What tools to carry on a ride?
I have often been asked what I carry on ride in case of a mechanical, the answer in short is everything to repair the unexpected, vague I know. What I am going to go through in this blog is what I take and why, the list can go on but you would look like a gold digger from the wild west on their pony going through a pass rather than a speedy toned athlete (yeah right).
I think of my mechanical kit as an emergency kit a bit like my survival kit in the military, it is there never opened and hopefully never used. It needs to be small, compact and light as well as functional and not just useless dead weight. All items need to have a use and a purpose why have certain Hex keys if you do not have that size bolt on your bike? Therefore, it also has to be bespoke to your bike. It should be able to fit nicely into a saddle bag or tool tub. Not clatter around like grans teeth when going over a speedbump (or just our crappy roads).
I like to use a tool tub as I like to ride with a rear bottle mount, just because that is how I race so I want to have the correct muscle memory. I place the tub in my seat tube bottle holder and only gets removed when cleaning as this is my road bike kit, my TT kit is different. What do I have in the tub and why?
There are many out there and I have tried a few, this one works perfectly for me especially in size and having 2 compartments. The main compartment and the screw lid also separates leaving a little chamber where I keep gloves, quick link and CO2 inflator. The tool tub or saddle bag needs to be big enough for your items. Too big and everything will be rattling about and you will fill the empty space with unnecessary crap.
Keeps my hands clean when doing any work also I don’t want dirty grubby marks on my clothing or bar tape which will not wash out.
I use KMC as I love their chains, this has to be the correct one for your chain eg 9 speed for 9 speed, you do not need a tool to snap it into place, hold the rear brake lever and put pressure on to the leading pedal and it will click in.
3x tyre levers
Don’t skimp and think you can do it on 2 or even 1!!!! when it is wet and cold 3 make the job easier. I use Schwalbe as they have a nice wide area for leverage and the hook is good for tight tyres.
2x inner tubes
Ensure you have the correct valve and valve length for wheels you don’t want to get caught out, be on the safe side and go long. Again why just carry one?
Rag or cloth
ensures I can wipe off any grub oil or grease. Common sense really.
2x co2 cannisters
Ensure they are the correct fitting for your inflator, always carry 2 one for each spare tube.
Some people carry a small plastic bag to carry any used items, I just put it into one of the used gloves turned inside out.
All of these items fit snugly in the tub ensuring that there is no rattling, I also wrap electric tape around the lid this is to ensure it doesn’t pop off and also you never know when you will need some tape.
In the jersey I carry the following,
Zefal repair spray 75ml £4.99
Zefal puncture repair spay is quite simply the dogs, if you get a puncture, find and remove the foreign object, and then shake and simply spray the contents though your valve. This will then inflate the tube at the same time as spraying sealant into the tube and sealing the damaged hole ensuring you can carry on or get home.
We all use them and keep the packaging for disposing off at home, if you get a split in the tyre simply remove the tyre and tube place the gel wrapper between the tube and split and hey presto, no need to use your fiver that’s for coffee.
Fix it sticks £24.99
An amazing light weight hex and screw bit tool, that clicks and holds together magnetically in a ‘T’shape so you can tighten and loosen any screw or bolt on your bike. You can choose what bits you need just for your bike. It can adjust anything. Forget all of the other gimmick tools they are crap this is all you need, it also comes in a great little robust case as well.
KMC mini chain tool £17.99
Snapped chain? need to remove the broken link? No problems, KMC’s new mini chain tool is just the thing, simple easy to use no hassle, forget the chain tool on the swiss army bike tool this again is the dogs and looks great.
3 rubber bands
You never know when you will need them.
All of these items can be bought through Complete cycle solutions. Contact me for more details.
finally bring some colour into your kit don't be drab.