How to pack a small tool kit for your bag

It’s often useful to carry a few tools around with you, just in case you need to perform a few road-side repairs or adjustments to your bike.

Many people use a small saddle bag to store tools, but I’ve chosen instead to use an old pencil case. It sits at the bottom of my pannier bag wherever I go, and is the perfect size to carry all the tools I might need while out and about.

With it I can repair punctures, and make any adjustments I need to my saddle, handlebars, brakes, and gears.

Pencil case tool bag
Pencil case tool bag

Here’s what’s inside:

  • A set of Park Tool Tyre Levers (TL-1). I need three levers because I have Schwalbe Marathon tyres on my bikes, which are really difficult to get on and off the wheel rim.
  • Topeak Alien II multi-tool. This has pretty much every tool you’ll ever need all in one neat package.
  • 15mm spanner. For taking off the wheels when repairing punctures.
  • Rema Tip Top puncture repair kit. This little box contains all kinds of patches, glues, and lot of other small items like inner-tube valve caps.
  • Disposable latex gloves. Stops me getting dirt and grease all over my hands.

I sometimes also carry a spare inner-tube in my pannier bag, but obviously that doesn’t fit in the pencil case.  I also have a bike pump attached to the frame of the bike.

Do you carry tools when you cycle? Tell me about it in the comments.

Richard Bloomfield

Richard is the founder of Dublin Bike Blog. He commutes to work every day by bike, come rain or shine, on his Dutch city bike. You can read more from Richard on his blog

8 thoughts on “How to pack a small tool kit for your bag

  • 3 July, 2015 at 10:35 am

    I have a small multi tool from maplins which includes a hammer which I have used in anger to temporarily fix a pedal. Since I’ve gone solid I’ve ditched the tube, repair kit and pump from my bag. I carry a dumbel or dog bone spanner (my bike has no Allen key heads), but I carry an Allen key set in case someone else needs help.

    • 8 July, 2015 at 9:04 am

      A hammer sounds like a good idea to help vent my frustrations – but I’m not sure it would help fix my bike.

  • 24 August, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I have an multi-tool from Halfords and a puncture repair kit.
    Now that I read your post I’ll get some latex gloves as well. It’s a great idea to keep your hands clean when working around the chain or wheels.

  • 15 July, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    You can get the latex gloves in boxes of 100 from the chemist. They’re not very expensive, and are just as useful for household cleaning tasks as for bike maintenance.

    • 7 November, 2017 at 11:04 pm

      Hi Andrew, no it doesn’t. I have a pump attached to the bike frame. I suppose you might fit in one of those compressed gas cannisters.


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