Assembling A Tool Kit

Basic and Extended Packs

Excerpted from Mountain Bike Repair: Nuts and Bolts Guide by Ken Gronseth

If you have ever inspected your bike, you probably came to the conclusion that a tool kit covering every possible repair would be impossible to carry. You're right. Realistically, the kit you carry will have tools that anticipate the more common problems, as well as tools you have actually used or wish you had available during past trail-side repairs. Here are some suggestions for two kits: a basic pack of indispensable tools, and a kit suitable for extended rides or expeditions.

The basic tool kit covers the most common repairs: flat tires, loose bolts and parts, chain and shifting hitches, and wheel problems. Many otherwise separate tools can often be found on multi-tools that cleverly combine different instruments in a compact and lightweight package. Before purchasing a multi-tool, take your bike to a shop and confirm that the tool can actually be used on all parts of your bike.

A complete basic tool kit will include:

Spare inner tube (make sure that it is the right size)
Tire patch kit
Tire levers
Tire pressure gauge
Dollar bill
4-5-6 mm hex wrenches and/or 8-9-10 mm box wrenches
Chain rivet tool
Spoke wrench
Repair tape and baling wire
6" slip joint pliers or 6" adjustable wrench
Swiss Army knife OR utility tool
Bandanna or paper towel

The tools and parts in an extended tool kit will allow you to fix major problems that might occur during more ambitious rides. Even if you do not feel proficient using every tool in your kit, carry them anyway. A more experienced rider may come to your aid and will be happy to use your tools and maybe show you a few new skills. It makes sense to share these items among a group of riders to save weight.

In addition to the items listed in the basic tool kit, an extended tool kit might include:

  • Chain links
    Derailleur pulley and bolt
    Spare nuts, bolts, and washers
    6” locking jaw pliers
    Extra spokes and nipples, including an extra 12" long spoke
    Piece of tire casing, a large needle, and carpet thread
    Rear axle
    Two universal cone wrenches
    Bottom bracket tools
    Crankarm bolt wrench
    Cassette or freewheel removal tools "hyper cassette cracker" or "pocket vise"
    Shift and brake cable
    Small container of lubricant

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© Article copyright Menasha Ridge Press. All rights reserved.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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