Riding Essentials for Your Bike
Having a bike properly equipped with the basics should a flat or unforeseen situation occur means many fewer things to think about each time you grab your bike to go on any kind of ride. We'd like to share our list of the best items to include on your bike and where they go for maximum convenience.
Pro Tip: In one of your handlebar ends, store emergency cash and a photocopy of the following: drivers license or ID, race license if you race, a credit card, and a list of important phone numbers. Pop out the end cap, roll up the paper and put it in the end of your handlebar, then re-insert the end cap. No one will know those things are there, but you will have them no matter what the circumstances.
Having a saddle bag helps keep all of the little things together.
There are a variety of sizes of saddle bags. Here are a few images of our favorites, we carry these year-round:
A very little saddle bag holds a lot of stuff. Everything in the photo below fits in the smallest saddle bag with the exception of the pumps.
What are the little things?
- Tire levers
- Folding Multi-Tool - With at least hex sizes 4, 5, 6 and a philips head screw driver. Chain tool is a good addition.
- Patch kit
- CO2 Cartridge and inflator - for a quick fill
- Cats Tongue Towel - Clean your hands perfectly after having to change a flat or touch a greasy chain
A single CO2 cartridge makes a changed flat tire quick to fill and saves time and some hassle. However, once it's gone, it's gone. We highly recommend riding with a pump either instead of the CO2 cartridge or in addition to it. The pumps in the above photo are very high quality and fill a tire to the proper pressure. Many hand pumps are unreliable, have a hard time getting to the proper pressure, or have a high rate of breaking the valve stem. Lezyne pumps are very well built and we have had excellent luck with using them. They utilize a flexible hose that's easy to attach to the valve stem securely.
Lezyne pumps can be easily mounted on the same bolts as the water bottle cage are mounted on so the pump is always there and out of the way, too. The photo of this setup is from one of our customer's bikes that's stayed on the bike for many, many miles. Lezyne pumps come in a variety of colors, sizes, and work for either presta or schraeder valves.
That's all it takes to be able to fix a flat or most any mechanical that will happen on the road.
If you have a saddle bag that you haven't aired out in many months, now is the time to open it up, make sure nothing rubbed a hole in your spare tube, and be sure everything that you think is in there is still there. You may be surprised at what you find or don't find in there!