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  1. #1
    No lie, man!
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    Recommend portable chain tool

    One thing leads to another. The zipper on my current saddle bag blew out, and the bag I replaced it with is slightly larger. Although I've never used any tool out on the road but a tire lever to change a flat or a 4mm hex wrench to adjust my saddle, I figured it's time to put together a proper tool kit.

    Mostly, it's the portable chain tool that I'm having a hard time deciding on. The nice, small modular ones are disappointingly not 11-speed compatible. The Park IB-3 was a front-runner; I would have disassembled it and carried only the chain tool and the tire lever, save for the 8/9/10 limitation.

    Same goes for the Crank Brothers Y15/Y16. The chain tool can be used with an 8mm hex for the handle and a 5mm for the crank. Also, only 8/9/10 compatible. Review here.

    The Topeak Mini 20 Pro is 11-speed compatible, so it might be an option for disassembly, though a bit pricey to do so. Good images here.

    The Park CT-5 always gets recommended, though it's not much smaller than my 25-year-old Cyclo Rivoli. The CT-6.3 is small, but not cheap or light.

    Here are some I've mostly ruled out, are of questionable quality or utility, or are hard/expensive to get in the US.

    --Tacx T4870, https://tacx.com/product/mini-chain-rivet-extractor/
    Available directly from Tacx, but it's $70 with shipping to the US, or $40 from down under. Looks promising, but I've been unable to find out much about its performance.

    --This tool is sold under multiple names (here, here, and here).

    --Connex/Wipperman, Poor review here.

    --ProX, https://26bikes.com/shop/tools/hand-...ts/prod/prox-c
    Another EU source, and no review on how well it works (or not).

    Anyway, I'm sure there are many more than what I've listed, but if there is a tool that any of you have used and would give two thumbs up, I'd like to hear about it.

  2. #2
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    I use the Park CT-5 you mentioned, fits in the saddle bag easily. I can't see getting much smaller than that and still being able to push a pin out with it, takes quite a bit of effort as it is.
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  3. #3
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    Lenzyne's are good and have a lot to choose from so you should be able to find one with what you need and not a lot of what you don't need.

  4. #4
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    What about a multi tool with chain breaker? Then you cover a number of bases in one.
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  5. #5
    No lie, man!
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    Quote Originally Posted by craiger_ny View Post
    What about a multi tool with chain breaker? Then you cover a number of bases in one.
    It's not uncommon to read reviews that say some multi-tools are hard(er) to use than separate hex wrenches (which I already own). I put a set of loose wrenches (2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6) in a section of old butyl tube that keeps them together and protects from wearing on other contents in my saddle bag.

    I'm also looking to keep things light, but a chain tool that's light, but not functional, defeats the purpose. Trying to find the right balance.

  6. #6
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    If you are talking about a portable dedicated chain tool, I have seldom had to use it but I like the Topeak Super Chain Tool, especially nice to have the chain hook:

    https://www.topeak.com/global/en/pro...per-chain-tool

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by frons View Post
    Anyway, I'm sure there are many more than what I've listed, but if there is a tool that any of you have used and would give two thumbs up, I'd like to hear about it.
    Need? In well over 350,000 miles of road riding, I have "needed" a chain tool exactly once (new chain put together badly) but I was able to get home without the tool. YMMV

  8. #8
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Need? In well over 350,000 miles of road riding, I have "needed" a chain tool exactly once (new chain put together badly) but I was able to get home without the tool. YMMV
    The one time I needed one, when a pin wasn't installed properly, I didn't have one. After that, I've carried chain tools, but only used them a handful of times over 20 years and that was to help other cyclists. In reality, you probably don't need one. The weak part of a chain is the pin connecting it when its installed. It's much harder to screw up one of those links, which is what I use.

    I do like the Lenzyne tool. It's small enough to fit in your tool bag.

    I find multi tools to be over kill. They're big, heavy and have a bunch of stuff you don't need.

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