In essence the only things you need for a day out on the bike are yourself and the bike, however there are a few items that you should take to cover emergencies. Cycling tools, mobile phone money etc are always useful, but exactly what should you take .
I’m not too bothered about the aesthetics of having or not having a saddle bag so every bike I own has a saddle bag with the same basic cycling tools in it:
- Spare inner tube
- Tyre Levers
- Multi tool
- A couple of thin nitrile gloves – just in case you have to do something grubby.
- Room for my mobile phone.
As I have more than one bike with each having its own different tyre / wheel combinations and tool requirements, I have a saddle bag for each bike with the right spares for that bike.
In addition to the specific saddle bag for each bike I carry a small plastic bag with a selection of cycling tools that can be used on any bike this is usually safely stowed in a rear jersey pocket or if I only have one water bottle, will fit in a water bottle tool holder. This roll contains:
- Mini pump
- Gas pump
- Couple of CO2 gas bottles
- Pen knife
- Small piece of rubber / plastic to patch a split tyre
In addition to the maintenance / repair kit I also never leave without:
- Mobile phone in case of emergencies
- Money for café stop
- Credit / Debit card in case of emergency.
- Identification and emergency contact numbers – I use a dog tag, but there are other options such as wrist bands available.
- Water bottle (filled obviously)
- GPS – for navigation and tracking – (if it’s not on Strava it didn’t happen!)
How you carry some of this is down to personal preference, for things like the Credit Card & Money I use a small metal business card holder, big enough to get a card, a £20 note and a couple of small coins in and doesn’t take up much room. For other things such as GPS and water bottle, placement speaks for itself.
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