Good Question–Should I Carry a Multi-Tool?

English: Multi-tool for a bicycle
English: Multi-tool for a bicycle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bicycle Multi-Tools. Salespeople love to sell them. Riders love to buy them. Mechanics love to own them, but would rather customers throw them in the trash (or give them to the mechanic). Don’t get me wrong, multi-tools have saved me more than a few times during my many miles of bicycle riding.The difference is I am a bicycle mechanic. I didn’t want that to come across as mean-spirited, but let me ask you this. How many of you, if such a thing existed, would buy a multi-tool for your car? That’s a lot of freaking hands. Put those down! I know enough about my car to be dangerous, as such, I would never buy such a tool if someone willed it into existence. The point I am trying to make is, why carry a multi-tool if you do not know how to use it?

Crank Bros, Serfas, Ascent, Pedro's tools
Crank Bros, Serfas, Ascent, Pedro’s tools (Photo credit: SoulRider.222)

Okay, I know, someone in the group may know how to use it. Better be prepared. Better safe than sorry. But seriously, if you don’t want a piece of rusty metal in your saddlebag, it’s probably best to leave it at home if you are riding solo. Bringing it in the hopes that someone knows how to use it, or to loan it out as a good Samaritan, is okay. But I have seen many bikes rendered useless because of some over-application of multi-tool.

Don’t feel bad if you bought one. Crank Brothers, Park Tool, Topeak, and Pedro’s make excellent multi-tools. Just learn when and when not to use it. You will make your mechanic very, very happy. Oh, and by the way, this article was way more tongue in cheek than fact.


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