Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
reohn2
Posts: 34652
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby reohn2 » 28 May 2019, 11:23am

iandriver wrote:
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.

My tyre boot is a 25cm length of worn out Vittoria Voyager Hyper tyre with the kevlar beads cut off,it's wrapped around my two spare tubes in the seatpack.
I only started carrying a crank bolt about 15 years ago after someone I was riding with lost one and his left crank came off.
I rode 5miles back on the road(10 miles in total) looking for it,to no avail,luckily we were only half a mile from a garage with a sympathetic mechanic who cut down and fitted a hex head bolt and at no instance would take payment for his help,when he wasn't looking we put a fiver on his bench :wink:
My riding companion was lucky it didn't ruin the squaretaper on the crank,we put this down to the taper being treated to little copper grease on assembly allowing it to slip off when the bolt fell off and the crank loosened quickily,nevertheless he was lucky.
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Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby Brucey » 28 May 2019, 12:09pm

On any ride a spare chain quicklink is so light in relation to its potential usefulness it seems churlish not to carry one.

On a longer tour (or in a group where the load can be shared) its also worth considering carrying such items as;

- spare spokes (+ whatever tools you need to fit them)
- cone spanners (or whatever you need to be able to fettle the hub bearings in your hubs)
- spare rear axle (if you use a screw-on freewheel)
- whatever tools you need to adjust parts on your bike; for example I have habitually carried something to retighten my headset locknut on bikes with a threaded headset.
- spare folding tyre
- at least one M5 bolt that is long enough to refit a derailleur pulley if necessary (often you can swap them about so that the replacement bolt fits in the lower position even if you have lost the top one and it needs to be a special head shape)
- spare derailleur pulley including the bushing (if one falls out you may find the pulley but not the bushing)
- at least one M5 bolt that is the correct type for cleats
- at least one M6 bolt that is long enough to work in a HTII crank and/or as a seat binder bolt
- a few turns of PTFE tape
- a few turns of insulating tape
- a few turns of gaffer tape (tapes can be wrapped around something handy)
- spare bulbs (if your lights are not LED ones)
- a short length of heat shrink insulation for doing wiring repairs (may also be used to replace cable tidies)

In the special tools category;
- freewheel/cassette lockring tool
- tool to retighten/remove a freehub body
- headset tool
- BB tools/modifications
- torx key for brake disc bolts/FPA adjuster on BB5/7
- SPD pedal bearing tool
- pliers/adjustable spanner for gripping/bending stuff with
- a 4" length of old screwdriver shank, which can make a useful drift.

I have a short hollow 10mm allen key for freehub bodies and a small Ti spanner to fit my headset locknut. They weigh about 35g together so are not exactly burdensome to carry, even though experience tells me I won't actually need them.... :roll:

PTFE tape can work as something that will prevent a loose screw (or one that will loosen) from backing out and being lost. For example if a crank comes off, using PTFE tape on the crankbolt may prevent it from backing out entirely.

Regarding BB modifications/tools; if using a HTII style bottom bracket, it is worth considering drilling a couple of small holes in the outside of each cup; this will make it possible to retighten the cups (using a drift) should they come loose, well enough at least to be able to carry on until you can get proper tools.

If you have to rebuild a bearing 'in the field' then there is a variety of things that will substitute for grease temporarily, including butter, sun cream, vaseline, lip salve.... Because there is a fair chance of one or more steel balls being damaged (which is why you took the bearing apart...) or lost it is worth carrying a few assorted steel balls to make good any losses. Half a dozen of each of the common sizes ought to be enough to make good temporarily. A 35mm film canister can store an awful lot of these smaller items.

Roadside repairs fall into two categories;

1) repairs that are permanent and as good as a workshop repair and will last indefinitely
2) temporary repairs that will last the day or the week but are not 100% satisfactory. These are to be used to get you to the next town or the next LBS.

In general very few of the roadside problems I have encountered (in my own bike and others) couldn't have been forestalled by better maintenance beforehand. "Proper Preparation Prevents P-Poor Performance" and all that. But knowing that at all and in particular where best to apply oneself beforehand only comes with (often bitter) experience.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

reohn2
Posts: 34652
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby reohn2 » 28 May 2019, 2:24pm

Yep,I always carry a couple of spare quicklinks and a couple of SPD cleat bolts :)
Forgot to mention those :?
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simonhill
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Location: Essex

Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby simonhill » 28 May 2019, 7:17pm

A hard one to answer without having any idea of what sort of one week tour the OP is undertaking.

I carry most of my tools in a water bottle (cage) type container. This means I can carry it with me all the time, touring or not. Basically, I have enough to reassemble my bike after travelling, plus some puncture stuff.

3 Allen keys; 8mm spanner (mudguard bolt); small screw driver; tyre levers; spare tube; puncture repair kit; chain breaker; and spoke key. The last 2 not used in 20 years.

When touring I have in my panniers: 6 spokes (2 of each); quicklinks (one of which I should transfer to toolkit); an NBT2; 1 pair brake blocks; and assorted zip ties. I sometimes carry a 15 mm spanner for removing pedals. Somewhere I also carry a VAR getting a tyre back on thingy.

Probably my best bit of advice is whatever you take,make sure you know how to use it and are prepared to use it.

Now for the philistine bit:

Unless you are doing some serious off road stuff, you are very unlucky or your bike hasn't been properly maintained I wouldn't expect to have to do any maintenance on a one week tour. Maybe a chain lube or two, depending on how long your chosen stuff lasts.

My last tour was a month in Burma and a month in Northern Thailand - about 2,000kms. After I had reassembled my bike, I
didn't do any maintenance apart from lubing the chain, derailleur, etc and screw adjusting the brakes a little. I find it ironic that those who like to do maintenance always seem to find lots of it to do. I don't and I don't.

To further horrify the tinkerers, on my return from that trip, I reassembled my bike, fitted a new wheel that had been built for me while away and fitted lighter weight tyres. Then with no maintenance, etc I started riding it. That was 900 kms ago. I am shortly off on a 700 km trip in France and as the bike is going fine, it will be taken as it is. I expect to complete that trip without trouble.

It will have a full service and anything a bit iffy replaced at the end of the summer, before I start my long haul winter touring season.

I have the view that modern bikes (like cars) are built from high quality components that don't need constant maintenance (tinkering). My motto is fit and forget (my LBS fit and I forget).

Regarding cleaning - again unless doing serious off road stuff, why even think about it for just a week. I did clean my bike once on my last tour - easy. Took it into my walk in shower and used the bottom washing hose to give it a carefully aimed jet-wash.

Enjoy your tour and don't worry.

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NUKe
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby NUKe » 28 May 2019, 8:38pm

my tool kit is the same from day to day commuting to long distance rides to touring,
One tube, puncture repair outfit, parktool multitool 13 inch ring spanner, quicklink cable ties. Tyre boot is an old cycle card, or one of the thinner plasticised cards from my wallet.

I would not carry brake blocks for a weeks tour, but would check they had enough meat before setting off. Lube a small can of GT85 will clean and lube. Although I tend to use chainsaw oil at home. Clean and immerse in the oil prior to tour would be enough for all but the wettest weeks touring.

Some people vwould add cables, but I find modern ones if you check and replace regular then cables don’t brake and on the off chance one does you can limp along to next shop

If you are touring in a group you can arrange to share out specialised tools such as a decent chain breaker, a crank tool (less relevant now with modern outboard bb.) chain whip cassette removal tools
NUKe
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Slowroad
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby Slowroad » 4 Jun 2019, 6:28pm

I've been trying out 'dry' oil on my tourer after getting a disgusting mix of oil and sand and water all over and in the chain whilst touring the Netherlands a couple of years ago. I have to apply some daily, and I've been cleaning the chain every couple of days. I use a folding toothbrush (not the one for my teeth!) to apply the chain cleaner and squirt water from my water bottle to get it off again. Seems to work well, even though not quite as thorough a clean as when at home. A bit concerned that someone would object to 'dirty oil' being watshed onto their campsite so try to find some rough grass to do it on.
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landsurfer
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby landsurfer » 4 Jun 2019, 8:23pm

I do think we sometimes "over egg the pudding" with touring maintenance stuff .... i am a great believer in the theory of "space cancer" ... given any sized space we have the need to fill it !
Room in the panniers ..... we need more stuff ?!?!
On my 750 mile ride last year I carried 2 tubes, link, tiny pump, self adhesive tube patches, jelly babies and cash ....... I lubed the chain once, i borrowed the oil from a fellow traveller.... ate the jelly babies and spent lots in cafes ..

Bikes are very reliable.
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The Road Goes on Forever.

iandriver
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Location: Cambridge.

Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby iandriver » 4 Jun 2019, 9:10pm

Given I flew my bike and had to disassemble it partially, a multitool was rather a necessity. So was a bottle opener :D
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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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby reohn2 » 5 Jun 2019, 9:02am

landsurfer wrote:I do think we sometimes "over egg the pudding" with touring maintenance stuff .... i am a great believer in the theory of "space cancer" ... given any sized space we have the need to fill it !
Room in the panniers ..... we need more stuff ?!?!
On my 750 mile ride last year I carried 2 tubes, link, tiny pump, self adhesive tube patches, jelly babies and cash ....... I lubed the chain once, i borrowed the oil from a fellow traveller.... ate the jelly babies and spent lots in cafes ..

Bikes are very reliable.

Until they break.
Then the Boy Scout motto comes into play :wink:
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mjr
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby mjr » 5 Jun 2019, 1:08pm

reohn2 wrote:
landsurfer wrote:On my 750 mile ride last year I carried 2 tubes, link, tiny pump, self adhesive tube patches, jelly babies and cash ....... I lubed the chain once, i borrowed the oil from a fellow traveller.... ate the jelly babies and spent lots in cafes ..

Bikes are very reliable.

Until they break.
Then the Boy Scout motto comes into play :wink:

Ah, but if you carry too many tools, it stresses the bike more and for longer, increasing the risk of breaking it... ;)
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Mike Sales
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby Mike Sales » 5 Jun 2019, 1:11pm

mjr wrote:Ah, but if you carry too many tools, it stresses the bike more and for longer, increasing the risk of breaking it... ;)


Perhaps you should tow a complete spare bike and kit.
I always took little and hoped for the best.
On one tour I learned the French for cotter pin and how best to fit one.

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby reohn2 » 5 Jun 2019, 1:56pm

I've always worked on the notion that should I breakdown,barring a complete catastophe,I'll be able to effect a repair myself by the road or trail side.
I look over the bike with a critical eye and decide what I need to replace or repair should the need arise to get me going again,riding offroad on lonely moors in winter has taught me valuable lessons in that regard.
My additions to Landsurfer's list isn't much more,weight or bulk wise,and as I ride large section tyres a mini pump is useless to me so I carry a high volume low pressure Lezyne pump like this one:- https://www.wiggle.co.uk/lezyne-micro-f ... MUQAvD_BwE which is very light indeed and resides in my frame bag safely out of the weather and prying eyes of potential theives.
Zip ties are a valuable asset :wink:
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I cycle therefore I am.

simonhill
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Location: Essex

Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby simonhill » 5 Jun 2019, 9:56pm

What always worries me with these posts is that they are likely to frighten off beginners or people who don't want to or can't do maintenance while on tour. Someone who is maybe a bit hesitant about doing a one or two week tour is likely to be even more put off by the thought that they must do a fair amount of maintenance.

Imagine buying a 2 grand bike from Thorn or Spa and then being told it will require maintenance after a week or so of touring. Imagine as well if you bought a washing machine, or car, or computer and was told you have to put your hand in the back every other week.

I hold that a good quality modern bike is a reliable piece of equipment. Read my post above for my experience, which is mirrored by a number of my touring partners.

Let's be pragmatic about what maintenance is really needed rather than what people like to do. Then we can spend our time encouraging people to tour, rather than putting them off with tales of all the (unnecessary) work that needs to be done to keep their bike on the road.

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby reohn2 » 5 Jun 2019, 11:32pm

See my post on needing to 'be prepared',there's nothing like it,and in these days of the internet and particularly youtube videos there's no real need not to know how to do basic maintenance on the the bike you're riding.
I don't understand people who are prepared to do extended tours yet aren't prepared to do simple maintenance tasks once a week or find mending a puncture to be the end of the world.
Knowledge is power and the knowledge isn't really that complicated :?
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nsew
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Re: Maintenance and toolkit when touring

Postby nsew » 6 Jun 2019, 12:49pm

I don’t carry anything other than a few of the obvious smaller light tools. And a few of the obvious smaller light parts. What I do do (always wanted to type that), is carry out regular checks of cranks, pedals, hubs, wheels, headset, saddle, frame etc and all allen bolts. Done at your own leisure and convenience, it takes a few minutes and alerts you to any developing issues. Weighs nothing too.