Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Multiple Multi-Tools

I remember being a care-free kid spending long days on my bike in the woods, miles from home. It's kind of interesting to think about what I and my friends used to do through today's perspective of helicopter parents and the fact that kids rarely venture out into the world on their own.

My friends and I would be out in the woods, again, miles from home; no cell phones, no spare tubes, no bike tools, no helmets, and our parents really had no idea where we were.

I'm pretty sure that sort of thing is gone forever.

Now, I can't imagine going anywhere without my phone... my modern day multi-tool which is a phone, a camera, a GPS device, a flashlight, a compass, a connection to the world and so much more.

Another multi-tool I typically take on my rides is, of course, a bike specific multi-tool for any trailside repairs or adjustments.

The first multi-tool I recall seeing was the CoolTool invented by Bob Seals in the early 90's. To the best of my knowledge, this was one of the first efforts at putting the important bike tools into a handy and compact unit.

The CoolTool had an adjustable wrench, Allen wrenches (4, 5, 6, and 8mm), a chain tool,  14 & 15mm sockets, Philips screwdriver and a spoke wrench. In reality, it was pretty awesome and I wish I sill had mine.

I don't remember what eventually happened to my CoolTool (I had several), but over the years I've had many, many other multi-tools of various sizes, shapes, and various levels of usefulness.

My current favorite is the Pedros ICM (formerly ICU). I like the size, the shape, the weight, and the fact that this has just about everything I typically need on a ride.

17 tools including 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm hex wrenches, Mavic M7 spoke wrench and two traditional spoke wrenches (3.2 and 3.5mm), chain tool, a bottle opener, flat-blade and Phillips-head screwdrivers, two tire levers, and a T25 Torx,

I think I've got one for each of my bikes except my Specialized which ingeniously incorporates multi-tools into the bike itself.

There have been, and will be, many other options out there. Some with more, some with less function. One newer design fits inside hollow cranks.

What do you carry? Let me know!

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