Tools we’re taking

What tools to take on such a trip is an almost personal matter. Of course there are tools that you pretty much need, like tire levers. Some bikes require specific tools as well. But after that its up to each person themselves. Things to consider are bulk and weight of tools, how much money to spend on them, are there multi-use options and what tools you may need for a bodge fix to get you back to civilization. And then of course your mechanics-skills. (How much can and will you actually fix yourself? No point taking an entire garage worth of tools if you don’t even know how to change tires or tighten the chain.)

Some may say the amount of tools we have taken is far too much, but for us it works. First of all there is two of us, so the load can be shared. Then we didn’t want to spend lots of money on fancy, small multi-use tools. So instead we have taken our favourite tools that we are comfortable using. And if we find we have taken too much, we can always leave some behind somewhere (although sods law, we’ll need it as soon as we’ve left it somewhere).

  • electric tire pump

  • foot pump (if one breaks, use the other, which already happened, and you need at least one when you have a flat)

  • 3 tire levers (some take two, but three is easier)

  • hammer (it’s the most used tool we have! not least for hammering tent pegs into the ground)

  • pliers

    twist the easy-out

  • ratchet with sockets and torx and hex bits and extension bar

  • big torque ratchet (perfect as breaker bar for front sprocket nut and Aidan is happy to take it)

  • set of torx type allen keys

  • spanners of various sizes

  • screw drivers (Phillips head and flat head)

    It was Sasha!.... honest!

  • spark plug socket

  • bolt-extractors (just cos these ones are really good and they are hard to find when you brake off a bolt; and they’re only small anyways)

  • pen knife

  • Stanley knife (Aidan loves using it)

  • rubber mallet (not strictly necessary, but I love using it, and am happy to carry it – for now)

  • chain breaker

  • adjustable spanner

  • mole grips

  • cable oiler (just cos I won it at the HUBB meeting)

  • needle-nose pliers (its amazing how often I need them)

  • valve clearance feeler gauge (just cos I had it, and its small)

As you can see, it’s an unnecessarily long list and we may even leave some behind. But so far all of it has been used and we feel comfortable fixing our bikes with these tools. If you are using this as a sample packing list for your trip, just pick the bits you like and leave the rest, especially if it’s all to be carried on one bike.

 

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