None of these tools should be used on your bike. Particularly the meat hook.
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 rucsac’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.