Tools for Roadside Repairs

A selection of tools for emergency roadside repairs have earned a permanent place in my saddle bags. It doesn't matter if I'm going on a quick ride for an hour or two, a 250 mile day ride, or a multi-day tour—sometimes stuff happens.

The tools I carry have increased over the years as I've needed something I didn't have and had to make do with what I did. Originally, the tool kit started out with a CruzTOOLS RTH3 RoadTech H3 Standard Tool Kit. It's still the basis of my emergency kit, although I've added some things.

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If you're looking for a set of tools you can carry on the bike as well as use in the garage, I wouldn't recommend this set. In fact, unless you have the room to pack a selection of full-sized tools (I have a friend who does) I don't think such a set really exists. And, Kelly's set of full-sized tools remains in a tool bag in the bottom of his saddle bag anyway. If you leave it there, it will always be there when you need it. 

The selection of sockets and wrenches is the bare minimum you'll need and most of the tools (like the ratchet) are in a smaller size so they don't take up as much space as a full-sized set of tools. That said, I added a pair of pliers and a couple of screwdrivers—along with some longer zip ties (which you can never have enough of), a pair of wire cutters, a spark plug gap tool, a selection of the fuses my bike takes, along with a tool roll that is a little bigger than what CruzTOOLS supplies with this kit.

The kit is available for both American-made bikes and metric bikes so you'll want to make sure you order the right tool kit for your bike. I've been very happy with this kit, but it was missing the above mentioned tools that I have come to feel I needed for one reason or another.

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In addition to what's in my tool roll, there are a few other things I keep 'just in case' I need them. I'm hopeful because I have them in my saddle bag I'll never need to use them, but they give me an added sense of well-being just knowing they are there:

  • Plumber's Siphon: I've written about this is another review, but it's incredibly valuable out in the middle of nowhere.
  • Black Gaffer's Tape: I like gaffer's tape better than duct tape because it seems to be a little softer and wraps around things better.
  • Genuine Innovations Tire Repair Kit: I regularly monitor the health of my tires and never run on bad tires, but I keep this kit in my saddlebags just in case. If you've never used a repair kit like this, the MC Garage has a good video on using a tool like this to plug a tubeless tire on the road without removing the tire.
  • A Mini Tire Inflator: Although the tire repair kit comes with C02 cartridges that will inflate the tires, I like a little redundancy, so I added a tire inflator that plugs into the cigarette lighter I added to the bike a few years ago. That way, the cartridges become my backup.
  • Slime Quick Spare Tire Inflator: In the spirit of redundancy, this is something I hope I never have to use, but is there just in case none of the other flat repair remedies work.
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