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We’ve all been there…you’re in a rush to get out the door and on your bike but in your haste you’ve forgotten to check you’ve got all the essentials packed in case you get a mechanical miles from home.

It’s a frustrating experience if you’re riding alone and can also be a little embarrassing if you’re with friends and need to borrow their kit to get you going again. 

That’s why we thought it would help to have a little checklist to help you put together all the essentials that can be packed away in your saddle bag or stuffed in the back of your cycle jersey. We’re not talking the kitchen sink here but enough bits of kit not to let a mechanical ruin your ride.

Tyre Levers

When you’re trying to get you tyre off, and on again, then tyre levers are an essential and lightweight bit of kit. Some purists will argue that they can cause a pinch to the inner tube when putting the tyre back on but if you’re patient then this can usually be avoided. Usually they come in pairs or packs of three as you’ll need this many to help remove the tyre in the first place, especially if a stiffer, new one.

Pump

Bike pumps come in all shapes and sizes and if they don’t fit in your bike bag then simply slip it in your back pocket or attach it to the side of your bottle cage. They don’t have to weigh much either, as we know cyclists like to limit the weight they’re carrying. Just be sure to check if the pump is Schrader or Presta inner tube valve compatible before you head out.

Puncture Repair Kit

If you don’t want to completely replace your punctured inner tube then you can instead apply a patch from your repair kit. You can get a small kit which includes tyre levers, puncture repair patches, glue and sandpaper – that’s all you need. These small kits can also be used to make repairs when you get home and have a bit more time on your hands.

Inner Tube

Never leave home without one, or two, unless you fancy getting stranded roadside and having to rely on your friends or a pick up. We could go into a whole lot more detail about how to fix a puncture and it’s a skill worth practicing at home so it’s easier to fix out on the road. Inner tubes can also be used on tubeless tyres to help get you home.

Multi Tool

Any loose or wobbly parts on your bike are not only annoying but also potentially dangerous. A quick check of your bike before heading out should be enough but if you’re riding over rough surfaces then things can still loosen up during your ride. Pick a multi-tool that includes the correct size Allen keys and any other special tools unique to your bike

CO2 Cartridges

Faster and easier to inflate with than a standard pump, particularly if you’re after above 90 psi, CO2 cartridges/canisters are an open. Worth carrying a pair as there is the risk of not attaching to the nozzle correctly and losing all the air instead of it going into the inner tube. Remember to also dispose of them correctly and not just leave used ones laying on the roadside.

Bike Lock

If you’re planning on a coffee stop then it might be worth carrying a small and lightweight bike lock, especially if riding alone. While not 100% secure, it’s certainly a deterrent and will make any would-be bike thieves think twice.

Quick Link

Like it or not, broken chains do happen but that doesn’t mean it has to ruin your ride. By packing a quick link this will snap back together your broken pieces so you don’t have to call it a day on cycle. Like with repairing punctures, it’s worth getting some practice in doing this sort of fix so that if the time comes on the road then there’s no need to panic.

Spare cash

Believe it or not, not everywhere has Wi-Fi, phone signal or contact payments available. Crazy we know!! Just carrying a bit of change could help get you out of a sticky situation or if there’s an emergency.

Emergency contact details

Storing your emergency contact details inside your bike bag or somewhere obvious on your bike won’t slow you down or hinder your ride but could be a life saver. If you’ve got the space then first aid essentials could also be carried and include small things such as plasters or anti-septic wipes.

Cable Ties

If something comes loose or breaks, such as spoke or bottle cage, then cable ties can come to the rescue. They won’t take up any space but should be able to help get your home where proper repairs can take place.

Gloves / Cleaning Wipes

No one likes dirty, greasy hands, especially when you’re covered in dirt that’s then transferred to your handle bars, bike bottles, jersey – in fact anything you touch. Avoid this by packing some thin surgical gloves or wet wipes and dirty hands will be one less thing to worry about. Just make sure you dispose of them correctly.

Toothpaste tube / energy gel wrapper

Hole or slash in your tyre? No problem as these are great for lining the inside of your tyre to help get you home. No toothbrush required and just remember to consume the energy gel first. We’d recommend cutting small pieces up in advance as without scissors it’s virtually impossible to rip these, hence why they’re so practical.

 

So there you have it and that’s all the basics we’d have packed for any cycling adventure. Have we forgotten anything and do you have any recommendations about your cycling essentials? If you're looking for a bike bag / saddle bag to put all your essentials bits of kit in then we're also great a great collection of these to choose from.