Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Mobile Mechanic

I am not sure whether every cyclist used to be a Boy Scout, but their motto of " Be Prepared " is something that all cyclists should adopt. In the case of cyclists this often boils down to the stuff they carry with them in case of the need for urgent repairs on the road. Whether or not they know how to ACTUALLY  use this kit is another matter entirely. And it is this which started me thinking when I misplaced my Multi-Tool the other week and was in need of a replacement. The modern tool is really a mechanics wonderland

Allen keys  of every size, tyre levers,flat and phillips screwdrivers, spanners and even a chain splitting tool; a cornucopia of instruments. And of course with this wide range of Allen Keys I could even remove and maintain the pedals. You never know, the next generation of multi-tools may even allow me to re-program my Shimano  Ultegra Di2 Electronic Gear Change System.   Perhaps.
Of course there is a minor downside of having this mobile workshop, it is heavy and we all know that weight kills especially when climbing hills.
But it was not always like this, though cyclists have always loved toys as shown by this travelling tool kit from Mafic.

Tyre levers were missing from this kit so had to be purchased separately as shown in this early tool manufactured by  Terrys

But compared to the vast array of tools for the mobile mechanic available today, some of us remember the first ever multi tool, and this set contained something all the others still miss....a pair of spoons which doubled as a musical instrument or essential when eating strawberries and icecream.

My lightweight cycling friends carry lightweight kit and one of the best I have seen are these, though I have my doubts over the life expectancy of those plastic tyre levers which double as a case.

My eldest son however has embarked on a plan which eschews all this modern paraphernalia and relies upon an Oyster Card, a £10 note and a mobile phone plus a bunch of flowers to a hopefully helpful wife .

Have you got any essential kit ? New or vintage?  Post a photo in the comment section below


  1. The Teddy Bear (18grm) is also an essential part of the kit.
    He can remind you not to use expletives when changing that inner tube, also that bleeding usually stops – eventually, and aging applies equally to man and bike, but favours man if pushed too hard.
    He also knows that the four items at the front of his picture also function as tyre levers!
    He is also a cheering conversationalist for lonely cyclists :-)

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