Tuesday, April 10, 2012

For Lindsay of You Ain't Got Jack: Basic Budget Tool Kit.

UPDATE MY BLOG HAS MOVED TO Bike4Heck.com Please comment on this on the new site!

The Tool Holder
Which Tools do you need?
I recently replied on a blog post by Lindsay of the blog "You Ain't Got Jack". I really like the fact that Lindsay has taken it upon herself to get healthy by riding a bicycle. This is the same reason that I originally took up cycling again. My reply to her post was about the need to carry a spare locking cable for the Yuba Mundo inside the giant Go Getter Bags. This is an idea that hatched like a new born baby chicken with the incubator set in overdrive when I realized on a grocery run that I didn’t grab the key chain with the key for the U-lock that lives on my Yuba. So I rode over to Home Depot and bought a combination cable lock which now makes its place in my go-getter bags. I figure any lock is better than none in my low crime area.

So on to helping a fellow cargo biker:

A basic budget minded tool kit (what I carry on my bike):
  • $1 Small Adjustable Wrench (that fits the Yuba's rear axle bolt and front bolt)
  • $5 Basic Inter-tube without Slime
    • Slime tubes are good but it makes the tube thick and harder to store in a saddle bag.
    • Make sure it fits your needs (know your tire size)
  • $2 Bicycle Flat Repair Kit (old fashion glue kind, none of those peal and stick jobs here).
    • I remove the patches, sand paper, and rubber cement from the container it comes in (that just takes up space)
    • Practice! If you've never repaired an inner tube before learn how to!
    • I usually just replace tubes and only patch to "get home," wasteful, I know, but I don't like slow leaks and patches are hit and miss. 
  • $10-12 Compact Air Pump
    • Just be careful you don't damage the inner-tube's nozzle thingy filling it up (it can get cut on the rim if you don't support the pump while airing up the tire)
    • For the reason stated above, I sprung for the CO2 Air pump and I carry 1 extra CO2 Cartridge for good measure. The CO2 route cost usually between $25-$60 depending on the model and you will have to shop at a bike shop to get these. 
  • $1 of spare cheap-o AAA Batteries as back ups to my lights. 
    • Get what fits your needs and I like cheap-o non-alkaline batteries are because  cheap and most importantly they are very light weight.
  • $7 Bicycle Multi-Tool
    • Something similar to one posted in the link above. 
  • $10 Under the Saddle Bag just a cheap department store (Target) one is fine, just make sure everything fits. These are also know as wedge packs.
  • $2-3 Plastic Tire Wrenches - These help get that tire off the rim. You need 2 or 3. 
    • I like the kind that fit together for storage  (more compact)
Hank the best Bike Mechanic in Texas
Hank Repairs My Yuba Mundo Cargo Bike
So the grand total comes to $38 to $41 for the basic pump set up and $51 to $86 for the option with the CO2 Pump which will not make your arm fall off when installing a new tube, and it gets you back on the road faster. Plus you want to have a $20 bill tucked away in there too as well as a couple of band-aids. 

In researching the options out there I saw some things that I liked that could form the basis of a kit, personally I think that an extra inner-tube is a non-negotiable item. 
For home use I'm more advanced setup with a Park Tool Bicycle Repair Stand, Turing Stand, and a Tool Kit from Performace Bicycles. Perhaps I'll a blog on that later... I was able to completely rebuild an old cruiser with those tools. 

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  1. Matthew-

    Thank you for taking the time to put this post together, I'm sure I won't be the only one who will find this super helpful!

    I think I'm going to start plugging away at the list a little at a time.

    Cheers, Lindsay

    1. Thanks Lindsay! I'm really impressed about your 30 days of riding. I'm planning on riding the 8 miles one way to work on Friday if I can get up early enough!

  2. http://www.topeak.com/products/Pumps/RoadMorph
    This pump has been the best investment for our road kit. Those little pumps have been useless and left us stranded many times. This one has a little foot pedal that pops out and you can use it like a floor pump. With cargo bikes, you probably don't need as high of a psi but this baby can pump a road tire to 100 without breaking a sweat. Love it and I make sure it has a permanent place in my panniers everywhere I go. Great post, very helpful!

    1. Thanks for the comment. Please subscribe to my blog feed! I need more readers! I've not see that pump before and I really like it. As stated in my post, I carry a C02 with an extra cartridge and I have found that it's worth the investment. I was riding with my family up in San Angelo, Texas last Saturday when my mom got a flat on her Electra Townie 3i when we were 5 miles from home so I used my patch kit and used the C02 for the first time under real conditions and it worked great! (I say real conditions because you need to practice repairs like that at home so you know the basics). When riding my wife usually has a classic small air pump on her bike in addition to the C02 Pump that hangs out on her bike too. This past weekend we found both useful as my repair wasn't the greatest and we needed frequent stops to re-inflate (hand pump used here) on the ride back to the home.

    2. you have the tools down pretty well, i'd add 4,5,6 mm allen keys ( not sure about you, but those 3 keys were all that were on my bikes in the day), if your on a long trip maybe a chainbreaker. i only brought that when in the back country mountain biking. not a fan of the co2, expensive, but thats me. a frame pump will do. also, a valve adapter on you tube from presta to shrader. you might need to bumm a pump from a roadie or maybe offer it. very cheap. your absolutely right on learning how to repair a flat, one day the sky will fall. i remember a day road biking where a fellow team rider used his two tubes, had to borrow everyone elses, AND then he picked up a 16d nail that went right through the rim. we're talking a 700 rim... last thing, wrap up all the metal tools in the right size rag/ piece of fabric. it will control the noise, and give you something to wipe the grime/ grease off your hands when the time comes when you need the tools.

      also, if you flat, pass along that you need to leave the tube in place after you take the tire off, you might need to check the inside of the tire. sometimes a thorn will get stuck in the tire and will flat you again, you need to feel the inside of the tire for anything rough. oh, if you blow out a sidewall or get an oversized hole/damage to the tire, a dollar bill is incredibly strong paper and you usually have a bill in your pocket. saved me more than once.

      happy riding
      john zee

    3. John Zee,

      I agree with you! A dollar can be useful for major issues with tires. I didn't go into details about how to repair a flat but checking the tire for sharp things some with knowing how to repair one! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  3. I really like the Bike Smart SteadyFlate 2, because it works for Schrader and Presta, it's light, but it folds out like a small version of a floor pump, so it can pack a wallop when inflating a tire.


  4. I pack my mini tool in a rubber glove. This comes in handy for the nasty jobs. Just a few weekends ago one of the riders in our group got something slimy and master caught in her rear derailleur. It was a horrible mess. After some cursing and yanking it was clear to everyone what it was - a used condom.
    Which brings me to also adding a little alcohol swap or sanitary hand wipe in the bag as well. You just never know.

    1. That is totally nasty! I don't even thing I would have touched that with rubber gloves. Perhaps some pliers would be better for situations with that.

  5. I carry these tools, and in addition a Y-wrench(8/9/10mm sockets) and a 8/10 standard wrench. This lets me adjust brakes and derailers if I need to.


    1. Nice idea... it all depends on what you think you will need one bike has an internal hub and coaster break so it's tool kit is tailored for that need.

  6. I'd add some alcohol wipes to the list. Great for cleaning slime off tubes so the patches will stick, cleaning grease off your hands , or cleaning up road rash...and cheap!

    My patching is near 100% reliable when I do it at home. On the road it is over 90% if I take the wheel off, but perhaps as low as 50% if I try leaving the wheel on the bike. The key is through buffing, and waiting for the glue to dry fully, and it is hard to be paitient when punctured on the roadside. A. While back I added the 19th patch to a tube, and none of the old ones were leaking.

    1. Kevbo,

      I think my patching fails due to the fact that I don't want to wait on the glue! LOL

  7. If the frame isn't locked to the tire a thief could remove the front tire and get away with your bike.

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