Any bicycle rider who has logged their miles has run into a roadside bike problem. A punctured tube, a slashed tire, or a broken chain is part of the overall biking experience, and veteran bikers have learned how to prepare for these mishaps.
But before they learned, they started out as a newbie like you. They can now come out of adventures with unscathed bicycles, but only because they went through something traumatic, like walking a bike with a deflated tire in the middle of nowhere, miles away from home.
Luckily, you can skip a similar scenario by wising up and getting a starter bike tool kit. Here are our six recommendations.
For keeping all the bolts, nuts, and screws of your bike intact. When handling impromptu repair and maintenance on the road, you'll need a set of tools. However, we are less inclined to bring them because they add at least a couple of pounds and rolling resistance.
The solution is a mini bike tool kit.
Crankbrothers multi-tool is one of the popular products among mountain and road bikers. This multi-tool is compact and efficient. Its sturdy alloy outer casing fits together 19 tools, making it ideal for both pocket or pannier carry.
Bringing this multi-tool will make you feel secure and confident when handling any bike problems.
For pulling out inner tubes and fixing light punctures.
Getting a punctured tube is not a question of “if” but “when.” For cyclists who still use tires with tubes, getting a puncture is a rite of passage, a situation that makes one truly attuned to the reality of cycling.
Sooner or later, cyclists who come out of this punctured tube predicament wise up—they bring a patch kit.
BaySerry is a good addition to your bike emergency tool kit. It offers all the necessary items you'll need to stick a patch on that puncture hole so that you don't have to ride your bike home on a flat.
For reinflating patched inner tubes and as a quick remedy for gradually deflating tires
One of the most important tools you should always bring is a tire pump. Patch kits can only do so much for your tire tubes. When you apply the patches, your tubes will still need enough air before you fit them inside your tire. You do this to arrange your tube properly and avoid a pinch flat caused by your bike's rim.
Another situation you should watch out for is the gradual loss of air pressure in your tires, perhaps within an hour or two. A tiny puncture or tire diffusion may cause this.
Both situations don't necessarily require patching your tubes, so your option is to inflate your tires.
Mini tire pumps like Giyo are a tremendous help in any flat tire situation. Just hop off your bike, pull the mini pump, and start reinflating your tires on the spot. You won't need to carry your bike to the nearest bike repair post or call for roadside assistance.
For replacing tubes that a patch kit can't fix
Sometimes, your tube will have several undetected punctures and it becomes impractical to patch them all. The best option is to scrap the punctured tube and replace it with a new one.
Purchasing high-quality tubes are a must. However, tubes can still wear out even if they’re only stored inside your bike pannier. Exposure to different temperatures can also make them brittle, their folds can develop minor cracks, and the rubber may attract insects.
Tubes from Zukka are a good product to stock up on. They’re durable enough to withstand heat, so you're guaranteed they will remain in good condition even if you're storing them in a heat-absorbing bag.
For sealing off ruptured or slashed tires and protecting the inflated inner tube.
A severe flat tire is a much bigger problem than a simple tube puncture. The lucky ones get away with it by doing pre-ride checks to check for a tire slash. Other bike riders may start out riding with a healthy tire condition. Then, road debris comes flying off from a speeding vehicle and hits your tire, deflating it instantly.
Park Tool tire boot is useful in this scenario. It's a handy and light tool to keep in your small bike bag to help prepare you for the worst flat tire situation.
To disconnect and reconnect a broken bike chain.
A broken chain is an uncommon occurrence and happens when your chain reaches the end of its life. The problem is we don't know when this will be. You can check for symptoms by measuring your chain, but more often than not, you'll ride your chain until it breaks.
Chain breakage is horrible, and spontaneous roadside damage will leave you feeling like you're stuck in the middle of the desert. But coming in prepared with chain pliers such as Oumers to match your chain tool will help you survive until you reach home.
If you are a bike rider, the first mechanic you can summon in a roadside problem is yourself. You must realize that the open road and rugged trails can break your bike down, but that's part of what makes the ride a thrilling experience.
But the excitement only becomes complete if you show up prepared for the worst. So get the essential roadside mountain bike tools the soonest. It's a decision that will spell the difference between a fulfilling after-session ride home and a stressful survival scenario.