Bike Ride Equipment Essentials
Must-Have Gear To Take On Your Bike Ride
What equipment should you take with you on your bike? Every ride is different. Different routes, surfaces, length and duration. No matter how long or short your ride, it pays to be prepared in case of a puncture or mechanical issues.
Here is a list of the essential items to take with you on your bike ride.
Essential Kit For Your Bike Ride
Without air in your tyres, your bike is going nowhere. A mini pump is far more reliable than a CO2 tyre inflator. Only take one canister with you and have two punctures, then you’re stuck. A mini pump can be used as many times as you need to get you home. Your pump will be invaluable and is absolutely essential.
Take two inner tubes with you on your ride. Make sure they are the right size and width for your wheels. Why take two? Double punctures are always a possibility especially if you ride through a patch of hawthorns strewn about in your path. If you are cycling with your children, make sure you also have inner tubes to fit their wheels.
A multi tool will solve many problems and should be near the top of your list of equipment to take with you. What is a multi tool? Looks like a penknife with numerous fitments. All multi tools are slightly different but they will all include a number of hex keys, a screwdriver (usually Phillips and slotted). The best ones come with a chain tool to fix broken chains at the side of the road.
Puncture Repair Kit
A puncture repair kit should include tyre levers, patches, glue (unless self-adhesive), sandpaper. Recommended to add is cotton wool, a crayon, and a small pair of needle-nose pliers. Whether you fix your punctures at the side of the road or simply, replace your inner tube with a new one, a puncture repair kit is still an essential piece of cycling kit to take with you on your rides. You will need tyre levers to remove your tyre. Sandpaper, glue and patches are used to fix punctures. The crayon is to mark where the hole is as it’s easy to lose pinprick holes. Cotton wool will help you find the offending and often elusive thorns or glass stuck in your tyre that caused your puncture. Swipe the inside of the tyre with the cotton wool and it will catch on the cause. Use the pliers to remove the cause of the puncture.
Fix a broken chain in record time with hassle-free quick links. Rejoin your chain, clip together and ride away. Simple, quick and easy.
Take a good bike lock with you to secure your bike for the all important coffee and cake stops at local cafés. The best bike locks are indicated with Sold Secure providing a Gold, Silver or Bronze rating based on how long a lock can withstand an attack.
Stay safe on the road and trails with a bike helmet, especially if riding with inexperienced young ones.
Anything else I should take?
Water. Stay hydrated on your ride. If you are going for a longer ride, food is a good idea to refuel and provide more energy. Fruit or a sandwich is better than sugary snacks.
Where do I put my essential kit?
You’ve got your essential kit together for when out on your ride, but where do you keep it? There are no pockets in cycling shorts!
Depending on your bike, you should be able to fit most of your kit into a saddle bag which sits under your bike saddle.
Saddle bags come in different sizes so when buying for your bike check how much kit you have, if the bag is big enough and will it fit to your saddle. Most saddle bags are generic fitting so the last question shouldn’t be too problematic.
If you are riding a road or cyclocross bike, you should fit everything in your saddle bag. The largest items will be your spare inner tubes which for these bikes are not too large. If you’re rocking a mountain bike, you’ll probably only fit your inner tubes into the saddle bag.
Other bags are available fit your bike such as a frame bag or a top bar bag. The more weight you have however, the harder you have to pedal. The smaller your kit, without missing any essential items, the better. Mini pumps usually come with a bracket that affixes behind your bottle cage.