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The Things They Carried - tourist tool kit

Old 03-20-09, 06:03 AM
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The Things They Carried - tourist tool kit

I'm getting things for my touring toolkit. So far I have:

- spare tubes for bike and trailer
- Road Morph pump
- zip ties (the universal bike fixit)
- tire levers
- multitool
- Clif bar wrapper for tire boot
- small first aid kit
- spare cotter pins for trailer

I'm ordering a kevlar spoke in case I break a spoke on tour. Should I get two or more, or is that overkill? And Park makes a compact chain tool. Is that also overkill for a touring cyclist?

Anything else I should consider?
 
Old 03-20-09, 06:13 AM
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patch kit
spare brake and shifter cables + ends
chain lube
grease
flashlight
cig lighter
duct tape (you can wrap it around the cig lighter)
surgical gloves & baby wipes
ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory (should be part of first aid kit)

I'd think a chain tool would be part of any decent multi-tool, as well as a knife and spoke wrench.

I would also carry an actual tire boot...wrappers and dollar bills are good in a pinch, but I don't like pinches.
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Old 03-20-09, 06:22 AM
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On my bike two small 8-10mm wrenches are needed for many repairs The Park ones are OK, but I like a little German made 8-10mm box end that came in the tool kit for a motorcycle I once owned. It nicely complements the park 8-10mm open end. Ideally they can/should be small like automotive "ignition wrenches".

A 1" stub of an 8mm allen wrench used with the 8mm box end will allow pulling the crank arms.

If flying with the bike a pedal wrench may be needed.

Length and remoteness of trip are definite factors.
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Old 03-20-09, 08:33 AM
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It depends on how weigh-sensitive you are and how risk-tolerant you are and how remote you'll be for how long and how rough the roads.

At one end is just tubes and a patch kit and tire levers and pump. And the other end is a whole spare bike. The former end of the scale will be enough for many trips if you are lucky and/or good at hitchhiking rides when you break down. It's also sufficient if you have spare time and someone at home to mail you tools and parts when needed.

In addition to what is mentioned above, I would also carry spare brake pads. I'd also consider carrying a spare tire and some real spare spokes (in addition to the Kevlar spokes).

Don't take a pedal wrench if your pedals can be installed with an allen wrench.

Maximalists will carry a spare tire, cone wrenches, greases and oils and rags, chain whips, cassette lockring removers, wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, crank pullers, cable cutters, spare chain links, spare chain, a chain cleaner, ... (basically everything that you might now have in your garage). I consider most of the above overkill unless you will be very remote.

Last edited by John Nelson; 03-20-09 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 03-20-09, 08:39 AM
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My touring/off-road tool kit. From the upper left corner:

A 2.5mm to 6mm allen set (I've since removed the 5 and 6 mm keys)
An old toe strap...useful for binding things together
Mountain bike tube...replaced with another road tube for on-road touring. Inside the bag is a spacer for hydraulic brakes
Road bike tube...replaced with another mountain bike tube for off-road riding
Bag to hold the tools.
Zip ties ~a dozen
Shock pump...removed for on-road touring

2nd row:

Pressure gauge
Emergency light. Since replaced with a Fenix L1D
Bag of quick chain master links
Folding pliers
Spoke wrench

3rd row (from shock pump)

Rubber strip to be used for boot or to shim mounts under computer, handlebar bag, etc.
Duct tape
Various 10-32 screws for racks and water bottle cages
Folding scissors
Hypercracker tool for removing lockring

4th row

VAR tire plier for mounting stubborn tires. Works as a tire lever too.
Patch kit with extra patches
small zipties
16 penny nail to be used as a punch. Hold over from freewheel days when the lock ring on those could unscrew.
Velcro strap for tie down
Cool Tool - the best multitool ever made
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Old 03-20-09, 08:51 AM
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Here a previous discussion on the same topic: https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/376678-what-tools-bring-year-long-self-sustained-tour.html

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Old 03-20-09, 05:14 PM
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The answer to your question depends a lot on where you are going to tour, how long you will be gone, etc. For my cross country tours I always carry 3-4 spare tubes, patch kits, tire tools, spare folding tire, tire pump, multi tool, small pair of pliers, pocket knife, chain lube, and rag for wiping/cleaning the chain, zip ties, length of small line, and a few spare fasteners. I leave home my chain tool, spokes, wrenches, brake pads, grease, tire pressure gauge (pump has gauge). I like to wander through many bike shops along the trip and have bike shops marked on my AAA maps. No matter where you are in this country you aren't far from a bike shop.
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Old 03-20-09, 05:44 PM
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I love bringing along some of those blue nitrile(sp?) gloves. Great for working on the chain or other gunky stuff. I also bring one each of brake and shifter cable. Real spokes and nipples along as well as a cassette removal tool.

In my opinion.... mine. The biggest potential problem you will come across is wheel issues. It's nice to be able to fix a wheel if need be. Broken cable would be second on my list and third would be Chain. I have the tools to fix all of the above. I can pretty much take everything apart with my tool kit but the bottom bracket. One folding tire.

On my last tour I would have many days between even the most sparse bike shop.

A quick link or two can go a long way.

Everything else has been pretty much covered above. When riding local I take a small multi tool. No chain tool. No frame pump(co2 instead). blue gloves(again) and of course tire levers. And last but not least..... cell phone.
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Old 03-20-09, 06:17 PM
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I would recommend that chain tool and a couple reusable master links (SRAM PowerLink for SRAM or Shimano 8 or 9-speed, KMC Missing Link for 10 speed, ?? for Campy).

Besides its obvious use, a 6" adjustable wrench is good for unbending derailleur hangers and taking dents out of rims. Small pliers are generally useful too.
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Old 03-20-09, 06:19 PM
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A section from a dead tyre makes a good tyre boot. Don't forget a patch kit as well as a spare tube or two.

Pedal wrench - a thin 15mm spanner works fine if you have one around.

Check that you can reach all the bolts with your multitool. I need to take a separate 5mm Allen key to get at some of them. Obviously make sure you have all the sizes covered inc. small ones to adjust brakes. Take some spare rack/mudguard bolts, they can break.

Take a chain tool and a couple of quicklinks / masterlinks / whatever. The tool can be a cheapie or one on the multitool, you just need to be able to take out links, use the quicklinks to put the chain back together. If your chain breaks, buy a new chain ASAP because the links away from the broken one will have twisted a bit (loosening the pins) and will be prone to breaking.

I think a Fiberfix or two is a good idea. I haven't used one, though.

Take a small bottle of chain cleaner/lube and some sort of rag, and some sort of brush (or use strips of the rag) to get sand out from between the chain links.

Take a small amount of grease. I squeezed some into an old shampoo tube from a hotel. Useful for bolts and for pedals, also for putting on things that rust.
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Old 03-20-09, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Cave
A section from a dead tyre makes a good tyre boot. Don't forget a patch kit as well as a spare tube or two.

Pedal wrench - a thin 15mm spanner works fine if you have one around.

Check that you can reach all the bolts with your multitool. I need to take a separate 5mm Allen key to get at some of them. Obviously make sure you have all the sizes covered inc. small ones to adjust brakes. Take some spare rack/mudguard bolts, they can break.

Take a chain tool and a couple of quicklinks / masterlinks / whatever. The tool can be a cheapie or one on the multitool, you just need to be able to take out links, use the quicklinks to put the chain back together. If your chain breaks, buy a new chain ASAP because the links away from the broken one will have twisted a bit (loosening the pins) and will be prone to breaking.

I think a Fiberfix or two is a good idea. I haven't used one, though.

Take a small bottle of chain cleaner/lube and some sort of rag, and some sort of brush (or use strips of the rag) to get sand out from between the chain links.

Take a small amount of grease. I squeezed some into an old shampoo tube from a hotel. Useful for bolts and for pedals, also for putting on things that rust.
I had to use one last summer and it got me the 90 miles I needed to go to the nearest bike shop. This was up and over the North Cascades fully loaded. I was pretty impressed. I will say that after that I did get a real spoke for both the drive side, non drive side and front. 3 spokes and nipples take up almost no space. Weigh very little and provide peace of mind. That being said I still keep a fiberfix handy. They do work.
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Old 03-20-09, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by stedalus
Besides its obvious use, a 6" adjustable wrench is good for unbending derailleur hangers and taking dents out of rims. Small pliers are generally useful too.
Some of them will also work as a pedal wrench (as long as the threads are well-greased).
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Old 03-20-09, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by kyakdiver
...I will say that after that I did get a real spoke for both the drive side, non drive side and front. 3 spokes and nipples take up almost no space. Weigh very little and provide peace of mind....
Yeah but you need to be able to remove the cassette, and have the appropriate tools. If I were doing a long / remote trip I'd aquire the knowledge and tools; otherwise fiberfix sounds better for me, enough to cycle a day or so to the nearest bike shop.
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Old 03-20-09, 10:00 PM
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Thanks cycco, "Various 10-32 screws for racks and water bottle cages"

That one has not been on my list but probably should have been seeing how it takes up no space and no weight but could make ones life much easier.
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Old 03-21-09, 07:17 AM
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One thing I always take is a 9 inch long monkey wrench. We were in Stuttgart a couple of years ago, and my friend's threaded headset for some peculiar reason locked up. All the shops were shut, and we had to catch our flight that day. The hotel we were in couldn;t find anything to help us. we were stranded. Luckily, we noticed a children's fair setting up, and one of the chaps had a monkey wrench that just fitted.
So now, my monkey wrench comes with us. It fits all the bolts on our vintage tourers, and it's big enough to use as a hammer, but not as heavy.
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Old 03-21-09, 09:31 AM
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I carry a Hypercracker. I used it on my last tour when my lockring came loose (my fault - I built the bike up from a frame.) I haven't broken any spokes since I bought it, but I had a tour ruined by broken spokes once. It would have been nice to have the Hypercracker so I could have done my own repairs, rather than always having to find a bike shop.

I also had a crankarm fall off on my mountain bike. (You guessed it - my fault - I built that bike up from a frame too.) My multitool didn't have a large enough Allen wrench to retighten the bolts - 8mm I think? I fingertightened and limped back to my truck. Then I bought a multitool with a big enough wrench for next time (hopefully there won't be a next time.)

I've never had chain problems, but I rode with a guy who did. Someone had a chain tool, removed a link, and my friend was back on the road, riding with a shortened chain until he got to a bike shop for a new chain. I have a chain tool on my multitool, and it gives me a little peace to know it's there, even though I think I may never need it.

I also carry my Swiss Army knife on all rides, whether touring or riding around home. It's good for cutting zip ties, and McGuyvering anything that might come up.

I always carry a spare tube and use that when I flat, rather than trying to patch the one with the hole. However, in this age of trying to be "green", I read someone's post about how bad this is ecologically. Now I'm thinking I'll start by patching the tube, and only resort to the new one when the patch won't work.
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Old 03-21-09, 10:02 AM
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Can't believe what happened during last week's ride. My ride buddies Look cleats lost their screws and washers half way thru the ride. He had a hard time unclicking.. So, always being prepared. I had replacement washers and screws.. But, my multi tool, did not have a workable non Philips head screwdriver.. So we walked to the nearest hardware ..
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Old 03-21-09, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson
At one end is just tubes and a patch kit and tire levers and pump. And the other end is a whole spare bike.
Can you fit a folding bike on your trailer?
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Old 03-21-09, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by robow
Thanks cycco, "Various 10-32 screws for racks and water bottle cages"

That one has not been on my list but probably should have been seeing how it takes up no space and no weight but could make ones life much easier.
The brazeons are actually M5. 10-32 is extremely close to M5, but different enough that it's worth getting M5 if you have access to them.
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Old 03-21-09, 05:35 PM
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Forget the kevlar spoke, go for about 5 of the ones you need (remember back wheel takes two different sizes). You store them inside your seat post, held in place with a wine cork and duct tape (wrapped in bits of old inner tube)
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Old 03-22-09, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by stedalus
The brazeons are actually M5. 10-32 is extremely close to M5, but different enough that it's worth getting M5 if you have access to them.
I have access to a large supply of 10-32 stainless bolts and have been using them for years. It's nice to not have rusty bolts

They are so close that I've never noticed a difference. The paint in the threads of the braze-on makes usually makes up the difference
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