Bike tools come in all sorts of odd shapes and sizes so a bit of thought needs to go into the easiest way to carry them. There are several different options either on the bike or on yourself. So lets take a look at how to carry bike tools in the best way possible for YOU.
Bike Tool Carrying Options – What tools should I carry?
Where you are riding and how far you are going will influence what type of tools and how many you need. So lets go over What are the essentials in a bike tool kit? This is a list of the absolute minimum that you should take with you to help out in times of need
All the above tools have stories that will tell you what they are and what they can be used for. There is not much point in carrying tools that you don’t know how to use so choose to know what to do!
Bike tool carrying options – size & adding more
These tools should all be lightweight and portable versions especially if you are carrying the tools on yourself e.g in a hydration bag. The choice between a puncture repair kit and a spare tube comes down to time vs space. A tube is quicker, but a repair kit is much smaller to carry.
For some of your riding adventures you will have to carry more tools than just the minimum. The most obvious examples are big day rides, riding with kids, or bike touring. On these types of rides you will need a wider range of tools and more spare tubes. So as the quantity of tools increases, the space needed to carry them also expands and, depending on the length of the ride, weight may become an issue.
These stories are coming soon What’s in a Family Bike Tool Kit?…..What’s in a Bike Touring Tool Kit?
Tyre levers that stack together are a great portable option
Puncture repair kit &/or a bike tube?
Hand or Mini pumps are designed for portability
On Your Bike
The option of carrying any type of tools or gear on your bike rather than on your body is a great one. It just makes your riding experience more comfortable. So if it is an option choose to use one of the following ways to carry bike tools.
SEAT BAGS – one of the most common ways to easily carry small, lightweight bike tools. Great for leaving on your bike so that your tools are always with you – this can be an issue for around town kind of riding (they may get stolen). Another issue is your bike pump which will not fit so will need to be attached directly to your bike or placed in a larger type of bag.
BASKETS/HANDLEBAR BAGS – this carrying option gives you good amounts of space. You may need to keep your tools together within this space by using a tool wallet or roll. Always try and keep tools in an easy to access place so tucked down the side or near the top.
PANNIERS – to attach panniers to your bike you need a rear or front carrier. Panniers will give you the most space out of all these options so again your tools should be within a tool wallet or roll so that they stay together and are easy to access. Panniers are great for bike touring trips or around town shopping. If you are going to leave stuff like tools in your panniers will they be safe – how will you guard against theft?
FRAME BAGS – as the name suggests these bags will attach somewhere on your frame. They are often pretty oddly shaped to fit inside the triangle of your frame so tools can be the ideal type of thing to carry in them. Top tube frame bags are great for carrying things you want to get to quickly, so along with tools, food! Another advantage is that the weight of your tools will be close to your point of gravity.
TOOL BOTTLES – this container looks just like a water bottle as it is designed to fit in your water bottle holder. Obviously takes away your ability to use a water bottle. Can be a good short commute solution to carrying tools as the container is so easily removed and taken with you. This also makes it a great idea for teenagers going to sports practices/school. Also a popular choice on bike tours when the decision to use a hydration pack for water has been made.
Rear carrier panniers give you lots of space to carry tools
This is a top tube frame bag.
Carry a tool bottle inside your water bottle cage
On Your Body
The simple method of slipping tools into your riding top rear pocket is assuming that very minimal tools will be needed – choose puncture repair patches over a spare bike tube, tyre levers & attach a pump to your bike.
Hydration packs – primarly used for carrying water these packs can come in a range of sizes and styles. Some include specific places for bike tools, if not use a bike tool wallet or roll to keep your tools together. For more information read Carrying gear when I bike – What size Backpack? When carrying any type of weight on your back try to keep it low down. Water & tools combined will be the 2 heaviest things you could put on your back so if you’re choosing to do this don’t overload and keep the distances biked manageable.
Backpacks – incredibly handy for carrying ‘things’ when zipping around town, going to work, riding with kids or bike touring. As a women watch weight on your back. Check out our story – Comfort Riding with a Backpack. Again you need to keep your tools together to find them quickly and easily – use a bike tool wallet or roll. Rather than creating one enormous touring tool kit and placing it in your backpack…spread the load around.
Tools tucked inside a riding top
Hydration pack – 10L
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