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  1. #1
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Carrying too much or being prepared?

    Some of my riding friends have started a running joke about how much I carry. After listing stuff I do carry, they moved on to stuff I actually don't, then to the absurd: a bowling ball.

    Yesterday morning I was riding with one of these guys and my chain broke. He thought I'd have to take the bus home. Nope. I carry a chain tool and master link (SRAM chain) and was back on the road, with dirtier hands, before long.

    Most people would carry a tool kit like mine on a tour, but I tend to carry it all the time. I've been known to carry a spare tire on my LHT at all times, although I stopped doing that recently.

    I'm considering getting a used bowling ball (a lighter one!) to put in my pannier for my next ride with these jokers.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member RunningPirate's Avatar
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    You might want to add a pair or two of disposable nitrile gloves to your kit - helps with the dirty hands problem you mentioned...
    There's nothing for you to see here...just move along, now...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunningPirate View Post
    You might want to add a pair or two of disposable nitrile gloves to your kit - helps with the dirty hands problem you mentioned...
    Not to mention a few wet wipes.

    And yeah, I fall into the "hyper prepared" category as well. During a ride not too far back I had a brake cable fail on me (luckily, I wasn't going very fast at the time and was able to stop using the front brake without any problem). I pulled out my spare and my multi-tool, and was rolling again after a bit of road side maintenance. Made sure I stopped by the bike shop on the way home for a new spare.
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    better to have too much then not enough. But, If i were you, and I were riding somewhere there is public transportation or other means to get home, i wouldnt carry anything. I would carry all that stuff only when you are isolated. Thats just me though

  5. #5
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    I carry a chain too too, it's in my multi tool. Only had to use it once and it worked great. Only you can determine what is excessive based on your surroundings. Way to be prepared

    BTW: these people who tease you about having too much stuff will be the first ones to beg you for a spare tube, patch kit, or to let them use your frame pump when their last CO2 cartridge is a dud.

  6. #6
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunningPirate View Post
    You might want to add a pair or two of disposable nitrile gloves to your kit - helps with the dirty hands problem you mentioned...
    I actually do carry those. They are a little small, and with the heat and humidity I was too "sticky" to manage to get them on. I need to find a bigger size.

    I should buy some wet wipes. That's a new one.
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  7. #7
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    BTW: these people who tease you about having too much stuff will be the first ones to beg you for a spare tube, patch kit, or to let them use your frame pump when their last CO2 cartridge is a dud.
    Been there, done that. My road morph pump has been used more on other's bikes than my own. I've also fixed a flat on my buddies bike. He was carrying nothing, and he knows better.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
    Yesterday morning I was riding with one of these guys and my chain broke. He thought I'd have to take the bus home. Nope. I carry a chain tool and master link (SRAM chain) and was back on the road, with dirtier hands, before long.
    A repair kit like that, and you don't have latex gloves...?
    Don't believe everything you think.

  9. #9
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    I have a chain tool, about 4" of chain and a couple master links in my repair kit.
    Riding a singlespeed there's less for me to worry about breaking, but there's also more in a way. On a multi-speed you can shorten a chain around a single gear if your derailleur breaks. On a single, if you bust a chain, you're s.o.l. if you don't have the means to fix it; so I aways keep my repair bits at hand.

    On my brevet bike for a long course, I'll have more than most people will ever carry (unless they're also doing unsupported ultras). Fiber-fix spokes, a brake and a shift cable, spare cleat and bolts, zip ties, duct tape, electrical wire and twist-cap junctions (for lighting repairs). The list goes on. It's pretty crazy.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    Close to my house, where I do the majority of my rides, I carry the bare minimum. Tube. Tubes if my girl(s) are riding with me. CO2. One tire tool. 2 allen wrenches. If i can't fix the bike with that, I use my most useful tool.........THE CELL PHONE
    If I am going to be a long way from help, I carry more stuff.
    But the best tool to carry is a cell phone.

    Now, on my dirt bike it was another story. I carried all sorts of stuff. Then again, another 5-10 lbs of stuff didn't detract from the experience. For a bike, it is not my idea of fun to carry a lot of weight especially positioned high on the bike. But then again I do not ride far from my house nor....out of cell phone range.
    Last edited by bigbadwullf; 07-18-11 at 02:11 PM.

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  11. #11
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    I carry a chain tool also. Had to use it a couple times on my recumbent when I noticed links that were about to fail (this was just after purchasing it used). I replaced the chain after that.

    I also carry 2 spare tubes, small vice-grip pliers, and a couple different multi-tools. I carry a pump, not CO2 cartridges, plus tire levers. To carry all this on my road bike I have a large seat bag. I really don't care if the lycra-clad superheroes think I'm a fred. Self-sufficiency is more important to me than looking "cool" or saving weight.


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  12. #12
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbadwullf View Post
    Close to my house, where I do the majority of my rides, I carry the bare minimum. Tube. Tubes if my girl(s) are riding with me. CO2. One tire tool. 2 allen wrenches. If i can't fix the bike with that, I use my most useful tool.........THE CELL PHONE
    If I am going to be a long way from help, I carry more stuff.
    But the best tool to carry is a cell phone.
    Some of us don't have the luxury of knowing people who are willing to take time out of their day to help a cyclist in need. I know for a fact that everyone I know would be genuinely annoyed if I try to ask their help. "What in the hell were you doing biking 60 miles anyway?". "I told you it was a bad idea to bike to work", etc.

    Glad you have cycling-friendly friends. Some of us don't.

  13. #13
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
    Some of my riding friends have started a running joke about how much I carry. After listing stuff I do carry, they moved on to stuff I actually don't, then to the absurd: a bowling ball.

    Yesterday morning I was riding with one of these guys and my chain broke. He thought I'd have to take the bus home. Nope. I carry a chain tool and master link (SRAM chain) and was back on the road, with dirtier hands, before long.

    Most people would carry a tool kit like mine on a tour, but I tend to carry it all the time. I've been known to carry a spare tire on my LHT at all times, although I stopped doing that recently.

    I'm considering getting a used bowling ball (a lighter one!) to put in my pannier for my next ride with these jokers.
    simply tell those that poke fun at what you carry this........ You can't use what you don't have.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member 1oddmanout's Avatar
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    I always have an air pump on every bike that I ride, and a handlebar bag with tire change kit, multi-tool, various wrenches, a spare t-shirt, and an medical kit. On lots of my rides, I fix other bicyclists' rides broken on the side of the road. Last weekend, on our group ride, one rider fell down and scraped herself pretty badly (one would require stitches). Not being near a paved road, with my trusty medical kit, we patched her up enough to get somewhere we could call a taxi to get her to an urgent care. The handlebar bag is a small item to carry, but has been indispensable.
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  15. #15
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    Some of us don't have the luxury of knowing people who are willing to take time out of their day to help a cyclist in need. I know for a fact that everyone I know would be genuinely annoyed if I try to ask their help. "What in the hell were you doing biking 60 miles anyway?". "I told you it was a bad idea to bike to work", etc.

    Glad you have cycling-friendly friends. Some of us don't.
    True. My wife travels a lot and is often hundreds, or even thousands of miles away. She spent six months in Alaska (and all I got was a dumb t-shirt). Also, my marriage is ending (don't be sad, I'm not) and I'll be living alone again.

    I have no family in the area other than my car-free daughter. I have a few friends, but it makes me uncomfortable to ask for help. I did call a friend when I had an destroyed tire. This was before I moved into town and had the option of the bus. I now have a spare tire (folding) for the longer rides.
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  16. #16
    a.k.a., Point Five Dude Surrealdeal's Avatar
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    That's the beauty of being a Clyde. Once you've lost 20# you can pretty much justify carrying whatever you please.
    Fat is sweat, on the wrong side of your skin.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealdeal View Post
    That's the beauty of being a Clyde. Once you've lost 20# you can pretty much justify carrying whatever you please.
    I've lost 96...

    can I carry 4 spare bikes?


    Fun fact, Victor Fontan had to do this in the 1929 Tour de France:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1929_To...e#Race_details
    In the tenth stage, after only seven kilometers Fontan broke his fork. Some sources say he hit a dog, others say he fell in a gutter. He is said to have knocked on every door of a small town before he found a replacement bicycle. According to the rules, he had to finish the race with the bicycle he started with, so he strapped the broken bicycle to his back, and rode for 145km through the Pyrénées with a broken bicycle on his back, before he finally gave up.

    Definition of HTFU right there, folks.

  18. #18
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    I've been thinking about this recently, and started considering "hiding" little cycling geocaches around on the main trails. Not with any expensive stuff, but just some basics that people don't always carry. Need to see if any bike shops will balls up and make a branded one or something; it would be a great way to gain new customers.

    But that aside, I carry far too much on my longer rides and next to nothing except a multitool on shorter rides or close circuits.

  19. #19
    Senior Member snowman40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc_ View Post
    Not to mention a few wet wipes.

    And yeah, I fall into the "hyper prepared" category as well. During a ride not too far back I had a brake cable fail on me (luckily, I wasn't going very fast at the time and was able to stop using the front brake without any problem). I pulled out my spare and my multi-tool, and was rolling again after a bit of road side maintenance. Made sure I stopped by the bike shop on the way home for a new spare.
    Up and Up baby wipes work best. My soon to be 2 year old is fascinated with the chains and pedals on my bikes....
    Quote Originally Posted by snowman40
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    Quote Originally Posted by abstractform20 View Post
    farts are greatly appreciated as long as the other riders are talented and experienced. at the precise moment of release, a vacuum is formed. this is the optimal time for the rider behind you to get as aero as possible and "ride the brown rhino". his face should be within 2-3mm of the anus to receive maximum benefit (reduced drag...duh, its in a vacuum). i have hit speeds of over 53mph in such conditions.

  20. #20
    Senior Member jmeissner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman40 View Post
    Up and Up baby wipes work best. My soon to be 2 year old is fascinated with the chains and pedals on my bikes....
    Mine too and I am amazed at how well baby wipes work to clean them up.
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  21. #21
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    What you carry should depend upon a few outside issues; how far from home base do you ride and how able are you to call and get a ride (with the bike) if you have a mechanical problem.

    Like you I carry a fairly complete kit of tools/materials; however, I ride further from the house than I am comfortable walking in a reasonable time and I don't really have anyone I would call who could pick me up... Therefore I expect I will have to self-rescue.

    If one or the other of those two reasons are different (for instance my "utility" bike which is only used for shorter rides) then I don't even carry a patch kit and pump.

  22. #22
    a.k.a., Point Five Dude Surrealdeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    I've lost 96...

    can I carry 4 spare bikes?
    Why not? If you can figure out how to do it then I say go for it. Maybe a modified trailer?

    I ride a 1987 Trek 400, with a lugged steel frame. The whole thing is 24# stark naked in the rain. BUT, I also have a HB bag for whatnot, a saddle wedge for tools and a rear rack. In commuter mode the rear rack carries two small panniers containing my clothing and lunch. Depending on the plans for the day there could also be a U-lock tossed in there but that is the exception rather than the rule.

    With all that stuff on there I don't even want to know what the whole thing weighs. I am unwilling to change my lifestyle to reduce the weight of my bike. Therefore if I want less weight on my ride the answer is to reduce the size of the rider.

    Quote Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
    What you carry should depend upon a few outside issues; how far from home base do you ride and how able are you to call and get a ride (with the bike) if you have a mechanical problem.
    BTW, regarding tools and being prepared it would have come in handy yesterday to have my freewheel tool, a wrench and some spokes with me:

    I did not have these things and thus had to call my wife for a rescue.
    Last edited by Surrealdeal; 07-19-11 at 01:19 PM.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    I get made fun of too. Here is what I carry on road rides:

    • Two spare tubes (add two 26x2+ when commuting and I have my trunk-bag)
    • The tubes are in empty plastic bags, that make the tubes more slippery and easy to pack, and the bags can be used for lots of things (to carry stuff, emergency rain gear for our head, etc.)
    • Small Patch Kit (4-6 patches, glue, sandpaper, and 2 tire boots)
    • Multi-tool with chain tool and tire-levers (topeak mini-hex 16 has tire levers in the handle).
    • CO2 pump and cartridges
    • Frame pump (roadmorphs ROCK)
    • A presta-to-shrader valve adapter (yes, I've had both the air cartridge and the frame pump fail the same day)
    • 3-feet of duct-tape folded into a flat square (good for first aid too)
    • small first aid kit (a couple small bandaids, 2-3 knuckle bandages, gauze, and sterile wipes)
    • A pair of velcro reflective ankle bracelets (hang on zipper-pulls, and are handy for repairs too).
    • A small packet of facial tissues (lots of uses)


    I've found ways to save lots of space by arranging most small and flexible items into a flat shape, that I place in ziplock bags, and arrange like pages in a book in my medium-sized seat bag.

    I carry more when I have my trunk bag. Reading what you guys have, I now want to add some chain bits, spare cable, and maybe a spoke or three...

    Last edited by Pinyon; 07-19-11 at 04:32 PM.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
    Like you I carry a fairly complete kit of tools/materials; however, I ride further from the house than I am comfortable walking in a reasonable time and I don't really have anyone I would call who could pick me up... Therefore I expect I will have to self-rescue.
    Exactly. I learned my lesson the hard way... twice. First time I wasn't carrying a wrench and my rear flatted. Forgot the rear didn't have a quick release (note to self: CHECK BEFORE MAKING THAT ASSUMPTION!). Had everything else but the wrench... had to walk 10 miles home, which was not fun.

    Second time my derailleur broke 20 miles from home, wasn't carrying a screwdriver or allen wrench to attempt to readjust it to get it working somewhat. When I was able to walk again, I went to a bike store and picked up a rack and panniers, and every single tool I would reasonably need. Only thing I'm still missing is extra chain links, but I have a chain tool so it shouldn't be too hard to just set the chain on a smaller ring.

  25. #25
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinyon View Post
    I get made fun of too. Here is what I carry on road rides:

    • Two spare tubes (add two 26x2+ when commuting and I have my trunk-bag)
    • The tubes are in empty plastic bags, that make the tubes more slippery and easy to pack, and the bags can be used for lots of things (to carry stuff, emergency rain gear for our head, etc.)
    • Small Patch Kit (4-6 patches, glue, sandpaper, and 2 tire boots)
    • Multi-tool with chain tool and tire-levers (topeak mini-hex 16 has tire levers in the handle).
    • CO2 pump and cartridges
    • Frame pump (roadmorphs ROCK)
    • A presta-to-shrader valve adapter (yes, I've had both the air cartridge and the frame pump fail the same day)
    • 3-feet of duct-tape folded into a flat square (good for first aid too)
    • small first aid kit (a couple small bandaids, 2-3 knuckle bandages, gauze, and sterile wipes)
    • A pair of velcro reflective ankle bracelets (hang on zipper-pulls, and are handy for repairs too).
    • A small packet of facial tissues (lots of uses)


    I've found ways to save lots of space by arranging most small and flexible items into a flat shape, that I place in ziplock bags, and arrange like pages in a book in my medium-sized seat bag.

    I carry more when I have my trunk bag. Reading what you guys have, I now want to add some chain bits, spare cable, and maybe a spoke or three...

    Holy Crap! WTF is up with the green text?

    Really lame.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

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