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Bike Bag Essentials

06 November, 2018

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When you’re out for a ride, you need to be prepared to fix a flat tire, repair a broken chain or tighten a loose bolt. You also need to be prepared with other essentials like a phone, cash, ID, and snacks. A well-chosen tool collection and bike bag will go a long way in helping you be prepared for anything on the road and make your ride more comfortable and carefree. 

For the sake of those riding shorter distances on a commute or recreational ride, we will cover the basics of what to carry in your bags for the journey ahead.

If you’re a novice cyclist, you can start out with just the basics like a repair kit and tools. As you get more advanced you can then add tools gradually as you gain more experience and start planning more adventurous rides. When it comes to preparing for your ride, you should at least know how to do a Pre-Ride Bike Inspection and know some essential Bike Maintenance skills. In the long run, it will save you a lot of time and money.

When determining what essentials to take on a ride, you’ll need a way to carry them. Options include saddle packs, handlebar bags, frame bags, panniers and backpacks. For shorter recreational rides, a small saddle pack that fits a spare tube, patch kit and a multi-tool is probably sufficient. To carry essentials like a phone, ID, keys, cash, or pump, a simple handlebar bag will be enough. On longer rides and commutes, bigger handlebar packs, rack trunks, frame bags, panniers and backpacks that hold your repair kit essentials and leave room for food, clothes and more will come in handy.
Road Runner Saddle Tool Bag

Essential Bike Repair Kit Tools

Spare Tube and Patch Kit
The most common problem cyclists face is a flat tire. Always carry a spare tube and/or a patch kit with you. If your flat tire is caused by a small puncture, you’ll likely be able to use a patch kit to fix it. For large punctures and blowouts, replacing the tube is your best option.

Tire Levers
Tire levers help you pry your tire off the rim of your wheel when you’re fixing a flat. They’re especially helpful when you’re removing a road tire, as opposed to a mountain bike tire, because road tires typically fit very tightly on the rim.

Bike Pump
If you get a flat tire while you’re out on the road, you’ll need a way to inflate the tire after patching or replacing your tube. Always carry a small hand pump or CO2 inflator that will fit in your backpack or mount to your bike frame.  

A multi-tool can handle a surprisingly wide variety of repairs and its versatility makes it a good value. Its small size means it fits easily in an on-bike saddle pack or a backpack. A good multi-tool has the following:

- Variety of Allen wrenches

- Ajustable wrench, or open or hex wrenches (8, 10, 15mm are the most common, but size requirements vary depending on the bike)
- Chain tool
- Phillips screwdriver
- Flathead screwdriver

Essentials To Carry In A Bike Bag
On bike rides, especially road rides, it’s wise to carry some money, snacks or other nutrition, your ID, your insurance card and a cell phone just in case you get in an accident. Money will also come in handy on a mid-ride stop at a store to grab a snack or get a cold drink when your energy is waning.

Some repairs require tools and knowhow that you might not have. If your bike breaks down and you can’t fix it, you’ll be happy to have your cell phone so you can call a friend or family member for a ride home. A smartphone can also be handy for looking at a map or tracking your ride with a cycling app. 

There are lots of bike bags to choose from but I like to use the handlebar bags by PoCampo and RoadRunner. I get durabilty, waterproofing, and plenty of space left using these two.

Shop Bike Bags
Po Campo Kinga Handlebar Bag | Road Runner Burrito Bag

You can learn more about what gear and essentials to carry on a ride here.

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