Often overlooked, the weight of a tool bag

Long ride or short ride? Mtb or road bike?
A tool bag is a simple thing, yet it does need a little thinking about, unless you want to carry a while toolbox with you, eventually to discover that 95% of the tools won’t be used at all.



So this is the Full Monty, the way I see it.

You can handle pretty much everything with this, perhaps missing an Hypercracker to remove the cassette in case a spoke fails on the rear wheel. image

In detail, here’s the contents, from top-left clockwise:

  • bag (made from a Thomson stem package)
  • 700c inner tube with long-ish valve
  • two tyre levers
  • small zip bag with 3-4 Nitrile gloves
  • small zip bag with 2 alcohol pads (useful in many things), 3-4 self-adhesive patches, 1 tyre boot (ripstop tape+gaffer tape)
  • chain links
  • a valve extender and a valve core, plus the little tool for them
  • chain Powerlinks
  • Leatherman Squirt mini tool, useful to remove staples stuck in the tyre (how do I know…), opening a beer, etc
  • small container of oil
  • Multitool, has a chain-breaker too
  • Pedro’s Trixie tool, has a box 15mm spanner perfect for a single-speed, and other things



But that is a bit too much in most cases, so┬álet’s select what is really needed for a specific ride.
It doesn’t take that long, and the results are easy to see in weight and volume:

  • a small but efficient pump (that would give 80psi on a road tyre in <2 minutes)
  • tyre boot (ripstop tape+gaffer tape)
  • small single-use Krazy Glue, very useful to mend slashes on tyres
  • 2 alcohol pads (useful in many things, like degrease disk rotors, clean wounds -ouch!-, remove glue/sealant from rims, etc.)
  • 3-4 self-adhesive patches
  • a valve extender and a valve core, plus the little tool for them
  • small zip bag with 3-4 Nitrile gloves
  • Multitool (Lezyne), with chain-breaker
  • mini-insert from a different multitool, has spoke wrench and 8/9/10mm box wrench
  • chain powerlinks
  • one gear cable
  • small container of oil (from a Soy Sauce container, as found in supermarket-packed sushi)
  • two tyre levers



But I think we can reduce that even further, and this is what I carry on a normal road ride:

  • pump
  • tyre boot
  • tube patches
  • alcohol pads
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Multitool
  • chain Powerlinks
  • small container of oil
  • very small one-size spoke wrench
  • one tyre lever

That goes down to 234 grams.


Check it out, the tools go for a mere 140 grams.
After that, i’ve rolled about 1/2mt of gaffer tape around the pump: it can be a ride-saver, I’ve even mended friend’s shoes with it!. It takes no space and no weight (<10 grams, duh!)