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necessary tool for cross country ride?

Old 01-10-12, 07:17 AM
  #1  
twerney
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necessary tool for cross country ride?

Hi, would like feed back here on (besides a all in one gadget) what essential tools for a x country Ride. Thanks Mike
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Old 01-10-12, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by twerney View Post
Hi, would like feed back here on (besides a all in one gadget) what essential tools for a x country Ride. Thanks Mike
A major credit card.

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Old 01-10-12, 08:47 AM
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The answer to this is more complicated than you may think because it depends so heavily on your bike, load, experience and, most importantly, willingness to tolerate risk.

Personally, in terms of tools / repair items, I tour little more than a pump, a small multi-tool, a fiber spoke, a patch kit and an extra tube.

I've done a solo, fully-loaded, cross-country tour and been totally fine. I tightened my front brake once and patched two flats. But this, of course, is just one anecdote... with worse luck I could have broken a rear axle, for example, and come away with the the notion that it is necessary to have a cassette cracker, spare axle, cone wrenches, etc.

Personally, I'd rather have more risk for the luxury of carrying less stuff, but that's just me.

Last edited by Derailed; 01-10-12 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 01-10-12, 09:48 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Derailed View Post
Personally, I'd rather have more risk for the luxury of carrying less stuff, but that's just me.
No. That's me, too.

I crossed the country with 13 people. About 57,000 bike miles total. Flats, broken spokes and out of true wheels were the only problems that could not be addressed with a set of allen wrenches until reaching the next shop. No broken chains. No broken cables. No broken hubs. Most importantly, not one of us was prevented from finishing an entire day due to a mechanical problem.

Making sure your bike is in tip-top shape helps. Of course, you could snap a cable or break a chain anyway, in which case you will wish you had the tools, parts and know-how needed to fix the problem. As noted, a lot of it has to do with risk tolerance.
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Old 01-10-12, 09:50 AM
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I think the estimated risk is a good measure of what to bring. If you know the condition of your gear and think it through, you should have what you really need. You cannot prepare for everything and there is always risk regardless of what you bring. I plan on bringing a pump, patches, spare tubes (for each tire size), multi-tool with chain pin extractor, a few master chain links, spare cables, and fiber spoke.
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Old 01-10-12, 10:08 AM
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I can't answer definitively because it will be different for different bikes. For my Windsor I take:
  • 1 small open end wrench that is 8mm on one end and 10 mm on the other
  • 1 small box end wrench also 8 & 10 mm
  • one 1" stub of 8mm allen wrench (use 8mm box end to provide leverage)
  • chain breaker
  • Unior Cassette Cracker
  • spoke wrench
  • pump
  • A small and very basic multitool (Ascent Bare Bones)
  • tire levers
  • patch kit
  • 2 tubes
  • a few spare spokes
The whole kit not counting the pump weighs just under a pound.

For my Cannondale I need a bit less.
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Old 01-10-12, 10:09 AM
  #7  
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Just the ones needed for simple adjustments/repairs, plus any that will contribute to your peace of mind. If the bike is mechnically sound, that's all you'll likely need. Outside the usual, I take a spoke tool, a fiber temp, and a light pedal wrench for getting the bike ready to pack if that's in the cards. Oh, cable ties are an essential 'tool' in my book.

One item that many seem to leave behind is a boot kit. A blowout is extremely unlikely, but the kit to fix one is so light and tiny there is no reason not to pack it. Consist of Park Tool tire boots and Gorilla Tape. The tape I always have anyway. Tough stuff.

Have your lbs's phone number on speed dial. Call them for help if it gets that deep. Mine talked me thru a broken spoke problem once.
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Old 01-10-12, 10:12 AM
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I had a the left crank arm fall off in nowhere land. Was able put it back on with long hex wrenches I had with me.

Later the rear hub came loose. So carry hub and a pedal wrenches.
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Old 01-10-12, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
Just the ones needed for simple adjustments/repairs, plus any that will contribute to your peace of mind. If the bike is mechnically sound, that's all you'll likely need. Outside the usual, I take a spoke tool, a fiber temp, and a light pedal wrench for getting the bike ready to pack if that's in the cards. Oh, cable ties are an essential 'tool' in my book.

One item that many seem to leave behind is a boot kit. A blowout is extremely unlikely, but the kit to fix one is so light and tiny there is no reason not to pack it. Consist of Park Tool tire boots and Gorilla Tape. The tape I always have anyway. Tough stuff.

Have your lbs's phone number on speed dial. Call them for help if it gets that deep. Mine talked me thru a broken spoke problem once.
Never heard of tire boots until seeing your post. A definite must have item.
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Old 01-10-12, 10:38 AM
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Learned about boots on tour in NE OK when buddies' Marathon blew. One of the guys had the boot, another the tape. We reinforced the boot with the tape, then wrapped more tape around the outside. He rode on that for three days.
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Old 01-10-12, 10:46 AM
  #11  
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I've always carried tire boots, both for cycling, and for my 4x4. I've ripped holes in the sidewalls of both and was able to "boot" the problem to keep on rolling until getting to a service. Sometimes, if far from such service and traveling in rough terrain, carrying one spare tire isn't enough.
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Old 01-10-12, 10:56 AM
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crank bros multi-17
leatherman blast
electrical tape
duct tape
tie wraps
super glue
needle & thread
lube 2oz
proofide
schrader adaptor
2 small plastic tire levers
patch kit
two kevlar repair spokes
road morph G pump
one spare tube 26"

total weight: about 2lbs

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Old 01-10-12, 11:10 AM
  #13  
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My Marathon XR ruptured from the inside while on the Alaska Highway. I used duct tape and plastic from a soda bottle as a boot. That kludge carried me for over 200 miles till I could get a new tire.
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Old 01-10-12, 09:26 PM
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I'm going to add, a few feet of bailing wire- invaluable when you need to reattach a broken rack or fender.

for off the bike, a sink stopper. much easier to do sponge baths in sinks and do laundry as most public washrooms and restrooms do not have sink stoppers.
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Old 01-11-12, 07:07 AM
  #15  
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Some great ideas above and having just discovered gorilla tape this fall, the stuff is amazing. I could see using it as rim tape or making a good boot out of a couple layers. It’s like duck tape times 5 I would say. I haven’t found it in smaller rolls yet but I’m sure it’s out there.

I added something to my chain tool that I found useful as an emergency measure. It is not recommended that you replace a pin once removed and having a master link or two is a great idea in your kit. But I carry a small drill bit and a spacer I made that lets me replace a pin. The normal method is to not press the pin all the way out of the link if you want a chance of getting it back in. With the thin chain that’s very hard to do. The spacer will hold the pin aligned to get it started back in. This should be a temporary repair in a pinch but will work.

This summer I came upon a group of riders with one bike down and was surprised that of the 4 of them no one carried a spare link or chain tool. I gave them one and in looking at his chain quite a few links were showing signs of separation (working apart) so I used the spacer and was able to tighten the whole chain up link by link. They had about 20 miles to the next bike shop lot better riding than pushing.
Pics of my chain tool and how it works.


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Old 01-11-12, 08:53 AM
  #16  
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Start by carrying stuff to fix problems that are fairly likely to occur: spare tube, tire irons, patch kit, and a pump to deal with flats. If you pull a trailer, make sure you have a tube for the small wheel(s).

I have a multi-tool that has hex wrenches for every bolt on the bike, including a big one for the pedals. On my 29er I also had to carry a small box wrench for the fender adjusting bolts. Check your bike and make sure you have a tool for every bolt, nut, etc.

I carry spare spokes and a cassette cracker. I broke a bunch of spokes on a tour once and it was no fun. Now I'm prepared. I also carry FiberFix emergency spokes because they weigh almost nothing. I also carry a spoke wrench. It wouldn't do much good to replace a spoke if I couldn't tighten it. Some multi-tools have spoke wrenches, so check it out; you might be able to get away with using that.

I've had bolts vibrate loose and fall out before - mostly on racks. To prevent this I always use Loctite, but since they're light I carry a couple of spare bolts and a tube of Loctite for road repairs.

For tours longer than about two weeks I carry a small, 1/2 full bottle of Tri-flow so I can re-lube.

I carry a spare brake cable and a spare derailleur cable because they're light, and if I need one I'll have it. I'm not sure this is necessary because I've never had a cable fail. Hmmmm.

I used to carry a spare tire, but I've never had a tire fail either, and they're heavy. Now I check my tires before a tour and if they're not in "like-new" condition I'll buy new ones. I'd rather spend a little money and not have to worry, and not have to carry a tire.

I've never had a chain break, but a friend did once. I used to bring a chain tool, but it was really heavy. Then I found a multi-tool with a chain breaker. That's what I bring now. It's a little heavier than one without the chain tool, but I like knowing I can fix a chain in a pinch.

Oh, and I carry a couple SRAM quicklinks. Maybe I won't need to use the chain tool.

I'm always rethinking my packing list, including my tools, but this setup has kept me going for several tours.

Last edited by BigBlueToe; 01-11-12 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 01-11-12, 09:01 AM
  #17  
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Don't take any tools you don't know how to use. I am not saying don't take stuff, I am saying if you don't know how to use it, learn before the trip.

If you would have asked me two years ago, I would never have said to take a bottom bracket wrench, but on my last tour I had a bottom bracket cup that started to unthread. A long nose pliers was enough to repeatedly tighten it for the rest of the trip. My point is that nobody can anticipate everything that can go wrong, I have never heard of anyone else having this type of failure.

I carry a few extra nuts and bolts threaded into the backside of a couple of my rack braze ons, they are permanently on the bike except that I had to use one two days ago.

I carry spare spokes in the seatpost on one of my bikes that does not have a spare spoke holder, I use a very tight fitting cork from a wine bottle to hold them in the seatpost.

I am quite pleased with an Alien Two multi-tool.

I have never had a seatpost bolt fail, but I have heard of it causing a very bad day for some tourists that had to stand on the pedals for a long ride.
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Old 01-11-12, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
Some great ideas above and having just discovered gorilla tape this fall, the stuff is amazing. I could see using it as rim tape or making a good boot out of a couple layers. It’s like duck tape times 5 I would say. I haven’t found it in smaller rolls yet but I’m sure it’s out there
Something I've done with duct tape is to tear off about ten feet of it, then wrap that around itself. I imagine that would work with Gorilla tape too. It also seems like it would help with temporary tent or pannier repairs if those got torn.

Just because something might fail or someone else had it happen doesn't mean that you need to carry tools to fix it. For example, I once had a pedal spindle break off. I don't carry extra pedals; I just figure that this was a random, one-off event, and if it ever happens again, I'll hitchhike to the nearest bike shop.

Last edited by gorshkov; 01-11-12 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 01-11-12, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by gorshkov View Post
Something I've done with duct tape is to tear off about ten feet of it, then wrap that around itself. I imagine that would work with Gorilla tape too. It also seems like it would help with temporary tent or pannier repairs if those got torn.

Just because something might fail or someone else had it happen doesn't mean that you need to carry tools to fix it. For example, I once had a pedal spindle break off. I don't carry extra pedals; I just figure that this was a random, one-off event, and if it ever happens again, I'll hitchhike to the nearest bike shop.
Yep I have seen guys wrap it around a water bottle as a good place to hold a length of tape. I might have to try that with my gorilla tape and see how that works.
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Old 01-11-12, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
Some great ideas above and having just discovered gorilla tape this fall, the stuff is amazing. I could see using it as rim tape or making a good boot out of a couple layers. It’s like duck tape times 5 I would say. I haven’t found it in smaller rolls yet but I’m sure it’s out there.
I use it for rim tape. comes in 1" rolls
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Old 01-11-12, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by twerney View Post
Hi, would like feed back here on (besides a all in one gadget) what essential tools for a x country Ride. Thanks Mike
4,5,6 mm allen wrench, 15mm or 6" crescent for pedals,8mm allen to fit on 6mm if cranks are attached with it(but I"ve never had a crank loosen) That little allen wrench for adjusting brakes, 1.5mm?, philips, chain breaker. Gorilla tape. zip ties. open 8 and 10mm wrench. I'd rather have an individual allen wrench than all-in-one gadgets. that's about it.
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Old 01-11-12, 10:39 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by gorshkov View Post
Just because something might fail or someone else had it happen doesn't mean that you need to carry tools to fix it. For example, I once had a pedal spindle break off. I don't carry extra pedals; I just figure that this was a random, one-off event, and if it ever happens again, I'll hitchhike to the nearest bike shop.
+1. Carrying around tires, chains, more than one tube, specialty tools, cables, seat clamps, assorted nut & bolts, all the time on the off-chance that you might need them, is a waste in my opinion. Unless you're in the outback or truly remote areas most items can easily be purchased. I try to carry tool/repair items that serve a dual purpose in that they can repair camping equipment in addition to my bicycle.
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Old 01-11-12, 11:30 AM
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completely agree with first and foremost knowing that your bike is in excellent condition. Either by you if you have the experience, or by a good mechanic. This includes wheels, spokes and a realistic appraisal that said wheels are up to a given load, re spoke issues.

In my experience, I began taking too many tools, then pared down over the years. Caveat for my case is that Ive only toured in areas where a lift to a town with a bike shop would always have been possible, ie I never toured in Mongolia.

Ive taken:
-tool with all hex keys, screwdriver etc (used to take a seperate chain breaker, would like a new multi tool with one)
-spare tubes
-patch kit
-pump
-chain oil
-small pedal wrench
-presta to shraeder adapter (on wheel)
-tire irons , plastic set
-spare cables (never used)
-rag for cleaning chain

I too have just made sure tires are newish, so no spare tire. Ive had rear wheel go out of true a bit after whacking potholes, and had to get a bike store to retrue it, but it was rideable until could get to a store. Ive since learned rudimentarily how to true a wheel.
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Old 01-11-12, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
I use it for rim tape. comes in 1" rolls
I have a rim to do and I was going to try and split a 2” roll. I will be on the lookout for the 1 inch tape. Rim tape was my first thought when I started unrolling it to fix a tail light on my truck.
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Old 01-11-12, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
<snip>

For tours longer than about two weeks I carry a small, 1/2 full bottle of Tri-flow so I can re-lube.

I carry a spare brake cable and a spare derailleur cable because they're light, and if I need one I'll have it. I'm not sure this is necessary because I've never had a cable fail. Hmmmm.<snip>
I'd be interested to hear how you manage two weeks without a re-lube. Three days seems to be the maximum for me. I tend to carry degreaser as well for tours over 5 days. Is Tri-Flow the magic ingredient?

I've not had a deraileur cable snap (yet), but did have a brake cable snap. I was pleased I carried a spare.
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