Everyone has that one favourite bike tool, the gadget they won’t leave home without. We quizzed a range of highly experienced riders on what their favourite tools are, after all, the best bike tool is the one you trust most:
2022 Commonwealth Games XCO Bronze Medalist
The ‘Groove Tool’ from Ryder is super cool bike tool, especially for stage races where my partner and I need to carry everything between us for anything that could go wrong. The Groove Tool is very small (the oval shape fits neatly into your pocket), is super lightweight and highly versatile. It features six Allen Keys, two screwdrivers and two torx screwdrivers so pretty much everything you might need on the bike. What I like most is that it has magnets that keep things in place because in a race – in the heat of the moment when something goes wrong – when you’re trying to do the repair, to make those small focused movements the magnets make a big difference. It also allows you to maneuver the tool to be either in a T or L shape to get into those difficult spots and easily access bolts. I hate having bits and pieces in my pocket because I don’t even know where to start grabbing in a race situation when something goes wrong, so this is ideal.
Pro wrenchman for Cannondale Factory Racing
I would say my tyre pressure gauge. It’s a Longacre® 52-53028 Pro Digital Tire Pressure Gauge (0-125psi). It is a super high-quality one that they use in karting in the states and features two digits behind the point, making it pinpoint accurate. (So, a reading would look like 1.35bar, for example)
The tyre is the first part of the bike that touches the ground and for us, the tyres are the single most important piece on the bike through which to keep track of any other feedback or changes in the course or suspension. So, knowing that the tyre pressure is perfectly set you can pinpoint any (other potential) issue that could throw off the rhythm of the rider, ultimately making the difference between winning or losing a race.
MTB/Fat Bike Tour Operator and expeditionary
Bum cream! It doesn’t matter how expensive your bike is…How good it is or how bad it is, if your bum is worn-through you aren’t gonna ride. Some form of chamois cream is absolutely essential. You can carry any tool you like, but if your ass is chafed and has blisters, you’re going to be super grumpy (at the very least).
Founder, Wild Air Bike
We’ve just returned from a ride through the Cederberg (the Cederberg Circuit) which forms part of the Cape Cycle Routes catalogue of routes and it is an arduous, rough, gravel ride that is very demanding on your gear. One bike tool that we grew to love on this trip was the Luberetta from Ryder. I don’t think I’ll ever ride without it again. In broad terms, it is a tool that has simplified an entire process — so instead of having to carry chain lube in a traditional bottle, it has this amazing application system that means it doesn’t go on your hands, doesn’t leak on the ground, slots over your actual chain and puts the perfect amount of lube on each chain link. There is no over-lubing, no mess, and no fuss. As always with Ryder it is compact and comes with a refill bottle so it is environmentally friendly, you can just top it up and reuse it when you need it.
Eight-time Absa Cape Epic finisher
I reckon there are two important bike tools to carry with you. The first is a little Leatherman. That can get you out of a lot of sticky situations and over the years that has always been my most-used tool. The second is a Sahmurai Switchblade which is a seven-in-one multitool. This bike tool features specially-designed tyre levers; a fork and reamer; a chain breaker and storage for chain links among other things. That tool has only been out for about a year but it is just so versatile and user-friendly and it has seen a lot of use both on my bike and in helping out others.
Retired pro-MTB-rider turned coach, event-organiser and gravel king
I carry a basic (narrow-profile multitool) but really, tyre plugs would be the one thing I won’t go without, simply because you are much more likely to puncture than snap a chain or something like that.
Multi-race-winning road and mountain-biker
The Forza Tool Pouch for sure. It is a very nifty and very handy gadget designed to keep all of your tools safe, dry, and together when you ride. I use it on the road and when mountain biking – it has a spot for chainlinks, and you can put your bomb in there, tubes and fit your Sanparks cards in there.
Multiple Xterra and ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion, trail builder extraordinaire
At the moment my favourite bike tool is a tube that I keep in a water bottle. I slice a water bottle in half and then cut the tube and put a carabiner on each end and then I tow my kids that way.
Did we miss something or someone? Tell us about your most useful gear gadget in the comments.