Why Carry A Multi Tool When Biking
A multi-tool is pretty much an essential piece of everyday carry for any biker or cyclist. Leave home without one, and you’ll really struggle to fix even the most minor mechanical problems that you’re likely to encounter en route. With a bike multi-tool in your cycling backpack or saddlebag, you should be able to make it home on two wheels without having to phone for the cavalry to come and assist you!
A multi-tool really is a must-have item for any serious cyclist, and because they are usually pocket-sized and super versatile, they take up literally no space at all but can end up being worth their weight in gold. They really are like having your own portable workshop by your side.
If you’re traveling light, you can probably even just pop your multi-tool into the zipper pocket of your jersey. Of course, they do come in all shapes and sizes and price ranges too, and some riders might prefer to carry a couple of small essential tools instead. However, for most biking enthusiasts, there really is no substitute for a reliable multi-tool. On many an occasion, it is likely to provide an essential get of jail free card! So let’s take a look at 10 reasons to carry a multi-tool when biking.
1. Your Portable Workshop
Having a quality multi-tool as part of your essential cycling kit is like taking your own mini portable workshop with you wherever you go. If you have a comprehensive tool, you should be able to deal with pretty much any roadside eventuality that occurs or any mishap that might happen when you’re deep in the trails.
2. Lightweight And Versatile
They’re lightweight and compact and can easily take care of all those on the fly adjustments. Most multi-tools will include Allen keys, wrenches, screwdrivers, spork wrenches, chain tools, and much more. No matter what mechanical failure might happen, you should be fully equipped and capable of getting back on the road in minutes, rather than hours.
3. Self Sufficiency
Pretty much the cornerstone of biking is self-sufficiency. Unless you like to head out with a local Peloton, or travel with road side assistance, then you’ll probably spend a lot of your biking solo. The ability to carry out emergency repairs yourself is essential. To make most essential bike repairs or adjustments, you need little more than a multi-tool. Whether it’s fixing a broken chain to untangling a busted mech. Armed with little more than a bike multi-tool, you can be fully self-sufficient and focus enjoying your ride. Confident in the knowledge that you’ve got your own back and are prepared for anything.
4. Tighten Up Your Headset
One of the most common issues you’re likely to come across, especially if you are mountain biking on a rocky trail, is a loose headset. While it’s not especially dangerous, it can be uncomfortable and a nuisance if your forks are rattling around. With a multi-tool, you can stop and tighten your headset and make any minor adjustments necessary to ensure your ride is as smooth and comfortable as possible.
5. For That Friend Who Always Forgets There Multi-Tool
Don’t be that person who slows down the rest of the team. The one who is always asking for a multi-tool! Make sure that you carry one with you at all times. That way, if you are cycling with a friend who comes a cropper, you can enjoy the smug feeling of coming to their rescue for a change!
6. Fix A Flat Tyre
By far, one of the most common mechanical issues you will face as a cyclist is a puncture. While not all punctures require a multi-tool to be able to fix them, it’s highly likely that you’ll need an Allen key to remove your tire. What’s even better still is if your multi-tool comes equipped with a tire wheel lever. The best multi-tools should feature both of these essential cycling tools, saving you both time and money in the long run.
7. Broken Chain
There’s no getting past the fact. A broken chain is a terminal problem for a cyclist. It’s impossible to turn the pedals if your chain has snapped. It’s not the kind of job that you can do a quick bodget and scarper on to make good either. Of course, not all multi-tools feature a chain tool. However, if you do regularly go out on long bike rides, then it’s definitely worth investing in a multi-tool that comes equipped with one. It really could save the day.
8. Change And Experiment With Your Settings
If you carry a multi-tool with you when biking, you can have a lot more fun by experimenting with and changing your bike settings. Adjusting your suspension forks, playing around with your brake settings, changing the height of your seat post or handlebars. These are all things that you can quickly and easily do while you are out on the trail if you have access to an excellent bike multi-tool. It’s fun to challenge your bike as well as yourself over different terrain.
9. Tightening Your Clipless Pedals
Another common issue with clipless pedal axles is that they can become loose, especially if you’ve been out on a long and arduous ride. Again, if you have a multi-tool that features a range of key sizes, you should be able to do everything from fine-tuning your brake calipers to tightening up those pedals. It really does pay to have a bike multi-tool as part of your cycling arsenal. Effectively, they’re the Swiss Army knives of the cycling world.
10. Enjoying A Post Ride Beer
Let’s not forget those all-important post-ride liquid refreshments! At the end of a long and challenging bike trail, you can kick back, pull out a bottle of beer from your backpack, and sit down to enjoy a cold drink and review all your stats. Most multi-tools feature a bottle opener which will save you having to find something to leverage the top off with or worse still, using your teeth!