A Unior Bottom Bracket Socket being used to tighten a disc rotor lockring

On finding creative solutions to whatever's thrown your way

Last weekend I was at Killington Bike Park getting in some laps with a friend and his two sons. I never go anywhere without my Pro Kit and it proved to be useful a few times. Killington has their own bike shop on property but I still prefer to do my own repairs, 15 years as a mechanic will do that to you.

When my friend finally showed up (going anywhere quickly with two young boys is just not possible) he had a loose Shimano Centerlock lockring securing a brake rotor on one of his wheels. Ordinarily this is the sort of time I’d reach for one of our 16-notch bottom bracket wrenches as the open design makes it easy to fit over the axle, but I don’t keep one of those in my case.

I did have, however, one of our new aluminum bottom bracket sockets (well, I had all five, but that’s another story) and it worked! Initially I had a few concerns about it being deep enough to clear the thru-axle but it worked and my friend was able to ride with us. We also saved a bit of time by not having to go into the shop there to beg/borrow a tool or pay them to fix it.

As for my own bike, I was on my new Commencal Meta HT, the very same bike we were using for our Project Roddy video series that I sadly have yet to finish. Being a hardtail, obviously things are going to get shaken around a bit, and being only my second ride on the bike (and my first on the sort of terrain it was made for) the first few runs were more shakedown than anything else. Things will settle, cables will seat, etc. A couple runs in and my headset is loose, a shifter is loose, and the shifting itself is out of adjustment. And again, since I had my Pro Kit with me, a couple minutes back at the car and I was ready to ride again.

The Pro Kit might be overkill for the average person, which is where our Home Kit comes into play. It has almost the same functionality as the Pro Kit but in a smaller package, and is the perfect size to leave in the car for those last minute trailside or parking lot fixes.