Your Bicycle Tool Kit Helps You
Do Most Repairs Anywhere

A basic bicycle tool kit is a must have for any cyclist. A well maintained bike should not have any serious breakdowns. And you may think you don't need a bicycle tool kit. But, in the real world, if you do any amount of riding, you are likely to at least have a flat tire and without any tools it can be a long walk home. That sharp rock or piece of glass that you didn't see can ruin a great day if you aren't prepared.

under seat bag

You really don't need a huge amount of tools or a big bag to carry a bicycle tool kit. A small under the seat bag will do the trick very nicely 90% of the time. And, the smaller and lighter the kit/bag the better. Actually you could carry it about anywhere. In a seat bag a saddle bag, trunk bag, on a hydration pack. But,if you keep it in a a bag you are less likely to ride off without it.

It's surprising how few items you really need to do most basic repairs. The most common repair being fixing a flat tire. What you see here is about all that you will need but I carry a few band aids, a small rag, and a small container of hand cleaner as well.

Topeak mini-morf

There are a lot of good pumps available from Topeak,Blackburn, Crank Brothers and Tefal to name a few but I'm partial to the Topeak mini-morf which is probably the smallest. It can be used with Presta or Schrader valves and will pump up to 160 PSI. But, what I really like is the fold out foot pedal that is all but impossible to find on a mini pump. It only weighs about 6 ounces and comes with a frame mount. Actually, it's small enough to carry in even a smallish bag.

multi tool

There are lots of multi tools available that are like the Swiss Army Knife of tools that combine about every tool that you could need, and then some, in a very small, lightweight package. You may not want or need all of these in your bicycle tool kit but there are lots of multi tools available with all of the basics included.

tire levers

If you do have a flat you will need to remove the tire from the rim to change or repair the tube. To do this you should have two tire levers to lever the tire off of the rim. Make sure you have them if they are not included in your multi tool. They are very light weight and usually snap together so they don't get lost.

I find it easier to use two separate levers and work them around the rim.

You should always carry a spare tube in your bag but make sure it is the same size as the one that you have on your bike and has the same valve type. The tube size is typically printed on the side of the tire.

Your bike will use either Presta or Schrader type valves. The Presta are the skinny valves that are typically used on performance bikes with skinny tires and rims. The Schrader valves look just like the valves on your car and are used on other bikes with fatter tires usually 26" or 700c.

The replacement tube can be a bit narrower for example 23c vs 25c since it will expand when inflated but it cannot be wider. The diameter must be the same. For example a 26" tube must be replaced with a 26" and 700c tube must be replaced with a 700c.

Tip - I carry a small container of baby powder that I sprinkle inside the tire. It helps the tire to seat properly when inflated. A small pill bottle works well for this.

Even though you have a spare tube with you it's a good idea to carry a patch kit. You may never need it but if you do you will be glad you have it. They can be glueless or may include a small tube of glue. For performance bikes with higher pressure tires may want to use glue but other bikes with lower pressure tires the glueless will usually work fine.

Assuming you have a chain tool, or a chain tool on your multi tool, it's a good idea to include a master chain link in your bicycle tool kit in case of a chain breakage. You need to make sure to tell your bike shop that it is for a deraileur chain. Also, your bike may have a 9 speed or 10 speed drive train which use different chain widths so you need to specify which one as well.

And that's about it but, I recommend that you carry some ID and some cash just in case.

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