Mini-tools.

10 12 2015

When I go for a short ride, I endeavour to take as little stuff with me as possible. The rucksack full of spare clothes, food and multiple tools is nothing short of an anchor – physically and psychologically. The urge to bring this or that, just in case, must be resisted.

There are, however, a few essentials. Tube, pump and a mini-tool. Water? not always. Clothes? waterproof layer? only if the forecast requires it. Food? if I will be out for 4 hours or more.

As for mini-tools, you need to bring one that works. Crappy bits that round off, only a 2.5mm hex key when you *need* a 2mm, too big a body so you cannot access that hard to reach bolt head. All these things are learned the hard way, or if you are smart, by trying them out first.

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For several years now, I have been using Genuine Innovations mini-tools. They have *just* enough on them, although the early version needed augmenting with an 8mm adaptor (the new ones have a clever 8mm ‘sleeve’ that fits over the 5mm hex bit).

I often added a Park tyre lever or two, sometimes a chain tool (the folding Park one works well) and stowed it in the back of my jersey.

Lately, as I have been sewing more bags, I have made small pouches that contain the right tool so that I can ‘grab and go’.

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PB Swiss are a company that produce some fine tools. I use their bits, short and long, with my torque wrenches and their multi-coloured hex keys are not just a gimmick – the coloured shafts make it easy to grab the correct size when needed.

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So when they released a bike mini-tool, I was intrigued. It consists of 25mm bits of the following type: Slotted screwdriver, 5.5mm; Phillips: PH2; Torx®: T25; Hex: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 6mm. There is a precision bit holder (female 5mm hexagon to female C6 1/4),  which is magnetic. The 5mm hex key acts as the driver and there are 2 tyre levers on the front an back of the plastic body. It weighs 100g or so.

All you need, nothing you don’t, once a chain tool or some spare quick-links are added. Nice.

 

 

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