Cycling is a great way to exercise your muscles and get your heart rate up, but it does have its dangers attached. In Australia, an average of 44 persons lose their lives annually in cycling accidents, and the Northern Territory accounts for over 70% of them. Meanwhile, as crashes are severe setbacks to your cycling journey, you may also encounter minor break-downs.
It is always best to be prepared for any circumstance so, here is a list of bike tools that you must have on yourself when you head out on a long cycling trip:
Lights and Reflectors
Apart from helmets and proper gear, lights are the most critical safety elements of a good cycling trip. One of the leading causes of bicycle crashes is a lack of good lights, as most (25%) cyclist fatalities in Australia occur in high-traffic, low-light conditions from 4-7 pm. They may occur due to poor lighting in the front, when the path is not adequately illuminated, or at the rear, where an oncoming vehicle is unable to identify a cyclist.
The chances of your tyre puncturing are not particularly high, which is once every 1000 – 4000 km. However, the probability of you experiencing a flat on your next trip is never zero. Hence, carrying a pump with you, or at least one pump for your entire crew, is a very good practice. So, check with your retailer for pumps of various capacities and sizes. Some even come with gauges, which are useful in ensuring the appropriate air pressure in your tyre.
Patch Kit and Tubes
You will need a patch kit if you do have a punctured tyre, and it contains self-adhesive patches and a strip of sandpaper. This is important since it comes in handy if your puncture is easily detectable. But, at times when patching up the hole is not feasible, you might want to consider stocking on an extra tube.
These nifty little tools are indispensable since if you have to remove the tube from the tyre, the levers are very helpful. Also, remember you need two to pry your tyres off, and pack an extra lever in case one of them breaks.
Apart from tire-related issues, you will face troubles with your seat and framework. So, it becomes important to have a set of Allen keys and screwdrivers to make adjustments on the go. You may have the larger ones at home for precise adjustments, but it is highly recommended that you carry a portable multi-tool with you on your trip. Also, ensure it has a good range (2mm to 10mm) of Allen keys (hex keys), a flat head, and Phillips head screwdrivers. Meanwhile, high-end multi-tools come equipped with chain breakers, brake pad spreaders, and even a serrated blade. So, ask your retailer to suggest one that complements your pre-existing toolset if you don’t want to duplicate an item.
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Cassette Lockring Tool and Chain Whip
If your trail includes hilly areas, you might want to consider optimising your gears. Meanwhile, if you are looking to dismantle your sprockets, you will need a cassette lockring tool and a chain whip. A good chain whip effectively holds the sprockets in place when removing the cassette lockring. So, check with your retailer whether the chain whip you plan to buy is compatible with the sprockets you intend to work with. The same goes for the lockring tool, as you must ensure that you are buying the one compatible with your cassette (Shimano or Campagnolo). Besides, since these tools tend to be on the expensive side, it is advisable to do thorough research. Nevertheless, there are great bike tools available at affordable rates in the market that do not compromise on quality.
Stocking on the above tools is a one-time investment that is sure to pay itself off in the long run. You will find yourself reaching for them on every one of your long cycling trips. So, consult your tool supplier to ensure you have the most suitable set depending on your needs.
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