Tools of the Trade

One of the smartest things you can do to prepare for a ride is to ensure you have the proper tools. Remember that one hour of bike riding may translate into an afternoon walk! Having the right tools can mean the difference between a quick fix or a long walk back. In past years having the proper tools meant arming yourself with pounds of extra weight. However, most bicycle stores can now offer you advanced many-in-one tools that are far more appropriate. These handy trail tools resemble a jack-knife and offer many smaller tools within one larger one.

As well, carry a small on-board pump, tire levers, a patch kit and extra tubes (even if you have a patch kit). It is also a good idea to carry in your repair kit zip-ties, strong tape and spare shoelaces. If you don't purchase a trail tool, you should carry:

    3, 4, 5, 6mm Allen keys
    chain tool
    spoke wrench
    Presta/Schrader valve adapter
    6 inch crescent wrench
    8, 9, 10, 13/14 & 15/16mm wrenches
    small pliers
    Philips and flathead screwdrivers
Remember to bring a first-aid kit to the site in case of injury. This kit might contain gauze dressing, tensor bandages, small tweezers, matches or lighter, sugar candies or energy bars, insect repellent, sun block and a small role of medical tape that can also be used for mechanical purposes. A second, more basic, on-the-trail, first-aid kit should include alcohol or iodine swabs, anti-bacterial ointment and adhesive bandages. Knowledge in CPR is also an invaluable addition to your first aid repertoire.