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Classic situation: outing with the group of cyclists on Sunday between friends and simple cycling companions; and as often happens, especially during the winter season, we had to go to the rescue of those who at that moment needed a tool to repair the “classic” mechanical problem and be able to go home as soon as possible. And it is at that moment that you realize the usefulness of a great little accessory forgotten by the vast majority of cyclists: the multitool, an object whose grandeur lies precisely in its discretion; it is revealed only when needed to be able to intervene promptly.
Have a handy object that can solve multiple problems like change a tire, adjust the saddle, the handlebar, a suspension, the brakes or fix the chain or simply adjust the cleats of shoes that have come loose.
Which tools includes a multitool for bike maintenance
First of all it must be said that the needs of a road cyclist (typically the one who uses the racing bike) are very different from the needs of those who practice mountain biking in its various forms from cross country to hiking on different types of routes and terrains. Unless serious mechanical problems occur, the road driver can run into punctures, chain jumps or at most some gearbox problems; those who practice off-road with their MTB (or perhaps cyclocross) stress the mechanical means more and the problems are always around the corner, just think of the screws that loosen due to vibrations and the suspensions to be fixed. Basically we can say that within a multitool we can find the following types of tools:
- Allen keys (in different sizes from 1 to 5) for the adjustments of different components
- screwdriver both Phillips and flat Torx T 10 15 25
- chain picker
- tire levers for rims
The main features of a good multitool and / or repair kit
In the various cycling groups it often happens to also discuss accessories and everyone now agrees that an excellent multitool must have the following characteristics:
- be immediately accessible and always ready for use
- always be visible so that we can know if he is with us or not
- be solid in the sense that its micro tools of which it is composed must be functional and not tend to break at the slightest use; solidity is often gladly and also traced back to the construction material which must not tend to oxidize and rust in various situations (for example stainless steel), especially in the damp to which it can be subjected when placed on the mechanical vehicle.
- be light and usable: there is no need to have a workshop behind but only the essential for repairs due to the problems that can (and are able) to remedy; otherwise it is just a superfluous appendage and a nuisance
The market for multitools and / or repair kits: advice from enthusiasts
There are numerous types of multitool on the market, flexible both in use and that can be placed in many spaces available inside and outside the bicycle frame; the most frequent type is undoubtedly that of the multitool enclosed in one handbag affixed under the saddle. Purists will turn up their noses because today there are more aesthetically pleasing and equally functional solutions such as:
- the multitool enclosed in the bottom bracket
- the multitool in the compartments of the bottle cage
- the mulititool athandlebar interior
Let's see individually the main differences between the various solutions:
- The multitool enclosed in the bottom bracket it is a retractable tool in the axis of the bicycle crankset, therefore in the cavity of the bottom bracket; used in mountain biking or off-road cross country, the multitool remains firmly fixed in the crankset thanks to the magnets.
The main features are: solidity thanks to the material it is made of (aluminum and stainless steel) and practicality since the compartment can contain everything you need including a spare chain link in the unfortunate hypothesis it can break.
- The multitool in the bottle cage it is one of the integrations of the market; some pleasant from an aesthetic point of view (in the sense that they are not noticed), others less pleasant but just as functional as the bottle holders with a side space dedicated to the pump holder support and an internal one dedicated to tools / keys and to the chain tool.
- The multitool inside the handlebar it is a good tool / bike integration solution that, like the previous ones, acts on one of the components of the bicycle, in this case the handlebar tubes; as a matter of practicality it is a solution that may please some and others less because of a particular interlocking game in which each tool fits onto the other (levers first and then keys) and then flows everything into the handlebar tubes .
What advice from my road cyclist friends regarding racing bikes? the multi tool of specialized integrated in the bottle cage and does not take up space in the saddle. They recommend the 3-piece bottle cage - multi tool holder - multitool kit. It exists for both carbon and plastic bottle cage; if I can, I opt for carbon-loaded stainless steel so it could stay wet for months and always remain perfect.
Finally, below I provide you with some links to better carry out a targeted search on Amazon, the e-commerce site where you can also buy numerous sets of multitool and repair kits for you and your bicycle i of which I have discussed in this item at excellent prices and with the usual "satisfied or refunded" guarantee.
- Multitool Bike maintenance tools
- Multitool MTB
- Racing bike
- Tool bottle
- Multitool handbag
Other related articles I wrote on IdeeGreen that might interest you are:
- How to clean and lubricate the bike and chain
- Bicycle touring, equipment to bring on a bike trip
Curated by Tullio Grilli