Bruntsfield shop mechanic Gordon’s bicycle maintenance tips went down really well last week, so we asked him which tools he packed every ride.
- Tyre levers like these: Help remove your tyre if (when) you get a puncture.
- A mini pump like this: Essential if you want to pump up a new inner tube after a puncture.
- Spare chain links like these: Chains do break, and you don’t want to walk your bike home.
- A chain tool like this: To remove the broken link before you replace it.
- An Allen key multitool perhaps with a chain tool like this to save you carrying a separate one: This multi tool comes with a chain tool and a billion allen keys.
- Zip ties for temporary repairs if something breaks or comes loose
Gordon’s portable toolkit is so minimal, you could carry it in a cycling jersey’ back pockets, or in a pannier or rucsack’s outer pouch. Yet this mini kit should enable you to deal with 99% of the ‘mechanicals’ you’re ever likely to encounter.
ONE FINAL TIP
This might sound obvious but check you kit is fit for the bike your riding. Here’s a salutary tale from the Bike Co-op’s Ged.
My Sunday bike (the Roubaix) has QR wheels, and its folding tyres can be removed with one lever. My everyday cross/town bike (the Genesis) has track nuts, which require a 15mm spanner, plus I need two or three levers to remove its ultra tight wire-bead Schwalbe Marathon tyres.
If I go out on the Roubaix I’m sometimes precious about keeping it’s weight low, so I remove what’s not required from the emergency kit. Then I discover a few days later that I don’t have the tools required to fix the Genesis because I neglected to replenish the tool kit. Doh.