For as often as I travel with a bike, it wasn’t until relatively recently that I attempted to put together a dedicated tool kit that I could keep in reserve just so I’d have the confidence that everything would be ready to go. It took a couple of tries to get it right. Those trips in-between were each one borrowed tool shy of disaster. The thing I realized is that a checklist never seemed to be quite enough to ensure everything would go as smoothly in my travels as I’d like.
You’ll pardon me if I was surprised. I’d been led to believe by all my über-organized coworkers and bosses that a checklist can fix anything. My rebuttal can be summed up as, “Ha!”
Lezyne has taken all the guesswork out of the mobile tool kit with the Port-a-Shop. Now, bear in mind, this isn’t the sort of thing on which a tour company could rely, but if you’re flying solo or with a couple of friends, this thing has an extensive complement of tools that encompass both assembly and repairs, and believe me, there have been occasions when the assembly went well enough but a repair threw a slider across my plate.
The took kit includes three different multi-tools. Those multi-tools include Allen wrenches, Torx wrenches, standard and Philips screwdrivers, 8 and 10mm box wrenches and a disc brake wedge. There’s a chain breaker that works on 9, 10 and 11-speed chains. It also includes a patch kit, a few insta-patches and two lightweight tire levers small enough to fit in your jersey pocket, plus two of Lezyne’s Saber levers. The Saber levers do triple duty; there’s a 15mm pedal wrench and a bottle opener on each one, plus a very thin tire lever. The Sabers are especially useful for anyone running tubeless tires. Slipping a lever under the bead of a tubeless tire can be as tough as living through a Southern California group ride and these are absolutely my favorite levers for it. Your rim will break before these levers will.
Here’s a bit more detail on the Allen and Torx wrenches:
- 1.5, 2 and 3mm straight and L-bend Allen wrenches
- 4, 5, 6 and 10mm straight Allen wrenches
- 6, 7, 9, 10, 15, 20, 25, 27 and 30 Torx wrenches
This kit is also ridiculously helpful for getting a party rolling. Including my secret trick for using a chain tool as a bottle opener, this thing features four different ways to free a beer. It’s nice to know where their allegiances are.
There are two tools this thing lacks, in my opinion. The first is a 4mm torque wrench. Given the number of bikes that are spec’d with carbon fiber bars and seatposts, I think a 4mm torque wrench is nearly mandatory for travel. Also, because some of us must remove our cranks to pack our bikes (and because some cranks feature a 10mm bolt), a long 10mm Allen wrench would be a helpful addition, though not quite as necessary as the torque wrench.
The Port-a-Shop Tool Kit goes for $139.99. The case gives you a dynamite way to keep everything together and make sure your full inventory is in order. Lacking such a well-designed case, I’ve often found myself double-checking to make sure that I actually had all the tools. With them wrapped up in bits of cloth and foam pipe insulation I felt like an OCD patient checking that I’d locked the door for the fifth time. I’ve seen plenty of tool-induced dings on boxed bikes, so this case presents a value greater than it might seem at first glance.
I’m going to add a 10mm Allen and then one of the Ritchey 4mm torque wrenches, slide them inside, and then breathe a serious sigh of relief.