This one comes with a caveat, because the best tools in the world won’t help you if you don’t know how to use them. Not every rider wrenches, especially if you’re a beginner. That’s fine. However, if you know that you don’t know what you’re doing, consider riding with a buddy who does. Preferably, one who’s also willing to offer roadside mechanical assistance if something goes wrong.  

If you’re so inclined, you may also want to start learning all you can about the mechanics of your particular bike when you’re not out riding. Everyone starts somewhere, so don’t let anyone shame you when you’re a newbie and figuring stuff out. 

Some people never want to go that deep into their bikes, and if that’s you, make sure you have your phone charged and a credit card handy, because things can and will go wrong. With any luck, it’ll be something you can limp home with and either fix or have someone else fix. With extremely bad luck, it’ll be a snapped drive belt in Volo, Illinois, miles and miles from home, and you’ll have to wait over four hours in the hot sun (with no shade, I might add) for a tow truck. Yes, I am still salty about that one. No, a toolkit wouldn’t have helped in that case, but it will help in a lot of other cases.