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Why carry a multi tool?

Old 12-26-19, 09:43 PM
  #26  
greatscott
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I've carried a Park MTB3 multi tool for years, only used it once for my own purposes while on a ride, but used it several times on other peoples bikes as well as once to fix person's car. Problem is once you decide not to carry a multi tool there will come a ride in which you'll wish you had it. I also use my multi tool when dinkin with my bikes at home because it's handy right in my saddle bag. I also carry a small pair of folding pliers, which I don't understand why cycling multi tools don't include pliers.
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Old 12-26-19, 11:20 PM
  #27  
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Iíve had handlebars and brake levers get bumped out of position in crashes/hitting potholes at speed, Iíve had spokes break and wheels knocked out of true by bad road surfaces, Iíve had to adjust saddle height, clear position, etc on the road and on 2 occasions had to remove a rear derailleur that got caught in the spokes (once mine, once another guyís). I could have resolved none of these issues without a spoke key, Allen keys (4, 5 and 6mm), screwdriver, chain breaker, all of which are included in my multi tool. My current multi tool even has tire levers, so my saddle bag nowadays contains it, a tube, and snacks.


yeah, I like having a multi tool.
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Old 12-27-19, 10:02 AM
  #28  
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I carry one, I've used it multiple times. Although I agree with OP, flat tires are more common. I carry tire levers for those, as well as a spare tube AND a patch kit! -- and I've used all three.
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Old 12-27-19, 02:14 PM
  #29  
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My only effective tool is a cell phone to call Uber which I did once.
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Old 12-27-19, 02:59 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by epnnf View Post
Seriously. In my experience, 99% of mechanicals are flat tires, the rest are things a multi-tool can't fix- frayed cable, broken saddle bolt. Yes, I carry one; but I've never used it.
You may not need it often, but when you need it, it'll save your day. I use mine several times a year, plus it's awfully handy to have it right there in the saddle bag. No need to go looking for the tool box or borrow tools.

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Old 12-27-19, 03:24 PM
  #31  
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I carry a hex key set. Not sure if that counts as multi, as itís just multiple hex keys. For other tools I find multi tools awkward, so they just sit around my garage. A couple of screwdrivers, the hex key set, pliers, adjustable wrench, spoke key fit fine in a small saddlebag.

Spare tubes, tire levers, and mini pump go in the handlebar bag, although, maybe Iím just lucky, I havenít actually had a flat in almost 30 years (ok, some of those years I wasnít cycling, but still). Iíve only ever had two, and they were simultaneous.
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Old 12-27-19, 05:49 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
You haven't been riding long enough.

I almost never need it, but I've done chain repairs, derailleur adjustments, brake adjustments, etc
I also carry two spare tubes and a patch kit.
Sounds like me. I carry extra tubes as well. Nice when you need them.
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Old 12-27-19, 09:52 PM
  #33  
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My wife has a pretty demanding job which pays for most of our lifestyle - including my bikes and a semi-retirement which allows me lots of riding time. So, calling her, in the middle of the workday, and asking her to drive thirty miles away to rescue me, would not be cool. So I carry a lot of tools and spares while riding.

While gravel racing, stuff breaks due to mud, sand, crashes, etc. So I still carry a lot of stuff.

("Stuff" includes a big multitool.)
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Old 12-28-19, 12:26 AM
  #34  
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For day trips, I carry a multi tool with a chain breaker
For multi day touring, I carry the hex set with ratchet, chain breaker, needle nose, cassette tool, and a leatherman.
I have used the hex tools numerous times, the chain breaker a couple times.
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Old 12-28-19, 10:09 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by epnnf View Post
Seriously. In my experience, 99% of mechanicals are flat tires, the rest are things a multi-tool can't fix- frayed cable, broken saddle bolt.
Pretty much my experience too.
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Old 12-28-19, 10:34 AM
  #36  
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Crashing aside, which might damage something that might possibly be fixable or adjusted with a multi-tool, I think that generally nothing should need to ever be adjusted or fixed during the course of a road ride if your bike has been properly maintained in the first place.
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Old 12-28-19, 10:45 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
My wife has a pretty demanding job which pays for most of our lifestyle - including my bikes and a semi-retirement which allows me lots of riding time. So, calling her, in the middle of the workday, and asking her to drive thirty miles away to rescue me, would not be cool. So I carry a lot of tools and spares while riding.

While gravel racing, stuff breaks due to mud, sand, crashes, etc. So I still carry a lot of stuff.

("Stuff" includes a big multitool.)
My wife has none of the above, but would still not be terribly interested in me calling for help 30 miles away.
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Old 12-28-19, 11:58 AM
  #38  
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I carry a Crankbrothers F15 out of superstition. The first day I don't carry it, I'll need it. I never used it yet, but it has a built-in bottle opener. I never used that either.

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Old 12-28-19, 12:27 PM
  #39  
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After 3 decades of not needing anything but a spare tube, pump and levers, i mostly stopped carrying tools. Except for a new bike that may need a bit of adjustment or if im far away from home and other means of transportation. I had one chain break, but that was entirely preventable. Just change it a bit before "a million miles" :-) > Preemptive maintenance is where its at, IMO.
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Old 12-28-19, 02:08 PM
  #40  
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As a security blanket?
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Old 12-29-19, 06:52 AM
  #41  
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Forty years of riding road and mountain and never carried a multi tool or needed one. Even on multi-day touring rides. The only time I've had a mechanical was a broken pedal body so had to pedal home mostly one legged and no tools could have fixed that. Why would I start carrying one now? Seen lots of other people on group rides who needed one but I'm not in the rescue business.
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Old 12-29-19, 12:50 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Moishe View Post
I carry a Crankbrothers F15 out of superstition. The first day I don't carry it, I'll need it. I never used it yet, but it has a built-in bottle opener. I never used that either.

That caught my eye too, but the Hero Kit was nearly as small and half the price. But no fancy magnet cover.
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Old 12-29-19, 01:45 PM
  #43  
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I have a rack on the back with a "good" size bag for all kinds of " goodies".

Lucky enough to have never needed, but must be prepared .

First aid kit
patch kit
zip ties
towel
gloves
paper towels
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Old 12-29-19, 01:46 PM
  #44  
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Oh...forgot power bars
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Old 12-30-19, 12:18 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by bikemike73 View Post
Oh...forgot power bars
i may have used a chain or spoke tool 5 times in 80000 miles
hex wrench maybe 2 = 3 times a year

pliers never, crescent wrench never, scissors from keychain maybe 1 time a year
yes it is mostly flats

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Old 12-30-19, 12:29 PM
  #46  
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I carry either an E3 multitool like the Hero kit tool above or a Park MT-1 along with tire levers, tube, patches etc. and I've had to use the hex keys regularly for minor adjustments and the spoke wrench occasionally. So far I've avoided needing a chain breaker on the road. I also have a PDW 3rensho 15mm wrench from when I had a tandem with a bolt on rear wheel. I get enough use out a multitool to consider it worth the space.
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Old 12-30-19, 01:07 PM
  #47  
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I carry one because, in case of a flat, I need a 6mm hex to remove my thru-axels.
Sure, I could get away with carrying just a 6mm, but the Topeak Mini 9 multi tool that I have is so small, and lightweight, that it's one of those "why not" things.
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Old 12-30-19, 01:15 PM
  #48  
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I carry one and it gets used from time to time - usually on someone else's bike
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Old 12-30-19, 02:01 PM
  #49  
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I carried a full complement of tools. Then I thought it was a bit overkill, took out the chain tool. A week later someone was disabled on the bike trail with a broken chain, I could have taken out two links and got them going. I put the chain tool back in my kit. I don't mind the weight, just having to take the trunk bag off when the bike is chained at the library, but I would have to do that anyway to keep just the bag from being stolen.

I carried individual tools, but when buying a used trunk bag at goodwill, there was a Topeak bike multitool inside, super bonus. Now I carry that.

That Rocket Ratchet above looks really slick, I might check into that. But I can't recall a road event that would need the speed of a ratchet versus just a wrench. My most common road maladies and tools required:
  • Flat tire; Tire levers, sticky patches, spare tube, pump. I also have nutted axles so need a wrench, I carry a small adjustable one.
  • Broken spoke; Spoke wrench to retrue to make it home. I also carry spare spokes but if it's on the cassette side, I won't have the tools, a lockring tool and big enough wrench is just too much weight.
  • Loose crank; Correct size allen wrench.
  • Loose pedal; adjustable wrench.
  • Broken chain: Chain tool.
  • Front derailleur limit off adjustment; Small phillips screwdriver. Note: This can also help you get home if the cable breaks so you can adjust it into the right ring.
  • Broken derailleur cable: Spare cable and cutters (yes you could coil the cable end but I carry one long enough for the rear derailleur so that's a lot of excess for the front), or limp home as noted above.
  • Massive pothole bends side of rim; For the axle nuts, I carry an adjustable wrench, and that doubles to bend the rim back out or in.

EDIT: I'm really impressed with Topeak over the years in terms of innovation, those folks are thinking. But that tiny torque wrench from Feedback looks slick. However I have never needed a torque wrench on the trail, I can approximate things pretty good. The main thing I use a torque wrench for is the bolt holding the rear cassette body to the axle, that needs to be right on. For at home, Harbor Freight sells click-stop torque wrenches for 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" drive, on sale all the time for $10 (regular $30 but this is a "loss leader" to get you in the store), and believe it or not, they are not bad, they work. Only once, the calibration ring came loose on one, and I thought for a minute, then adjusted the calibration ring so the spring just engaged when the dial was at zero; I later checked against another wrench, it was right on.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 12-30-19 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 12-30-19, 04:35 PM
  #50  
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The "Hero Kit" reminds me of the "Tern Tool" I carry with me on my Tern folder. I use it mostly for tightening the various folding joints and the brakes, but it would theoretically work for flat repairs and a bunch of other tasks. It has held up well for several years.
On my road bike I carry a set of "Fix-It Sticks" which I got (on sale, luckily) at InterBike a couple years ago. I've supplemented its contents with some other favorite tools; the hex bits are interchangeable, so I only carry those that I'm likely to need. A Wolf Tooth chain tool fits in the case too, with a couple spare links.

Originally Posted by canklecat View Post

Hero Kit multitool, the thinnest and flattest I've found that features useful chain and spoke tools.

Last edited by sweeks; 12-30-19 at 04:40 PM.
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