So, a broken Tool Tube Clamp, that allowed my Tool Tube to rotate down and crack against the caliper, slowly dripping my assorted tools over a 20 mile section of dirt road – has me rebuilding my moto tool kit from the ground up.
I started by trying to assemble everything I could think of, in the various sizes I thought I might need. Next, I read the entire 7 page thread in ADV. That caused me to add a few things and discard a few other things. I then took a picture of what I had assembled and went to social media to crowd source it.
I posted on Reddit and Instagram and got some good ideas. The kit at this time was a little on the bulky side. I had decided to go with a Tool Roll instead this time and asked the wife to make me one. She suggested that I buy one so I headed over to my favorite luggage company (MOSKO MOTO) and bought what they call the Pinner Tool Roll. They have a larger one but I need to keep thinking small and light.
It weighed in at a hefty 7 pounds and 1 ounce!
But more than that, it was the bulk of the roll that I was gakking at. Sitting on the back tray it was a pack of it’s own.
The Pinner really could handle most everything. The two pockets were perfect for all the bits, all the sockets, the allens… You can see that pocket is full of goodies. You can also see here that my 3 tire changing tools zip tied together and to the inside of the tool roll. They really didn’t fit and secure well.
I couldn’t find a good video on the Pinner but here’s the Fatty, which is very similar.
The Struggle Is Real
When it comes to tools and what to carry, opinions vary from “Just get AAA and carry a credit card” to “You need to be able to do anything and everything on your bike“. One half of me, the Boy Scout, leans towards always being prepared. The other half of me, reflects exactly what this 690 bike build is supposed to be about. As the motto for Giant Loop says, “Go Light, Go Fast, Go Far.” – and to that, do I really need all this? There is no right answer. You can’t prepare for everything, you just can’t. Tomm says, “You don’t have to carry tools, you just have to ride with someone who does.“
The next week, ADV sent out their weekly newsletter and in it was an article that caught my eye, “Engduro Does It Again: Lightweight Toolkit” so down that rabbit hole I went. I clicked on the article (written by a guy I really like who rides a KTM 500) and it looked to me like this cnc’d piece of aluminum could put a real dent in the bulk of tools I had collected. It’s called the DoubleTrak and made by a couple of riders on ADV. Essentially it’s a t-bar that is also a holder for the bits.
The part that sold me though was this…
Whether you have to pull your fairings off to get at your air box, pull your gas tank or readjust your hand guards following a horizontal earth adjustment, you’ll be able to grab the DoubleTrak and quickly get done what you need to do. Thanks to the clever design, the DoubleTrak only weighs….weight for it… 190 grams fully loaded with bits – that’s about as much as half a can of suds (You read that right, two DoubleTraks weigh about as much as a standard can of beer).
It’s like they were speaking directly to me! So I took a chance and ordered one.
It’s nice in that each bit is held into the holder with small magnets. The bits themselves are “premium Wiha hex bits” – which I trust is better than the piece of crap bits I generally see. Bit Kits like this usually have cheap handles too. That would be a problem if the handle cracked and all you had was a bit to work with. No worries about this handle – it’s CNC Machined out of some pretty strong aluminum (7075 T6) and isn’t going to break or bend. All in all – I’m seriously impressed!
With my new DoubleTrak in hand I looked at the other tools to see what I could replace.
Here’s what I now carry:
- 8 mm
- 10 mm
- 13 mm
- 6 mm
- 8 mm
- 10 mm
- 12 mm
- 13 mm
- 14 mm
- 3 mm
- 4 mm
- 5 mm
- 6 mm
- 8 mm
- Straight & #2 Phillips
- 1/4 Drive
- 1/4 to 3/8 drive adapter
It was noted by others (in social media) that I could reduce bulk by moving the tire tools out of the tool roll and mount them directly to the bike (Dakar Rally Style). Some even suggested going without them all together and going “TUbliss” but that’s another post! (really!)
With just those in my tool roll it slimmed down considerably! It also got a lot lighter.
I didn’t mention a few things that were obvious. Items like zip ties, spare tubes, patch kit, safety wire, and JB Weld. They were always apart of the kit and still there. As for the tire irons and pump? They are still there – just attached to the bike but I did leave the Bead Buddy on the workbench.
The Tire Irons:
The two Bead Breaker levers are zip tied and safety wired to the right side of the rear tray. I drilled a couple of holes in the middle of them so the wire and zips don’t go around, they go through them. They are also duct taped together. So far, no rattles.
The other tire iron is also the wrench for both the front and rear axles (27 and 32mm). It just didn’t fit anywhere nicely on the back. I found a good place to hide it up front though.
If you look close, you’ll see the blue adapter nut has no fewer than three zip ties AND safety wire holding it to the silver aluminum lever! I don’t want that to ever go missing.
As for the Pump. On longer trips I carry an electric pump but this is just a small bicycle pump as a worst case emergency. It’s also extremely light. It slotted in very nicely under the top tray. Once again zip tied, safety wired, and duct taped.
Yes, in the case of a tire fix, I’ll have to cut the zip ties and wire making it a little work to get back on but that’s the least of my worries. I can always stuff them in a backpack or luggage till I get home or to camp.
If I have a problem on the trail I know I have a tool that fits just about anything on my bike. I also carry a multi tool in my tankbag and the Knipex is in the Amazon shopping cart.
You can’t plan for every emergency but you can plan for most. I’ve come to realize that everyone is going to have their own minimal tool kit. My kit isn’t your kit. Where you land on the tool kit continuum is completely up to you and your decision is always going to be the correct one, or it isn’t and you’ll know exactly what you need to improve.
I also don’t think it’s a static item. I think the best tool kit is the one you’ve worked with for years and has been refined down to what works for you, so it’s always a work in progress.
I’m very impressed with the quality of both the Mosko Moto Pinner Tool Roll and the Engduro DoubleTrak. I’ll be leaving positive reviews for both on their sites.
Oh and I mentioned something about “TUbliss”… As a mountain biker I can honestly say that running tubeless has changed everything for me and the industry. TUbliss (yes, I spelled that right) phonetically might sound the same but it’s very different. I managed to go way down that rabbit hole too and that should be the next post!