What tools and spares do you need for a cycle tour?

Tools and spares

Unfortunately owning a bike means you also have to own a lot of spare parts and tools. There are so many things you could carry just in case. 

I started carrying (less than) the bare minimum which are the things listed above the line, and the things listed below the line are things I picked up along the way. The items in bold represent the things I have used (or would of used had I been carrying them)

  • Pump
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Multitool
  • Chain breaker (pretty useless now I have a chain link)
  • Tyre levers x 3
  • Security skewer key
  • Leatherman Style (not pictured)
    –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
  • Spare spokes and nipples x 5
  • Inner tubes x 2
  • Spare chain
  • Spare chain link connector
  • 1 set of break pads
  • Grease
  • Pliers x 2
  • Spanner
  • Presta to car valve adaptor
  • Spoke wrench
  • Brake cable
  • Gear cable
  • Hose clamps x 3
  • Cable caps x 4
  • Cassette wrench
  • Cable ties
  • Chain lube

IMG_3043

Things I have learnt about the tool kit.

  • If you aren’t carrying something you will need it, if you are carrying it you probably won’t have to use it
  • Put a chain link connector in your chain, it makes it super easy to break your chain and put it back together again, then you don’t need to carry that stupid chain breaker tool.
  • Not all puncture repair kits are equal. Get a good one.
  • Check out all the fixings on your bike, I am carrying a multitool but actually only need 3 things on it – 2 Allen keys and a screwdriver
  • The spanner is purely for removing the pedals. Try and get pedals with an allen key fixing then you don’t have to carry the spanner
  • Pliers are useful for lots of things.
  • Make sure you have something to cut the cable ties. The mini leatherman has scissors and a knife. Make sure you have it accessible in your luggage as that’s the first thing you will need to open the bike packaging.
  • Cable ties are a cyclists best friends and can be used in a variety of ways, for example, if your cassette breaks and you are left freewheeling you can attach the cassette to the spokes so you can actually get somewhere to get it fixed.
  • Cassette wrench. So I can’t actually use this without another tool which holds the cassette in place, which I don’t have, but should I get into a problem I could go to any place with tools – like a car garage – and they could help. But they won’t have the cassette wrench, especially in Asia, which is why it’s useful to carry.
  • Hose clamps (found in the plumbing section of DIY stores) are more substantial than cable ties and can be used with a splint (a tent peg for example) to fix your racks in they break.
  • It is worth carrying some clear nail polish to repair scratched in the frame to prevent rusting

Things you should know how do before going on a cycle tour

(although I only knew half of this before I started so don’t let that put you off going)

  • Take the wheels off and on
  • Remove the tyres
  • Repair a puncture
  • Disconnect the brakes
  • Take the chain off and on
  • Replace a spoke
  • Adjust brakes
  • Adjust gears
  • Pack you bike for a flight
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