The tool pouch

Date Posted: November 20th, 2015

Authored by: Macky Franklin, Sponsored Athlete

2015 started off in New Zealand for the first round of the Enduro World Series in Rotorua. From there I swung through my hometown of Taos, NM to pick up my 1998 Ford Cargo Van (her name is "Great White the Adventure Van") and headed to California for the Sea Otter Classic. From Sea Otter, I headed to Arizona to visit Pivot Cycles and then drove north to Moab, UT for the first round of the Enduro Cup. That was early May.

As you can see, I spend most of my time on the road. Sometimes in the US, sometimes abroad, but with all this travel, I've learned to travel light. Or at least as light as you can when you have a bicycle. And because you always have this huge, heavy, bulky thing with you, you try to cut down as much as possible on everything else, for example, the tool kit in your hydration pack.

Here's my list of hydration pack tool kit essentials:

  • Shimano Pro 22-function multi-tool: it has everything I need to put a bike in a bike case and build it on the other side (and do simple repairs). It's one of the smallest, lightest tools I have found that includes a chain break tool and a 8mm allen key (for pedals).
  • Genuine Innovations tyre plugs: these things have gotten me (and a lot of friends) out of some sticky situations. Let's say you're riding with a group, it's beginning to get dark, you have just enough time to get back to the trail head and someone flats (not that I've ever been in this situation). Normally you'd be in big trouble, but with the plugs you can just pop one in, air the tire up (see the next item) and you have just enough light to avoid walking down the mountain.
  • Genuine Innovations Hammerhead: this is my favorite inflator head. It's easy (push a button) as well as small and light.
  • Genuine Innovations 20g CO2 cartridges: plenty of air for any tire (even a big 29er) and necessary for the Hammerhead to be of any use. The only problem is getting them onto the airplane. I've found the best way is to put 4 or 5 in a plastic water bottle packed in with your bike gear. I don't know why, but that seems to keep them from getting seized by the TSA.
  • Genuine Innovations Mountain Pipe: a good little pump that can also be used as a CO2 inflator (in case you forget your Hammerhead). Great when the group has had four flats and no one has any CO2 cartridges left and you really, REALLY don't want to walk home.
  • Tube: duh. Pro tip - you can use a 26" tube in a 27.5" or 29", just be really careful because it will be so stretched that it will flat more easily. And when using a 29" tube in a 26" tyre, just fold the tube over a bit to take up the extra.

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