Ask RIDE…What spares do you carry on a long ride?
Apart from my bike and cycling kit, what do I need to take on a long ride? What spares should I carry?
The amount of spares, food, money and accessories necessary will depend on the length and duration of a intended ride and also whether you are travelling in a group or solo. Carrying pretty much the same spares regardless of the type of ride means you don’t have to worry about not having a spare tube or tool to carry out small repairs. The only difference is the amount of food, which is dictated by the length of the ride in time. Here is a must have list which can fit inside a medium size saddle bag or alternatively bidon pod (get as much of it in as possible):
- 2 x tubes – Purchase the correct stem length valve and if they live in a saddle bag then check the condition regularly to make sure they have not deteriorated. Two is a good number so one puncture doesn’t mean riding on a knife edge for the remainder. Purchasing a couple of super light tubes will make fitting all of this gear much easier.
- 2 x Co2 cartridges with inflator head – Carry a mini pump as an alternative but if you are riding with a few others they may become agitated when it takes 15 extra minutes simply to inflate the new tube. Use a frame mounted pump and carry it as a back if necessary.
- 1 x tyre lever – Pick something strong so only one is required and won’t snap when removing tight tyres. Soma produce a lever called Steel Core which is one of the toughest available.
- 1 x glueless patch kit – tubes of glue are too big and besides these should be used for repairing the tyre and not the tube.
- 1 x chain breaker and quick link – Flat tyres can be ridden but a broken chain transforms the bike into a scooter. If you don’t know how to use one then ask someone to show you and practice for a confident repair job.
- 1 x small multi tool – It might be hard to squeeze in so carry in a jersey pocket.
Jersey pockets are reserved for phone, credit card and cash, house keys and any food.
Alex Malone is Technical Editor and staff writer for RIDE Cycling Review.