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I'm looking for a way to organize my bicycle tools in a portable carrier of some kind. Not a small repair-kit but something a lot larger for tools you wouldn't normally take on the road. This would be in lieu of a peg-board.

There's a 16" Park beam-style torque wrench I'd like to store in it and a wheel dishing gauge roughly the same length. I don't want to just toss them all into a wide-mouth canvas bag that zips shut because then I'm always fishing around for the little tools like the spoke wrench or crank puller.

I've been looking at a variety of tool bags but haven't found anything close to what I had in mind, which was something like a heavy canvas zippered suit-bag, only smaller, maybe 14 inches wide and 18 inches high. It would have lots of pouches inside of varying width and depth, and have a carry handle with a hook so it could be hung up in the closet just like a suit bag can. The pouches would be oriented so that they are upright when the bag is folded in half and hanging in the closet.

Does anyone make something like that for tool storage? The closest thing I've found is for BBQ tools or similar and it's not quite big enough and the pouches are uniform and suited for a wrench or screwdriver only, not for something like a spoke tension gauge, say, or a steerer-cutting-guide or cable cutter.

BBQ Tool Bag

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    I don't think I have an answer that matches what you're thinking. A lot of companies make different tool/wrench roll type products but they're mostly all bad at handling the question of how to integrate a few longer tools. Tool buckets are one solution that's good at handling both larger and smaller items. Personally I think that unless being very portable is important, a small chest type toolbox is the way to go. Apr 13, 2022 at 17:28
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    @NathanKnutson: I would have agreed with you on this until this week. These under $100 small chests (e.g. the ones with clamshell lid and three sliding drawers on ball-bearings) seem to be uniformly under-engineered. I bought one of them in January and the bearings on the bottom drawer failed yesterday, so the drawer would no longer close. I didn't mistreat it. Each drawer was supposed to be rated at 30 pounds. The next level up in robustness costs a few hundred dollars. So I'm moving away from manufacturing to handicrafts :-)
    – Tim
    Apr 13, 2022 at 17:41
  • Mine is a mess at the moment, but the sort of plastic toolbox that has a large compartment with a tray on top, and possibly some small compartments in the lid has served me well for a few things. My bike version is my 2nd largest. I'd rather use a pair of those (if one isn't big enough) than one heavier metal chest, when taking my tools on the road.
    – Chris H
    Apr 14, 2022 at 5:45

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There are a lot of small companies making bike bags that do custom work. What you've got in mind will be expensive, but should be doable for them.

The only problem with custom work is that you spend a lot of time designing the perfect thing, then spend a lot of money on it, and when you start using it, you discover it's not quite perfect after all.

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  • I hadn't thought of the bike bag makers. I contacted the people who made the BBQ tool holder and some others who made tool bags of various kinds.
    – Tim
    Apr 14, 2022 at 19:07
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    I made a tool roll using an old folding outdoor chair that had a failed frame. The black nylon/canvaslike material could be stitched by a regular home sewing machine. All I did was cut a large back plane, stitch more panels on front with various sizes of pocket, and add two grommits at the top for hanging and some laces at one side for rolling. Its far from perfect, but hasn't annoyed me enough for a do-over.
    – Criggie
    Apr 15, 2022 at 6:09
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    I spent several days designing, then building a wall-mount shelf for battery powered tools & accessories. It was perfect! Then I got more tools...
    – FreeMan
    Apr 15, 2022 at 18:28
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Expanding on my comment, I use plastic toolboxes - not this Stanley but similar.

There's a tray in the top for small tools, and compartments in the lid for even smaller ones. Some designs can be a bit prone to smaller tools falling through into the big compartment.

My bike tools fit in one, when I'm away in the van and want to carry them, with spares stored separately. In your case I suggest keeping one box (and they go pretty big) for routine tools - up to and including those needed for tasks like changing BBs. A second box could then be used for wheel-building tools - you mention a dish gauge - or just rarer tools. This could also be used to protect the more fragile tools from rattling around with the heaviest ones.

Hanging up would be nice, but when I travel with my bike tools there's often nowhere to hang a tool roll. There's always a flat surface to put a box on. The lid itself provides a useful work surface for fiddly jobs.

The other thing I used to have until it was stolen was a toolbox on wheels, an old version of this one.

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How about a tool bag designed to fit on to a bucket? Bucket tool organizer

Several variations exist featuring a variety of pocket sizes and configurations. Within the bucket, one can sectionalize it with foam or plastic inserts or leave it open. In any case the void can be filled with smaller organizational stuff like plastic storage boxes with dividers for small parts or tools, rolled tool wraps (typically for a set of box wrenches, but can house whatever fits), lubricant cans/bottles. Bucket handle for carrying and means to hang it if necessary. I use a couple different buckets set up for various aspects of my excavating job. One has all the tools I may need to connect splices and valves to water lines. Another has lots of wrenches, punches, hammers, sockets, screwdrivers and parts for machine maintenance. Handheld power tools get put in the bucket as needed. The set ups are much handier than back and forth to the service truck, things stay organized and the bucket can be lowered by rope to me down in the trench.

A couple of links to examples at differing price points:

Bucket Master Tool Organizer

Bucket Tool Organizer

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It depends what your goals and priorities are.

Pegboard is good for quick access to the main tools you need frequently - items are on display and muscle memory tells you where to reach for them.

A hanging set of pouches is similar to pegboard but you see less of the tool, and have to pull it up before getting a grasp of the handle.

Tool rolls can be hung up, but then they're just pouches that can be rolled up for storage or transport.

Drawers can be workable for some people - you have to know what drawer you want, then there's the action of opening it and finally looking for the tool, which can move about in the drawer when it opens/closes. So a little slower.
But drawers can be moved around holus and be taken to your work location.

Tool buckets are similar to drawers, but few tools stand vertically well and I find the small ones drift to the bottom of the bucket.


If you work in one spot, pegboard is great. If you move around, then its not so good.

My personal method is to have a small, bare minimum tool kit on each bike that I ride regularly, along with spares.
All my bike tools live in a 3 drawer toolbox at home which is easily accessed, while my general tools are on pegboard or dropped into holes in shelves on pegboard.

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    Since I was wondering recently about this issue ("I have too many tools for a toolbox, but not enough for a pegboard"), I'll suggest that the problem (perhaps also Tim's) is that the work location is just one, but it's a makeshift location, and a pegboard with bike tools may not exactly blend in with the decor of other than a dedicated room.
    – Sam7919
    Apr 14, 2022 at 0:55
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I use a three container system: a clear plastic tool box for the smaller tools which I use regularly, a regular tool box with a tray for the rest of the usual tools, and a bucket for anything larger than 12 inches.

I would discard the regular tool box for a double trayed clear box. Mine has a separate lid for small tools like valve removers and cassette tool, and I put the larger tools in the main compartment.

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