Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
LittleGreyCat
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Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby LittleGreyCat » 27 May 2019, 7:41pm

Reading some posts in "Bikes and Bits" there are recommendations to clean and lubricate the bike after every ride and check various adjustments.

What tools would you suggest, and what maintenance, for a tour of about a week?

if you normally clean and oil your chain after every ride, how do you achieve this when away from home?
How do you wash the mud and grit off?
I have visions of cycling around looking for a tap.
On a campsite there should be no problem, but credit card touring?

What spares?
Inner tube, tyre, chain links, chain?
Disc pads or brake blocks?
Brake and gear cables?
Which types of lube?

Etc.

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mjr
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby mjr » 27 May 2019, 8:01pm

My toolkit is described in other posts, as well as what I'd buy next time. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=117457&p=1165729#p1165729

On tour, I keep air in the tyres and oil the chain but other than that, hope to do nothing. If it breaks, curse and fix it.

I carry a small bottle of middle of road chain oil with me.
I only rinse the mud off with water squirted from a bottle if it gets really bad.
Spares: 2 tubes, link, a brake and a gear cable. No chain or pads or tyres: change them a week before if they're anywhere near wear limits, buy new on tour if you must.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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gbnz
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby gbnz » 27 May 2019, 8:09pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:Reading some posts in "Bikes and Bits" there are recommendations to clean and lubricate the bike after every ride and check various adjustments.

What tools would you suggest, and what maintenance, for a tour of about a week?

if you normally clean and oil your chain after every ride, how do you achieve this when away from home?
How do you wash the mud and grit off?
I have visions of cycling around looking for a tap.
On a campsite there should be no problem, but credit card touring?

What spares?
Inner tube, tyre, chain links, chain?
Disc pads or brake blocks?
Brake and gear cables?
Which types of lube?

Etc.


I take a spare tube, chain links, allen keys, couple of spanners (NB. Needed for my mudguards) on every ride. On tour 1 week to a year, I'll take a couple of cables, lube and that's pretty much about it (Nb. Always toured in 1st world countries and buying a tyre, brake pads, chain, isn't that hard. Even if you cross the channel, you can still use credit cards et al :shock:

peterdpusey
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby peterdpusey » 27 May 2019, 8:18pm

I have done a few months touring across Europe longest trip 50+ days and covering a couple of thousand miles carrying my camping gear. I always take some spare spokes but on my Thorn Raven tour after 10 years of touring have never broken one. Likewise I have some spare links for my chain and a splitter.

I didn’t used to take a tyre however two years ago I got a nasty gash in Germany and whilst cycle shops are never far away I struggled to get a replacement 26” tyre so I now travel with a foldable spare. Always have a couple of spare inners, puncture repair kits and a boot repair for the tyre as well.

Riding with a rohloff hub I probably only clean my chain once a week unless I have been on muddy forest tracks. Haven’t yet taken any cables, I guess I will the year after I break one, certainly not brake blocks.

With other tools a pair of pliers is good. Beware of all in one multi tools as their width may not allow you to get access to where you need to get, similarly I have been caught out with spanners where I may have the right size but if they are shaped at the ends like the ones in my Top peak survival gear box they won’t fit on the nuts recessed in say my mudguards, so I am thinking of adding a small adjustable spanner.

If your bike is well maintained then you may not need any of it, I did Landsend to John O’groats and didn’t even get a puncture. Got back home on the Isle of Wight and I had 3 in a week just pottering around home, same bike same tyres and less weight!

Thehairs1970
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby Thehairs1970 » 27 May 2019, 8:33pm

I'm anticipating that other readers will have the same question as me. Where are you going? Depending on this would change what you take.

For what it's worth, I take puncture kit and spare tube. Puncture kit includes a tyre patch. Pump. Tyre levers, Chainlink. Allen keys. Double ended screwdriver. If you check your brakes beforehand, you shouldn't need to replace pads unless it's really hilly. No cables. Cable ties and duct tape.

Of course, all this would change considerably if you are going somewhere remote or if the terrain is rough.

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Paulatic
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby Paulatic » 27 May 2019, 8:47pm

I’ve just done over a week two panniers and a tent on the Hebs.
I carried two tubes, I don’t need tyre levers, and a pump. Also a small bottle of lube ( 4 parts white spirit 1 part chainsaw oil) along with a cloth. I give the chain a daily wipe down with this.
3 things I carried and didn’t use...waterproof socks, tin opener and the tubes.
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andrew_s
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby andrew_s » 27 May 2019, 10:05pm

One thing I always take that is seldom mentioned is a film tub containing an assortment of nuts and bolts - a chainring bolt, a self-extracting crank bolt, half a dozen assorted length M5 and some nuts and washers to fit, a mudguard stay bolt, an SPD cleat bolt or two, a couple of spoke nipples, and a couple of quick links for the chain.

It actually came into use today - the rivet holding one end of a (venerable) front roller hook rail popped, and got replaced by a nut/bolt/washer.

PH
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby PH » 27 May 2019, 10:40pm

In addition to most of the stuff already mentioned, I carry a spoke key, should be able to get a wheel rideable with one or two spokes missing, assuming it had enough to begin with. Either a replacement dropout hanger or a generic emergency one, which along with a friction downtube lever I could probably bodge some usable gears with in the case of a damaged shifter or mech*. Seatpin bolt, I've seen two snap, one mine. I carry two tubes, a puncture repair kit and a spare unopened puncture repair kit.
I also carry a few J-Cloths, they get used to get most of the water off after a shower, so I carry a smaller towel, to clean the chain, washing up, removing condensation from the tent... You can use one for several tasks as long as you do so in the right order.

*I carry this even when touring on a Rohloff bike, in the worst case scenario of a hub failure any rear wheel and mech would get me going again.

tatanab
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby tatanab » 28 May 2019, 8:13am

LittleGreyCat wrote:Reading some posts in "Bikes and Bits" there are recommendations to clean and lubricate the bike after every ride and check various adjustments.
That seems to be a modern fetish, probably brought about by lack of mudguards and the "need" to have a bike serviced by a shop. Checking adjustment should not be necessary because you feel lack of adjustment when riding.

Cleaning the machine - I quite like to get home with my machine nicely covered by travel dust and stains.
Spares - other than the tool kit and spare tubes that I carry on every ride I take a spare chain link (also on every ride) and spare rear brake and gear cables since obviously rear will do for the front if needed. Because of using Ergo levers, I carry a downtube lever for the rear mech in case things get bent. All of my frames have downtube brazed lever bosses.
Lubrication - an eye dropper bottle of whatever chain oil I favour at the time. This is used as needed, perhaps once a week depending on weather. Some people look in the bins at garages for tins of motor oil from which they can drip the remnants.
Cleaning hands at the roadside- that is what grass is for.

My longest tours so far have been 4 weeks, 1500 miles and mainly in western Europe. If I went away for longer or to more remote places I think I would reconsider some of my spares.

ANTONISH
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby ANTONISH » 28 May 2019, 9:24am

Most of us have similar tool kits. I have a small box spanner which accepts a number of hexagon tool bits - allen heads and screwdiver bits.
I also carry a small adjustable spanner, I've got self removing crank bolts.
I also have two inner tubes and a spare folding tyre - I don't bother with the conventional puncture outfits I find the Lezyne patches good and durable
( the tube still needs to be roughened).
Also chain tool and a powerlink.
I always change the cable inners for a tour - don't carry any spare.

As I often take my bike on tgv trains in a bag I need enough tools for dismantling and reassembly.

And definitely cable ties.

Norman H
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby Norman H » 28 May 2019, 10:04am

Prevention is better than cure. Decent hand built wheels are an insurance against spoke failure, as is checking the bike before any tour and replacing any cables and tyres that look suspect .

Other than that I cant add much to the items that others have mentioned. A mobile phone can help resolve most problems as can a selection of cable ties and a length of gaffer tape wrapped around something suitable

iandriver
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby iandriver » 28 May 2019, 10:25am

For last weeks tour

2 x tubes
Levers
Repair kit
Pump
Multi tool
Spoke key (needed as the front wheel was no longer true after the flight. Handbuilts that have been good for ages previously. No visible damage, a complete mystery)
Chain lube
Leatherman style multi-tool with pliers
Cable ties
Gear and brake cable
Pedal spanner (necessary for flight)
Full sized 4 and 5 mm hex keys (Light and do 90% of the bolts)
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

reohn2
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby reohn2 » 28 May 2019, 10:41am

iandriver wrote:For last weeks tour

2 x tubes
Levers
Repair kit
Pump
Multi tool
Spoke key (needed as the front wheel was no longer true after the flight. Handbuilts that have been good for ages previously. No visible damage, a complete mystery)
Chain lube
Leatherman style multi-tool with pliers
Cable ties
Gear and brake cable
Pedal spanner (necessary for flight)
Full sized 4 and 5 mm hex keys (Light and do 90% of the bolts)

Yep,that almost covers it,plus two spare pannier hooks(Altura)should one break,pair of brake pads,a crank bolt,a couple of mudguard stay bolts,tyre boot and spare batteries for lights.
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iandriver
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby iandriver » 28 May 2019, 11:03am

reohn2 wrote:
iandriver wrote:For last weeks tour

2 x tubes
Levers
Repair kit
Pump
Multi tool
Spoke key (needed as the front wheel was no longer true after the flight. Handbuilts that have been good for ages previously. No visible damage, a complete mystery)
Chain lube
Leatherman style multi-tool with pliers
Cable ties
Gear and brake cable
Pedal spanner (necessary for flight)
Full sized 4 and 5 mm hex keys (Light and do 90% of the bolts)



Yep,that almost covers it,plus two spare pannier hooks(Altura)should one break,pair of brake pads,a crank bolt,a couple of mudguard stay bolts,tyre boot and spare batteries for lights.


You've reminded me, I do have spare bolts. My tyre boot is my toothpaste tube and plastic Euro notes. A crank bolt is interesting, it sounds like a good idea to have one.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

slowster
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby slowster » 28 May 2019, 11:05am

With regard to the issue of lubrication, this would be to address either dirt, mud and grit on the chain, which as tatanb implies is something which can greatly be reduced by mudguards and a long front mudflap, or it might be needed after riding in heavy rain. I guess in the latter case that if you are riding in warm weather, the rainwater that has penetrated the chain will soon evaporate, and the need for re-lubrication will depend upon the 'staying power' of whatever the chain was previously lubricated with, e.g. ranging from dipping the chain into a heated bath of a wax lubricant to just using a light oil which rain will quickly wash away.

It's possible to buy small 80ml aerosols of WD40, which you could take with you to use as a water dispersant on the chain at the end of a wet ride, but I'm not sure there would be any need for, or value in this for warm weather touring, as opposed to riding in winter when salt on the roads means corrosion is more likely to be a problem.

As for the suggestion of wiping dirty hands on the roadside grass, that might work well if you keep your transmission quite clean and maybe use relatively thin lubricants, but not so well with stubborn grease from a dirty chain, nor in a very hot country where there isn't any roadside grass. Disposable nitrile type gloves as used in most workshops pack quite small, and an even cheaper option is to take a couple of the plastic disposable gloves provided free at most petrol station forecourts. Alternatively (or even in addition), you can buy antiseptic wipes in individual sachets which are very good at removing grease and oil, and which obviously may also be useful if you graze or otherwise injure yourself.