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Quick Bike Repair

Old 01-14-21, 11:43 PM
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carloscedeno
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Quick Bike Repair

What are the critical things that one must carry in order to do quick repairs mid ride?
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Old 01-14-21, 11:48 PM
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wgscott
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Tools.
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Old 01-15-21, 12:17 AM
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This is interestingly phrased. I don't think many cyclists will expect to complete a quick repair mid-ride; rather, they'd be equipped to deal with the most common modes of failure so they can get home. If you're only going a few miles from home and don't mind a walk, carry nothing if you want. If you're attempting a long-distance ride without support, or facing a long wait for support, you may want to carry spare spokes so you can repair a wheel and get rolling to safety.

My carried kit at a minimum includes all the items I'll need to patch and reinflate a tire to deal with a flat. This is, so far, the most common issue on any of my rides, and isn't something you want to ignore and try to limp home. That means tire levers, a patch kit (or a spare tube) + a tire boot and a pump or CO2 inflator. Nice to have but not necessary is a rag to wipe your hands when you're done. If you have nutted axles, you'll want a 15mm wrench too.

The next most common failure for me is a loosening bolt, somewhere. A modern bike will be using hex head bolts, with 4mm, and 5mm being common for many critical parts, and 6mm for stem quills. Most other things you can limp home with. For older bikes, hex nuts and slot head bolts were common, and I've found a 6 inch adjustable wrench is a good size for tightening the nuts on the fly. Look at the bolts for your stem, handlebars, brake and shift levers, brake pads, cable pinch bolts, saddle clamp, and seatpost clamp, and you should be able to figure out which tools you'd need to carry to adjust them while you're away from your toolbox.

For self-sufficient touring, I want to be prepared for repairs likely to happen while just riding along. That means a spoke wrench and chain tool for broken spokes or chains, in addition to the tire levers, patch kit, pump/inflator, and hex wrenches. Other forumites with longer distance tours farther from civilization would recommend carrying more, in addition to supplies necessary for more involved repairs.

Last edited by Unca_Sam; 01-15-21 at 12:41 AM. Reason: condensing ideas
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Old 01-15-21, 12:19 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Tools.
I brought my angle grinder and hammer, but I'm having a hard time fixing this flat tire. Do you have any advice?
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Old 01-15-21, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
I brought my angle grinder and hammer, but I'm having a hard time fixing this flat tire. Do you have any advice?
Use angle grinder around the puncture hole, look for a chunk of rubber at the side of the road, and hammer that chunk very very hard on the hole to melt and vulcanize it over the hole and seal it.

If that didn't work, next time bring an anvil too and maybe, an even bigger hammer.


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Old 01-15-21, 07:18 AM
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What kind of "quick repairs" do you envision, carloscedeno ? Start with the failure mode and likelihood, and then work to the solution. Don't begin with tools.

I'll give you an example for reference: My touring bike has fenders for which there are stays that are tightened with a 10mm hex nut. On a extended ride, fender stay failure can be caused by picking up a piece of debris (like a stick, or even a plastic bag), and I might need to straighten out a bent stay. Also, these nuts can work themselves loose over time. I prefer not to Loctite them, because of the need to adjust or repair. The solution? Carry a wrench that fits 10mm. I use a short box wrench.

A second example is for cross-country mountain bike riding. Crashes happen, as do impact with rocks, roots and other obstacles. There may be a case where the derailleur gets smashed, its hanger bent, or the chain damaged. So, the solution to make the bike rideable to get back is to be able to (1) remove and straighten the derailleur, (2) replace the derailleur hanger, or (3) shorten and re-attach the chain. Necessary tools: 5 and 6 mm hex wrenches, chain breaker part of multitool, spare quick link, spare derailleur hanger (which also requires 3 mm hex wrench).

See how it's done?

If you inspect and maintain your bike, then you'll likely only face punctures. So needed: tire levers, spare tube, patch kit, means of inflation (frame pump, co2 inflator, etc.). I prefer the pump, but not exclusively.
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Old 01-15-21, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
I brought my angle grinder and hammer, but I'm having a hard time fixing this flat tire. Do you have any advice?
Start knocking doors on properties with discarded machinery on them. Ask if anyone there would be interested in trading a hammer for a repair patch and an angle grinder for a tube of vulcanizing compound or contact cement.
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Old 01-15-21, 07:24 AM
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3 4 5 6mm allen key, tire levers, spare quickLink, spare tube, precut tyvek envelope for tire boot, mini-pump, $20 bill. Maybe small screwdriver for derailer adj. Minimalist- 5mm allen key. Ha, it's Friday, let's argue.

Last edited by grizzly59; 01-15-21 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 01-15-21, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Start knocking doors on properties with discarded machinery on them. Ask if anyone there would be interested in trading a hammer for a repair patch and an angle grinder for a tube of vulcanizing compound or contact cement.
Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Use angle grinder around the puncture hole, look for a chunk of rubber at the side of the road, and hammer that chunk very very hard on the hole to melt and vulcanize it over the hole and seal it.

If that didn't work, next time bring an anvil too and maybe, an even bigger hammer.


Guys...
If you have a flat, you just go to the nearest bike rack, find a bike about the size you ride, take the angle grinder and... wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more.

Just kidding, bike thieves are scum. Even if it's a really an involuntary trade.
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Old 01-15-21, 09:26 AM
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Your best tool is your brain. Regular maintenance and changing consumables of worn parts like chains tires, brake pads, cleaning drivetrains, torqueing to specs, or paying the LBS to do it for you, will prevent most issues as long as you do not crash or get hit.
Spare tubes and a flat repair kit are a given.
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Old 01-15-21, 09:34 AM
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spare tube, patches, pump, tire boot, tire lever if you need it, plugs if you're tubeless. a little bottle of spare tire sealant is not a bad idea either.
basic multi-tool with bits for most of the bolts on your bike.

it depends on the location and distance you are riding. if you're loaded down and touring into the wilderness many, many miles from civilization, I would think you'd want to bring a lot more. otherwise, the above should be more than sufficient.

preventative maintenance goes a long way. inspect your tires, chain, cables, brake pads, etc. regularly before riding.

the tools I use get used on other people's bikes more often than my own bike.
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Old 01-15-21, 10:35 AM
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My favorite bike tool is my cell phone.
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Old 01-15-21, 11:17 AM
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-allen keys
-spare tube, patch kit, and pump
-chain tool

Unless my frame breaks or my bottom bracket spindle snaps I can make it home with these items and, sometimes, a bit of ingenuity.
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Old 01-15-21, 12:18 PM
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Few allen wrenches, spoke wrench, and flat repairs stuff.
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Old 01-15-21, 12:21 PM
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Add a cell phone with the Uber app installed.
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Old 01-15-21, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by carloscedeno View Post
What are the critical things that one must carry in order to do quick repairs mid ride?
Tools and knowledge of how to use them and how to do the repairs you need to do. However most things should be done at home in a preventative manner.
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Old 01-15-21, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Tools and knowledge of how to use them and how to do the repairs you need to do. However most things should be done at home in a preventative manner.
THIS!!! ^^^ Occasionally, some McGuyver ingenuity can also be helpful.

My tool kit for road rides includes: Multi-tool, tube, CO2, tire levers, and some sort of boot material (currently a $1 bill - probably needs upgrading). If all else fails, I also have my cell phone and a credit card.

Last edited by Eric F; 01-15-21 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 01-15-21, 01:31 PM
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The means to fix a flat, plus a basic multi-tool. The little wrench is for the nutted axles on this bike.

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Old 01-15-21, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
My tool kit for road rides includes: Multi-tool, tube, CO2, tire levers, and some sort of boot material (currently a $1 bill - probably needs upgrading). If all else fails, I also have my cell phone.
The time I tried to boot a tire with a $1 bill it failed. Another time when all I had was a $5 bill, it got me home. Draw your own conclusions.
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Old 01-15-21, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
The time I tried to boot a tire with a $1 bill it failed. Another time when all I had was a $5 bill, it got me home. Draw your own conclusions.
It has to do with inflation.
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Old 01-15-21, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
It has to do with inflation.
Literally, for the tire. Figuratively, for the bill.
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Old 01-15-21, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
My favorite bike tool is my cell phone.
2nd favorite is my credit card.
Tim
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Old 01-15-21, 03:08 PM
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just riding. Tube, patch kit, multi tool with allen wrenches and chain tool built in, co2 pump and that's it. If I break a spoke the multi tool will let me adjust the wheel to work, bent der hanger can be adjusted with an allen wrench in the der bolt for leverage or worse case, make it a single speed. All these will get you home.
Touring. I have a water bottle sized container that fits under the downtube. It also includes a cable cutter and z-bend tool so I can make any size spoke I need, I have a few cables wrapped in the bottom of the pack, a replacement hanger and the rest is the same. Never had a cable failure since I do regular maintenance and spokes haven't been an issue though luck and a stick can change that which is why I have the spoke tools. Any actual broken parts is just tough luck and no amount of tools will solve that.
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Old 01-15-21, 03:17 PM
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Leading a 6 week trip of ten teenagers through California for AYH, we had a broken pedal spindle, torn off fender, tacoed, wheel, broken wrist, concussion, broken stem, that I can remember. What would be your minimum tool list for that?
Also got pulled over by the CHP.
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Old 01-15-21, 03:19 PM
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I carry on my commuters
Spare tube
patch kit
multi-tool
tire levers
quik link (saved from old chain)
1 - shift cable
pump
misc zip tie tape small rag
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