Building a Toolkit
The Bare Essentials
One of the most common issues you will encounter with your bike is flat tires. Flats can happen almost anytime, so it is a good idea to carry the following items on every ride:
- Patch kit and/or spare tube
- Tire levers (at least 2)
- Tire pump
Multi-tools are light, space-saving and a perfect way to stay prepared without spending a lot of money or lugging around bulky tools. Many multi-tools will incorporate most of the tools listed above!
Longer and more remote rides may require a larger supply of bicycle tools. Luckily, most quality modern bicycles are designed to use a relatively small number of tools for common repairs and adjustments.
The tools listed here will not handle every mechanical emergency, but they will be adequate to address the repairs and adjustment procedures that most recreational riders learn to perform over time:
- Phillips and standard screwdriver
- Pliers (preferably needle-nose)
- Allen wrenches (sizes that match the components of the bike being ridden)
- Open-end wrenches (or an adjustable wrench)
- Chain tool
- Spoke wrench
It is important to clean and lubricate certain bike components from time to time to maintain good performance. The following items can be easily packed along to meet these needs:
- Chain lubricant
- Small containers of bicycle oil and bicycle grease
- A few clean rags and some hand cleaner
If you go on a ride that is particular muddy or dusty, make sure to at least rinse your bike following the ride. A simple rinse will clean your bike well enough until you have the time to dive into a deep clean and relubrication.