During our five-month-long Euro tour, we want to be as self-sufficient as possible. To reach that goal, we’ll bring a small collection of tools that should help us solve the most common bicycle maintenance mishaps. For the rare exploding bottom bracket or rim failure, we’ll rely on the closest local bike shop to save the day.
However before we get to the tool list, it’s important to mention that the bikes we’re bringing are designed to be easy to maintain in the field. We’re using simple, reliable, and commonly-found components to make maintaining the bikes painless. V-brakes, 9-speed drivetrains, 26-inch wheelsets have a proven track record in the bicycle touring world.
With that being said, here are the tools we’re packing:
|Item Name||Description||Weight (g)||Weight (oz)||Weight (lbs)|
|Tubes||2x 26×2.0 presta valve||340.00||11.99||0.75|
|Patch kit||extra patches and 2 pairs of Power Links||22.00||0.78||0.05|
|Pump||Lezyne Road Drive w/ frame mount||109.00||3.84||0.24|
|Spoke wrench||Park SW-1||15.00||0.53||0.03|
|Tire levers||2x Pedro’s||42.00||1.48||0.09|
|Rag||cheap cotton shop rag||28.00||0.99||0.06|
|Chain lube||Dumonde Tech Pro X Regular 2oz.||71.00||2.50||0.16|
|Allen keys||2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6mm keys and 8mm bit||52.00||1.83||0.11|
|Chain tool||Park CT-5 Mini Brute||75.00||2.65||0.17|
|Spokes||5x spares, one for each length||35.00||1.23||0.08|
|Zip ties||4x medium size||16.00||0.56||0.04|
|Box wrench||Modified Park MT-1: 8mm and 10mm||34.00||1.20||0.07|
|screwdriver||Modified Park MT-1: flat head||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|Coupler wrench||Modified S&S Machine Racing Wrench||45.00||1.59||0.10|
|Seat bag||Topeak Aero Wedge, medium||132.00||4.66||0.29|
The list may seem long to those of you who bring a multi-tool. Some of the multi-tools these days include everything in the above list except the coupler spanner and rag. While multi-tools are nice, they often sacrifice function for form. I prefer individual tools. Individual tools do one job well. They are also lighter. The bicycle multi-tool is the frozen dinner of tools. It comes in a pretty package, but it rarely lives up to expectations.
Absent from this list are items that can fail but their failure won’t stop us from getting to a local bike shop. Gear and brake cables rarely fail. If they do, we can bodge a temporary solution. We don’t bring spare chain links because we can use the Sram Powerlink to shorten the chain until we get our hands on a new chain. Tire sidewalls can blow, but you won’t catch us carrying a spare tire. Improvised patches and reinforcing will keep us rolling.