever wonder why so many are buggered up? The derailleur screw does not have the indention needed to accept the point of a Phillips driver so there will not be complete contact, resulting in slip and strip. There is a name for the type of screw and a reason they are used but I can't remember.... Anyway, the point is to use a small flat head for limit screws.
    No wonder why Philips heads never seem to work right on those screws. Thanks for the info. It seems that Philips are included more on multi tools than flat heads though.

  21. #21
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    a multi tool with a chain tool built in and my mini screw driver with all its bits... for long trips/tours i bring tubes. i have never needed to do much more then fixing my chain and tuning mechs while on the road. granted we have more bike shops then McDonalds over here

  22. #22
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    You guys must have different multi tools than me, as none of mine have ever had a Phillips driver on them. They always have flats.

    And my small Allen's see a great deal of use on cleat screws.

    Granted, most of the folks I ride with carry no tools, and come to me for mine.

  23. #23
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    I have used all the tools on road side repairs, usually on other people's bikes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  24. #24
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    In other words, for fixing something on the road that should have been taken care of at home!
    If you brake a gear cable or if something buggers up your rear der you can tighten the limit screws and fix the der in a single gear (as in a gear of your choice) to get home.

    The tool is usually part of a multi-tool so you most likely have it anyway.

    I can't believe that some people ride without a spare tube. Patching by the side of the road sucks. Swap in the spare tube and patch at home at your leisure.
    BLOG of BOB: Old Guy Racer
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  25. #25
    Stand and Deliver FLvector's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    What do folks use the Phillips for?
    Don't forget to check your cleats before you ride. I had a friend that lost two screws on his speedplay cleats and fortunately another rider had a multi-tool with a phillips screwdriver. He was able to take one from the other cleat to secure it and finish the ride.

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