Whether you are mountain biking, bicycle touring, on a training ride with the local race club, or just out for a day ride, some kind of emergency repair kit is a necessity. For most of us the lighter, simpler and more versatile this kit is, the better. Getting stuck miles from home and having to call a friend to come rescue you or, worse yet, having to hitch home with a broken down bike is the pits.
For novice or experienced riders, a good all-around bicycle toolkit is the Super Hero Kit. It contains everything you need to fix most minor and even some major on-the-road bicycle repairs. It’s the lightest, most compact, and versatile bicycle repair kit I’ve seen on the market. It comes in three flavors: Road cycling, mountain biking, and extreme mountain biking. There are minor variances between the kits. Each one comes with a pack that attaches to your saddle or top tube. The components common to all kits are:
1. Zefal Pump. This small but sturdy pump is so small it fits in the palm of my hand. It’s a low volume, high pressure pump so it may take several hundred pump strokes to fill a tire and with a little muscle get up to a pressure of 80psi. I love the way they used a rubber gasket to lock the pump handle in place when it is not used and to seal out moisture and dirt. There is a spare gasket in the pump handle if the original gets destroyed.
Before relying on this pump, be sure you know how to change the head from presta to schrader and vice versa. Read the instructions and try it, it’s a little tricky. After changing from one valve type to another, be sure to screw the cap on tightly or it might come loose.
2. 12-Function Multi-Tool. Hero didn’t scrimp on this tool. Well-designed and machined with heavy duty, non-corrodible steel, you should be able to depend on it for countless repair jobs without worrying that the tools might break or strip. From breaking your chain to adjusting your brakes, this tool makes it possible to complete any minor bicycle repair.
3. Tire Levers. These are not ordinary tire levers. As with the pump and multi-tool, these tire levers are designed to last. They are reinforced with a wide center on the tool making it less likely to bend or break while changing a tire. They also come with tire patches secured inside them!
4. Tube. The mountain bike kits come with a tube that will fit almost any 26″ tire, while the road bike kit comes with one that will fit most any 700c or 27″tire.
5. Carrying Bag. Each kit comes with a well-made bag that attaches to your bike to carry all the tools in the kit.
6. Instructions. A well written repair manual (waterproof & tearproof) covering all the most common problems encountered on the road complete with many photos illustrating the instructions.
7. Tire Boot. This is rubber-like material inserted between the tube and tire to temporarily fix a tear in the tire (caused by, for instance, a piece of glass).
8. Other. Frame bolts, cleat bolt, duct tape, master chain links (for 9- and 10-speed chains), disposable hand wipe, an ICE (In Case of Emergency) card, and a waterproof sack for this card along with some credits cards and paper money.
The only difference between the mountain bike and road bike kit are the mountain bike kit comes with a spare shifter cable and zip ties while the road bike version comes with an emergency rain poncho.