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Ok — have some pity on a relatively new cyclist, if you will. I’ve been writing about tools here for many years, but I just recently got into running, swimming, and (yep) biking. But I quickly realized that while I can easily work on my bike in the garage, I don’t have the garage with me when I’m out riding, and I’m getting to the point where I’d like to ride at times when I can’t easily call someone to come get me if things break. So I’ve begun kitting out the bike with the tools necessary to get it back on the road after basic breakdowns.

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Besides tubes and the means to inflate them, my next choice is something that’ll let me deal with other minor adjustments — specifically a multi-tool. What you see above is the ParkTool IB-2, the first tool I’m trying out. It’s small enough to fit in my road bike’s little saddle pouch, but it’s packed with a variety of tools, including 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 6mm hex wrenches — damn, there are a lot of hex nuts on bikes — as well as a T25 and straight-blade screwdriver. Conspicuously missing is any kind of Phillips head driver. I paid $17 for the tool, which seems a buck or two higher than the average street pricing.

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A while back I got into cycling a bit, and I now have two bikes kicking around the garage. When it’s hot as hell (like now) or freezing, storing them is simple: I just installed a couple of hooks and hung ’em up and out of the way. But when it gets more temperate, I’d like to have easier access to them. Essentially, I don’t want to have to drag out a ladder in order to get them down. How do you deal with this at home?

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If you’re a Toolmonger, I’m guessing you’re mechanically inclined. But do you remember how you started to learn how to use tools? Do you remember who showed you how to use them, or did you learn on your own? Do you remember what your first projects were? Today I fixed my youngest daughter’s flat bicycle tire, and the experience reminded me of when I first learned to use tools — so I thought I’d share: A bicycle makes a great launching point to introduce others to tools and shop projects.

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