Tuesday, April 19

Excess baggage and the blissful ignorance of youth

I got something in the mail yesterday that had nothing to do with sponsors, upgrades for the Meatplow, or my copy of Dirt Rag ed155 (you know, the one everyone else has had for weeks). I'm not sure what to make of it.

Former 2011 PMBAR partner Elk sent me a big box of cookies. Either he knows that I was sad when he told me he wouldn't be coming down in May, thus depriving me of his Snickerdoodles, or he wants to sabotage Zac and I's efforts to win PMBAR by making me fat. $10.95 to ship so many cookies, and this morning there is only one left.

Junior endurance single speeder Montana Miller finally figured something out for himself. He had been carrying around an 8lb mini tool while racing in a strap that is less than awesome, but he's grown a big boy brain and pitched it for a more pared down kit.

Old stupid tool on right, new stupid tools on left (young stupid tool taking photo).

Notice that although the youth has opted to not carry a 6mm wrench, he does have a 6mm bolt in his Niner EBB that will come lose at some point if only for the fact that he has opted to not carry the appropriate wrench to tighten said bolt.

Never one to settle for status quo I decided to review what I carry around at races.

First of all, my workstand allen keys were looking a bit worse for wear. I swapped them out for my emergency tools and went out and bought new allen keys. Realizing that I don't carry an 8mm for things like pedals and crank bolt(s), instead of just settling for nothing as young Montana did, I dug around my tools and found a quick solution.

I took the 8mm adapter from an old Park mini-tool and "bingo." When I see Montana standing at the side of the trail with his pedal in his hand I will ride by holding out my new, lightweight 8mm solution and taunt him. FYI: That is not the final version of the Tülbag (pronounced tūl-bahg) in the above image, but an early prototype Tülbag. Final production versions will be similar in that they will be either square, rectangular, or rhombus, there will be a zipper, and the color will be dark in tone.

I considered improving upon my current chain tool, and I found this in a box of sundrious mini tool parts.

Effective, tiny, cooler than Montana's, but still heavier and less multi-tasking than what I carry already.

The tool in the center is a combination chain tool/tire lever from an old Giro mutli-tool made back in 1993. Snapped together it looks like this:

The Bondhus head allens were a PITA to use. The spoke wrench was pretty cool since it grabbed the spoke on four sides, but it won't slide around a fat aluminum spoke... something that didn't really exist in 1993. The chain tool/tire lever is a brilliant piece of engineering, and it fits nicely in an Awesome Strapped tube.

One other important thing. I know plenty of people that wrap their tools up in a spare tube and mount the whole mess to their bikes with Awesome Straps. I do not do that, and here is why.

If I have a flat on the course I want to break out my flat repair stuff, and only my flat repair stuff. I don't want to have to keep track of all the little tools I toss aside while working on the side of the trail. Also, if all I need to do is adjust my headset, seatpost height, tighten a loose bolt (you get the point), I don't want to have to unfurl my tube just to get to my tools.

Enter the Tülbag.

One more day before my four day sabbatical.


Montana said...

I live dangerously.

Does a coin purse really need a prototype stage? You might be able to steal some ideas from here:

Don Meredith said...

YES! Very much YES. I've pared mine down and upgraded to a lightweight ratchet driver as well. Details here... I've since added an 8mm bit as well.


Anonymous said...

well aren't you special.

did you enjoy the short bus rides when you were younger?

Friendo said...

plastic chain tools suck hard and break at the worst times: metal only

dicky said...

This coin purse will be so high tech that astronauts are gonna wanna use it in space.

Anonymous said...

you are a little man with a little tul.