Let’s face it. We need to have some basic knowledge on bike repairs while riding. Sometimes we need to fix something not too far from home. Other times, when camping, cargo space can understandably be at a premium. But if you’re planning on taking bikes on your trip, there are some additional items you will want to take along to keep those wheels moving and you happy. The best part, you can fit most of these items in a pocket or saddle bag. All of these items hold their own value and this is in no way a rating system.
Tubes. Ideally, carry at least two tubes that will fit your bike. If your not sure what size tube to get, check the side of your tire. There is a set of letters and numbers on the side of your tire (that look similar to 700c X 32) that you can jot down and take to your local bike shop (LBS) and they can translate it to the perfect size tube.
Multi-tool, preferably one with a chain tool included. Besides flats, nothing sucks more than having something not working right in the middle of the ride. Snapped chains, bottomed out seatsposts, and bent derailleur hangers to name a few. Having a multi-tool means the difference between fixing 90% of the problems that arise, or that bike being a glorified paperweight for the rest of the weekend.
Patch kit. I know, I know… The first thing on my list was tubes, but for how small and cheap these things are, you can’t go wrong with having a Plan B. Being able to whip this sucker out in a pinch to help you or a buddy when no tubes are available makes this worth its weight in gold.
Co2 tire pump and at least 2 cartridges. Alternately there are hand pumps that you can stick to your bike, but if your looking for space saving options, go with the Co2.
Tire levers. These things will make my list somehow every time because they make taking off the tire to get to the tube so, sooooo much easier than just by hand. They come in two flavors, metal and plastic. If I were you, I would invest in a good set of plastic ones from a reputable company that you would find in your local bike shop for example. I have a plastic set from Park Tool (not sponsored, they are just really good). The reason I go with plastic is, it will make it harder to scratch your rim as you’re prying off the tire.
Chain pin. It happens to all of us, you’re riding down a bike trail and suddenly you hear a loud snap and your pedals start moving freely. You look down and your chain is missing. Having a few new chain pins at the ready will get you back up and running in no time.
A few pairs of latex (or latex-free) gloves. If you couldn’t tell by this list, 90% of problems you can have outside of a major crash revolve around touching the drive train some how. Having a clean chain is key to the longevity of your bike, but out on the trail you are guaranteed to have black oily lines on your hands after any of these repairs. Slipping on a pair of gloves before doing any of these repairs will protect your hands from the chemicals and grime that are on the chain.
Having the ability to repair issues while you’re out and about can go a long way to the overall enjoyment of your ride. There are plenty of other things you can bring along to further support yourself, but these 7 things will get you past most of the common issues.
Be looking for a series of videos from me that show you how to do trail side repairs to those common issues.