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Why carry hex wrench(es) on the road?(15 posts)

Why carry hex wrench(es) on the road?HouseMoney
Dec 4, 2002 2:25 PM
What can go wrong on a road ride that would warrant carrying either individual hex wrenches or a folding set? In my seat bag I carry what's necessary to get me rolling again after a flat (one or a few), plus some ID, a few bucks, etc. Assuming I do periodic checks to make sure everything is properly tightened and adjusted, am I tempting Murphy's Law by not carrying hex tools?

While we're on the subject, how about a chain tool? And if so, can I use any chain tool on a Campy 9-spd chain?

I've used both of these items on my mountain bike (separate seat bag). Just wondering if it would be a good idea to also carry a spare set with my road bike.
In case something comes loose?cory
Dec 4, 2002 2:47 PM
I carry a couple of common sizes on a multi-tool most of the time. Like you, though, I think I get it from my mountain-biking roots. I live where it's possible to get pretty far out in the woods in a one- or two-hour ride. I'm not nearly as likely to use them on a road ride, but they don't weigh much.
In case something comes loose?jtolleson
Dec 4, 2002 2:53 PM
Ditto. Let's see ... back when I had a quill stem I had a minor biff that misaligned the bars ... nice to loosen, straighten, and tighten again. The most common hex wrench adjustment has been saddle height, but also tightening rattly water bottle cages.

Cheap and light, so why not.
Because "cheap and light" adds up.eyebob
Dec 4, 2002 4:23 PM
Okay it's a stretch, but enough of these things and you're looking at more and more weight as well as bulk. Add up the weight of a frame pump, multi-tool, levers, spare tires, tubes, food, drink, patch kit, all of which have been mentioned at one time or another by people who carry this stuff and it will add up. I guess that's the argument against it.

But they don't add up to much.timfire
Dec 4, 2002 4:42 PM
I'm among the "better safe than sorry" crowd. But still, I've needed my multi-tool many o' times, both for my own use and occasssionally for others. I've had my cleats loosen, my handlebars loosen, I've decided to adjust my seatpost mid-ride, I've needed to adjust lights, etc. Also, I know it's not a hex wrench but it's found on most multi-tools, I've found a screw-driver to be very helpful as well.

Also, I know many people have said this, but really, how much does all that weigh, really? People complain about those things but they don't complain about carrying their watches, wallets, keys, etc. Those things probably add up to nearly as much.

-Tim Kleinert
The argument against the "weight added" is...eyebob
Dec 4, 2002 6:45 PM
to just drop 1/2 a pound of body weight too. I like that one because every time I think, Gee, maybe I should upgrade by brake calipers (pick your bike part) to save some weight I remind myself that it's cheaper and healthier to just drop some body weight.

Carry a 4,5,6 and throw the multi tool away...Lone Gunman
Dec 4, 2002 4:44 PM
add a small screw driver and you can just about repair anything that has a hex on the bike. 2 plastic tire levers 2 tubes, small patch kit. Beyond that anything that breaks will probably need parts to fix.
Sounds like my bagTig
Dec 4, 2002 6:40 PM
I use the smallest Pedro's under seat bag they make and can still carry everything I need: 3 hex wrenches, 2 tubes, 2 tire levers, a few tire boots, a few quick patches, a short phillips screwdriver, and a lightweight 2 size spoke wrench. What else do we need? An extra ID and a few bucks wouldn't hurt, but I carry those already in a ziplock that goes in a jersey pocket.

Maybe an 8mm hex for tightening a loose crank during that first month breaking-in period (I rode with a guy why sure needed one two weeks ago!).
Don't forget the chaintool thoughirregardless
Dec 5, 2002 12:34 AM
break a chain once and you'll never forget again.
Ummm... what if we had a race and nobody came?jtolleson
Dec 4, 2002 9:29 PM
Seriously, what you've described as excess is probably less than a lb. Has that stopped any recreational roadie (even an ambitious one) from doing whatever he or she pleases?

One spare tube, one patch kit, one set of hexes (or alien-like multi tool), a frame pump and the appropriate fluids and jacket ... a no-brainer from my easiest to my toughest outings.
Times changeKerry
Dec 4, 2002 4:51 PM
I used to feel just like you. Why carry tools if you maintain your bike? Then I made the (now) questionable choice of 24 spoke wheels, and had a spoke breake when the wheels were new. Without a friend's 5mm allen wrench, I never could have gotten the brakes wide enough to ride the bike home. Likewise, another friend's spoke wrench got me to the point where the wheel would pass between the chain stays. Now I carry a 5mm wrench and have notched my house key as a spoke wrench. No amount of maintence and checking the bike would have prevented that (fluke) broken spoke on a new wheel.
Murphy's Law.....DINOSAUR
Dec 4, 2002 6:45 PM
I pack three hex wrenches that I pulled out of one of those cheap $20.00 tool sets I purchased at Target. I also pack two tire irons and when I ride my Klein, with Rolf wheels, I pack a spoke wrench, as if a spoke comes loose I can't make it home unless I do a minor roadside true job. I've had water bottle cages screws come loose and I find the best way to tweak in a position is while I'm riding. Also Murphy's Law says that if you don't carry it, you will need it. Better safe than sorry...I think 3 hex wrenches is about bear minimum...I used to pack a Ritchey multi purpose tool and never used it.....not enough leverage to really do anything but get you home.....
Dec 4, 2002 7:43 PM
Kinda depends on your attention to detail and your attitude. If you're really on top of maintaining your bike and never let things get out of hand then it's highly unlikely that you'll need much in the way of tools. However sh!t happens and it's a question of wheather you want to be a useless grape by the side of the road or play McGuiver and get on your way. On some long ass rides I have made tweaks to my seat, bars, pedals, cleats, cables, and deraileurs either for comfort or to make things work just a tad better, but that's just me - I'm a tweaker.

Now for the attitude part. What about your riding partners are they all as anal and mechanically inclined as myself? Nope. They have all kinds of crap go wrong with their bikes and they never carry tools b/c they wouldn't know how to use them and you wouldn't want them using them in any event. So that leaves me with the choice of ditching them in the middle of nowhere, ending the ride and going into "grape mode"with them OR fixing their bike so we can continue and earning free post ride drinks in the process.

It kind of comes down to what one of my buddies said - half the skill in life is figuring out what you're good at and what you're not and then letting the people that have the skills take the lead. You can then make it up in some other area. Some guys go riding with nothing more than a few bucks and a couple of phattys - and that works too, but we can't all do that or it won't work. It's the guys with no tools, no phattys, no skills and no post ride drinks that get me. They're running a debit in their karma account.
Dec 4, 2002 10:21 PM
What are "phattys"?


Some guys go riding with nothing more than a few bucks and a couple of phattys - and that works too, but we can't all do that or it won't work. It's the guys with no tools, no phattys, no skills and no post ride drinks that get me. They're running a debit in their karma account.
Try Ritchey CPR-4Alpedhuez55
Dec 5, 2002 8:06 AM
Try the Ritchey CPR 4 instead of tire levers. It is a set of tire levers with 4-5-6MM hex and 9-10-11 box end wrench built in. You never know when a brake bolt or seat post can come loose. It is slightly heavier than a set of levers but can be a life saver if you have a mechanical problem on the road. I would also suggest a chain tool and spare links. Unless you are in a supported race, you should have some sort of tool kit in your bag. A few hundred grams of weight can save a long walk home.

Mike Y.