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multi-tool?

Old 08-02-20, 02:18 PM
  #1  
Nathan_S
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multi-tool?

Hi folks,

I'm a few months into cycling and am slowly building up my tools/equipment arsenal that I carry with me when I am biking. So far i have a spare inner tube, mini-pump with built in gauge, tire levers and bike lock. From the videos/articles I've read it sounds like a good multi-tool is in order, specifically with a 'chain breaker', I assume so that if the chain snaps I can break off the broken link and reattach the chain and limp home?

Any recommendations for a good tool to get? A search of Amazon for "bicycle multitool with chain tool" shows lots of options, not sure if there is a good recommendation out there. I will also need to watch some videos on how to do this if it happens to me.

Finally, any recs on additional tools or parts that are most haves. I'm gradually increasing the distances I am riding and don't want to get caught out there.

Thanks!

Nathan
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Old 08-02-20, 03:25 PM
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Do a search, on this site, for multi-tool and you should find a thread or two.

Me, I love my Boyz, that looks just like this one https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000...archweb201603_
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Old 08-02-20, 03:49 PM
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If you can find it--Topeak Alien 2. Emphasis 2. NOT the 3. The 2. The difference being that the newer one is made out of steel that rusts.
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Old 08-02-20, 03:55 PM
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In the 52 years of riding multi geared bikes I have only needed a chain tool twice. One of those times was on a tandem. I don't bother to carry one (excepting my self contained multi day tours). I also don't carry a multi tool and instead a Swiss Army knife and the few "L" hex wrenches each bike needs (besides the correct fitting spoke wrench and tire levers). Andy
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Old 08-02-20, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
Me, I love my Boyz, that looks just like this one https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000...archweb201603_
Heh... I have a TERN Multi-tool which looks suspiciously like yours! Mine came with the bike, or I'd be a little cranky about the price. Seriously, though, it's a very versatile and compact tool, and has held up well for several years.
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Old 08-02-20, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
In the 52 years of riding multi geared bikes I have only needed a chain tool twice. One of those times was on a tandem. I don't bother to carry one (excepting my self contained multi day tours). I also don't carry a multi tool and instead a Swiss Army knife and the few "L" hex wrenches each bike needs (besides the correct fitting spoke wrench and tire levers). Andy
I am with Andrew 100% on this one, multitools suck compared to the few hex L-wrenches (one bike uses a T25), and a small (JIS) screwdriver needed for your particular bike. They are smaller and lighter than a multitool and can do actual work. Try installing a water bottle cage with a multitool and you will see what I mean. . I do carry a CT-5 chain tool along with a couple of quick links and the cut-off links form sizing my chain (they weigh little), a small coil of 0.042" stainless safety wire and a couple of zip ties. I wrap everything in a large microfiber cloth which keeps thing quiet and also serves to wipe my hands and face.
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Old 08-02-20, 05:04 PM
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Im fairly certain any multi tool from a recognisable manufacturer will do the job. Just make sure it has tools that fit Your bike. Me - I stopped carrying tools besides tyre levers. Never needed any except on severely neglected bikes. Imo, preemptive maintenance is where its at :-) Note, some jobs need some length to the tools, jike moving the brifters.
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Old 08-02-20, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
Im fairly certain any multi tool from a recognisable manufacturer will do the job. Just make sure it has tools that fit Your bike. Me - I stopped carrying tools besides tyre levers. Never needed any except on severely neglected bikes. Imo, preemptive maintenance is where its at :-) Note, some jobs need some length to the tools, jike moving the brifters.
Re: Length, see my comment above.
My tools get most of their use helping out other riders who have none....
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Old 08-02-20, 05:18 PM
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The only good multi tool is a dead......
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Old 08-02-20, 05:19 PM
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The only "multi-tool" I bother to carry. It's in my Lezyne Roll Caddy, in my middle jersey pocket, every ride, regardless of ride length/duration.

As it uses standard 1/4" bits, you fill the plastic holder with only the bits you need.
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Old 08-02-20, 06:09 PM
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The lightest, least expensive and most utilitarian multi-tool I know of is the Park MT-1 "dogbone". It has all of the commonly needed hex bits, a small screwdriver and some useful box wrenches, is very small and light and fits in any pocket or pack. It does not have a chain breaker but the CT-5 will do fine if you need one. I've used my chain tool twice in 35 years, each time to repair another rider's chain.
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Old 08-02-20, 06:42 PM
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I use the Topeak Hexus II. A little heavy I suppose, but it gets the job done when i've had things go wrong.
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Old 08-02-20, 06:44 PM
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I have the Park I-beam Mini, and I've only used it on others' bikes. But I also agree with those who carry a few Allens and a small screwdriver. I'd suggest a spoke wrench too.

I decided to start carrying a chain break (and spare link) when I got a nine speed, after hearing they're more likely to break. My day trips tend to be in remote places in mountainous terrain with no cell service.

I've met people carrying tools who have no idea how to use them.
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Old 08-02-20, 07:28 PM
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Most bike shops have an assortment by now.. you look and decide what tools you need to have with you at all times..
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Old 08-02-20, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
If you can find it--Topeak Alien 2. Emphasis 2. NOT the 3. The 2. The difference being that the newer one is made out of steel that rusts.
I might have an Alien II (or maybe it's the original Alien) for sale, if interested. However, I no longer use a multi-tool. I prefer "real" versions of each tool I know I might need on the road. The chain-breakers on multi-tools are never as good as the separate ones you can carry in very little space. I've always found the wrenches and screwdrivers kind of inferior, too.
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Old 08-03-20, 04:53 AM
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I had dirt cheap multitool with chain cutter. I still bring a separate, small adjustable wrench
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Old 08-03-20, 05:05 AM
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Crankbrothers M17. Have one for every bike. Spoke wrench, emergency chain tool, allen keys, torx bit for rotors and even a crappy but effective selection of emergency open end wrenches.

Like someone said many times is it me working on other people's bikes. Bit of hubris to think even a well maintained bike won't need a fix or some sort of adjustment on the road every now and then. Especially when riding for days.
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Old 08-03-20, 06:34 AM
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I'm in the camp that a chain breaker sounds like a good idea, but it's also a tool I've never ever needed in decades of riding. For day rides from home, this one has had everything I've ever needed

SKS TOM-7 MULTI-TOOL
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Old 08-03-20, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Nathan_S View Post
Hi folks,

I'm a few months into cycling and am slowly building up my tools/equipment arsenal that I carry with me when I am biking. So far i have a spare inner tube, mini-pump with built in gauge, tire levers and bike lock. From the videos/articles I've read it sounds like a good multi-tool is in order, specifically with a 'chain breaker', I assume so that if the chain snaps I can break off the broken link and reattach the chain and limp home?

Any recommendations for a good tool to get? A search of Amazon for "bicycle multitool with chain tool" shows lots of options, not sure if there is a good recommendation out there. I will also need to watch some videos on how to do this if it happens to me.

Finally, any recs on additional tools or parts that are most haves. I'm gradually increasing the distances I am riding and don't want to get caught out there.

Thanks!

Nathan
In my opinion, nearly every multitool that has ever been made is a hot mess. They donít fit in your hand so they are uncomfortable. They donít fit in the nooks and crannies of the bicycle well and, thus, are difficult to use. Because they are heavy and bulky, they donít carry all that well. About the only one that ever really worked like a tool...fit in your hand, easy to use, compact...was the CoolTool. It also happened to be one of the first. I have several including at least one in a sealed box and one of the Robert Seals originals.





The original




I also have (but canít currently find) two wrenches that could fit in the jaws of the adjustable wrench and could be used on headsets and as a hook scanner. It was a necessary tool before the invention of the threadless headset as threaded headsets loosen during the rigors of mountain biking.

Gerber bought the rights in the mid90s and made a bunch of different add-ons/alternative tools. None of them were quite as good as the original, although quite innovative.






The bottom one went into a seatpost.

In the modern era, Iíve found I donít need the adjustable wrench since most everything now uses cap screws. Now I carry the Fix-It-Sticks mountain bike version. Itís a very clever, compact design.
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Old 08-03-20, 11:30 AM
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Along with a bike multi tool, I carry a leatherman multi tool, and a 6' inch crescent. Out on the trails amazingly enough I have used the 6" crescent wrench the most helping other people.
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Old 08-03-20, 11:50 AM
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I'm going to go against the grain and mention that I actually rather like multi tools, and I'm a pro mechanic for whatever that's worth. My bikes don't go out of the door unless they're running well (if they aren't, I have options!) so I suffer very few mechanicals, but I have definitely used my chain tool before on the trail. If you don't need a chain tool incredibly often, I actually think that relying on a multi tool chain tool even for home repair can be acceptable with better tools (I did this for years of personal bike maintenance before I started working professionally) if you're not using them very often (ie, personal bike maintenance). I have a bunch of bikes and don't own enough sets of everything for each one to have its own dedicated tools and flat kit, and multi tools are a lot easier to pack.

I like my Park IB-3 reasonably well. Chain tool is rated to 12sp (though probably not AXS chains) and I like the integrated tire lever that works as the handle for the chain tool and functions as the spoke wrench as well. I keep a spare quick link and der hanger taped to the saddle rails of each bike, also tape a tube to some of them, and so there's very little to grab to go on a ride on anything in the stable. The ergonomics are fine-ish, but I wouldn't overhaul a bike with it, and I'd probably choose something different for a long distance, self supported tour.

Had a Crankbrothers M17 forever also and liked it well. Was sad when it slipped out of my pocket on a ride.
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Old 08-03-20, 06:57 PM
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Take a look at crank brothers m19
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