What to Take With You on The Road Bike

22 Jan

Although spring seems far away as I write this in British Winter with ice on the ground it won’t be long before the roads are clear again.

Over the last few years I’ve put together a set of equipment that I either have on the bike or carry when I am biking. I’ve seen many unprepared people turn up to group rides so thought I would put something together so riders can get their own equipment.

What’s on the bike

  • 2 bottle cages and bottles – I like the Specialized Rib Cages. Bottles tend to be whatever free ones I can lay my hands on.
  • A rear light (always!) – A little one will do. Visibility in case of bad weather.
  • A front light (always!) – A little one will do. Visibility in case of bad weather.
  • Long mudguards (with flaps) – Not just for you, also for the people riding behind you!
  • Small wireless bike computer or GPS device. You can run routes and mapping on some GPS devices. Very useful but don’t rely on it.
  • A saddlebag – I have the small specialized one.
  • Decent tyres – I use Continental GP-4 Seasons in the winter. GP4000s in the summer and Attack/Force for racing. Life is too short for bad rubber. My training bike has lots of clearance even with mudguards so I use 25mm tyres for a bit of comfort. I would run 28mm if I could.

What’s in my saddle bag?

  • Spare Tube
  • CO2 Inflator + 2 x 12g CO2 Canisters – Much faster than pumping a tyre up, especially when in a group.
  • SRAM Chain Quick Link – quickly used to connect a damaged chain
  • 2 x tyre levers – I can get my own tyres off by hand so mainly used for other people
  • Tyre Boot – 10cm piece of tread from an old tyre, used to patch gashes or large slits in tyres.
  • Multi Tool including a chain breaker – if you can’t remove damaged links from a chain you can’t use your Quick Link
  • Very small puncture kit – used in case I run out of tubes or if I puncture on the way to work I can mend the tube in the office.

What’s in my pockets

  • Another spare tube and CO2 canister – You never know!
  • For very long rides a small pump –
  • Phone – So you can get in contact if you run into trouble. Smartphones can be useful for mapping and routing.
  • £10 note and some change
  • A debit/credit card
  • Map! A tiny one with your route on is enough. Your electronics may not work!
  • ID – In case you get knocked off / crash and are unconscious. Include name/emergency number/allegies/blood group
  • Emergency Food (normally 3 gels)
  • Showerproof jacket or Gilet – in case the weather turns on you or you have to stop to deal with a mechanical.

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