Saturday, March 21, 2015

What Do I Have in My (Tool) Bag

Here are some of the essentials and some recommended items to keep on your bike.


Tool Bag – Big or small, it’s up to you.  Pick one that can carry your tools and possibly your car keys, phone, or wallet.

Spare Tube – Do you want to walk home?  Pack a spare tube.

Tire Levers – Some guys take care of this with their muscular fingers.  These make it easier.

CO2 Inflator and Cartridge – A pump is nice, but when you have a flat 80 miles into a 100 mile ride, this is much better.

Allen Wrenches – Almost everything on your bike can be tightened up using an Allen wrench (or hex key).  At a minimum, you need a 4, 5, and 6 mm, but a 3 mm and an 8 mm are handy at times.

Small Screwdrivers – What cannot be tightened or adjusted with an Allen wrench can probably be tightened with a screwdriver.  Note that some multi-tools will have hex keys, screwdrivers, and possibly other tools in the same bundle.

Optional, but really good to have:

Tire Patch Kit – When you ride through broken glass, is it possible to get a flat on both the front and rear?

2nd Spare Tube – See tire patch kit above.

Pump - After all of those flat tires, you might be out of CO2 cartridges.

Dollar Bills – Lots of uses for these.  Emergency Gatorade and roadside strip clubs notwithstanding, you can use a dollar bill to line the inside of your tire if you cut a gash in it.  This will prevent the tube from protruding through the tire and allow you to make it home.

Chain Tool – Sometimes your chain breaks.  Not often, but it can happen.  This is a small tool that will allow you to put your chain back together again and finish a ride.  When you’re 20 miles into a 112 mile Ironman leg, you don’t want to DNF because of a broken chain.

Chain Links – Use with chain tool for an even faster chain repair.

Spoke Wrench – If a spoke loosens and causes your wheel to wobble, you can fix it enough to get you home.

Spare Spokes or Fiber Spoke – Replace a spoke while you’re on the road?  It can be done if you have the tools and knowledge.

Cell Phone – And the number of a good friend who will drag themselves out and haul your sorry butt home when all else fails.

1 comment:

  1. The blog lives!

    My favorite emergency equipment is someone who can take care of all my bike issues, but I don't have a big enough seat bag.