Necessary Equipment to Carry on Your Bike

Aside from your helmet, shoes, and gloves, which is the most basic cycling equipment, what else should you carry with you when you go out for a ride? We are talking about the most basic items you would need to handle the most common breakdowns or emergencies that could come up while riding.On my first long distance ride I installed a rear rack on my bike and carried a large black bag full of tools, snacks, and other items I thought would be “necessary” for a long ride. I probably had enough tools to do a complete bike overhaul. The bag probably weighed in at about 8 to 10 pounds. I haven’t ridden with that large black bag or the rack since that first ride.

The items listed below (except the tire pump) will easily fit in a small bag mounted under the seat. This list of items should be considered the bare necessities.
  • 2 spare tire tubes - The most common bicycle breakdown is a flat tire. Every cyclist will face this problem sooner or later. The easiest and quickest way to deal with a flat tire is to change the tube with a new spare. 
  • Tire levers - For breaking the bead of the tire. 
  • Frame mounted pump - For inflating tires. You could carry a CO2 inflator in place of the tire pump. Make sure you take at least 2 CO2 cartridges along in case you have more than one flat tire. 
  • Energy bars - When riding you will burn a lot of calories. It is best to have these with you to replenish your energy stores. More than once I have needed these and didn’t have them along. 
  • Multi-tool - Like the Alien II for tightening screws and nuts that come loose and for basic repairs. Worth its weight in gold. One time when riding down a steep hill I applied my brakes and the handlebars started turning in the stem. Luckily I had my multi-tool along to tighten it back up. And yes, it was a very scary ride. 
  • Small first aid kit - For fixing the small cuts and scrapes you may get while riding. 
  • Cell phone - For emergency phone calls. 
The items in this list will probably save you from a long walk home or calling for a ride. If you keep your bike well maintained you shouldn’t have too many breakdowns on the road.

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