Even if you don’t have a clue about how to repair a flat tire or make minor adjustments to your bike, you really need to carry a tire repair kit, tire pump and mini-tool with you on every ride. You might not know what to do with the tools, but usually someone with offer to help you—but without the right tools you might have a long walk home. The folks at Serfas recently sent me one of their basic repair kits, the Serfas CK-1 Combo Kit 1, to review. This kit includes the items needed to repair about 90% of the problems you are likely to have on a normal bike ride. If you would like a chance to win this kit just keep reading!
The tire pump in this kit is the Serfas BS-1D Big Stick Pump and it normally retails for $18. This pump is 11″ long (17″ with the handle extended) and works with both Presta and Schrader valves. The pump should be able to inflate your tires up to 110 psi, but, like most air pumps, anything over 100 psi requires a bit of work. This pump weights just a little over 7 ounces (205 grams) and will easily attach to your seat tube with the included mounting bracket. The handle on this pump folds out and makes it very easy to grip.
This kit includes a small mini-tool that includes seven Allen keys (2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm), a Phillips screwdriver and a Torx wrench (mainly used for disc brakes). If you are in need of mini-tool with a with a wider selection of tools I would strongly suggest the Serfas ST-17i CO² Inflator / Mini-tool (the best all-round mini-tool I’ve ever seen).
The tire repair kit is rather generic—a lot of companies sell nearly identical kits. This one includes two tire levers, four patches and a small tube of patch glue. There is also a small piece of sandpaper that is used to scruff up the area around the puncture before you apply the glue. The only thing missing here is a small piece of chalk (I don’t know of company that includes it with their tire repair kits, but they should). When you are trying to find the puncture in a deflated tire you first need to partially inflate the tube and then feel your way around the tube until you find the leak—and once you find it a piece of chalk makes it real easy to mark the location (if you don’t mark it well when the tube is inflated it will be very difficult to find once you let the air out).
Also included in this kit is a medium-sized saddle bag (6″ long x 4″ wide x 4.5″ tall). This bag is also expandable—just unzip the bottom zipper and the bag becomes a whopping 6″ tall! Even with the expandable bottom closed there is enough room for the tire repair kit, mini-tool, one MTB tire (or two road tires), your ID and a bit of cash with room to spare. This bag also has a key ring holder inside so won’t risk loosing your car keys every time you open the bag. The bag attaches to your bike with two Velcro straps—one strap goes around the seat post and the other around the rails of your saddle. One more thing: there is a piece of 3M Scotchbrite Reflective Trim all the way around the saddle (something I wish all saddles had).
Serfas CK-1 Combo Kit 1 retails for $40 and is available from the Serfas website or from an authorized Serfas retailer (most bike shops and REI stores).
Regular readers know that I seldom keep the products that are sent to me for review. If you would like a chance to win this Serfas CK-1 Combo Kit 1 then leave a comment below telling me why you need it. The contest ends at midnight (CST) on Friday, July 5, 2013. After the contest closes I will read through the comments and choose a winner based solely on my subjective mood at the time. I won’t respond to the comments left below, but I promise to read and consider every one of them. This contest is for U.S. residents only and only one entry per household allowed. I will send this product to the winner via U.S. Mail at my expense. Good luck!