Travel spanners

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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simonineaston
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Travel spanners

Postby simonineaston » 5 Sep 2020, 9:23am

As I tried out my new-to-me tourer, complete with Al-fee-nay 11 speed hub y'day, I somehow ended up at the Swan-With-2-Necks in back-street Brizl. As me, my chums and Jamie the landlord, settled in to trying some of the locality's splendid craft beers, listening to his latest popular music LP records and chatting about thisNthat, I noticed that the chain on my bike (he lets me bring it inside :-) ) was sagging - the drive-side acorn nut had come loose. My bad, obs. Jamie offered me a 15mm spanner & all was well quite quickly. Que another beverage.
We got talking about tool-kits and I displayed my trusty Topeak multitool, owned and used for 15 or more years, with no apparent wear. Those present pointed out, quite reasonably I suppose, that the multitool wasn't able to help with the 15mm nut. The question was posed, "Why don't you have a 15mm socket that fits on the largest of your hex wrenches?" And my answer was of course, "Cos the only sockets I've got have quarter-inch, or three-eighths, square drive..."
Is there such a thing as sockets with a hex drive? Or, if not, what do folk take with them, if like me, they have turned their backs on QR skewers and have one or more size nuts to deal with, while out on a ride?
byyeee,
SiE

alexnharvey
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Re: Travel spanners

Postby alexnharvey » 5 Sep 2020, 9:35am

I take a 15mm combination spanner which I've recently bent straight, reducing the 15 degree flare, although still not quite as good as an unflared spanner (mine is now dog legged rather than flat).

One of my Lidl toolkits came with a long 8mm hex key that had a square drive adapter, 1/2" iirc, for driving the BB and cassette tools. Carrying the long key, adapter and a socket would weigh more than the spanner altgough of course the long 8mm hex is useful for crank bolts.

Even with the right hex drive socket I'd have some doubts about getting enough torque on the bolts with socket plus short Allen key/multitool. Unfortunately, many of the adapters you will find are 1/4 inch hex (mostly male but a few are female) because this has become the standard for screwdriver bits and I think you will find at 6.35mm that they are not a usable fit on a 6mm hex. They'll turn at very low torque then round off the key.

There are several comprehensive threads on 15mm track nut spanner options, one within the last few months.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=138030
Last edited by alexnharvey on 5 Sep 2020, 9:51am, edited 1 time in total.

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simonineaston
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Re: Travel spanners

Postby simonineaston » 5 Sep 2020, 9:47am

Thanks for link - I didn't think to do a search as I thought the topic to be a bit niche - only goes to show!
byyeee,
SiE

thirdcrank
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Re: Travel spanners

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Sep 2020, 9:56am

In the first reply to that thread linked by alexnharvey, Brucey recommended a 15mm combination spanner. That was exactly my approach when I first acquired bikes with hub rears, after a lifetime of q/r.

Tightening up a slack track nut at the roadside shouldn't be a regular occurrence, but punctures can happen anytime, with Sod's Law dictating it's in the rear wheel in rotten weather when fingers are cold. Not the time for faffing with fiddly multitools or chocolate spanners. Both my hubgears also have hub brakes so I also have 6mm combination spanner for them.

Cavemud
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Re: Travel spanners

Postby Cavemud » 5 Sep 2020, 10:02am

I've recently abandoned my traditional multutools in favour of a series of hex bits and a tool to drive them.

It allows me to have tools specifically adapted to my bike without anything unnecessary.

The change was prompted by a relatively recent move to a rohloff hub, which requires an 8mm (?) Socket to manually change gear and a larger socket for the anti rotation thingamibob. Bike multitools dont generally have sockets on them.

I was able to find both sockets with a hex end from various old toolkits I have kicking around, but you might struggle to get one as large as 15mm.

Can't remember the name of the things, but you can buy small hex shanks with 1/2 1/8 1/4 inch drives on the end. Got mine from screwfix as a pack of all three sizes so that I could drive sockets from the cordless drill.

So maybe you could buy a cheap hex driver set, pull out the various allen/torx bits you need, then supplement with the hex to 1/4 shank and a 15mm socket?

The downside of my toolkit rationalisation though, was that when I recently met a guy stranded at the far end of Loch Awe with a broken chain, I was unable to help as I no longer carry a chain tool (I have a belt)........but then of course he should have had his own!!

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simonineaston
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Re: Travel spanners

Postby simonineaston » 5 Sep 2020, 10:08am

Having spent the last hour consuming a ton of toast, marmelade and tea, and getting crumbs all over my keyboard, current thinking is a 2mm-thick pedal spanner, with the blunt end ground down to double up as a decent tyre-lever.
byyeee,
SiE

Cavemud
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Re: Travel spanners

Postby Cavemud » 5 Sep 2020, 10:10am

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009EPJXVO/ ... uFbSNMZC26

Here you go. Four quid. You'd need the hex socket to drive it, but there are loads of cheap tools around that do this, and if you buy a set you can make a bespoke toolkit for your bike.

Jdsk
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Re: Travel spanners

Postby Jdsk » 5 Sep 2020, 10:18am

I carry a generic multitool but not a bike multitool. (Currently a Victorinox Spirit: light, fits my hand, excellent tips on the pliers... no corkscrew.)

And a 15mm wrench, as in the cited thread, but it's more often used on other people's bikes. And pedal spanners. And a chain tool. And a folding hex key set.

Other bits (!) only to match our bikes.

I'd like to ditch the adjustable wrench but haven't...

And more and more soft bike bits require careful tightening... so they get a torque wrench in the workshop but muscle memory on the road.

Jonathan

Cavemud wrote:Can't remember the name of the things, but you can buy small hex shanks with 1/2 1/8 1/4 inch drives on the end. Got mine from screwfix as a pack of all three sizes so that I could drive sockets from the cordless drill.

Very useful for all sorts of jobs, but rarely on the bike.

alexnharvey
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Re: Travel spanners

Postby alexnharvey » 5 Sep 2020, 10:22am

simonineaston wrote:Having spent the last hour consuming a ton of toast, marmelade and tea, and getting crumbs all over my keyboard, current thinking is a 2mm-thick pedal spanner, with the blunt end ground down to double up as a decent tyre-lever.


Portland design works make one like that, although it has a ring spanner instead of a pedal one.

Cavemud
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Re: Travel spanners

Postby Cavemud » 5 Sep 2020, 10:27am

Probably not what your after, but the reason I don't have 15mm nuts on my rohloff is that i have piltlock security skewers. The key is pretty light and can be turned by sticking an Allen key through the holes, so no other tools required and your wheel is less likely to be nicked by the landlord :-)

alexnharvey
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Re: Travel spanners

Postby alexnharvey » 5 Sep 2020, 10:31am

Cavemud wrote:Probably not what your after, but the reason I don't have 15mm nuts on my rohloff is that i have piltlock security skewers. The key is pretty light and can be turned by sticking an Allen key through the holes, so no other tools required and your wheel is less likely to be nicked by the landlord :-)


How will he fit a skewer through the solid axle?

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Sweep
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Re: Travel spanners

Postby Sweep » 5 Sep 2020, 11:55am

Jdsk wrote:I carry a generic multitool but not a bike multitool. (Currently a Victorinox Spirit: light, fits my hand, excellent tips on the pliers... no corkscrew.).

no multitool (general purpose rather than bike tool) without a corkscrew is not worthy of the name.
Sweep

PH
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Re: Travel spanners

Postby PH » 5 Sep 2020, 12:18pm

alexnharvey wrote:
simonineaston wrote:Having spent the last hour consuming a ton of toast, marmelade and tea, and getting crumbs all over my keyboard, current thinking is a 2mm-thick pedal spanner, with the blunt end ground down to double up as a decent tyre-lever.


Portland design works make one like that, although it has a ring spanner instead of a pedal one.

As mentioned in the thread linked above, I have one of those. It was great on the simple dropouts of a previous bike, but a bit awkward on the current one. The small pedal spanner that came free with an Evans bike suits this bike better.
I'm tempted to look for a decent quality small adjustable and then see how many other fittings I can convert to use it on. At the moment each of my bikes requires different tools, it'd be nice to have a standard toolkit without to much redundancy.

Jdsk
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Re: Travel spanners

Postby Jdsk » 5 Sep 2020, 1:12pm

Sweep wrote:
Jdsk wrote:I carry a generic multitool but not a bike multitool. (Currently a Victorinox Spirit: light, fits my hand, excellent tips on the pliers... no corkscrew.).

no multitool (general purpose rather than bike tool) without a corkscrew is not worthy of the name.

Assuming that that was one more negative than you intended...

: - )

Alternative methods are available... and highly entertaining!

Jonathan

slowster
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Re: Travel spanners

Postby slowster » 5 Sep 2020, 1:18pm

Assuming that the Alfine hub in question is mounted in either track ends or horizintal drop outs, and that therefore the nuts require more torque to tighten them to ensure that the hub stays in place, I would not want to rely on a 2mm thick pedal spanner or socket with a hex drive. The fact that the latter in the link provided by Cavemud is called a 'setter' indicates it is designed for low torque initial assembly.

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