Bikepacking Repair Kit & Tools: Essential & Auxiliary

When bikepacking in the backcountry, a mechanical mishap can easily turn a nice ride through the woods in to a miserable hike-a-bike escape. A well thought out repair kit can help you avoid that fate …

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Assembling a repair kit can be a bit of a disconcerting task. It’s somewhat of a balancing act between necessity, fear, and space constraints. There are a lot of potential mechanical issues that may arise, and being ready for all of them would require lugging around an 11 pound toolbox. However, a basic assortment of tools and spare parts can get you out of many sticky situations, and keep you rolling through the backcountry instead of pushing out of it.

Here is a detailed repair kit constructed on account of real-world mechanical issues. It’s separated in two main sections, The Essentials, and a secondary list that may come in to play for a longer trip. It’s worth noting that your needs may vary depending your bike, accessories, length of ride, and location.

The Essentials

The following list is what we’d consider bare bones. However, it may still be a bit much for a risky gram counter. Some may pack more, while others will pack less and put their inner MacGyver to the test.

Bikepacking Toll and Repair Kit - Gear List

Core Toolkit

This group of tools makes up the bulk of the kit and can be carried in a tool roll, dedicated bag, or spread throughout your pack luggage. Items marked with an asterisk are necessary only for certain applications.

Multi-tool (with chain breaker)

The heart of the kit. Make sure yours has the correct sizes of allen and torx keys to fit the parts of your bike that might need adjustment or repair. The Crank Brothers M19 is shown here, which happens to be missing a torx T20 needed for Rohloff twist shifters (more of a long-term issue, but worth noting). Missing allen keys and torx drivers can be packed as extras when needed. We also like the Lezyne Blox 23. Also, with most of these tools, you can take them apart and mix and match similar sized keys.

Leatherman with pliers

There have been several occasions while out riding when pliers were needed. One more common use for a tubeless system is to remove a tire valve stem core to replenish sealant in the event of a stubborn leak (although, as Gabe pointed out in the comments below, the M19 has a built-in valve core tool on the spoke wrench). Also, there are many other useful tools included in the simple Juice models, such as a knife and can opener. The one shown above has been around since 2002.

A reliable pump

The pump shown is the Lezyne Micro Floor Drive. Slightly big, but reliable and works extremely well, even for voluminous 29+ tires. We’ve even set up tires tubeless with it.

15mm Wrench*

A 15mm wrench is necessary for Rohloff drivetrains as well as old school bolt on hubs. The Portland Design Works 3wrencho is shown below; it is a solid option and doubles as a tire lever.

  • PDW 3Wrencho
  • Bikepacking Tip - Tire Patches

Tire Repair

A good repair kit is always heavily weighted toward tire repair. Flats are inevitable, even when set up tubeless. Having the means to repair a tire is key.

Spare Tubes

Even when running a tubeless setup, spares are an annoying necessity. I usually carry one on shorter outings and two on longer trips (between two of us) which accounts for blowing both tubeless seals on one bike. From there, faith would be placed on patches, sewing, and plugs. Check out the Tubolito for a next generation option.

Patch Kit

After having 6 flats in one day, I never leave without double checking my patch kit. Make sure the cement isn’t dried out and the sandpaper is in good shape.

Tire Lever(s)

Some folks carry two. Nylon levers are better than metal ones, but they can break.

Park Tool Tire Boots

Fortunately I’ve only had to use a boot once… a sidewall gash in the Arizona desert. Gorilla tape can work in a pinch.

Extra Sealant

For a shorter trip, one or two ounces should do. The Stan’s two ounce bottles are minimal in size and weight. Also, the Nalgene Polyethylene bottles come in 2OZ and 4OZ sizes and seem to be bombproof.

Curved Needle and Heavy Guage Nylon Thread

Whether it’s for first-aid or repairing a torn sidewall, a needle and thread is an indispensable part of a repair kit.

Tire Plugs

Tire plugs are key for those puncture 3/16″ tears that stubbornly won’t reseal. Check out the Dynaplug Micro Pro.

Super Glue

Super Glue is another staple for small punctures or even capping off a plug to ensure it’s longevity.

Bikepacking Hacks - Gorilla Tape

Accessories and Parts

A few other items for maintenance and emergency situations.

Dry chain lube

Keep your drivetrain performing well by cleaning and lubing the chain every couple of days. Dry lube is optimal for dusty conditions while wet lube can cause a collection of grit and residue to build up on the chain and cassette.

Zip Ties

Carry more that you could possibly need. They weigh nothing and can fix almost anything.

Gorilla Tape + Lighter

This heavy duty duct tape can repair almost anything, from a bag, to a pair of shoes, to a tire. A great way to store 10 or 20 winds is on a lighter. Another option is to have a few wraps around the shaft of your tire pump.

Quick Chain Links / Powerlinks

SRAM Powerlinks are a good option. Get 2 or 3 pair for whatever size chain you have, as well as a small spare length of chain.

Spare Cleat and Bolts*

If you ride clipless I would recommend packing an extra bolt and cleat. I’ve lost a cleat bolt mid-ride.

Bikepacking Toll and Repair Kit - Gear List

Spare Parts & Tools: The Extended Cut

The following list is based on needs for a longer trip. Some may include a few, if not all, of these items in a standard carry kit.

Spare Parts

Every bike is different and requires unique parts, bolts, etc. Some of the items in this list may be applicable to your kit while others may not.

Brake Pads

It is worth carrying a spare pair of pads or two for longer trips. Some brakes, such as mechanical discs, are easier to replace than others. Make sure you have the right tool(s) for the job.

Spare Spokes/Nipples

Carry a few spokes in your seatpost by stuffing them through a piece of semi-rigid foam to hold them in place. Also carry matching nipples and make sure there is a spoke wrench in your multi-tool (the Crank Bros M19 has it built into the chain break lever).

Spare Bolts

Some bolts worth considering are rack bolts, chainring bolts, rotor bolts, and cleat bolts.

Spare Cables

Spare cables can be stashed in your handlebars. Think about carrying an extra derailleur cable, brake cable or Rohloff cable.

Derailleur Hangers

Another piece on a bike that is prone to breaking. I personally have never had one break, but my wife has.

Spokes in seat tube - packing for bike touring

Additional Tools

A few other tools to consider.


One of these may come in handy for a broken seal on a tubeless set up.

Pipe Clamps (of various sizes)

One step above a zip tie. Pipe clamps can do anything from replacing a broken seat clamp to holding a damaged bottle cage.

Shock Pump*

Carrying a load on a full suspension rig requires some care and adjustment. Some may choose to tune their shocks before departing and leave the shock pump at home.

Specialized Tools

A few tools of which you may find yourself in need: bottom bracket tool or socket, Torx drivers of various metrics, crank plug bit, crank extractor (for you old-schoolers), etc.

Cleaning Cloth

A small rag or cleaning cloth, while not absolutely necessary, is is good to have around to clean the chain.

Various Straps

Always a handy addition. We like Salsa Anything Cage Straps.

Keep in mind that your bike and situation is unique and so should your repair kit and tools. If there is anything you feel we left out of this list, leave a comment below.


P.S. The photo shoot for this post was fueled by Oskar Blues Pinner (recommended). #drinkbeerwhileyouworkonbikes.
  • Nice list! The spoke wrench on your multitool works perfectly to remove valve cores too FYI. And shoe goo is handy for tire repair as well.

  • Thanks, good to know… I always go straight for the pliers (which are usually somewhere a little harder to dig out).

  • Mikee Texas

    This is a dang good list….. Off the top of my head I carry a razor blade, instead of i knife if i’m not hunting or fishing. I also carry super glue. Because between gorilla tape and super glue you can GET IT DONE! I also carry my stuff in Ziplock freezer bags. I fell out of a kayak once and i had the entire groups cell phones in a Ziplock bag, I was submerged in water for 10 min. All cell phones were saved. I’m always trying to make my kit better. I recently have made a few mistakes and learned lessons the hard way by accidentally forgetting one of these key items and payed for it dearly:) But i’m the type of guy that seems to learn everything the hard way:)

  • Iain Denley

    what Mikee said, super glue + duct/gorilla tape fixes any situation known to man. If you discover the first thing it doesn’t fix, just use your zip ties you have with you to resolve the situation.

  • Thanks Mikee. I’ve never carried Super Glue… might come in handy though.

  • Mikee Texas

    Speaking of superglue….. I’m personally carrying a small bottle of the new gorilla superglue. I just wanted to note that the actual gorilla super glue…not to be confused with “regular gorilla glue” is much thicker more viscous than traditional super glue… the may be a positive in some scenarios and negative in others. I’m used to super glue pouring like water and drying in 10 seconds, the gorilla glue is slightly thicker and won’t soak into tiny crevices very quickly as well as the el cheapo standard super glue. But I’ll be you anything the gorilla super glue is stronger in the end.

  • Nice list. My tip would be :Toppeak microshock to save a lot of weight and space for the fork pump( I have a lightweight digital tire pressure gauge that works for the fork too with me anyway). Apart from that our list is almost identical (the Lezyne floor pump is well worth the extra weight and space)…. Still need to make a nice tool roll though.

  • Thanks. I had a Mountain Morph die on me recently, so I switched to Lezyne. Tool rolls are pretty simple. I made that one in about 20 minutes… well worth the effort. Maybe I’ll post a DIY about it soon. I took photos, just forgot about it.

  • Indeed!

  • Shame I’m too bloody lazy to start or complete all the sewing projects in my head :)

  • The open end of most chain tools will also remove a valve core. I have used a Crank Brothers M17 tool for many years, and have bought three or four as I lose them or give them away. No tire levers for a few years. Only one tube for long trips, including the last ten months on the bike. Lezyne HP road pumps are ultralight and great, never needed more and the threaded interface never bothered me as some complain. And since I’ve begun riding bigger tires and packing lighter, I haven’t broken a spoke in years. Oh yeah, tubeless is the best. Get on it!

    Needle and thread is definitely essential.

  • anton_88

    I’d just like to add, zip ties are really useful and everyone should carry them, but, you have to have something sharp to cut of the excess! Knife/multitool/scissors/razorblade.

  • I’m impressed… one tube. Nice. I assume Lael has one as well though. I have had my Krampus (Rabbit Holes) setup tubeless for some time now, but I am still a bit timid. I think once I switch from Rabbit Holes (maybe to the new WTB Scrapers), I’ll be a little less fearful. The cutouts just add that extra potential egress. Although, I must say, I can set them up with a floor pump.

  • Yeah, the built in wire cutters on the Leatherman work well for that…

  • A solid reusable strap can go a long way in holding together a damaged seat/handlebar bag and can be handy when dealing with damaged camping equipment or first aid.

    Junk Strap –
    Voile Strap –

    Tenacious Tape is also amazing for fixing bags, waterproof clothes, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, tents etc. –

  • Nice, thanks. I did a little piece about Voile straps here a couple of weeks ago: Also, note Salsa Anything straps listed above… I’ve had pretty good luck with those over the last couple of years…

  • I prefer a strap with a more positive locking mechanism than the ladders on the Salsa Anything straps personally

    Great photo in the Voile strap article :)

  • Daniel

    One more for superglue or that Gorilla glue, for patching holes in tyres. Tenacious tape for patching coats, sleeping mats, dry bags etc.
    Those multi tools never fit well to my hand and always leave a mark, so using a park tool Allen key set is good.
    Spare chain links and missing link, yep.
    For those on dérailleur set-ups how about a lock ring removal tool (Next Best Thing Mk2).
    Separate spoke key as the ones on multitools are very fiddly.

  • The Blackburn Toolminator is handy multitool with all the bits you need like chainbreaker but best of all is it has a tiny shockpump on it which is great for just topping up your shocks and weighs next to nothing. The tools are a bit on the small side but thats a problem with all do it all multitools. You can remove the shockpump and chainbreaker and just add them to a more usefull allen key set.

  • Scott Aubuchon

    Good list. Super heavy duty zip ties can be life savers. For spokes, a fiber fix is a good option. In my experience, if your tubeless setup goes, no amount of CO2 is going to bring it back. But, it can be good for quickly filling a tube!

  • Sebastian Oroza

    Ive always have had a attitude problem towards multitools. Mainly for two reasons: usability and durability. Usability is an issue for a shop wrench used to have a specific tool for any job. And what comes to durability, multitool tends to be useless if you round up or broke any of the heads (that being most likely 5mm allen wrench). I carried individual tools until I got a hold of Victorinox bit wrench:

    Nice little piece of a tool. I got enough torque for installing cranks, and a glove wrapped around the handle should give you enough comfort on heavier tasks. I have not given it a beating yet, so I cant tell if it is to be trusted, but it seems sturdy. T

    I have not compared the weight against multitools, but at least space vise its superior. I have 10 bits with me, in a same small box with bolts, nipples and patches. My chain tool choice is still parks brute mini with replacement pin in above mentioned box, but I am waiting forward to test parks folding chain tool soon.

  • darelldd

    Where did you procure your fancy needle?

  • My wife just happened to have it from her fabric art days, but you can get them at most sewing supply companies… sometimes referred to as an upholstery needle.

  • darelldd

    Ah-hah. I knew I’d seen them before. Seems like a great tool to have, and about the only thing I’m missing. Thanks much!

  • mikeetheviking

    Better late than never, thought i’d share a trick with super glue and tape. You can actually put glue on top of the adhesive side of tape and create an ultra strong bond to most any clean surface, and then for extra measue smear some more glue all over thew top of the repair you made…. good luck removing the tape…. it will not come off….

  • tylernol

    one of my friends has used this to great success on large punctures in Big Bend and in local trails, and I have started carrying it as well, repairing my Knard 29+ from a nice gash that would not seal a month ago:

  • Alberto Contreras

    Not sure if it has been mentioned before…Next Best Thing 2 (NBT2). Really useful to remove the cassette in the event of broken spokes

  • paleh0rse

    Does that thing come with the correct bits for most bike repairs? It certainly doesn’t look like it, so which ones have you had to add since purchasing it?

  • Alan Swanson

    Mini vice-grips and bailing wire! Have used this for a failed seat clamp and missing pulley bolts.

  • gitfiddle

    I had the Portland design works wrench/tire lever. Other than being a really overpriced, albeit stylish, wrench it failed me as a tire lever when it snapped while installing a 700c. My plastic lever has yet to break. For the price, I thought it would last a lifetime. Nope!

  • Wow, surprising… mine’s still kicking after a lot of use in 4 continents! Thanks for sharing… I wonder if you got a ‘Friday version’?

  • Todd Brockway

    Great comments here. I appreciate simple. I tend to over prepare. I take really good care of everything I own so I don’t have a lot of breakdowns anyway. I’m going to look into that Lezyne HP. Your absolutely right on tubeless. I’m never going back. Thanks again for the insight on keeping it simple.

  • Has anyone managed to inject more sealant into a tire without braking the bead?

  • Absolutely. you simply remove the valve core and use either a DIY paper funnel or the injector hose from Orange Seal…

  • Trevor Smith

    I use the Stans 2oz bottles. Remove your core, cut the top of the bottle at the line, slide over valve stem and squeeze. That’s it. And they’re reusable

  • Brenwell

    Was looking for this on the list. Spare spokes are pretty useless with no way to remove the cassette

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