Recommended chain tool for cycle touring

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  • I am looking for a lightweight chain breaking and joining tool for cycle touring use and I currently have SRAM 8-speed chains fitted to my bicycles. Is the Park CT-5 the one to go for or is there anything lighter that is worthwhile?

    One alternative I have read recommendations for is the Crank Brothers micro chain tool that comes with their multitools, which looks tiny and apparently can be used stand-alone with just a 5mm Allen key for leverage. Is that tool good enough to justify buying their multitool simply to extract the micro chain tool?

  • I take the parktool one because I've had bad experiences of the 'lightweight' ones not being up to the task when on the road, and then use quick-links to reattach. You don't want to be trying to rejoin a chain if its pissing down and your hands are cold, just not worth it...

  • CT-5 user here. Does everything I need it to and is still smaller than my tyre levers so a no brainier really. Also the tool I’ll grab first in the workshop just cos it’s there, and not had any issues (unless it’s a really really rusty chain)

    Combined with a Granite Talon quick link pliers (same as Woolf tooth, but cheaper!) and it’s all I’ve needed.

  • I carry the topeak super chain tool with an additional quicklink on a small tool pocket on framebag. When purchased, I tested it on an old chain removing and inserting a couple of pins and appared to be solid enough for occassional use. Chain hook also helps to keep everything in place when inserting the pin, although I prefer to use quick link for reattaching .

  • I have two small ones and annoyingly I can't find info on either of them

    No, wait, I have this set which I've used a bit though maybe not the chain tool:
    https://www.topeak.com/global/en/product­s/75-Mini-Tools/1158-RATCHET-ROCKET-LITE­-NTX+

  • and funnily enough @Greasy_Paws has just posted the other one I have! :)

    I've definitely used this little one to push in a pin during Trans Am

  • Thanks @owl, @C4r1s, @Greasy_Paws and @hippy for relating your experiences and recommendations. As there is only 12g difference in weight between them and they are relatively cheap, I'll see if I can get both the Park Tools CT-5 and the Top Peak Super Chain tool and try them out.

  • Crank Brothers micro chain tool

    Gets the job done, but is fiddly.

  • CT-5 is your friend. A mate's chain broke the other week, and his cheaper, lighter one proved to be rubbish. Luckily I had my CT-5, which he used and praised highly. (Never had to actually use it meself.)

  • I use one of these: https://www.kmcchain.com/en/series/minic­haintool

    I just break the chain and replace it with a quick link as already suggested by owl. It’s pushed out pins on 11 speed chains without too much drama, and as an added bonus the Allen key that comes with it is 5mm so I can fix pretty much anything on the bike that can be done at the side of the road.

  • I use the Fabric 16 in 1 multi-tool, which has a built-in chain tool. If you have a separate multi-tool already, it might not matter. But happy with mine. It saved me once on a touring trip.

    https://fabric.cc/products/tools/16-in-1­-multi-tool/

  • +1 for the Park Tools CT-5

  • I carry one of these. It's so good, I use it in the garage too.

    https://full-windsor.co.uk/products/the-­breaker-cycle-multi-tool

  • I now have both the Park Tools CT-5 and the Topeak Super Chain tools in my hands.

    My first impressions are that the Park one is more strongly built, I prefer its higher intermediate metal supports for loosening a stiff link and it has a replaceable pin. It is larger than I thought and it does not lock down with the handle in line with the main body, so I have to use a rubber band to keep it flat in line. This is the one I would bring on an extended tour.

    The Topeak tool is a neat little item and it includes the 4/5mm Allen key which saves bringing the latter two allen keys. However, the wire coupling was sharp and I spent a few minutes sanding the ends of the wire with 180 grit abrasive paper to avoid tearing clothing fabric. I'll probably keep this one in my Brompton's mini-o bag.


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  • Thanks for the review. I have a BBB multitool with a chain breaker that uses the tool's 5mm Allen key to drive it. On the occasions I've had to break a chain in anger it's done the job fine, but I wouldn't want to try rejoining a chain with it (but then I would only ever try that in extremis anyhow - I just carry a couple of quick links, and would only try that if I ran out).

  • Nice side by side comparison there! Agree with the CT5 not lying flat annoyance, I usually stuff it under a tube in a saddlebag and that does the job fine. I’ve found the space in the handle is the perfect place to tape a quick link, rests nicely against the apex at the bottom. Always there when you need it.


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  • I’ve found the space in the handle is the perfect place to tape a quick link

    That's a handy tip.

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Recommended chain tool for cycle touring

Posted by Avatar for Nick_S @Nick_S

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