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  1. #1
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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
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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.

  9. #9
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    For anyone that has the Lezyne Portable Chain Drive, are the black bits hardened rubber, or removable endcaps?

  10. #10
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by frons View Post
    For anyone that has the Lezyne Portable Chain Drive, are the black bits hardened rubber, or removable endcaps?
    I've got one (maybe two) ... I never tried removing the caps on the end of the handle. Curious, why do you ask? Their existence doesn't alter the functioning of the tool. Hell of a lot cheaper than the Campy tool.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    I've got one (maybe two) ... I never tried removing the caps on the end of the handle. Curious, why do you ask? Their existence doesn't alter the functioning of the tool. Hell of a lot cheaper than the Campy tool.
    I just removed a Shimano chain with my Cyclo Rivoli, but I had to slip a longer tube over the short crank handle because I couldn't get enough leverage. It would be nice to be able to remove the crank handle on the Lezyne to get more leverage, if needed.

  12. #12
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by frons View Post
    I just removed a Shimano chain with my Cyclo Rivoli, but I had to slip a longer tube over the short crank handle because I couldn't get enough leverage. It would be nice to be able to remove the crank handle on the Lezyne to get more leverage, if needed.
    I assume you don't have the Lezyne tool. The handle on it is decent size. I've never wished for more leverage. Much larger than on the Revolt-i chain tools. God are those things a POS. I owned one years ago. I swear, the pin is made of some soft metal like lead. I assume you could get the end caps off even if they aren't really end caps, but I bet you won't feel a need to.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    I assume you don't have the Lezyne tool. The handle on it is decent size. I've never wished for more leverage. Much larger than on the Revolt-i chain tools. God are those things a POS. I owned one years ago. I swear, the pin is made of some soft metal like lead. I assume you could get the end caps off even if they aren't really end caps, but I bet you won't feel a need to.
    Yeah, I can't recommend the rivoli at all, but it looks like the Lezyne may fit the bill. Thanks.

  14. #14
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    had a topeak for 8 years that finally called it quits. i bought the park ct-5 in a pinch. but it works great.
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