Downsizing the spares kit: KOM Cycling Saddle Tool Roll

Carrying your own spares on a bike ride and being self-sufficient in times of trouble is generally a good thing. For years, I’ve resorted to saddle bags of various guises for this purpose. While they work well, I’ve been curious for a long time about more svelte, minimalist ways of doing the same thing. After all, if you don’t pack a saddle bag full, it usually will result in unwelcome rattling.

Tool rolls and “burrito wraps” are one such alternative, and they might just be the leanest way of going about it, short of resorting to your bike’s frame tubes, handlebars, or other such unused spaces. How would they work in practice?

As it happens, I received one as a Christmas gift.


  • Three pockets; large enough to carry a 700C x 40 mm inner tube
  • Construction: Water-resistant PVC coated nylon cloth
  • ATOP ratcheting dial system + elastic Velcro strap
  • Price: $40 (~PhP2000)


One look at this thing and you’ll notice – it’s pretty damn small.

The folks at KOM Cycling don’t pretend that their Saddle Tool Roll is anything but minimalist. Officially, it’s meant to carry one spare tube, a multi-tool, tire levers, CO2 cartridge, and CO2 inflator. Frankly, that loadout is a little too minimalist and just about courting trouble.

I decided to give it a proper test.

What exactly do I carry under my saddle on each ride?

Yeah. That’s quite a lot.
  • A spare master link for 11-speed chains
  • A spare rear derailleur hanger from Wheels Manufacturing
  • A Park Tool VC-1 valve core tool
  • The speed chuck for my Lezyne Micro Floor Drive pump
  • A spare tube, good for 700C x 28-37 mm tires
  • A (rather bulky) Topeak Hexus II multi-tool, with two integrated tire levers
  • Pedro’s Tire Levers x 3
  • A Park Tool GP-2 glueless patch kit
  • Zip ties
  • Some cash and identification
  • Attached to the saddle bag: my Cat Eye Rapid Mini TL-LD635R rear light

I won’t lie: I had doubts on whether this could be a true like-for-like replacement for my saddle bag. Admittedly, I carry quite a bit of kit inside it, and I do lean towards a sort of “pack rat” mentality, trying to be as prepared as I can and not to leave anything to chance. All the same though: would this little black burrito be able to swallow everything here?

Fellow pack rats, rejoice: it’s a yes.

Well, maybe not a 100% yes.

You see, the design limitation of these tool rolls or burrito wraps is that they’re designed to roll. Or fold. Or otherwise smoosh themselves into a more compact form. And that ability is always going to be dependent on what exactly you put in them to begin with, as the act of folding itself will always increase the thickness of the finished form. There’s much more of a “your mileage may vary” factor here compared to using a saddle bag.

Taken from the KOM Cycling Saddle Tool Roll product page.
Taken from the KOM Cycling Saddle Tool Roll product page.

If you believe KOM Cycling’s product page, their Saddle Tool Roll will travel as a relatively flat growth, unobtrusively held fast against your saddle’s rails by the ATOP-dial-adjusted cable. That’s only because they also chose to pack it with some pretty impressively slim contents. I mean, get a load of that multi-tool.

Try as I might, I really had to jettison the orange Pedro’s Tire Levers.

Even then, the finished form resembled a brick sprouting from my saddle. A very compact brick, but a brick all the same.

However, the fact that it was able to swallow everything else – with some careful, considered packing – is pretty damn amazing. You loop the elastic Velcro strap over the whole package so that it keeps its shape.

While outwardly similar to a Boa dial, the ATOP dial and cable system is at the heart of how this thing secures itself to your bike. The loop of cable sprouts from the dial and terminates in a latch, which mates to a hook on the other side. You then run the cable through your saddle’s rails and hook it up to the underside, then crank on the ATOP dial to fasten the whole shebang. It’s a neat arrangement, and KOM Cycling thoughtfully sheathes the cables in the bag’s material so that they don’t cut into the saddle rails over time.

Getting the whole job off requires only that you twist the ATOP dial counter-clockwise about a quarter-turn. This releases all the tension on the cable, and you can then pull latch from hook by hand.

Not everything is hunky-dory, though. One nit I regularly pick with the tool roll design is that the Marie Kondo-approved aesthetic doesn’t lend itself to sparking joy…er, mounting a rear light. If your rear light has a clothes clip, you could probably force it onto the elastic Velcro strap and call it “mounted,” but that’s more like a bodge, with the success rate varying with how you packed the tool roll to begin with. Rather than roll the dice, I’d say better to just mount the rear light somewhere else on the bike.

Also, with the way it’s swallowing all my emergency spares as mentioned, the tool roll doesn’t do a lot about reducing its contact with the back of my thighs while pedaling vs. the old Topeak saddle bag. I’ve since experimented with ditching the third green Pedro’s tire lever (since my Hexus II multitool already has two tire levers on board, albeit less robust), and the whole package has become quite a bit trimmer with less potential for thigh rub. Something to think about, perhaps.

Look closely and you’ll see the sleeve protecting the saddle rails from the tensioned cables. The finer gray material on the sides appears to be a similar form of protection for the tool roll itself.


At the time of writing, there is a crazy surge of COVID19 infections from the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV2 virus, and outdoor rides have not been feasible in 2022. My experiences so far have exclusively been with indoor rides. KOM Cycling has a promising product here, with thoughtful design and passing my pack rat test with considerably more aplomb than I thought. I am particularly curious about how the ATOP cable mechanism stands up to all the vibration of a typical road ride.

Shorn of the built-in rigidity of the Topeak saddle bags I have, I also feel like I should revisit this product when I’ve refreshed my spares-and-tools kit, which I plan to do now that I have a third bike in the fleet to account for. It certainly makes the case for getting a more svelte multi-tool than my long-serving Hexus II. Maybe a Crankbrothers F15? And perhaps pair it with a Tubolito or Schwalbe Aerothan inner tube? The possibilities are interesting, to say the least.


One thought on “Downsizing the spares kit: KOM Cycling Saddle Tool Roll

  1. I have the same saddle 🙂 Good topic, last year I got myself a Topeak Burrito and I really like the compactness, tidiness and practicality of the roll-up saddle bag. That being said, when I’m out for longer rides, I’m increasingly taking my new bar bag which is an interesting alternative for larger things (pump, inner tubes, etc.)


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