Which Bike Tools Should You Carry?

bike tools

Which cycling tools should you carry with you when going on a bike tour close to home or anywhere in the world? In this short video I’ll share with you which of the many available tools I have found necessary to carry on my bicycle touring adventure all around the world. Yes, there are other bike tools you could carry, but these are the tools I’ve found essential for both short and long-distance bicycle riding anywhere in the world.

  • 1-2 spare tube(s)
  • 1 spare brake and derailleur cable
  • 1 patch kit
  • 1/2 a roll of handlebar/electric tape
  • 1 bike pump
  • 1 pedal wrench (with optional S&S coupler wrench)
  • 1 spoke wrench
  • 2 tire levers
  • 1 small folding knife
  • 2 spare brake pads
  • 2 spare spokes
  • 1 multi-tool
  • 1 small bottle of chain lube

For a more detailed list of recommended bike touring tools, please see my book, “The Bicycle Touring Blueprint,”

5 thoughts on “Which Bike Tools Should You Carry?

  1. Jack says:

    Other stuff I would recommend especially if you are away from home:

    1. Spare derailleur hanger. A must have. Our friend broke one recently when we were in the Alps. It was dedicated hanger for his BH bike that nobody had in Austria and Spanish companies don’t have good customer service. He had to wait for one sent from Spain for 2 months!
    2. Your multitool has to have chain breaker. Topeak and Lezyne have nice ones but recently I bought one from Specialized and it’s great. It even has beer opener 🙂
    3. One chain link either from KMC, Connex or SRAM.
    3. Few (3-5) plastic cable zip ties. You can use them for many purposes. Sometimes very handy. I also carry two safety pins. They don;t weight much 🙂
    4. Small powerbank or spare battery for you phone. Murphy’s law says that if accident happens your phone will run out of battery 🙂
    If you have powerbank you can also charge your Garmin if you forgot to do it at home.
    5. If you use SPD always have one spare screw. I lost one twice and having only one left unables you to clip and uclip properly
    6. Small presta to schrader adapter. Allows you to use pumps at any gas station
    7. If you ride below zero either avoid plastic pumps or keep them in your pocket close to your body. Plastic hardens in very low temperatures and you may easily brake pump treadle once you try to open it. That’s why I prefer aluminium pump with metal treadle.
    8. Always have some emergency lights even if you don’t plan to ride after dark. I use low weight small Infini Lava set but you can get dozens of others.
    9. As for the folding knife, I recommend Ian Sinclair Credit Card knife: https://images.knifecenter.com/thumb/1500×1500/knifecenter/iain-sinclair/images/ISCARDB2d.jpg

  2. Nick says:

    In addition to electrical tape, consider “Loom tape”. It is like electrical tape without adhesive. As such, no sticky mess. To finish off the end:
    – use a bit of sticky tape
    – Split the loom tape and use the slit end to make a knot
    – Use a zip tie
    – finish it off with string or cord (which can be repurposed in an emergency). Google for the self binding knot to wrap the end.
    Of course you can always let it flap in the wind.

    Plastic zip ties from small to large. One time I put back together a scout’s pedal with zip ties after recovering the pedal parts from the road.

    I keep a cheap ($1.50/pr)jersey cotton glove (only need one) to put the chain back on. When done, turn it inside out to avoid spreading mess.

  3. Danny Levine says:

    Darren my friend told me that it is also important to carry with you a spare tire and a spare chain. The tire can get torn apart when you get a flat sometimes, and you can suddenly get tread wear causing the tire to just rip open. You need a spare tire too right not just a spare tube in case you really rip the tire open good. And also if your chain suddenly brakes you should have a spare chain right? I was told the chain wears out sometimes after about 1,500 miles and then it causes your chain to skip gears. If your on a real long haul trip your chain can wear out on you.

    • Darren Alff says:

      It depends on your bike tour and what you are doing. If you are just going on a short 1 week bike tour, you don’t need a spare chain or tire. But if you are going into remote corners of the world where bike parts are difficult or impossible to find, then yes, maybe carrying a spare chain or tire would be a good idea. As I talk about inside “The Bicycle Touring Blueprint” http://www.biketourbook.com what you back and carry with you depends on your goals, where you are going, how long you plan to be on the road, etc.

Comments are closed.

Send this to a friend