When setting out to build the ultimate ultralight cycle touring toolkit, I first examined my old one. My old cycling toolkit was a dark and mysterious beast, I couldn’t really tell you what it contained as I rarely dug that deep.
On the odd occasion I did tip out the contents while looking for a small part I was bemused by what scattered across the floor. I knew there were several types of brake pad, five 4mm allen keys, two multi-tools and a bottle of lube in there, but there were also other more unusual things. Some I’m 70% sure had something to do with bottom brackets, others may not be anything to do with bicycles and I definitely found a bolt that belongs to my desk chair! That would never make it into an ultralight cycle touring toolkit.
I have always used my sisters old Converse pencil case as my portable tool kit. It’s a rugged piece of floral stationery but heavy even when empty, especially by ultralight cycling touring toolkit standards. When full, it weighed over 1.6kg and I suspect 100g of that was grease and grime saturated into the fabric.
The Birth of The Ultralight Cycle Touring Toolkit
When building my ultralight cycle touring setup the first thing I focused my attention on was building an ultralight cycle touring toolkit. I thought if I could deal with that small job first I would get a good feel for the process before tackling the rest of my touring equipment. It was harder than I thought!
I had always used a frame pump in the past because they are good at inflating large volume tyres quickly. But, because my ultralight cycle touring setup used a road bike with skinny tyres, I knew I could use a tiny pump to do the job, as they still reach high pressures, just more slowly.
My Topeak Micro Rocket CB pump weighed 55g when I received it in the post. After taking a closer look I saw that it had a purely aesthetic faux carbon sheath, after removing the sheath it weighed a nice round 50g. Now that’s what I call value for weight!
Though there is a lighter pump on the horizon.
Bike Oil in an Eye Drops Bottle
One of the largest weight savings to emerge from building an ultralight cycle touring toolkit came from decanting my bike oil into an eye drops container. It’s the perfect applicator with it’s drip nozzle and 10ml lasts a surprising amount of time if applied judiciously. Most bike shops are happy to give refills from their workshop supply for a token payment.
Puncture Repair kit
Next, I eyed up my puncture repair kit. I would need an innertube, some patches and some glue. The tube would be smaller than previous due to using a road bike anyway and the patches and glue are already efficiently small, so that was easy. I threw in one small 2x2cm square of sand paper that I use as an abrasive on the innertube so that the glue bonds to the innertube better.
Kevlar Bicycle Spoke
I decided to keep my Kevlar spoke as it’s light and can be adapted to fit any spoke that snaps – not all spokes on a bike are the same length.
Ultralight Cycle Touring Toolkit Multi-Tool
The next thing that received scrutiny was my multi-tool which I adapted to only include the components I needed. In doing this I also freed up one end of one of the struts that holds the tool together which works well as a tyre lever. Having my multi-tool now count as one tyre lever I only need one additional tyre lever, even for my snug fitting wheel and tyres.
I keep my knife with my tools though it is primarily used for food preparation rather than keeping my bike running smoothly. It’s a Gerber STL and weighs 43g. If you were to subtract the weight of the knife, the total weight burden for keeping my wheels turning on tour is now 317g.
So, that’s how I created my ultralight cycle touring toolkit weighing just 360g. If you liked this post please consider leaving a comment below or sharing it.