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What tools do you carry on your bike?

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What tools do you carry on your bike?

Old 06-02-16, 01:29 PM
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What tools do you carry on your bike?

I apologize in advance if has been posted a million times. On my first commute to work yesterday, I had a flat when I went to ride home. I carry a cheap patch kit with me in my backpack. I decided instead of fixing the tube at work I called my wife to come pick me up. I decided to start walking from work pushing my bike with a flat tire. I think that pushing the bike with a flat finished off my tube. When I got home and pulled the tube, the stem was ripped half way off of the tube. I started removing the tire with the cheap levers in my repair kit. I could not get the tire off by just using them. I grabbed a dull screw driver and carefully removed the tire and tube. This has me thinking that I need to be much better prepared for any problems when I am out on a ride. I think I need better tire levers as well as a spare tube. What else should I carry on my bike for any road repairs. I think I like the c02 pumps as well. Can you guys suggest what I need to carry on my bike.
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Old 06-02-16, 01:37 PM
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I have a 30 mile commute over some sketchy/gravelly areas. I carry two spare tubes, patch kit, multi-tool, tire lever, and hand pump. I did a couple hundred miles last year and that was all I ever needed.
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Old 06-02-16, 01:46 PM
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A patch kit when commuting is not of much help - takes too long, chancy in really dusty or wet conditions. Better to carry one good tube (or for very long, rough commutes, two). A hand pump, tire levers, rag, spoke wrench and multi-tool or screwdriver/allen combo tool in addition should be sufficient. Practice changing your tube a few times when you don't have to.
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Old 06-02-16, 01:51 PM
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One time I picked up a tack like 100 yards from work. So I pushed it the rest of the way. When I went to patch it at lunchtime, I found too many holes to count--ate through too many patches. Hitched a ride and bought a new tube.

I have some sort of mini toolkit with patches and a spare tube that rides under the seat. I'm not so sure why, as when I replaced tires a few years ago I had to use a number of tire wrenches--no way I would ever fix a flat on the side of a road! At least the newer tires I put on go on/off easier, so now it would be useful. Anyhow, common set of tools that work most/all the bolts on the bike, tire levers, spare tube, air pump. I usually carry a cell so that is my "big" fix-it tool.

Edit: This Topeak Survival Wedge looks like what I have, although I see a newer version.

Last edited by supton; 06-02-16 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 06-02-16, 01:53 PM
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I usually carry an Alien II, tire levers, a spare tube, some sort of inflator, and a patch kit.

I agree with cny-bikeman: practice changing and patching tubes at home, before it's an emergency situation. Much less stress!
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Old 06-02-16, 02:15 PM
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I'll agree that a patch kit isn't beneficial if you're not planning on riding too far, but once you're breaking 50 miles or so, especially in my area where we have tons of goat heads and you have a return trip, if you're not carrying a patch kit you can easily run out of tubes. I'll admit I've only used my patch kit once and I probably didn't need to, but my fear is that as soon as I leave it at home, I'll need it.
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Old 06-02-16, 02:21 PM
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For rides that don't take me too far out into the boondocks, I typically carry:
  • A spare tube for the first flat and a patch kit for subsequent ones, just in case.
  • A means to inflate tires -- either a pump or CO2 inflator & cartridges.
  • A tire boot or dollar bill, in case I need to limp home on a tire with cut cords.
  • Tire levers.
  • A basic multi-tool.
If you use CO2, all of this fits easily in a small saddle bag. That's the benefit of CO2: small space and light weight. Something like a Genuine Innovations Air Chuck takes up practically zero space, aside from cartridges. The down side to CO2 is that your ability to inflate tires is limited by the number of CO2 cartridges you carry. Once you've spent your cartridges, you no longer have a means of inflation. If you carry one CO2 cartridge, you'd better hope you only get one flat (and don't screw up inflating it). A pump, on the other hand, will keep on working and working, but you've gotta carry it around. I'll use either, depending on what I'm riding and how far. I keep a frame pump on a few bikes, but I don't have a convenient spot to carry one on my road bike.

As for your particular flat tire experience... Sounds kinda like an example of 'Murphy's Law' -- you had a few different things go wrong. At least it didn't happen on the way TO work! Trying to put a positive spin on things, there are some lessons you can take from the ordeal:
  • For one thing, the valve stem. When you roll a wheel that has a flat tire, the tire isn't bound to the rim by air pressure, so it can 'creep' around the rim, pulling the tube with it, and potentially shearing the valve stem.
  • Secondly, mounting and dismounting a tire. Some tire/rim combinations can be a bear, but there's some technique you can apply to make things easier. There's already a lot of info about it on these forums, so instead of going into detail myself, I'll just point you to one of those threads.
  • Speaking of tire levers and such, I'd suggest you DON'T use a screwdriver as a tire lever. There's the obvious problem of it puncturing the tube, although you did mention it was a dulled screwdriver. But a bigger concern of mine is the damage you can inflict on your rim. A screwdriver is hardened steel. Bicycle rims are typically softer aluminum. When prying with a screwdriver, you can leave dents and gouges in the edge of your rim.
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Old 06-02-16, 02:22 PM
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More on my bike tours than on my day rides..
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Old 06-02-16, 02:24 PM
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I carry a multi tool, CO2 inflator, 2-3 CO2 cartridges, 1-spare tube, some tire levers, a Schrader to Presta valve adapter and a patch kit. I got a flat before my commute yesterday morning, I replaced the tube with a new one, but brought the old tube to work, located the puncture and patched it. I then had a spare tube for the ride home and hopefully longer.
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Old 06-02-16, 03:22 PM
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Get a pair of good levers, like Pedros. A spare tube, that you've inflated and tested. Some Park glueless patches, or a little patch kit. A real pump, either a frame pump or a decent mini pump. At my local bike coop, there are used pumps in a bin for $5-25. That's all you need for just riding around town. You can fix one flat quickly by just replacing the tube, and in the unlikely event you get a second flat, you can patch the first tube.

Avoid the CO2. Often one cartridge won't do it so you need to carry two, then you're screwed if you get a second flat. If you are trying for minimal weight, then a mini pump weighs barely more than two CO2 cartridges plus inflator. Okay, one exception: Lezyne makes a mini pump that is also a CO2 inflator, that's kind of the best of both worlds.
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Old 06-02-16, 03:36 PM
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I carry the few hex L-wrenches my bike requires, a 10mm combination wrench for the few fasteners which require it, a small straight/Phillips screwdriver, a couple of tire levers and a Park mini chain tool and a couple of quick links along with the cut-off links from sizing the chain (in case I catch a stick in the chain, it has happened). all wrapped in a shop rag to keep them quiet and to wipe my face/hands. This makes a package smaller than my fist and goes in the seat bag. Spare tube and a patch kit (in the tube box) on the rear rack and a Road Morph G pump on the frame. All real tools not multitool kinda-tools and I have used them all, either for myself or helping others.
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Old 06-02-16, 03:51 PM
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Jack stands, timing light, spare belts...oh, wait...on the bike...well, the seat bag is the only one that's always there, and it's got a tube, a patch kit, Presta adapters, (pumping a tire at Allsups where they have free air is just dumb) bike multi tool, and at some point will get a set of spoke wrenches added. (Can't stand intermittent rubbing. If I don't have my earbuds with me, it has to be fixed within a mile.) If I'm carrying other bags, they may or may not have other tools, but usually just a bottle of dry lube, Gorilla Tape and some 65lb test fishing line.
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Old 06-02-16, 03:53 PM
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Park MT-1 "dog bone" multitool (3,4,5,6,8 mm hexes, 8,9,10 mm box wrenches and a small flat blade screwdriver for $10 and 50 gms), two tubes, 3 CO2 cartridges, tire levers and tire boot material and a mini-pump. I used to carry a patch kit but the holes in the tubes are typically so small that I couldn't find them at the side of the road.

Edit: I also carry a tiny chain breaker (Ritchey CPR-5) that uses the 5 mm hex on the multi-tool to drive the screw press and a spare KMC master link. I've never needed it for my own bike but have repaired other rider's chains when they were damaged.

Last edited by HillRider; 06-03-16 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 06-02-16, 04:14 PM
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I carry
a Multi tool
spare tube
(4) C02 and inflator, I shove these inside cut sections of old tube, cut them long enough to fit two Co2 then bend double
mini pump
tire levers
Park boot
patch kit
Couple master links
couple Alleve
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Old 06-02-16, 04:26 PM
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I carry:

Full size hex wrench set (hate compromise tools)
Tire irons
Spare tube
Patch kit
Frame pump
Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...
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Old 06-02-16, 04:40 PM
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I used to commute 20 km per day for 4 years. I had with me hex wrench set, a tube, small pump, flat screw driver.
It was always enough. For longer trips I also took patch kit.

Only once i did not take anything and i got a flat. I had to walk with the bike 10 km, that ruined my tire.

Now i do not need any tools when i ride in the city, because in case of a problem i can come home with the bike by tram.
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Old 06-02-16, 04:44 PM
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6" Adjustable Wrench (most used tool - just never on my own bike)
Quick Link
Spare Tube
Patch Kit (for the second flat - it happens)
Nitrile Gloves
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Old 06-02-16, 04:47 PM
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A basic kit consists of:
1 spare tube
1 patch kit
CO2 + 2 carts (or pump)
basic multitool (4/5/6 mm hex + screwdrivers)
tire levers

The kit listed above gives you everything you need to fix 2 flats (1 spare tube+patches) and make small adjustments. If you encounter something that can't be fixed with the above kit, generally it's going to require some specialized tool that you will rarely use.
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Old 06-02-16, 05:07 PM
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I carry:
1 multi-tool
1 small screwdriver
1 full-size Blackburn frame pump
1 spare tubular
1 tire lever (even tubulars can be a b!tch)
1 shop rag
1 cell phone.
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Old 06-02-16, 05:18 PM
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I'm the only tool on my bike, and I'm broken.

(now wait a minute)
I don't know nothing, and I memorized it in school and got this here paper I'm proud of to show it.
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Old 06-02-16, 07:14 PM
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For commuting and club rides, just a spare tube, patch kit, and frame pump. For longer trips, a spoke wrench, a small rolled-up length of duct tape, some cable ties, and allen wrenches appropriate to the bike I'm riding. The better-maintained your bike is, the less likely you'll need to fix something on the road.
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 06-02-16, 07:21 PM
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Depends on what I'm doing. Day to day riding I include a pump, patch kit , a spare tube, and one of the crank brother multi tools . Thats it .
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Old 06-02-16, 07:46 PM
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Short rides under 40 miles carried in a Yellow Line Rule leather wrap-up pouch (love that thing):
Self-sticky Park patches
12" of duct tape wrapped around a Park MT-1 tool (Simple, effective and easy to carry)
2 tire irons (my old trusty VAR lever is long gone - they were the best!)
Small Park Chain breaker
Mini pump

Long rides over 40 miles carried in a medium under-saddle bag:
Same as above but add:
1 extra tube (2 total)
Real patch kit in an old Velox box and ditch the Park patches - include one of those large Park tire patches though
Spare brake cable bolt
Brake cable
An old Multi-tool I've had for 30 years and ditch the Park chain tool

Last edited by drlogik; 06-02-16 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 06-02-16, 07:47 PM
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Normally all that i carry with me is enough stuff to fix one flat tire.

The last time that I responded to this question I said that and I added how impressed I was with the list of tools and spares that some riders claim to carry with them on every ride. Somebody seriously took me to task. Called me a weight weenie. I guess that he must have been sensitive about his emergency kit.

FWIW, the stuff that I carry works for me and for the way that I ride. I have no objection to the folks who feel like they need to carry more.
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
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Old 06-02-16, 08:33 PM
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Off road, the camelbak always has:
Spare tube
Patch kit
Tire levers (my thumbs ain't what they used to be)

Sometimes has any special tool needed for anything I just replaced, installed, adjusted or changed. Like a big 8mm Allen for the cranks or whatever I should be concerned about.
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