What’s in your tool kit?

Here's what I currently carry in my day-ride tool kit

Bike Breakdown:
What’s in your tool kit?

This is a photo of my current tool kit. The kit is a work in progress. I add and subtract things as I discover new gear, new ways of using gear, and better ways to do more with less.

Here’s what I currently carry in my day-ride tool kit:

Zip ties (I’m carrying too many.)
Tire levers – two, nylon
Tire boot (if large gash in tire)
Flat tire patch kit
Inner tubes – two
Super glue
Small crescent wrench (only if the bike I’m riding has disk brakes or a SRAM Dual Drive)
Small phillips head screw driver
Chain tool (removed from a multi-tool)
Small flat head screw driver
Space pen (I might start carrying something smaller and lighter.)
Hex keys (only for the bolts on my bike, nothing extra): 3, 4, 5, 6 mm with 8 mm adapter removed from a multi tool)
Gloves (e.g., Nitrile) for handling greasy parts
Lube – bottle of T9 (The bottle size shown here is big — what I’d take when touring. I could carry a smaller bottle on day rides.)

The reasons I don’t carry a multi-tool:

  • I find the shape too bulky to be usable in tight spaces;
  • They contain tools I may not need for the bike I’m riding (e.g., the torx adapter, the bottle opener, the tiny hex key);
  • Often some of the tools don’t work well (e.g., the screwdrivers are usually useless);
  • Four hex keys take up less space and are cheaper, easier and faster to use than a multi-tool with four hex keys;
  • If my bike is so seriously messed up that I need a tool to fix something or else I can’t safely ride — as opposed to simply making due with sub-optimal tuning — I want a proper tool so I can do a proper job in a reasonable amount of time.