I have carried a SRAM PowerLock chain connector on my rides for a few years now.
Today it was finally put to use. I salvaged Syihan Nik’s Reverse Broga 1o5 ride after his chain snapped at the top of the N30 climb. The broken chain is visible near the white line on the road.
Syihan was very appreciative at the time, only 25 km into the ride. By the end of the ride he may have wished I had left him to the SAG wagon. By 11am the thermometer read 32°C / 90°F but in the sun it felt more like 38°C / 100°F.
During this repair I also used my Pedro’s 6-Pack chain tool for the first time.
I started carrying the 6-Pack, and the PowerLock, after reading a few “What you should carry with you on rides” articles in the likes of Bicycling Magazine and Road Bike Rider. I chose the 6-Pack because it neatly combines a chain breaker with a 5mm hex wrench, a flat bladed screwdriver and 3.2, 3.3 and 3.5mm spoke wrenches. Adding a spoke wrench to my tool kit was a case of shutting the stable doors after the horse has bolted. I broke a spoke in the middle of a ride and didn’t have a spoke wrench with me. By the time I got home I had worn through the sidewall where my wobbly front wheel rubbed against the fork.
My on-bike tool kit has evolved over the years. I have gone through a variety of multi-tools and tire levers. One of the small pleasures of cycling is trying out new gadgets and tools. In addition to the two items above I currently haul these around on all my rides.
The Lezyne RAP-6 fits comfortably in the hand. It comes with 3, 4, 5 and 6 mm Allen keys, a Torx T25 bit and a #1 Philips bit. Apart from tire levers this tool has seen the most use.
These are my tire levers du jour.
The Lezyne Matrix levers are the smallest but still usable tire levers I have found. I particularly like the narrow edge on the hooks. They make easy work of getting under the bead of a tight tire.
Apart from a spare inner tube I also carry a Park Tools Super Patch kit. This is another yet-to-be-used item, but one of these days I will have two flats on one ride. Or be in a group that has run out of spare inner tubes.
The last item in my on-bike tool kit always gets used. I had a rear puncture with 9 km to go on the Reverse Broga 105 today. These Zogics Citra Wipes got the chain lube and tire grime off my hands and left them soft and smelling citrus fresh!
There is one more essential tool on my bike. I used to carry CO2 canisters and an inflator of some sort (I have been through a few iterations of inflators). I have never been caught with an empty CO2 canister but it would only be a matter of time. So I have settled on a Lezyne Pressure Drive hand pump. If nothing else a hand pump adds to my green credentials!
Everything other than the pump fits into a tool roll. The PowerLock, 6-Pack, Super Patch kit and Citra Wipes are in the zippered pocket under the inner tube.
Rolled up and ready to strap under my saddle.
The pump lives in a bracket that sits under the down tube bottle cage. My on-bike tool kit is not an American Express card, but I don’t leave home without it.