Author Topic: Tool choices  (Read 2275 times)

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2018, 08:40:52 am »
I wouldn't take cable cutters. 
I have broken gear cables on two rides - an audax and a tour in Wales.  It was no hardship to ride with two gears until I finished / found a shop to buy a new cable. 
That's two rides out of XXXX many.  I wouldn't plan for such an unlikely event.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Tool choices
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2018, 08:47:04 am »
I've broken one cable on my bikes during long brevets (think I just rode it to the finish). I've replaced perhaps half a dozen cables for others during long brevets. It didn't seem likely that they'd have finished without replacing them. I've never carried cable cutters.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Tool choices
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2018, 08:49:46 am »

I carry spare cables for both gears and brakes. They are single ended with a nipple on only one end, so I can fit them without needing to trim them, if it's a "get me to the next bike shop" kinda fix. On my trip to Hell this year, I had a section where I for 400km I had no bike shops within easy cycling distance, and at one point, so I needed to make sure I could keep going, and with the hills, simply having 2 gears, wouldn't be an option.

J

--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2018, 08:56:04 am »
I wasn't referring to shortening a cable that is too long, that wouldn't normally bother me (except perhaps a front mech cable which goes into your legs if it is too long). I was referring to those universal cables that have a nipple both ends (and which some cycle instructors advocate as spares on group rides 'cos they're universal). Without a tool to shift the unwanted nipple cleanly you're stuffed! A frayed end doesn't help matters either.

I realise that, but I think the advice to carry those cables is somewhat flawed;  they can be a PITA to fit (because you always need to thread a freshly  cut end) even in the workshop. It is surely easier to carry an additional cable or two rather than a set of cutters that will definitely produce a cut end that can be threaded easily....? Does such a set of cutters exist anyway?

If you want to reduce the spares inventory for a group, it takes a few moments in the workshop (before you go) to modify a gear cable nipple so that it will work OK in any  type of gear lever.  IIRC it is also possible to make an adaptor piece so that a pear nipple will work in almost any brake lever.  In any event if it is not perfect a temporary repair only has to last until you get to a bike shop.

To allow continued use temporarily, I have removed (peeled back) a single strand from a slightly frayed brake or gear cable before now; the single strand just needs to be cut/left  somewhere where the free end won't cause binding, eg between cable stops.

To remove a frayed cable from a shifter or brake (which BTW shouldn't be necessary mid-tour if the cables are checked over carefully before you go) you don't need a very good cutting tool; almost anything that is capable of cutting/breaking even one strand at a time will do, because it is not required that you thread the cut end or anything like that. In extremis flexing each strand in the cable separately in a tight bend will soon cause it to fatigue and break, so it is possible to sever a damaged cable without much at all in the way of tools should  it become necessary.

Needless to say a triangular Swiss file will quite easily sever damaged cables too; it is a really useful tool.

cheers

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2018, 09:47:31 am »
Most current smallish multitools (e.g. Topeak) no longer have any hex spanners.  Not much good if you have any vintage components or need to adjust a mudguard stay.  My Topeak Power 16 (early 90s) does most jobs and will even tighten 14mm crankbolts!
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2018, 11:10:20 am »

I carry spare cables for both gears and brakes. They are single ended with a nipple on only one end, so I can fit them without needing to trim them, if it's a "get me to the next bike shop" kinda fix. On my trip to Hell this year, I had a section where I for 400km I had no bike shops within easy cycling distance, and at one point, so I needed to make sure I could keep going, and with the hills, simply having 2 gears, wouldn't be an option.

J

If you snap a brake cable you might have more to worry about than pedalling up hills in a high gear!  It's very very rare that they do snap but better to replace beforehand than carry spares / tools in case they do.  That's true for most bike maintenace.

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2018, 12:08:03 pm »
of course, but when you are leading a group, (or at least are one of the most experienced members of it) it is as well to be prepared for the, uh, 'variable' standards of maintenance employed by others.  It really doesn't matter how well-maintained the best bikes are, in effect the group is at the mercy of both accidents and any breakages in the least reliable (usually worst-maintained) machines.

FWIW one of the things I often carry is a half-roll of insulation tape. This is easy to carry and has countless uses eg

- packing under a loose 'P' clip
- lashing broken  stuff together (it will sustain a tension of about 2kg when applied; ~20 tightly applied turns exerts a clamping force of ~40kg and in combination with a splint of some kind (e.g. a spare spoke) all kinds of things can be reinforced)
- repairing/replacing a duff rim tape
- lashing around a punctured tube that can't be repaired properly for whatever reason (it will leak and need pumping often but at least you will be mobile)
- holds a tyre boot in place well enough to get the tyre inflated without it moving too much
- temporarily repairing scuffs in bar tape
- ditto lever hoods, saddles etc
- reinforcing SIS outer cable that has started to crack up and may burst/collapse otherwise
- covering exposed lube ports
- covering scrapes (eg on a frameset) so that they don't start to corrode
- protecting rubbing parts so that the finish isn't degraded
- lashing a broken spoke in place within a wheel so that the bike can be ridden until it is replaced
- lashing loose wires/Bowden cables to the frame
- stopping cable ends from fraying
- improving the fit of cable outer into ferrules
- several tight turns will work as a tourniquet at a pinch
- can be used to lash field dressings in place temporarily

and so forth.   If you envisage a relatively small amount may be useful, you can simply wind a length of it around something convenient, eg your bike pump, so that you will always have it with you.

cheers

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Tool choices
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2018, 12:40:13 pm »

If you snap a brake cable you might have more to worry about than pedalling up hills in a high gear!  It's very very rare that they do snap but better to replace beforehand than carry spares / tools in case they do.  That's true for most bike maintenace.

Agreed, but murphy lurks under bridges, it weighs little, and given that some trips may be 3700+km, replacing it before the big trip is no guarantee...

J

--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2018, 12:52:10 pm »
If you envisage a relatively small amount may be useful, you can simply wind a length of it around something convenient, eg your bike pump, so that you will always have it with you.
I carry a couple of yards of duct tape wrapped around the shell of an old Biro which fits nicely over the shaft of a screwdriver.

I've tried several multitools over the years and have ditched them in favour of separate tools, being easier to use.

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2018, 12:53:44 pm »
Leading a group is clearly different, it could be sensible to take loads of spare and tools.

I know lots of people who have ridden 3700+km but I am not aware of any who needed to change a brake cable in the course of it. They should last far longer than that. I've never had one fail and can't recall failure stories from others. For very obvious reasons, they are much more robust than gear cables.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Tool choices
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2018, 01:01:06 pm »
Leading a group is clearly different, it could be sensible to take loads of spare and tools.

I know lots of people who have ridden 3700+km but I am not aware of any who needed to change a brake cable in the course of it. They should last far longer than that. I've never had one fail and can't recall failure stories from others. For very obvious reasons, they are much more robust than gear cables.

Agreed. Tho I think there were a couple of brake cable failures, and a hydrolic failure on the SRMR this year.

I think the main reason that a brake cable might be damaged would be a crash/accident. Not being able to keep going would bug me. For a cable that weighs fsck all, and is already in my tall bag, it seems foolish to take it out.

You pack your fears. Obviously my fears involve not being able to continue riding due to mechanical...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2018, 01:12:27 pm »
Cable ties.
Cable ties stuffed into the drops, and held in place and easy to retreive with a blob of blu-tak in the back if the bar end plug.
Black ones on the left, natural ones on the right.1


1Not mandatory

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2018, 01:14:35 pm »
Having a shed without power at one end of the garden and a nice warm kitchen with light and cups of tea (along with an understanding mrs trekker who agrees it's a good idea to tinker with her bike in the kitchen) means I often dive into the saddle bag for tools and spares rather than lugging my main bike box all the way down the garden. This means I pretty much know the travelling tool kit fixes any part on the bike I can think of.

I addition to a multi-tool, on tour we take an 8mm spanner, a 10mm spanner (because I was daft enough to buy two types of mudguards and they each have different sized securing bolts), the Leatherman is used in the camp kitchen as well as a bike tool, a spoke key, a half roll of electrical tape (although cutting it in half leaves lots of short strips rather than a roll :) ) and two 10 speed chain links. Oh and a bottle of chain lube.

For spares we take one gear cable and one brake cable and a pair of brake pads for each bike (one is disk, the other is caliper). On the basis that we shouldn't break a cable each on the same day and we can either get to a shop or take a day off and wait for the magic of the internet. Both bikes also have at least one spare spoke taped to the down tube of a length I'll get away with a temporary repair no matter of it's location.

Perhaps we travel a little light but on our only big tour so far (two weeks in well populated Europe) I hardly raided the tool kit except for basic maintenance. As it was a learning exercise I listed everything we carried and didn't use and don't intend to take again, so, next Summer along the Danube it looks like we are only taking a bottle of chain lube and one inner tube!!  :thumbsup:

ETA oh and cable ties, thanks Jurek, and I'm knicking that storage idea, mrs trekker hates finding them shoved in any pannier pocket I've found space so they poke you in the eye every time you open the pocket!
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2018, 01:40:48 pm »

I think the main reason that a brake cable might be damaged would be a crash/accident. Not being able to keep going would bug me. For a cable that weighs fsck all, and is already in my tall bag, it seems foolish to take it out.

You pack your fears. Obviously my fears involve not being able to continue riding due to mechanical...

J

One of Mike Hall's many insightful comments went along the lines of for an ultra-race you don't need to take xxxx or take yyyy, but you need to take a few risks!

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Tool choices
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2018, 10:38:16 am »
I haven't gone to the length of packing spare spokes yet. This is on the basis of there being a strong chance of a spoke going on the rear wheel in a place I can't get to without removing the cassette. Finding a friendly bike shop open at 2030 on a Sunday in rural Essex is a dime prospect so I just pack a spoke key and tension the wheel to a 'good enough' orientation (sadly I had to do this in my first 200).
Bikepacking bargain basement: reviews of high value kit great for the tourer, bikepacker and randonneur on a budget

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=109048.msg2312359#msg2312359

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Tool choices
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2018, 12:29:57 pm »
so many rear hubs now have a freehub body that comes off either without tools or with (easy-to-carry) allen keys. a no-brainer for a serious trip/tour.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - a Pacific bike ride
Re: Tool choices
« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2018, 12:34:38 pm »
Get disc brakes and keeping the wheel true won't matter nearly so much  :thumbsup:

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2018, 12:35:14 pm »
There was a clip doing the rounds on Twitter a few days ago about a rider pushing a mate 50k home as he’d broken his chain.  A proper mate would have bought him a chain tool and taught him how to use it.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Tool choices
« Reply #43 on: December 08, 2018, 01:23:21 pm »
There was a clip doing the rounds on Twitter a few days ago about a rider pushing a mate 50k home as he’d broken his chain.  A proper mate would have bought him a chain tool and taught him how to use it.
A proper mate would have got out his chain tool, told mate to buy his own, then ridden home with it.

Tough love is the best kind sometimes.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Tool choices
« Reply #44 on: December 08, 2018, 01:25:43 pm »
I haven't gone to the length of packing spare spokes yet. This is on the basis of there being a strong chance of a spoke going on the rear wheel in a place I can't get to without removing the cassette.

That's why you need a cassette remover too.

Or a FiberFix.


(TBH, I'd only really worry about fixing spoke breakage properly for loaded touring.  For normal riding, a bodge will get you wherever.)
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #45 on: December 08, 2018, 06:53:56 pm »
I haven't gone to the length of packing spare spokes yet. This is on the basis of there being a strong chance of a spoke going on the rear wheel in a place I can't get to without removing the cassette.

That's why you need a cassette remover too.

Or a FiberFix.


(TBH, I'd only really worry about fixing spoke breakage properly for loaded touring.  For normal riding, a bodge will get you wherever.)

There was a dodge in fashion once upon a time of modifying the bend of a spare spoke into a hook that could then be hooked into the flange of the hub without threading through. Such spokes would be modified before leaving home and would live on the bike.

The Atom hub I had on the tandem with a Shimano Mega-range freewheel allowed me to access the drive side spoke holes through the windows in the big sprocket. B. awful idea having a sprocket sequence going 24,34 but it did have that advantage and avoided the great big bench vice necessary to shift the freewheel.

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #46 on: December 08, 2018, 10:46:21 pm »
Fixing my handlebars yesterday, I chose to use the tools from the bike bag to fix it, to see if I was able to fix it easily using the tools I carry with me, had I decided to fix it at the side of the road. Even tho I had a box full of "proper" bike tools just a couple of meters away.

I wondered if anyone else did similar things to test their tools/skills for when out on the road.

J

I presume "tools from the bike bag" is/are cycling widget multitools, I don't even own one, I carry normal tools on my bike.

This is what I carry for my commute (12 miles each way):

4mm and 5mm allen keys
8mm box spanner and 6mm allen key combo tool
10mm combination spanner
Above is 120g, I put the tools in a 34g bag
15m spanner if using nutted wheels

I've always got a small Swiss Army Knife on my key ring which has a sort of screwdriver.

The problem with multitools are that they contain tools I don't need, and are heavier and more expensive than separate normal tools. And they are also fiddly to use and sometimes you can't even use it because it can't reach the nut or fastener.

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #47 on: December 08, 2018, 11:19:59 pm »

There was a dodge in fashion once upon a time of modifying the bend of a spare spoke into a hook that could then be hooked into the flange of the hub without threading through. Such spokes would be modified before leaving home and would live on the bike.

like this;


[edit; the tool in the picture is that rare thing, a set of special pliers that forms the bends required.  With some cunning you don't need such a tool.]

If you are making such spokes I recommend as tight a first bend as possible, and to use a cut down sapim 'strong' spoke so that the bends are in the 13G part of the spoke.

Quote
The Atom hub I had on the tandem with a Shimano Mega-range freewheel allowed me to access the drive side spoke holes through the windows in the big sprocket. B. awful idea having a sprocket sequence going 24,34 but it did have that advantage and avoided the great big bench vice necessary to shift the freewheel.

presumably you could only thread 'inside' spokes through this way on the drive side; fine for a get you home fix, that.

Some Maxicar (inc tandem) hubs had flanges with keyhole-shaped holes in them, so spokes can be easily replaced in the event of breakage, even by the sprockets or the drag brake.



cheers

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Tool choices
« Reply #48 on: December 09, 2018, 11:14:52 am »
I sometimes use tools from the bike when at home, not so much to make sure they work as because they're to hand.

I'm another one who does't particularly like multitools. They're a neat way of keeping tools together and I can see their utility when you might expect to sort out other people's mechanicals, but usually I prefer individual tools; they're easier to use as well as lighter.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Tool choices
« Reply #49 on: December 09, 2018, 04:00:42 pm »

There was a dodge in fashion once upon a time of modifying the bend of a spare spoke into a hook that could then be hooked into the flange of the hub without threading through. Such spokes would be modified before leaving home and would live on the bike.

like this;



If you are making such spokes I recommend as tight a first bend as possible, and to use a cut down sapim 'strong' spoke so that the bends are in the 13G part of the spoke.

Quote
The Atom hub I had on the tandem with a Shimano Mega-range freewheel allowed me to access the drive side spoke holes through the windows in the big sprocket. B. awful idea having a sprocket sequence going 24,34 but it did have that advantage and avoided the great big bench vice necessary to shift the freewheel.

presumably you could only thread 'inside' spokes through this way on the drive side; fine for a get you home fix, that.

Some Maxicar (inc tandem) hubs had flanges with keyhole-shaped holes in them, so spokes can be easily replaced in the event of breakage, even by the sprockets or the drag brake.



cheers

That spoke is a bit more sophisticated than the ones I knew, which just had the hub end flat filed to allow the spoke to pass through wrong way. Yours is better but you need to recalculate the length!
You could pass a spoke from the inside with the Atom hub, the flanges are so narrow there was space to catch it between flange and sprocket and get it in with a lot of judicious bending, pignorance and brute strength. I wouldn't have wanted to do it with one of my 12g rustless spokes though (but then I never had to, pheww!). I note that the Maxicar hub only has slotted holes on one flange - did they do them with both flanges slotted as well?

For all the lovers of multitools, check that the allen keys (sorry, hexagonal male spanners, Allen key is a copyrighted commercial name of  Allen Tool,inc.) fit all the bolts on your bike. I had the experience of helping a cyclo on a feed point on a club event who needed to tighten the screw of his seatpost (highend carbon kit). The key on his mate's multitool couldn't get near. Fortunately the normal key in the car (for putting the roof bars on and off) did the job.

I have had the experience of a brake cable coming adrift in the lever and getting stuck. The nipple blocked behind its hole (which was a slot of course). The first time I had to do 150kms in a group without a front brake - not much fun. At home I sorted it out with a snoutnose pliars without pulling the cable out. The second time it happened I managed to wriggle it back into position on the ride but I could see at home that the nipple was chewed up which presumably was part of the cause. I changed the brake levers instead this time. Pity, they were comfortable.