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multitool necessary for ride under 50 miles?(33 posts)

multitool necessary for ride under 50 miles?Drone 5200
Aug 28, 2003 9:46 AM
I have taken to leaving my multitool behind for rides under 50 miles. Do you guys and gals think that's a mistake? I just don't see that I'll really need it.
Worst case is that you will get a nice 25 mile walk home. nmMB1
Aug 28, 2003 9:53 AM
re: depends on how far you like to walkhudsonite
Aug 28, 2003 10:10 AM
My tools are always on my bike. I have not needed them for my own bike in years. But I have helped out a few riders this summer.

I take my tools all the time because I would not like to walk home. If I was 25 miles away, and I walk at 3 to 4 miles an hour, that is a 6 hour walk.

Now, if you have a cell phone and a wife/husband, then maybe it does not matter. Just call up and say "come and get me"!
What's magic about 50 miles?terry b
Aug 28, 2003 10:35 AM
I had a blowout at the end of my street last weekend. I chose to walk rather than repair - .7 miles barefoot (since I wasn't making any time with my Look cleats) was more than I would care to do regularly.

Repairs are random, they could be called for at 51 miles, 49 miles or .7 miles. Who wants to walk or call for help? My Ritchey CPR13 mini-tool weighs next to nothing. I carry it always.

I will agree with you though - most of these tools are extreme overkill (6 separate box wrenches? what for?) This is why I like the Ritchey - chain breaker and a couple of allen keys. Who needs more?
I agree, get one of those...Matno
Aug 28, 2003 12:05 PM
The CPR13 is so light, you won't even notice it. Even without a jersey, you could probably stick it in your sock without noticing it! Personally, I don't think an under-the-saddle toolbag is even noticeable. Especially if it only has the CPR13, a CO2 pump/mini pump (depending on the ride), and a spare tube (believe me, you want that). The only alternative to tools is a cell phone, which still takes a long time (i.e. for someone to come and get you) and inconveniences someone else.

Of course, if you don't mind walking home, go for it.
it's kinda like seatbeltsyeah right
Aug 28, 2003 10:36 AM
do you only wear them on long trips?
Ok, I hear what your saying, but . . .Drone 5200
Aug 28, 2003 10:50 AM
It seems like just extra baggage. I mean, if something "breaks" then I'm not going to be able to fix it anyway. If some bolt works its way lose then wouldn't I notice that on a shorter ride and be able to tighten it up at home. I guess that's my question, do things every really loosen up on a ride to the point that you have to stop and tighten them? With limited saddlebag space I'd rather carry extra co2, maybe 4. Now that is something even I can see a need for.
Ok, I hear what your saying, but . . .PEDDLEFOOT
Aug 28, 2003 10:55 AM
Carry it in your jersey pocket.
You're correct. Nothing loosens at less than 50 miles...JL
Aug 28, 2003 11:11 AM
and you always notice it, if it does.

Just kidding, but wouldn't you rather have it, than walk/call for a ride?

Happy riding.


P.S. Like someone said. Jersey pockets hold a lot.
It happened to meJFR
Aug 28, 2003 12:09 PM
Bar clamp bolts on my stem worked loose in the middle of a short ride (23 mile commute). I had to beg an allen from a passing cyclist. I now carry a multi very similar to the Ritchey another poster carries... it weighs next to nothing, and the peace of mind is well worth it... I can re-tighten, adjust, or help another rider now.
Sure, I take mine with.PseuZQ
Aug 28, 2003 11:21 AM
Saddle got loose, cleats came loose, got chainsuck and used it to wedge the chain out from between the granny ring and the chainstay, fixed someone else's loose handlebars, had a pavement encounter and repositioned a shifter, dug little rocks out of my speedplay cleats, cut lines of coke, dueled a pirate, and guest-chefed at Benihana.
ROTFLMAO! nmJS Haiku Shop
Aug 28, 2003 11:25 AM
Of course it is.Dropped
Aug 28, 2003 11:24 AM
You shouldn't clip in unless you have certain things with you, including a helmet, a spare tube and some way to install and inflate it, and a multitool.

What happens if you are 25 miles (or 2.5 miles, for that matter) from home and your chain breaks? It's part of being a responsible cyclist.
I no longer need one.dzrider
Aug 28, 2003 11:36 AM
Since taking an acting class I can sit by the side of the road and cry until somebody helps me. It works and each tear weighs 1/2 a gram so if I do get back on the bike I can ride like the wind.
re: multitool necessary for ride under 50 miles?pmf1
Aug 28, 2003 12:00 PM
You should carry pretty much the same gear whether you're going on a 20 mile ride, or a 100 mile ride. If you break your chain, get a second flat, a loose crank, etc. even 5 miles is a long way to walk pushing that bike.

Many years ago I broke a chain 3 miles from my house commuting home from work. From that day on, I have never ridden anywhere without a chain tool. And its saved me a few times (and a few other riders I've helped out over the years).

So yeah, I'd take it if I were you.
OK, OK, OK . . .Drone 5200
Aug 28, 2003 12:20 PM
I get it. I don't hear a single disent. I'll be sure to take it. Mine is a pocket knife like tool with lots of allens and a chain tool. BTW, to repair the chain (Ultegra) wouldn't I need a few spare pins in my bag?
it wouldn't hurt but..._rt_
Aug 28, 2003 12:28 PM
it's not completely necessary to carry spare pins. if you're going to have to take out a link in your chain you can always use the pin from the link you remove if you're careful. while it's not a great idea to reuse pins on a day to day basis (e.g., if you're removing your chain to clean it), if you have to remove links because your chain is broken then you're doing it primarily to get back to where you can buy a new chain anyway.

Skip the spare pinsStraightblock
Aug 28, 2003 1:08 PM
Carry a Sram Powerlink instead.
doesn't help if..._rt_
Aug 29, 2003 8:02 AM
the chain breaks at the power link! ;-) happened to a friend of mine on the trail recently. we took out a couple links, used one of the pins that was already on the chain and got her rolling for another 7 or so miles of trail and back to the cars.

rt - love my SRAM chains
So here's your dissentKerry Irons
Aug 28, 2003 5:35 PM
The length of your ride really isn't the issue. The issue is how frequently you have breakdowns. In my experience, if you maintain your bike well, you simply don't have on-road problems except flat tires. I carry a 5mm allen and have notched my house key as a spoke wrench (plus spare tube, Park patches, tire levers). In the past 45K miles, I've needed this combo once when a spoke broke. My wife has not had a breakdown of any type on her current bike (14 seasons, 80K miles). I think I had a crank arm come loose once on my previous bike (10 years, 55K miles) but was able to press it back on with a road side kludge and make it home with no problems. In nearly 40 years and a couple of hundred Ks of riding, I've never had a chain fail. My wife likewise, so we're talking well over 300K miles. I don't think you have breakdowns if you maintain well and use good equipment. However, if you're having breakdowns, then by all means carry the tools you'll need - and take them with you for every ride.
thanks for your thoughtsDrone 5200
Aug 28, 2003 6:56 PM
When I originally posted I was kind of thinking like that. I can't see that I will need the multitool much. But, as you can see, the collective wisdom is "better safe than sorry." Hard to argue with that. Besides, I'm not such a great mechanic yet. It's gonna take me some miles to get a feel for things, so I'll be carrying the tool for a while. And maybe look for a smaller one.
The one STINKIN' time I left my tools at home....asphalt assault
Aug 28, 2003 12:42 PM
I got a flat! Luckily I was only 2 miles from the house.

49 miles is a Looooooooooong walk.
my multitool doesn't help with flats, I've got tire irons too - nmDrone 5200
Aug 28, 2003 12:57 PM
must be a guy thing...CritLover
Aug 28, 2003 4:11 PM
even when I'm with the gals from my team, not one person carries a tool with them. Tire levers, sure, patches, not generally, tools, never. Maybe it's because we live in a highly populated area with a lot passing cyclists, or maybe because we probably couldn't fix it even if we did have a tool, but I can't stand the weight of those things in my pocket. I have a cell phone and money, that's enough to get me to a shop or home.
I'm a guy who likes his tools, but . . .Drone 5200
Aug 28, 2003 7:00 PM
I guess I'm also a bit of a weight weenie. Maybe I just need a smaller multitool. I feel the same about my cell phone. Hate to bring it along. It seems like unnecessary weight, and it gets all sweaty in my pocket -- might not even work when I need it. I too ride in a populated area with pretty easy access to payphones. But its hard to argue with all of this collective wisdom.
It is a Mcguyver thing...char
Aug 28, 2003 7:12 PM
I bring tools along not to fix my bike, but to help other riders who need road/trail side assistance (perhaps female?) No multi-tool, just individual wrenches, spoke wrench, chaintool, maybe weighs less than a cellphone, dunno, don't carry a cellphone, everyone else does, and besides cell phone coverage is not available in all areas that I ride.

There's no need to bring a kitchen sink full, just the ones that fit your bike. 3 or 4 allens, 1 box 8/10, screwdriver, spoke, chainbreaker (optional)

I'm no McGuyver, but this boy don't walk home - its push, pull or shove.

You'd only have to walk 25 miles home! nmjtlmd
Aug 28, 2003 8:10 PM
Crank Bros multiscrublover
Aug 28, 2003 8:39 PM
has all the allens, a chain tool, spoke wrenches, flat and phillips drivers, and a torx wrench. use it road and mtb (the torx is great to have for disc rotor bolts) a co2 pump with two cartridges, spare chainlink, spare tube, and two tire levers. rolls up to not even fill up a whole jersey pocket. piece of mind. on the mtb..... i carry a pump instead of the co2. extra tube. a small ziploc with a spare brake and shift cable, ends cut, a small assortment of spare bolts for various sizes, zip ties, and duct tape wrapped around the pump handle. and all of it has come in use at one time or another. plus a small first aid kit. i hate to walk home, am and single- no wife/girlfriend to come and get me!
I don't.Spoke Wrench
Aug 29, 2003 4:40 AM
Basically, on my road bike I just carry the stuff that I need to fix a flat tire or two. The only breakdowns that I can remember on the road have always also involved things like a broken seat binder bolt that I didn't have a spare for or once some kind of hub problem that required a cone wrench to fix so I've had to SOS for help a few times.

I do carry a Park mini tool kit in my mountain bike camel back. Mechanical breakdowns are quite a bit more common on mountain bikes, especially for guys who fall as often as I do. The last time that I broke a chain, however, the pin from my chain breaker turned out to be AWOL so I lowered the seat and "flintstoned" 4 miles back to my truck.

I guess that the point of all this is to say that you have to figure out your own break even point of mechanical preparedness. How much of a worrier are you? I kind of take the attitude that breakdowns are too rare for me to upset my digestive system worrying about them and, when they do happen, I probably won't have everything that I need anyway so what's the point.
I like your attitude,Drone 5200
Aug 29, 2003 12:15 PM
It's all about fun and not over stressing about every little thing. I feel that way. If something breaks, its just part of the adventure to get back home. I can always call for a ride.
Are you racing?MisJG
Aug 29, 2003 8:19 AM
If you are in a 50 mile race, then by all means lighten up wherever you can. But on a training or recreation ride, do you really need to be what, 6 oz lighter? If anything, the little extra weight will make you faster when you strip down the bike and race! Peace of mind is worth more to me than 6 oz. I carry over 15 pounds of extra gear when I commute to work. My average speed today? 18.38 mph. Not bad for an old Schwinn with downtube shifters! A few long climbs on my route too!
That rocksDrone 5200
Aug 29, 2003 12:17 PM
I can barely average 18.0 mph on a flat 10 mile course. But I'm working on it . . . give me some time . . .

With that stat, I'm sure you can guess that I'm not racing.
Aug 29, 2003 12:18 PM
Drone, out.