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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

Picture Gallery
Travel Plan

My Books
About Me
Media/Press Room


Photo Use Info

Read Sample Letter
Continue My Travels

Places I have been
How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left

*Help Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.

Equipment Pages Index

How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Bike Touring Shorts

Short-wave Radio
Bicycle touring lights

Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures

See My Videos Here

(see all 3 book)

Bicycle Touring Tool Kit and Spare Parts List to Carry on a Bike Tour

Topeak Deluxe Kit

Choosing Tool Kits  Common Roadside Repairs  Bicycle Tool List  What Do I Domore

Three levels of tools to carry on a bicycle tour:
#1 Day Rider
#2 Intermediate Bike Touring
#3 Advanced Bike Travel

Touring bicycles often require roadside repairs. The bike tools and spares in your panniers are very important components of your bike touring gear.  Your tool kit is unlike most of the other gear onboard; it's the part you dread having to use. The right tool or spare can save your bike tour but tools are a heavy load. The right tool can save the day, if you know how to use it. Otherwise, it's just added weight. Emergency repairs may require tool experience and ingenuity to make on-the-fly repairs. As a bike tourist, you want to be independent and keep your touring bicycle rolling no matter how bad your luck. But there's a balance between a useful tool kit and one that is too much extra weight.

Truing a wheel with my spoke wrench in Nepal.

Replacing brake pads in mountainous Sikkim, India.

Removing a crank with my bottom bracket tool in Bangladesh.

Choosing Tool Kits

When building your tool and spare kit, consider where and how long your trip will be, along with your mechanical aptitude. In my experience, the longer the tour, the bigger the tool kit you'll need.

Travel in less-developed countries requires carrying more spare parts, as there will be less real bike shops. A two-year tour through Asia will require an extensive set of tools and spare parts. Developing countries do have bike shops, but rarely do they carry high end parts. Relying on bike shops saves lots of weight, but leaves much more to chance.

On the other hand, a loaded tour in a developed country (US/Canada/Europe) requires a smaller tool and spare kit. For example, a three-month trip across the USA requires minimal tools. Bike shops are abundant in America and, assuming you begin with a well-maintained set of wheels, three months is not really enough time  to expect major breakdowns.

For touring cyclists on extended trips through undeveloped parts of the world, riders should be prepared to deal with the occasional breakdown and major repairs. Of course, just having the right tool is not enough. I recommend taking the time to learn and practice bike repairs before the trip begins. It's much easier to learn to replace a broken spoke in a workshop than on the side of the road.

Tools for bicycle touring have to be lightweight enough to be carried in bike panniers or a seat bag, yet adequate to cover emergency roadside repairs and regular maintenance.

Common Roadside Repairs

On a short tour (under three weeks) you may not have any mechanical issues but after 3-6 months, problems should be expected. You need to be prepared with enough tools and spares to be self-contained and self-sufficient.

This list covers the most frequent repairs I've encountered on tour.

- flat tire - see preventing flat tires
- replace broken spokes
- replace broken cables
- repair broken chain
- tightening bolts
- adjusting gears
- true wheels
- clean and lube chain
- packing/unpacking bikes for airlines

Bicycle Tool Lists

There are a lot of ways of categorizing tool kits but I like to boil it down to three different levels of riders/travelers. I expand each level with a whole page explanation in more detail. Here is a summary and list of tools. Everyone's tour and specific needs are different but I hope these lists give a reference to start with.

Day Rider
Weekend Warrior

Anyone who does most of their repairs at home and just needs the minimum on their regular rides.

Bicycle Touring

Day rider list with some extras.  Ditch the folding multi tool and replace it with individual tools and a Leatherman with pliers.

International Bike Travel

Everything from the first two  lists plus enough tools and parts to do major repairs and regular maintenance on long trips.

tire levers
patch kit

chain joining links

bike multi tool:
- Allen key set
- wrenches
- chain tool
- screwdrivers
- spoke wrench

presta valve adapter
- if needed

DSC00002.JPG (527471 bytes)

tire pressure gauge
chain tool
spoke wrench
Allen key set
cassette remover
8 and 10 mm wrenches
cone wrenches
chain lube
- rag
- needle nose pliers
- knife blades
- screwdrivers
- can opener
- bottle opener
- other tools

replacement spokes
extra derailer cable

If Needed:
- headset/pedal wrench
- crank puller

- disk brake wrench and parts

chainring bolt tool
cable cutters
bottom bracket tool
real Allen keys

extra brake pads
extra cables and housing
folding spare tire
bike grease

real spokes
short section of chain

stove repair kit
sewing kit
tent and fabric repair
sleeping pad repair
Pannier Repair Kit
leather saddle maintenance kit

These lists do not include extra parts like zip ties, hose clamps, frame bolts, electrical tape, duct tape, super glue and more.

What Do I Do?

Because I live on tour, usually in Advanced bike touring situations, I have a pretty big set of tools and only feel comfortable if I can take my whole bike apart with what I'm carrying. At one time or another I've used all my tools. My  tool kit in my panniers expands and contracts depending on where I'm traveling. I tend to help other cycle tourist I meet and like to be prepared.

Truing a wheel with my spoke wrench on the Alaska/Yukon border.

More Information Here

How to Prevent Flat Tires

Saving money while traveling page

Free Camp while Bicycle Touring


Choosing Tool Kits  Common Roadside Repairs  Bicycle Tool List  What Do I Domore

Three levels of tools to carry on a bicycle tour:
#1 Day Rider
#2 Intermediate Bike Touring
#3 Advanced Bike Travel



Camp Stove
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping pad
Water Filter
Camp Cooking
First Aide
Touring/Utility Bikes
Solar Charging
Tools and Repair
Topeak Deluxe Kit





eXTReMe Tracker

Bicycle Touring
Tips & Advice

- Bike Stuff
- Camping

Touring Bicycles

Tools and Spares

Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress
Camp Stove
Water Filter
Pots and Pans
First Aide Kits
Solar Power
Bike Maps
Preventing Flat Tires

Bike Computer
Cargo Trailers
Kick Stands
Commuting Bikes

Camp Shower/Toiletry Bag


Bike Shoes
Bike Touring Shorts

Stealth/Free Camp

What I Have Learned On The Road

Dreaming of Endless Travel

Injustice of Poverty

Much MORE Gear Here!

Sponsors (how?)

Cycle Touring Racks

Tents and ground cloths
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress Pads

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