What to Carry to Fix Most Things On Your Bike in the Smallest Toolkit Possible

Dec 10, 2022 at 13:55
by Dario DiGiulio  
There is no shortage of well-designed packable tools these days, but the overlap in utility can lead to you carrying far more than need be. We all know that person with 20 pounds of tools and spare parts jammed into their riding pack, and even though it's well-intentioned, it might not be the only way. My goal here is to assemble a svelte toolkit that can fix most of the things you're liable to break on a ride, at least enough to get you home. Ideally it can all fit in a small hip pack, or within the many pockets of your favorite cargo shorts.

Unior Cassette Lockring Tool
photo
This simple and ingenious little tool was the impetus for this entire article, so I think it deserves the first spot. For anyone who has faced the problem of needing to remove a cassette in the field - to fix a broken spoke or otherwise - you know how nearly-impossible it can be to MacGyver a solution. By leveraging the wheel, frame, and chain of your bike, Unior has devised an easy way to use this simple piece of metal to get your cassette off and back on with little fuss.
Unior Cassette Lockring Tool
• Can be used to remove and re-install cassette
• Includes frame-protection plate
• Bonus spoke wrench
• Weight: 20g
• MSRP: $8.25
www.uniortools.com
Unior has easy-to-follow videos on their website and YouTube channel, should you need a primer on how to use this little guy. The assumption here is you have a couple spare spokes to replace the broken ones, which might seem ridiculous until you realize that you can stick some in your handlebar and insulate them with foam to keep things quiet. You can typically just ride out with one or two broken spokes, but if you happen to zipper a few, then this might just save you from a long walk.

OneUp Pump
photo
I'm certainly not the first person to recommend a OneUp pump to you, but let this serve as a reminder of how good they are. Though the 100cc version definitely gets the job done quicker, the little 70cc does a surprisingly good job. With the added benefit of a much smaller form factor, it's the perfect candidate for this toolkit. I personally always carry the 100 for the extra storage and air volume, but if you're really tight on space then the 70 will do the trick.
OneUp Pump
• Fully sealed and rebuildable
• Includes bottle cage mount
• Presta-only head
• Weight: 135g / 160g
• MSRP: $65
www.oneupcomponents.com
Sure, a CO2 and inflater head might take up less space, but I don't know many people who have anything above a poor success rate with that method when you really need it. Do what I do and wrap a bunch of 1" wide gorilla tape around this thing; it works as everything from a tire boot to a bandage.

OneUp Tool
photo
Two recommendations from the same brand might seem a bit suspicious, but OneUp's system works so well it's hard to avoid. The self-contained form factor is huge, and the tools themselves all function as you'd want them to. There are higher quality multitools out there, but ultimately this collection of the most common bits handles regular maintenance tasks very well. In fact, this was the only chain breaker I owned for a long time after mistakenly lending my shop version out to a friend.
OneUp Tool
• 20 functions
• 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm, T25 Torx, Flathead
• Tire lever
• Holds extra quick links
• Weight: 130g
• MSRP: $65
www.oneupcomponents.com
They've updated the chain-breaker function to make it even more robust, but you still need masterlink pliers should you have to take the chain off - keep reading to see which ones take the cake. I should also note that I have the first version of this tool, and despite near-daily usage for the past 4 years, it's still truckin'. The tool itself is a bit worse for wear, as the pivots holding the thing together tend to get loose, but a bit of TLC keeps it working just fine. Again, you can find nicer toolsets, but in a pinch I have no real complaints with the tool assortment you get with the OneUp, and the self-containment means it's one less thing to forget.

Dynaplug Micro Pro
photo
Tire problems are the mostly likely culprit when it comes to a ride-stopping mechanical, so you might as well come prepared. There are smaller fix-a-flat setups out there, but I've had nothing but good luck with Dynaplugs over the years, so they've earned their place in this mini kit.
The beauty of the pill design is the space to cram some handy extras into it - I typically even keep some of the fat Lezyne bacon strips in mine, for slashes that require more than one plug.
Dynaplug Micro Pro
• 4 insertion tubes w/ plugs
• Air-stopper awl
• Micro knife for trimming plug
• Weight: 43 grams
• MSRP: $63.99
www.dynaplug.com
Be it serendipity or design intent on the part of the two companies, this thing actually fits perfectly inside the OneUp pump's storage area. Sadly, you can't hold both this and the OneUp tool at the same time in the 70cc, only in the 100cc.

With the spare room, you might notice the Dynaplug knocking inside the pump, so I simply take up that space with a few folded up zip-ties, since they're ultimately the most useful SOS tool there is.

Wolf Tooth Pack Pliers
photo
This is one of the rare packable tools that works just as well as the full-fat version. I use these in lieu of the workshop pliers 9 times out of 10, and they're small enough to warrant a place in this imagined toolkit. With the valve tools and the aluminum tire lever, they even constitute as a multitool of sorts. Though I'm trying to avoid redundancy here, the OneUp tire lever is a bit flimsy, so this one might be the primary when it comes to that function.
Wolf Tooth Pack Pliers
• Remove & install master links
• Holds two extra links
• Wrench for valve core and stem
• Weight: 38g
• MSRP: $32.95
www.wolftoothcomponents.com
Bring one pair of quick links that fits your drivetrain, and one that works on the other common systems, because a friend with a broken bike is almost as bad as your own being out of commission.

Tubolito
kinda looks like a bird
It's just a small tube, but ultimately that might be the reason you take it with you and ride out after your 7th puncture of the day. I've used these for years on bikepacking trips, as multiple butyl tubes take up quite a bit of precious space, and whenever someone has needed it, they work just as you'd hope. They're more puncture-resistant than a standard tube, and seem to hold up better to long term storage, not getting crusty and worn-through in your pack.
Tubolito
• Fits 1.8"-2.5" tires
• 26", 27.5", 29", and Plus sizes available
• 42mm valve
• Weight: 85g
• MSRP: €29.90
www.tubolito.com

Space Blanket & Lighter
cozy guy
Being that it's winter in the Northern Hemisphere, this pairing of lifesaving items might be worth tossing in with your bundle of tools, in case something goes wrong. Sure, a whole well-appointed first aid kit wouldn't hurt, but when temperatures are low, preventing hypothermia is a great start to feeling better after a good slam. Space blankets take up about as much room as a wad of Starbucks gift cards, and are a lot more useful. A lighter can be safely used to start a warming fire, if conditions allow - or you can whip it out and fit in should you end your ride at some sort of groovy concert.
Space Blanket
• Windproof and waterproof
• Various sizes and styles available
• Shiny!
• Weight: 40g
• MSRP: ~ $3
www.walmart.com

Notable Omissions

I'm sure you're thinking Dario, why didn't you include my 96-bit brick of a multitool that can open a can of beans and a beer at the same time??, but I want to assure you that carrying that is perfectly fine by me, you just won't see it in my cargo shorts. The idea with a sparse kit like this is to have something you're comfortable taking on rides of any length, as there's always potential for something to go awry. I'm certainly guilty of riding without tools on any given day, but when I know I'm going to be way out there, even just far enough that I don't want to walk, then I pack something quite similar to what you see above.

Here are some things I tend to leave at home, and why.

1. Derailleur Hanger Alignment Tools. If you really smack your hanger hard enough to require a solid truing, you're probably better off just throwing a spare on there. With the increasing ubiquity of the UDH design, it's becoming easier and easier to always have a spare around, and more likely that your buddy's bike uses the same one.

If you do want to try and torque your hanger pack into shape, a CO2 thread is the same pitch as a derailleur bolt, so you can use a spent canister as a lever to try and get things back into plane.

Even on very long and remote bikepacking trips, I don't bring anything to work on a hanger. This is partly out of hubris, but also because I run 11-speed on my go-far bike, and the gear spacing on those cassettes is a bit more forgiving to misalignment in your drivetrain.

2. Shock Pump. I know plenty of people who think it's foolish omit this from your every-ride kit, but the times I wish I had one are truly few and far between. With modern suspension's reliability, you shouldn't need to worry about your pressures over the course of a ride, just check every so often before leaving home and you'll be set. If you're going out to bracket settings, then a pump makes sense, but otherwise I think it allows for more fiddling than one really needs to do - sometimes it's a worthwhile exercise to just go for a ride and not think about such things.

3. Sometimes: Everything. Unthinkable, I know, but sometimes you just want to go for a silly little bike ride in the woods and not worry about your multi-item checklist. There's a bit of a slippery slope to this, as I've definitely gone on some way-out-there rides with little more than a multitool in my pocket, so tread cautiously. That said, don't stress too much, as bikes are fairly reliable these days, and your after-work ride probably doesn't warrant the same volume of tools as a World Cup pit.

Have fun out there!

Author Info:
dariodigiulio avatar

Member since Dec 25, 2016
168 articles

235 Comments
  • 309 11
 Nothing...I just find another rider on the trail with the biggest backpack and make new short-term friends.
  • 202 1
 You don't even carry a baby in a space blanket?
  • 55 0
 I carry an extra clifbar for trail currency.
  • 97 0
 You still owe me an inner tube!
  • 8 1
 That was almost gonna be my answer however, I have a friend who has a massive saddle bag that has every single item you could ever want or need, so I just make sure to include him on longer rides Smile .
  • 9 0
 @icanreachit: soreen is the gold standard for trail bribery
  • 3 0
 @DizzyNinja: No need for snacks on a short ride.
  • 8 1
 @icanreachit: ya keep that in the prison wallet?
  • 14 1
 Wippermann Connex quick link doesn't need a tool. Generic tubeless bacon is fine and you can push it in with a hex key, no need for expensive proprietary stuff. Hope and DT freehubs can be removed by hand just by pulling on the cassette, I bet some other brands too. Know more carry less, pack skills not gear etc etc
  • 2 0
 @icanreachit: this guy bars
  • 3 0
 @DizzyNinja: I do but they're called fetuses depending on which country you're from. Stem cells are the best cure for bonking out, essential for long trail rides.
  • 15 0
 @icanreachit:

Or a higher form of trail currency, the SplifBar.
  • 1 0
 Haha, that would be me. Almost all the time I carry my 50L camera backpack and of course, I have all the necessary tools. The only problem would be if you were lucky enough to find me because I actually don't see many people when I am riding. But that is what I like, having peace and quiet environment for my photo shoot.
  • 1 1
 One of the guys I ride with is THAT guy. I do have a OneUp EDC but other than that I let my fellow rider and pack mule do the heavy lifting.
  • 1 0
 What if it turns out they're just carrying spare body parts in there?
  • 1 0
 @scott-townes: bruh. That’s dark.
  • 1 0
 That cassette tool will probably eff up your carbon or alu chainstay. Like @letsgethurt a dt or hope hub just pops off.

Once your broken spoke is removed, having a fibrefix spoke will help limp you out. As a bonus feature that same cordage can be used to pop any quick link loose. To reset the quicklink chain pressure will do the trick.
  • 143 2
 Weird fucking burrito in this list.
  • 50 0
 Eat fresh.
  • 34 1
 First time I've heard of a child being called a "f*cking burrito" but I guess it's not wrong.
  • 39 0
 I think that silver bullet goes in the butthole to lessen the weight in the backpack. Great for riders who don't use a backpack anyway. If this silver bullet is too big for the butthole, use the unior lockring Wink
  • 4 0
 @gaberoc: we all know they’re just skin dogs
  • 2 0
 Lmao nice @CSharp:
  • 2 0
 @CSharp: I take pills bigger than that thing.
  • 35 0
 @CSharp: I somehow got into a reddit thread yesterday with emergency room physicians and nurses musing about how nobody who comes in to the ER with anything stuck in their butt says they put it there. They always "fell" on the carrot, or candle, or tennis ball.

But I bet a mountain biker who butt-stashed a dynaplug would admit to it. "My bike doesn't have downtube storage, doctor, and I loathe backpacks."
  • 2 0
 is it a baby? ...could be a full grown man with a huge head
  • 20 0
 @rickybobby18: You just came up with another definition of "downtube storage." Congratulations.
  • 2 0
 @IMeasureStuff: thats the one!
  • 2 0
 @RayDolor: I'm sure SRAM and Trek will fix that with a bigger inner diameter for a new standard.Wink
  • 2 0
 @IMeasureStuff: I couldn't see the Reddit thread, but here's the link if anyone's interested:

interestingengineering.com/innovation/an-88-year-old-man-goes-to-the-emergency-with-an-artillery-shell-in-his-anus

I almost fell off my chair LMAO!
  • 2 1
 @gaberoc: ahh yes, the result of f*cking
  • 3 0
 @rickybobby18: you'd think though, at the very least it would come with a flared base / handle for easy extraction
  • 53 0
 A few zip ties also not a bad idea
  • 9 0
 Yep -- I always keep a couple squirreled away in my crankset spindle
  • 4 0
 He did mention this
  • 14 0
 @mrosie: c'mon, no one actually reads articles, just go straight to the comments and post your opinion there.
  • 9 0
 And wrap tape around your pump. I once instructed another guy to do that too for a marathon race. Glad I did. I crashed, broke my brake master so taped it to my bars so that I could continue but it was still very loose. I chased the other guy, used his tape fix it a bit better and finished the race like that. Speaking of marathon racing, also bring a knife. In another race, I crashed pretty early on and the saddle rails popped out of the baseplate. I struggled a while to try to get it back in but didn't manage. Eventually I cut the baseplate open to push it back in, tape it close and finish the race. So yeah, at least wrap tape around the pump and bring a knife. I can imagine a decent sized hammer could come handy too. Big pliers may be good too. If you bring glue, don't forget to bring the clamps too so that the glue can cure properly. If you're in a hurry, heat may help with curing. If you can't bring a propane torch on your ride, bring some stuff to make fire. An axe and a firesteel should do. This may be frowned upon and rightly so as you don't want to set off another forest fire. So if you're going this route, don't forget to bring a fire extinguisher too. If you have that, you could possibly forego the hammer just so that you can travel light.
  • 47 0
 My prefect on-bike storage system for flats: two DH tires.
  • 11 0
 The fastest easiest repair is never having to fix a flat
  • 2 2
 Honestly I can't tell a difference in rolling resistance. I replaced a buddy's worn out EXO dual compound High Roller II 2.3 with a DH MaxxGrip DHR II 2.4, and neither of us could tell the difference in rolling resistance, whether climbing, in the parking lot, or descending. Might as well throw in some inserts too just in case.
  • 6 1
 @louiefriesen: Honestly, I can, and as a pathetic flatlander.. I generally avoid Maxxgrip because it feels too damn slow. EXO, Maxxterra Minions for me - the ultimate endurodad tire.
  • 6 0
 @louiefriesen: ride on flat dry land. Then you can tell. Don’t know if Canada has that.
  • 2 0
 @louiefriesen: Michelin DH34s - XC, DH, KidsRideShotgun... all of it!
  • 1 0
 @txcx166: The prairies do have plenty, but in BC we have a bit, but I legitimately can't tell the difference in terms of rolling resistance. I'm fine with that tho, because I like running the thickest tires I can with Tannus Armor inserts and tubes, and never worry about flats. Oval rings and 1x12s make a bigger difference for me.

I have no problem with anyone using whatever treads, compounds, and casings they want as long as they don't have a DH casing mud spike on the back and a XC race tire on the front.
  • 2 0
 @txcx166: Ha! Ever hear of the PRAIRIES??
  • 2 0
 Tire inserts.
  • 1 0
 I don't even use DH casings. Mine a a little burlier than a XC tire. I think my last flat was 3 or 4 years ago and it was a pinch flat because my rear tire wasn’t inflated to the correct pressure. Knock on wood. My regular trails are pretty rocky and sharp too.
  • 1 0
 @GT-CORRADO: haha. Not really. I’ve only ridden in Canada once and that was Whistler/ north shore. I was joking of course. My preferred setup it DD max terra on back and DD max grip on the front with Cush pro. Dhr and ass a guy. That’s for my enduro bike and e bike. My trail bike I ride max terra exo+ no Cush dissector/ask a guy. That has worked well for me. Thinking about changing to a Dhr on the front though to roll a little faster. I didn’t think max grip was worth it on the back of the big bikes. Hard to tell the grip difference, felt draggy, and wore out really fast on rocky terrain.
  • 31 0
 Carry nothing .. check pressures every ride. Walk of shame once a year…
  • 5 0
 20 miles in the mountains can be a long walk back to the trailhead...
  • 28 0
 Duct tape and zip ties.
  • 9 0
 I’d add a US banknote, it’ll do double duty of a sidewall patch and an emergency beer money for your friend who helps you cobble your clapped out bike and gets you back to civilization.
  • 3 0
 I've been wrapping gorilla tape around a pump for a few years. Apart from tyre plugs, it's been the most used item I carry, although mostly to fix friends bikes.
  • 3 1
 Both were mentioned in the write-up, to Dario's credit.
  • 1 0
 Duct tape wrapped around an old credit card, lighter or another object you're already bringing with you.
  • 21 0
 "If you do want to try and torque your hanger pack into shape, a CO2 thread is the same pitch as a derailleur bolt, so you can use a spent canister as a lever to try and get things back into plane."
That's a valuable little nugget of info right there! I never would have realized this and it might just save my butt at some point in the future.
  • 3 0
 I couldn't quite make that work in my mind's eye so I just grabbed one and eyeballed it (didn't remove the derailleur). Yeah, looks like it works. However, I can see in some circumstances (shock, you have huge guns, no experience straightening a hanger) where you might snap that hollow Co2 neck and be left with it stuck in the hanger, which makes a new problem. Just hypothesizing...wouldn't stop me from trying if I didn't have a spare to bolt on.
  • 6 1
 Sorry, but I'm not seeing what is being done here. Are you talking about the derailleur hanger bolt size? Isn't that 10mm?

I will offer a cool tip though. Take an old rear wheel with a 10mm axle (135mm skewer kind) remove the skewer and screw the axle of that wheel into the hanger hole. Now you have a wheel that is parallel to the bikes rear wheel, just slightly lower. You can see how bad the hanger is bent, and use the spare wheel to bend it back to parallel.
  • 1 0
 @Endurahbrah: Yes, the derailleur mounting bolt has a 10mm x 1mm pitch. Which is what the article, and my eyeball, are saying is doable. I will have to test tomorrow. But if it works then yes, you might have a chance at straightening a bent hanger (without also bending the derailleur, if not already mangled) with a CO2 cartridge.

Remove derailleur, thread in used CO2 cartridge, straighten hanger gingerly with new-found leverage, remount derailleur, begin a slow ride home, progress to more speed and shifting if you have abundant confidence in your trailside repair.
  • 1 0
 This is handy! If you attached a very small bubble level, you might get even closer to straight. Be tough to establish a baseline, but could be worked out...
  • 2 0
 amazing tip here. could possibly use an EDC pump as a cheater on the CO2 for additional leverage?
  • 2 0
 @tyoj: Except I'm not sure how strong the neck of that CO2 canister is and you don't want to snap that off in the hanger.
  • 4 0
 Big caveat on that one: The thread pitch and diameter are close enough that you can thread a cylinder into your hanger, yes, but they are absolutely NOT the same.

The hanger is M10 x 1.0 mm. The CO2 is imperial, 0.375 inch (~9.5 mm) x 24 threads per inch (~0.94 mm per thread). Close, yeah, but definitely not the same. You can feel the extra wiggle room when you thread it in.

So beware that you may damage your threads if you do this.
  • 2 0
 @barp: Thanks for that. I'll stop at the eyeball assessment. A small niggle of doubt was in the back of my mind being that the CO2 seemed adapted from the hobby firearm segment and that seems an "imperial measurment" realm. Or I'm totally off base, but yeah, I won't be completing my actual test.
  • 1 0
 @barp: sounds like a machinist...
  • 1 0
 @bmxslinger: I'd love to have access to a mill or a lathe, but it ain't me. I am a mechanic though, so it behooves me to know how to measure a thread.
  • 2 0
 @iammarkstewart: IME, any air pistol I've seen uses a threadless co2 cartridge. The treaded ones are sometimes used in Culinary devices.
  • 21 0
 I don't think you're supposed to burn a baby for warmth even if it's in a delicious looking burrito wrapper.
  • 8 0
 No, no, it's emergency food. Or something you give the bear so you can run away.
  • 15 0
 I bought a Norco then I pay a local villager in chickens to ride it behind my Yeti and fix anything that might go wrong. In the worst case I can always have the villager carry me back down. Besides the summoning bell, it weighs practically nothing.
  • 13 0
 A C02 cartridge shot the lid of my oneup pump clean of, on the second day in finale and the second day I rode with it. I hope someone else finds it as the aren't to be bought on their own. Very sad story I know, so thanks for taking the time reading.
  • 4 2
 Just imagining the look on your face when it shot out is priceless. lmao

All i know is almost everyone that "has" a OneUp tool just has a hole where their OneUp tool used to be.
  • 2 0
 I lost my OneUp pump + EDC in Mammoth last fall. Still kicking myself for not just forcing myself back up the hill to try and find it. Didn’t quite register how much I paid for it until I realized how much I missed it…
  • 3 0
 @thustlewhumber: Weird. How do people lose their multi-tool out of there? It's snug inside the EDC, and the EDC is encased in the headset or pump. You'd pretty much need to decide against putting it back properly to lose it.
  • 3 0
 @mammal: Because there are people who secure their pump with the tool end pointing downwards!
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide: Oh, I see, the whole EDC is missing from their pump... I thought thustle was referring to the multi-tool itself. I'd still file that under "blatant user error".
  • 3 0
 @thustlewhumber: just don’t put the pump on your bike with the tool facing down and you’re golden
  • 14 0
 I find having a gram or two rolled up really helps with my trailside maintenance
  • 1 0
 That’s what the one up tool storage is for.
  • 10 0
 I still carry my old Cool-Tool from the early nineties. It’s been with me for every ride for 3 decades now… there are certainly much lighter, more comprehensive multitools out there now, but try to imagine how comfortable and familiar something would be if you used it semi-regularly for that long.

I do supplement it with various other items now, though.
  • 2 0
 Ya mon Cool-tool with a Pamir Engineering Cassette Cracker. Good times...
  • 3 0
 Those tools really were cool as hell. Didn't they even make a high dollar lightweight titanium version?
  • 2 0
 I still use a finishline mini chain tool from 1995:

www.mtbr.com/threads/finish-line-chain-pup-kinda-cool.852213
  • 2 0
 Same here with a Topeak alien from my time in a bike shop circa 98
  • 2 0
 I've got my Cool Tool as well! The crescent wrench tends to get rusty in the rain up here, but otherwise it gets the job done.
  • 8 0
 What's the group think on Turbolito? All my tubes are old, and I so rarely flat thanks to good tires and tubeless that when I rarely need the spare tube I insist on carrying anyway. I've tossed a number of tubes over the years because I happen to see one is crusted/rotted out to the point of actually having holes - tubes in my pack, as well as tubes in my shop that where sitting in comfortable environments.

I've thought about grabbing a couple Turbolito tubes to carry on the bike, but I kept reading how crappy they actually were, and figured it was a waste of time. Do they actually hold up better in a pack/bag?

Last time I flatted and needed a tube, it was a drywall screw that went through the top of the tire and out the sidewall, cutting and shredding as it went.... the tube I had just barely got me home, I was pumping it up every 15 minutes or so because it was in such bad shape. Oneup pump still the best ever.
  • 4 0
 The last time I got a flat I was 10 miles from the car, with zero access to road. Sidewall cut about 2cm long. I had no tube, but I had a tube patch that I was able to stick on the inside of the tire, then hope the STANS would keep it alive back to the car. Needless to say, it started bulging badly out the sidewall, but I was able to limp it all the way back to the car. Since that day, I've been carrying a Tubolito on every ride for 2 years, and haven't needed it.... One of those things you just need to carry, IMO.
  • 1 0
 Only time I carry a tube is when racing since I tend to flat a lot while racing and not while riding normally. It's typically when I'm at my tiredest and my decision making is at its poorest. It's worth the weight penalty or the need to carry a pack or remember to stuff something in the hole in my bike. Otherwise, not worth it for me.
  • 2 0
 I’ve had great luck with them, one worked fine after 3 years in the down tube of my bike getting rattled around daily. Only real downside for me is the position of the valve stem when rolled up, makes it slightly less convenient to store. I think they have some newer ones with removeable stems for this reason though.
  • 3 0
 @rbarbier12: when racing, I'm normally running inserts. And as nobody wants to race with a wet insert round their neck, you can get a small width tube and a valve extender to poke through the insert, leaving the insert in (assuming you can actually break the bead out in the field)
  • 2 0
 I’ve used the same one a couple times, but the last time I did, I broke the valve stem where the core inserts, which ruined my ride. The stem is plastic so it doesn’t hold up to vigorous pumping.
  • 1 0
 I had a Tubolito strapped to my frame for roughly 4 years, I was very happy happy with it because it was light and matched my frame colour.

After 4 years I decided to just leave it in the toolbox. I've only punctured a handful of times and everytime a plug works out fine.

So yeah, I guess for peace of mind until you ditch tubes altogether it's a good purchase Razz
  • 2 0
 @Glenngineer I’ve found Tubolito to be a good addition for the rare times needed. Left in the small baggie it comes in, I’ll strap it with a Wolftooth strap to the little tool mount on the bottom of the top tube. Stays clean and fresh, takes up little room, adds almost no weight and has been called on to salvage ride-ending flats. Winner in my books.
  • 2 0
 @Glenngineer I have had one for a couple of years and have probably had to use it 3 times. Just washed it when I got home, let the air out, and folded it back up to its original (very small) size. The primary advantages are size and weight, but supposedly it’s stronger than a regular tube. I know it’s expensive compared to a standard tube, but probably the cheapest way to drop weight off your bike.
  • 5 0
 Tubolito's have failed me each of the three times I've used them. I've thrown mine away at this point.
  • 4 0
 I carried a Tubolito 27,5" tube for almost 2 years,when it was needed it had cracked at the folding and it was useless.
It was light and small,but expensive and didn't work.
  • 1 0
 I did manage to roll a new tubolito up and fit it up inside the steerer tube with a fork cork, it was ace as a hidden emergency spare, however once used I can't seem to get it to fit again.
  • 2 0
 I bought one for the race-day kit, I like how it folds up smaller than a butyl tube and also weighs less. I store it inside the house in-between races so hopefully it doesn't rot or crack.
I run a pair of tubolito tubes in my gravel bike/commuter for 2+ years and have had good luck with them. No flats and I like to imagine the ride is better too, but I'm sure I would fail a blind test between the tubolitos and butyl tubes. They are a bit awkward to mount up to be honest, you gotta do the partial fill like you probably do with a butyl tube. But the suckers just really want to pop back out as you stuff the other side into the tire casing. I think it's because they're less rubber band-like like when you use a butyl tube that is holding itself in place as you stuff it in. The tubolito isn't really flexible like that and so it is closer to the rim diameter and less likely to stay in place as you're stuffing it into the tire casing. So maybe any time saved by packing less weight around would be offset by the struggle of getting the tube in and inflated if needed. But it does give a mental boost to know you're packing less weight.
  • 4 0
 @Mugen: "So yeah, I guess for peace of mind until you ditch tubes altogether it's a good purchase"

A tube of some kind is good to have even if you do ride tubeless because plugs don't always work.
  • 1 0
 I always carry a spare tube and tools for XC when I maybe miles away with significant vert from the trailhead, but I've stopped for enduro/DH riding where I'm typically not that far away and it's mostly downhill back to the start where I can limp back with dual casing tires and inserts anyway. Am I realistically going to change a dual-ply tire with inserts and sealant on a trailside? No, I am not. I might try plugs, but unless I'm far from the road I'm not going to be messing with a spare tube.
  • 2 0
 I have one strapped under my seat. Personally I haven’t used it yet; I run pretty heavy tires. I do get a lot of “what’s that orange dookie hanging out your ass”. It also fits in a back pack.
  • 1 0
 @tlilly89: this. I’ve had a bunch of friends buy them and I can’t think I’ve ever seen one work. They always have a tear/puncture at the valve stem. It’s comical at this point. Zero trust in that brand.
  • 4 0
 I’ve gifted more spare tubes than I’ve used myself. For that reason I go cheap.
  • 1 0
 They are great. I have been using them for 4 years on my dj bike and put then on my big bike, which is a dh/freeride bike, this summer. No flats on the tech yet. And i think they are slightly lighter than running tubeless. I weighed the difference when i changed over.
  • 1 0
 @eyeslide: They are lighter than sealant? (I'm assuming of course that you're not including inserts in the comparison. I don't run inserts).
  • 1 0
 I run inserts, so I have zero concerns about flats or a need for that. I could probably ride home on a flat.
  • 2 0
 @redrook: yep. Liquid is heavy. Put a new tire on, same make/model. Weighed the difference. But honestly it wasn’t enough to make a difference. Close enough to call it the same. No inserts. I love these tubes
  • 7 0
 My kink is going on a 30 mile backcountry ride with nothing more than my jorts, a water bottle, a cotton tee, a phone that hasn't had service in three days, and some gummy bears. It adds a bit of spiciness to the singletrack.
  • 4 0
 Make sure the gummy bears are sugar-free. It will make you go really fast. It is worth reading all the reviews on this product. I have had the good fortune to experience it first hand on the plane www.amazon.com/review/RZFIYJTPVUZ94
  • 2 0
 @closetdutchman: Hahaha one of the all time great treasures of the internet.
  • 7 0
 The Lezyne chain pliers, blow away the wolf tooth ones. Then are also a chain breaker, disc rotor trying tool, and cost less.
  • 9 7
 wolftooth is made right here in Minnesota
  • 1 0
 yep very good mini tool
  • 5 0
 Thing is, if you omit the CO2, then you can eliminate most of the other items, as you can have the one-up pliers, tubeless jabber, space for spare bacon strips and a valve core in the little capsule thingy. Those pliers work just fine
  • 1 0
 @bogmonster: but is not as good as the Lezyne in terms of functionality... I personally like locally made products when they are as good or better than made farther away. Push shocks are made in CO but arent objectively better then say Ohlins or EXT.
  • 5 1
 You don't need chain pliers to remove a broken chain from your bike. Just need to pop the pins out and use pedal force to set the new master link. Have some really good chain pliers at home for chain swaps, EDC for the trails.
  • 5 0
 @DizzyNinja: agreed, I don't see why you'd need to remove a master link on the trail, you just have to break off the broken link.

If for some reason I don't understand you really want to, the OneUp tool can actually pop a master link. It's not obvious so practice at home once or twice.

m.youtube.com/watch?v=EN3yVEbXSXA
  • 1 0
 @kokofosho: it’s also half the price, forgot to mention the valve core tool and bottle opener.

To your push comment, having owned shocks from all of those companies, push is the only one I bought more than once and for multiple reasons, even if it’s just a really fancy Fox vanilla essentially.
  • 4 0
 @jdejace: mind blown! I'd always wondered what those bits were for!! Every day's a school day
  • 1 0
 Moved from the regular EDC + Wolf Tooth to OneUp EDC lite + lezyne chain pliers + 2 pedros levers. Pretty sure this is the perfect setup.
  • 1 0
 @jdejace: We had to remove a master link on the trail after buddy installed his chain wrong. Just used 2 flat rocks and it worked fine
  • 5 0
 Can someone explain to me why you need chainlink pliers on the trail? I never need to open my chain on the trail, and closing doesn't require pliers. The only time I have to work on my chain is when it breaks. But perhaps there is a situation I'm not thinking of?
  • 2 1
 Mangle a derailleur and need to take it off, hub stops freehubing, etc. I’ve spent a couple shitty hours disassembling pivot bolts and my derailleur after making my hands bleed trying to pull my master link apart with a shoelace. I ride with chain link pliers now.
  • 3 0
 @olafthemoose: If it's that messed up I will just open the chain by taking a link out with the chain breaker on my multitool instead of disassembling pivot bolts...
  • 1 1
 @ak-77: I don't have to buy a new $70 chain if I just pop the master link. I think that's a pretty good reason to carry them.
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: with 12 speed it’s so easy to bend a link or compromise your chain, especially with whatever sub-par-save-your-life chain breaker is on your multi tool. If I’m having to buy a new hub or derailleur when I get home I’d rather save the coin on getting a new $70 chain.
  • 4 0
 After reading an article about a pro rider named Cedric Gracia, who nearly bled to death on the trail, I always bring a tourniquet and clotting sponge. Apparently, Cedric, who was riding with his buddies, went over the handlebars and tore an artery in his crotch. His quick thinking buddies were able to stop the bleeding with pressure, and a quick helicopter rescue saved his life. Not long after reading that article I went over the handlebars and found deep scratches right in the same area from my handlebar. According to statistics, accidental deaths in wilderness or trail situations are due primarily to bleeding. You can wait a long time for rescue with broken bones, but not if you’re bleeding.
  • 2 0
 I've repeatedly read that tourniquets are a bad idea if you don't know exactly how and when to use them. I carry an Israeli bandage instead (Stops bleeding)
  • 1 0
 @mkul7r4: you are correct, you can do damage with a tourniquet if you don’t know what you’re doing. Also, the bleeding experts favor aggressively packing seriously bleeding wounds with special clotting bandages, (gross) and of course, pressure!
  • 1 0
 I've seen the video,it was a few years ago at the Reunion island Megavalanche. Cedric was very lucky.
  • 3 0
 Not as nice as the Wolftooth, but half the price if you already have valve tools..
www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B09KGKSG99/ref=ox_sc_act_image_1?smid=A2FD97WWKUMLTT&psc=1
Sharpen the edges and it can also be used as a cable cutter in a pinch. I usually break about one shift cable a year and like to carry an extra.
  • 1 0
 Only up to 11 speed it says, would it still work with a 12 speed chain?
  • 2 0
 Oh, and while that Unior tool is very cool, the scenario given requires that you actually carry spare spokes/nipples in each length used on your bike.
Who does that?

A more realistic use of that tool is when the chain gets buried behind the cassette due to a bent derailleur hanger or poor derailleur tuning (limit screws)
  • 2 0
 Also works for centre lock discs. If you have straight pull spokes, you don't need to remove the cassette or discs to change them though. If course, when the chain goes and hides behind the cassette, it does often try to kill some spokes on the way through, so the tool might do 2 birds with 1 stone
  • 6 0
 Agree...I have never thought about stopping to take off my cassette to replace a spoke mid-ride. It's more like "I have 31 left, it'll hold no problem" (as I just twist the broken spoke around the adjacent one
  • 1 0
 Except you buy wheels that use equal length spokes (or within 2 mm of each other so it doesn't really matter for a back country ride out re-build).
  • 4 0
 I'm confused here, why would you bother messing with the locking when you can just slide the cassette + freehub body straight off? Seems like most recent wheels will let you do it that way. Can't remember the last time I pulled the actual cassette without the freehub body...

And re: centerlock, that doesn't necessarily work since there are 2 types of lockings and most have external splines (similar to BB).
  • 2 0
 He does mention storing spokes in your handlebars, which I had never thought of. Damn good idea. Just store sizes for that particular bike and you’re good.
  • 1 0
 I am going to order one as I’ve experienced a loose cassette maybe 1-2x a year. It’s never been ride-ending, but it sure is annoying to listen to that rattle!
  • 3 0
 I always have a multitool (not a "96 bit brick of one...") but it fits easily in a pack or pocket and has got me, friends and people I don't know off the trail more than once. Gorilla tape and zip ties too.
  • 3 0
 Yep, I tape the zip ties t my NDS chain stay; put on as many wraps of tape as you want to have available, then zip ties, then one or two more wraps of tape to secure them. Replace the tape once a year or so.
  • 4 0
 I’ve had to remove the cassette once on the trail when a spoke broke and got wedged behind the cassette. Luckily I run DT Swiss 350s, so can pop the cassette off by hand.
  • 6 0
 who the hell removes a cassette on the trail??
  • 1 0
 Someone who breaks driveside spokes, and has a freehub that cannot be taken off with cassette and all.
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: just twist or zip tie it
  • 2 0
 @mior: Ever caught a thick branch in your wheel at high speed? Boy I was glad I was carrying two spokes to replace the three broken ones.
  • 2 0
 My favorite pack tool by far has been a cheapo brand from Amazon: Granite Talon Tyre Levers with Master Link Pliers. Yup, I'm sure they were inspired by the Wolftooth tool, but with a plastic, seperable body they are far better tire levers than the Wolftooth, and at $13 they were easy to justify buying in bulk to keep in multiple kits.
  • 5 0
 The lighter can be used for much more than starting a fire
  • 6 1
 Great for safety meetings.
  • 3 0
 2" section of old broken spoke with bends on each end to hold you chain together as you try to connect the quick link.
Takes up no space, no weight, no cost.
  • 1 0
 @roxtar A shoe string works just as well and is probably always with you, unless you like that BOA lacing stuff.
  • 1 0
 @pdxkid: That is a good McGiver save...
however...
My shoes don't have laces but even if they did, would I rather go through the hassle of removing the lace and tying it to the chain or simply pull out the above mentioned "tool" that works perfectly and was also free?
  • 1 0
 I just throw the chain off the front ring to take the tension off. Or have buddy/ziptie/rubber band pull the cage forward towards the chain stay.
  • 1 0
 There are crazy things in my camelback,like a 3d printed emergency whistle,mini spanner or 2 pairs of new brake pads. The complete toolkit had almost anything you need to deal with:big multi tool,3 indestructible Decathlon tire levers,allen keys,torx,spoke wrench,bolts,tubeless valves,zip ties,gear/dropper cables,chain lube and many small things + 100 € cash all inside a water bottle like container. Tires had their own kit with co2 and plugs and some times a real pump and tube but those are always stored inside my bike.
Oh the most used one is the integrated headset tool,It is always there and it takes like 2 seconds to access it. Crazy useful,I miss it in m other bikes.
  • 5 2
 Don't forget a handgun for protection from wildlife, or the more likely case of protection from the rambunctious redneck trying to stick a finger in you....
  • 1 0
 !?
  • 1 0
 Absolutely love my OneUp 100c pump & EDC tool, no more CO2 canisters!

With the inclusion of the space blanket in this list I'm reminded of my WFA kit, which includes 2 space blankets. I keep a basic kit in my bum bag along with the "bike first aid" stuff. Things like gloves, gauze, fabric tape, sam splint, soap, syringe/water, over the counter meds: aspirin/ibuprofene/benedryl, electrolyte mix, etc. I started regularly carrying a kit (and got re-certified this summer) after being on rides with people that messed themselves up pretty good, the bikes were so messed up. I realized it's an easy necessity to overlook.
blog.nols.edu/2016/06/03/27-considerations-for-a-first-aid-kit
A good article published a little while ago www.pinkbike.com/news/rebecca-ruschs-checklist-for-backcountry-self-sufficiency.html
  • 1 0
 *the bikes weren't so messed up
  • 1 0
 Now if Unior can do a similar tool for RaceFace Cinch lockrings. With thread-locker and proper torque they're very solid, but that one time you don't torque it down enough and it gets rattly... you're never gonna get it tight enough on the trail without the [BB] tool and wrench
  • 1 0
 Leatherman, some zip ties and a bit of duck tape wrapped around a tire lever. Clotting sponge, a little pump I bought in 1998 that has outlived at least 6 bikes, and a Bobos chocolate chip oat bar in case I run out of fuel. Cheap insurance on a long ride, and hasn't failed to get me home yet.
  • 1 0
 I’m a big fan of the one up pump but on one ride when I need to use the pump. There was no pumping action to work. After get the new seal kit from one up and following the one up instructions it still doesn’t work as a pump. Talking to other riders they have the same problem. Now my pump just carries the one up tools with no pump that actually works.
  • 1 0
 The Park Mini Chain Brute CT-5 is a must have. (Does not play nice with Shimano chains uless you have a new pin though. )
I carry a 12" piece of pretty fine bailing wire to break missing links in 10 speed + chains; make a u shape from the bailing wire, feed through the openings on either side of the missing link, and twist like a twist tie with your leatherman. Everybody carries one of those, right?
Also very worth it to carry a spare derailleur hanger that has been pre aligned
  • 1 0
 Weight and size weenies may consider the One Up quick link pliers a better tool over the Wolftooth. As long as the quick links can get stashed somewhere, some may prefer to carry plastic lever(s) versus using the Woolftooth metal lever on their boutique rims to unseat a tight tire for repairs.

seen here: www.oneupcomponents.com/products/edc-plug-pliers-kit?variant=8191219007585&currency=USD&utm_medium=product_sync&utm_source=google&utm_content=sag_organic&utm_campaign=sag_organic&utm_campaign=gs-2021-02-26&utm_source=google&utm_medium=smart_campaign&gclid=Cj0KCQiA-oqdBhDfARIsAO0TrGHhLyvUhwit0ktqZNf4yG-gA-AhdER8MtWZXDBKprHo7Aj42rKa16IaAhYyEALw_wcB
  • 1 0
 I'm loving the 70cc pump with plug kit, patches, small wind of re-rolled duck tape, and a few zip ties. This mounts to the waterbottle mounts nicely and stays put all summer at Whistler. In my pocket, a blackburn ratchet kit packed with a few alcohol swabs, bandages, and larger skin patches, and small tire levers. This covered us all summer really well as a minimalist kit.

Depending on duration and if I have a pack, I'll throw in a few more items like 4" vice grip, 4 sided spoke wrench, and mini scissors.
  • 1 0
 Lezine MTB mini floor pump kicks that One Up's a** if you actually use it. No Co2 necessary, pumps up tires all day long if needed. Makes a good weapon when the burrito babies attack.
  • 1 0
 Half of anyone I know just carries a multitool or absolutely nothing. Socal is overcrowded as it is and getting flats seems to be a once-in-a-lifetime deal out here. Anyways it's more fun raw-dogging mountain biking.
  • 4 0
 Dynabuttplug. I know that is a tough pill to swallow.
  • 1 0
 It's even tougher after it went up or thru the butthole!
  • 1 0
 Should it first be placed in a tubolito?
  • 8 8
 Why not ditch the earth hating CO2 cartridge on the one up and get the masterlink/tire plug kit to go with your 100cc pump. then you have almost everything in one tidy package. throw your baby burrito in the SWAT box and your ready for any adventure.
  • 12 0
 That's literally what the article says.
  • 3 0
 I don't know who downvoted you for this, but you're right - the other bits you can stash in the capsule pretty much save any ride. I've also put a spare valve core in mine
  • 2 0
 @Ososmash: No, he suggests stuffing the dynaplug kit into your one up pump. I fail to see the point in that when one up makes a kit that has a tire plug AND masterlink pliers in one. (besides obviously trying to get a shout out to multiple brands in the article which is part of his job)

Just my suggestion for having almost all of those things listed in one tool and only having to pay shipping once
  • 1 0
 @acdownhill: he mentions "There are smaller fix-a-flat setups out there, but I've had nothing but good luck with Dynaplugs over the years" which i think is reference to the oneup capsule. certainly, the dynaplug plugs are fatter and easier to use, and i personally have had the smaller bacon strips not be big enough, even with a couple stuffed into a hole.

I carry just the small capsule on packless rides, but i have another plugger than uses fatter plugs on anything where i'm going far enough to wear a pack. not like it's a lot of extra weight.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: spare valve core should be on this list for sure (especially for us lazy folks who don’t run valve caps).
  • 3 0
 I made my own tire plug kit for the one up pump by breaking down a stan's dart kit and epoxying the dart applicator needle where the co2 cartridge will go. You can say what you want about the cost of stan's darts, but man they work.
  • 1 0
 @groghunter: The One UP jabber is relatively flimsy and the wee brown bacon strips are useless. I buy ATV puncture strips from an automotive shop and split them length wise. Haven't found a puncture that they cannot stop yet. Side wall slashes are C$ note (plastic) and duct tape.
  • 2 0
 @groghunter: someone on eBay sells OneUp Dynaplug adapters for $5
  • 1 0
 @jdejace: good looking out. though i wonder if it will fit with the pliers in there as well like the normal one.
  • 4 0
 @groghunter: sorry I don't have the pliers so can't tell you.

Can I ask what is your use case for the pliers during trailside repair?

If the chain breaks you need the breaker.

To install the new master link on the broken chain after you've pushed the pins out of the broken link you can do the rear brake + pedal trick.

I can't see why I'd want to uninstall a master link on the trail, but the EDC tool itself could do it without the pliers.

youtu.be/EN3yVEbXSXA

I'd prefer to have Dynaplugs.
  • 1 0
 @acdownhill: probably trying to not overly plug one up. But I agree, the whole kit is insanely useful. If you’ve spent the coin on the pump and tool, getting the master link pliers/plug kit is worth the money. The tool has chain link storage too. So many tools/solutions in a package you can mount under your water bottle cage
  • 1 0
 @jdejace: sometimes you can get a twist out without losing any links, if you can undo the master link. I also have legit just used them as makeshift regular pliers in a pinch. I could see an argument for carrying something like wolftooth pack pliers instead, if you have any other storage space.
  • 1 0
 @jdejace: holy shit I had no idea that tool could do that. The more you know
  • 1 0
 @acdownhill: I am 0/6 for fixing flats with oneups kit. Switched to stans darts and have had nothing but luck.
  • 1 0
 @Ososmash: huh, I don’t think I’ve ever had the little bacon strips fail on me
  • 1 0
 Gorilla tape around the pump and zip ties in the BB. Had some gnarly side wall slashed that took 12+ bacon strips to fill. A plug that large like to pop out so the tape and zip ties are good to keep the plugs in place.
  • 3 0
 I tried to carry a shop mechanic in my seat bag, boy was he pissed, but at least we're still friends.
  • 1 0
 PSA, those space blankets roll up, and fit PERFECTLY in the bottom of your 1.5 steer tube. I found a pepper grinder top that fit perfectly as well as a cap. Always there, and invisible.
  • 1 1
 Something else that confuses me is the suggestion that people carry a hanger alignment tool on the trail. I carry a spare hanger for my main bike in my backpack, which I take on all longer rides, and even have it ziptied to the seatstay on my spare (old) bike so I don't have to think about bringing it when I'm on that bike.
  • 3 0
 Gear cable inside the handlebars.
  • 3 0
 Dangerous Dario with the hot topics. I love your work
  • 4 1
 $65 for a mini pump,good one!
  • 1 0
 If you have a spare old rear QR wheel around makes a lot better quick fix for a bent derreileur, will thread just fine and it's a lot easier to "align" with existing wheel.
  • 1 0
 It's a lot more of a hassle to carry with you on a ride though...
  • 1 0
 I don't need the cassette tool, with the dt swiss 350 hub it's easy to take just the cassette with the body off. So more chocolate and less tools...
  • 3 0
 With kit that small, I can ferry it all in my prison pocket
  • 2 0
 That dynaPLUG thing in particular. Like the designer did his time with the inmates.
  • 1 0
 Safety wire aka lock wire - more important than zip ties. wrap and twist it to replace bolts in a pinch.
  • 8 6
 These are all bullshit money pits
  • 1 0
 The CIA was doing this in 1960s during the cold war, except they were instructed to hide it somewhere more...... hidden.
  • 1 0
 recently added one cable to my list. no idea why. three weeks later learned why. one circle of cable.
  • 2 0
 Hammer! If you can’t fix it, then you’re not hitting hard enough
  • 2 0
 Why swing harder when you can just use a bigger hammer
  • 1 0
 Rocks are Gods hammer. Channel your inner 7YO.
  • 1 0
 You've carried a baby but have you ever dropped a baby when no one's looking?
  • 1 0
 Does crashing with your kid on a shot gun seat count?
  • 1 0
 That Dyna plug looks perfectly sized for God's pocket. Retrieval is a hassle though.
  • 1 0
 You can hide a CO2 cartridge in a headtube of a fork, see second pic:

www.bike24.com/p2346625.html
  • 1 0
 I just carry two spare tubes with me, inside the tires, inflated and ready to go.
  • 1 0
 Look, I know people smuggle all kinds of stuff in their ass, but this is getting out of control....
  • 2 1
 one up and wolf stuff is cool but overpriced af for what it is.
  • 2 0
 Zig Zags and body bags.
  • 1 0
 At least an ounce of Gary
  • 1 0
 $20 for bribing commoners when my Santa Cruz starts to hiccup.
  • 1 0
 Dynaplug suppository? A good place to stash your plugs for sure!
  • 1 0
 I don't think I've ever gotten tire plugs to work.
  • 1 0
 @DizzyNinja: i wonder if car tire plugs/bacon strips might work better in mtb tires. If you light the ends sticking out on fire with a lighter, you can kind of smush the burning ends into the tire. This helps them to seal.
  • 2 0
 @woofer2609: That is what I use, and I cut off the extra with pliers. A lot cheaper than any MTB-specific plug I've seen.
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609: Yup, I use Canadian Tire bacon strips and they work fine
  • 1 0
 no newborns were eaten during the production of this article.
  • 1 0
 I carry a tube with no way to inflate it.
  • 1 0
 Shock pump without gauge takes as much space as a pencil and can save you
  • 1 0
 whats up with that expensive pill there?!
  • 1 0
 That dynampro looks like a pill I wont swallow. It looks like a but plug!
  • 1 0
 $64 for some tire plugs? lol come on now
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