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In the Van: MTB Race Toolbox


Congrats! If you are reading this post you've stumbled upon one of our older posts from the old website. This one made the cut to find it's way here, so enjoy!


This post originally featured on www.PedalheadEDM.com

Welcome to the first of a series of posts dedicated to giving you a glimpse inside the amateur cyclists preperation for a bike race. Aimed to give you an idea of what kind of gear is essential for a weekend of bike racing (and sometimes some gear that isn't so essential)

What do you bring to a bike race? A question we've all been asked many times. Some of you may pack more, some of you less, but this is a great starting point as to what you might need. Join us while we walk through what goes into the Race Room van before heading to an out of town race (and yes, it is weird that a 22 year old owns a minivan)

So welcome to the first In the Van post! Enjoy.

Today, it's all about the tools.


It all starts with a trusty red toolbox.

I do what I can to keep this toolbox stocked the same all mountain bike season so I can just grab it and go.


  • Hex Key Set - sizes all the way from 2-10 mm

  • Torx 25 Key - not only for rotor bolts, more and more bikes are coming with torx bolts on brake, shifter, and lockout clamps

  • Multitool - with less common torx key sizes. Just in case.

  • Screwdrivers - Phillips and flat head


  • Chain Lube - Dry and Ceramic Wet to cover any condition

  • Electrical Tape - you never know when it may come in handy

  • Loctite - just-in-case

  • Grease

  • Fiber Grip

  • Zip Ties - For cable routing and race plates. The day you forget to bring extras is always the day the race organizers run out of them


  • Spare Brake Pads

  • Spare Chain

  • Chain Quick Link

  • Spare Spokes

  • Spare Tubes

  • Spare Cleats

  • Spare Derailleur Hanger

  • Misc. parts Bag - rotor bolts, chainring bolts, tubeless valve stems, cable crimps, caliper bolts, etc


  • Tire Levers

  • Shock Pump

  • Cone Wrenches

  • Shimano BB Tool - also used for Lefty OPI Stem

  • Spoke Wrenches

  • Bladed Spoke Holder - Obviously only if it's applicable to your wheelset

  • Tape Measure - for last minute bike set-up/adjustments


  • Flush Cuts - for cutting zipties like a pro

  • Chain Tool

  • Pliers

  • Rotor Truing Fork

  • Cable Puller

  • Cable Cutter

And that's it; the contents of a toolbox that travels with me to every race. Copy it. Or don't. But that's the basics that I've come to think I'll need after 10 years of racing the XC circuit. Stay tuned for the next In The Van post shortly.

Thanks for reading!

#IntheVan #Tools