Mountain Bike Tools to Carry: Essential Items for Your Next Ride

When you’re out on the trails, it’s essential to be prepared for any mechanical issues that may arise. One of the most common issues that mountain bikers face is a flat tire. That’s why it’s crucial to carry the right tools with you on every ride. In this article, we’ll go over the essential mountain bike tools you should carry with you to ensure that you’re always ready for any trailside repairs.

Carrying a hand pump and patch kit is a must for every mountain biker. Even if you run tubeless tires, it’s still possible to get a puncture that won’t seal. A patch kit will allow you to repair the puncture and get back on the trail quickly. A hand pump is also essential for inflating your tire once you’ve made the repair.

Another essential tool to carry is a multi-tool. A good multitool should include a range of hex keys, screwdrivers, and a chain tool. This will allow you to make most of the adjustments and repairs that you may need to do on the trail. Additionally, carrying a spare inner tube, tire lever, and master chain link can be a lifesaver in case of a more significant mechanical issue. By being prepared with the right tools, you can make sure that you have a safe and enjoyable mountain biking experience.

Essential Mountain Bike Tools

When you’re out on the trails, having a reliable set of tools can be the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major disaster. Here are some essential mountain bike tools that every rider should carry with them.


A multi-tool is the Swiss Army Knife of mountain bike tools. It’s a compact and versatile tool that can help you make quick adjustments to your bike on the trail. Look for a multi-tool that includes a variety of hex and Torx keys, as well as a chain breaker, spoke wrench, and screwdrivers. Some popular options include the OneUp Components EDC and the Topeak Mini PT30.

Hex and Torx Keys

Hex and Torx keys are essential for adjusting bolts and screws on your bike. Look for a set that includes a range of sizes, including T25 Torx, T15, and T10, as well as hex bits in various sizes. Some multi-tools include hex and Torx keys, but it’s always a good idea to carry a separate set as well.

Chain and Cassette Tools

If you’re going to be doing any serious bike maintenance, you’ll need a chain tool and cassette lockring tool. A chain tool allows you to remove and replace links in your chain, while a cassette lockring tool is necessary for removing and installing cassettes. Look for a chain tool that includes a chain hook to make the process easier.

Tire Repair Tools

Flat tires are a common occurrence on the trail, so it’s important to carry a tire repair kit with you. This should include tire levers, a patch kit, and a pump or CO2 inflator. Some riders also like to carry a knife or scissors to trim excess rubber from the tire after patching.

Additional Tools

Other tools that can come in handy on the trail include zip ties, open wrenches, and screwdrivers. A flat screwdriver can be especially useful for adjusting brake levers and shifters.

Bike Repair Stand

While not technically a tool, a bike repair stand can make bike maintenance much easier. Look for a portable and lightweight stand that can be easily set up and taken down. Some popular options include the Topeak PrepStand Pro and the Feedback Sports Pro Elite.

Tool Box

A tool box is a great way to keep all of your bike tools organized and easily accessible. Look for a sturdy and durable box with plenty of compartments to store your tools. Some riders also like to use a tool roll or bag for added portability.

Bike Maintenance Kit

In addition to tools, it’s important to carry a few maintenance items with you on the trail. This might include degreaser, lube, and a bleed kit for hydraulic brakes. The Topeak SmartGauge D2 is also a useful tool for checking tire pressure and shock sag.

Specialized Tools

Depending on your bike and riding style, you may need specialized tools for certain tasks. For example, Industry Nine offers a tool for removing their proprietary cassette lockring, while Wolf Tooth Components makes a tool for installing their chainrings. Granite, Pedro’s, OneUp Components, and Syncros are other popular brands that offer specialized tools.

Quality and Durability

When choosing mountain bike tools, it’s important to look for quality and durability. Cheap tools may save you money in the short term, but they’re more likely to break or wear out quickly. Look for tools made from high-quality materials and backed by a solid warranty.

Lightweight and Compact Design

Since you’ll be carrying your tools with you on the trail, it’s important to look for a lightweight and compact design. Many multi-tools and individual tools are designed to be as small and lightweight as possible, without sacrificing functionality.

Ease of Use

Finally, look for tools that are easy to use and intuitive. You don’t want to be fumbling around with a complicated tool when you’re trying to make a quick adjustment on the trail. Look for tools with clear instructions and a user-friendly design.

Carrying Your Tools

When heading out on a mountain biking adventure, it’s important to have the necessary tools to handle any mechanical issues that may arise. However, carrying all of these tools can be a challenge. Here are some options for carrying your tools:


A saddlebag is a popular and convenient option for carrying your tools. It attaches to the underside of your saddle and can hold all of your essentials, such as a multi-tool, tire levers, and a spare tube. Some saddlebags even have room for a small pump or CO2 inflator.

Backpack and Hydration Pack

If you prefer to carry your tools on your back, a backpack or hydration pack can be a great option. These packs come in various sizes and can hold all of your tools, as well as water and snacks. Look for packs with multiple compartments to keep your tools organized and easily accessible.

Swat Box

Some mountain bikes come with a Swat Box, which is a storage compartment built into the frame. This is a great option for those who want to carry their tools on the bike without adding any extra weight or bulk. The Swat Box can hold a multi-tool, spare tube, CO2 inflator, and other small essentials.

Bike Storage

If you don’t want to carry your tools on your person or bike, another option is to store them at the trailhead or in your vehicle. A small toolbox or gear bag can keep your tools organized and easily accessible when you need them.

No matter which option you choose, make sure you have all of the necessary tools for your ride. A basic toolkit should include a multi-tool, tire levers, spare tube, pump or CO2 inflator, and a chain tool. Happy trails!

Trailside Repairs

When you’re out on a mountain bike ride, it’s important to be prepared for any mechanical issues that may arise. Here are some essential tools and tips for handling trailside repairs:

Flat Tires

Flat tires are a common occurrence when riding on rough terrain. Be sure to carry a tire repair kit with you, including tire levers, patches, and a pump or CO2 cartridges. Practice changing a tire at home before hitting the trail, so you’re familiar with the process.

Chain Issues

A broken chain can quickly ruin a ride. Carry a chain tool and spare links with you, and learn how to use them. If your chain is skipping or slipping, it may need to be adjusted. Check your chain regularly for wear and replace it if necessary.


Faulty brakes can be dangerous, so it’s important to keep them in good working order. Carry a multi-tool with a set of Allen keys, and learn how to adjust your brakes. Check your brake pads regularly for wear and replace them if they are worn down.

Loose Bolts

Vibrations and jolts can cause bolts to come loose. Carry a torque wrench and check your bike’s bolts regularly. Be sure to tighten any that are loose, but don’t over-tighten them, as this can cause damage.


Other common issues include snapped cables, bent derailleurs, and broken spokes. Carry spare cables, a derailleur hanger, and spoke wrench with you. If you’re unsure how to fix a problem, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a fellow rider or a bike shop.

By being prepared and knowing how to handle common trailside repairs, you can ensure that your ride is safe and enjoyable.

Preparation and Maintenance

To ensure a safe and enjoyable ride, it’s important to have the right tools and perform regular bike maintenance. Here are some tips on how to prepare and maintain your mountain bike:

Before You Ride

Before hitting the trails, make sure your bike is in good condition. Check the tire pressure using a pressure gauge and adjust it according to the recommended range. A floor pump is a great tool to have on hand for this task.

Inspect the bike frame, brakes, chain, and gears for any signs of damage or wear. Tighten any loose bolts and lubricate the chain if necessary.

After Your Ride

After a ride, it’s important to perform some basic maintenance to keep your bike in good condition. Use a bike stand to elevate the bike and make it easier to work on.

Clean the bike frame, chain, and gears with a cleaning brush and mild soap. Rinse with water and dry with a towel. Lubricate the chain with a bike-specific lubricant to prevent rust and wear.

Check the tire pressure again and adjust if necessary. Inspect the brake pads and replace them if they are worn down.

Regular Maintenance

Performing regular bike maintenance can help extend the life of your bike and prevent costly repairs. Keep a maintenance schedule and perform tasks such as:

  • Cleaning and lubricating the chain
  • Checking and adjusting the brakes
  • Inspecting and replacing worn tires
  • Tightening any loose bolts
  • Checking and replacing worn cables
  • Checking and adjusting the derailleur

By following these tips and performing regular bike maintenance, you can keep your mountain bike in top condition and enjoy many safe and fun rides.

Additional Items to Carry

In addition to the essential tools and repair items, there are a few other items that you should consider bringing with you on your mountain bike rides. Here are some suggestions:

  • CO2 inflator: A CO2 inflator is a small, lightweight tool that allows you to quickly inflate your tire in case of a flat. It uses compressed CO2 cartridges to inflate your tire, which is much faster than using a hand pump. Make sure to bring extra cartridges with you, just in case.
  • Snacks: Mountain biking can be an intense workout, and you’ll burn a lot of calories on the trail. It’s important to bring some snacks with you to keep your energy levels up. Consider bringing energy bars, trail mix, or other portable snacks that you can easily eat on the go.
  • Sunscreen: Even if it’s cloudy outside, the sun’s rays can still damage your skin. Make sure to apply sunscreen before your ride, and bring some with you to reapply throughout the day.
  • First-aid kit: Accidents can happen on the trail, so it’s a good idea to bring a basic first-aid kit with you. Include items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
  • Extra water: Staying hydrated is important when you’re mountain biking, especially on hot days. Bring extra water with you, or consider investing in a hydration pack that allows you to carry a large amount of water on your back.

Remember, the more items you bring with you, the heavier your load will be. Make sure to balance the items you bring with the weight you’re comfortable carrying.

Mountain Biking on Trails

When you’re out on the trails, having the right tools can make all the difference in your mountain biking experience. One essential tool to carry with you is a multi-tool with a variety of functions. Look for one with chainrings and bolt head tools for quick repairs on the go.

In addition to a multi-tool, it’s also a good idea to carry a hand pump and patch kit. Flat tires are a common issue on the trails, so being able to quickly change a tire or patch a hole can save you from a long, frustrating walk back to the trailhead.

When it comes to carrying your tools, there are a few options. Some riders prefer to carry a small, stashable multi-tool on their frame, while others opt for a more traditional, folding multi-tool in their pack. Consider your personal preferences and riding style when choosing the best tool storage solution for you.

Overall, being prepared with the right tools can help you tackle any challenges you may face on the trails, and make for a more enjoyable mountain biking experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the essential tools to carry on a mountain bike ride?

When going on a mountain bike ride, it is important to carry a few essential tools to ensure that you can handle any mechanical issues that may arise. Some of the most important tools to carry include:

  • Spare tube or patch kit
  • Tire levers
  • Pump or CO2 inflator
  • Multi-tool
  • Chain tool
  • Quick-link

How do I store tools on my mountain bike?

There are several ways to store tools on your mountain bike. One popular option is to use a saddlebag, which attaches to the underside of your saddle. Another option is to use a frame bag, which attaches to the frame of your bike. Some riders also prefer to use a handlebar bag or a backpack to store their tools.

What is the best MTB multi tool?

There are many great MTB multi tools on the market, and the best one for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Some popular options include the Crankbrothers M19 Multi-Tool, the Topeak Mini 9 Pro, and the Park Tool IB-3.

Are there any bolt-on bike tool storage options?

Yes, there are several bolt-on bike tool storage options available. One popular option is the OneUp Components EDC Tool System, which includes a multi-tool, tire lever, and chain breaker that can be stored in the steerer tube of your bike. Another option is the Wolf Tooth Components EnCase System Storage Sleeves, which attach to the ends of your handlebars and provide storage for a variety of tools.

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