RideEatCamp

A bicycle touring tool kit for Europe

Europe, Gear

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:

Two spare tubes will live in the bottom of my pannier while the tools living in the Topeak seat bag and the pump will be attached to my bike.
Two spare tubes will live in the bottom of my pannier while the tools living in the Topeak seat bag and the pump will be attached to my bike.
From left: rag, allen keys, patch kit, chain tool, spoke wrench, modified Park MT-1, a couple of glueless patches, coupler wrench, tire levers, chain lube.
From left: rag, allen keys, patch kit, chain tool, spoke wrench, modified Park MT-1, a couple of glueless patches, coupler wrench, tire levers, chain lube.
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
Total 1016.00 35.84 2.24

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.