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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-23-16, 10:54 PM   #1
twodownzero
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Where do you carry your emergency repair tools, seat bag or rack bag?

So I've been commuting on my disc trucker that I built, and it's absolutely everything I wanted it to be. It's a bit heavy, but it has primarily road components with a mountain crank, fenders, a handbuilt wheels with a dynamo hub and mountain rear hub.

On my road bike, a small seat bag carried a spare tube, tire levers, and CO2. I have been commuting with none of this stuff recently, tempting fate. I plan to carry a frame pump, spare tube, patches, and multi tool for the time being.

I have a small rack bag that I used before when I had a hybrid bike, which I've now sold. It's way bigger than necessary for these items, but not large enough to carry my spare clothes, which I've been carrying in a backpack but I'm probably going to go with some sort of inexpensive pannier for soon to get the backpack off my back when riding.

Bottom line, should I buy a seat bag and put my emergency road repair stuff in it? Or should I just bite the bullet and buy a rear rack, make do with my largeish rack bag, and throw some extra cycling clothes in it? Or should I save that space and just use a seat bag? Or something else? I'm seeking input.

Common sense says to get a seat bag for now, or at least throw a tube and levers in my jersey pocket or backpack. But if I'm going to need at least one pannier soon, I am going to need a rack anyway, and I may not even bother using the seat bag later.

If I do a seat bag, what will fit 2x 26x1.6 tubes + levers and not be too big?
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Old 04-23-16, 11:03 PM   #2
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I use a rack trunk.
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Old 04-23-16, 11:16 PM   #3
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My tool kit lives in my pannier, so that it's always with me.

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Old 04-24-16, 12:19 AM   #4
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Tools in a tool bottle.
Tire repair kit, spare tube, rag, lock chain in seat bag.
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Old 04-24-16, 12:32 AM   #5
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The important thing is to use whatever means that they'll always be with you.

On my faster bike I have a seat bag.
On my commuter I keep them in the trunk bag because I want just 1 bag to remove from the bike - I don't want to leave anything easily stolen on the bike.

It's whatever will always be with the bike.
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Old 04-24-16, 01:03 AM   #6
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All my bikes have their own seat bag. The only reason I would not go this route is if I were worried about theft. (In 40 years I have lost gear from locked bikes a handful of times. I do try to arrange indoor storage if I say work in a high risk area.) The seat bags mean I can tailor the contents for the type of riding I do on that bike and have less to think about when I wheel out the door.

Ben
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Old 04-24-16, 05:12 AM   #7
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Prefer a saddle bag for tools and spare tube, they ride in my slipstream.
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Old 04-24-16, 05:19 AM   #8
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Honestly I would not care 2 spare tubes on a commute. Maybe 1 tube and 1 small patch kit.
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Old 04-24-16, 05:45 AM   #9
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I've been a backpack cyclist ever since I started riding and I have no plans to change how I carry all my stuff. I use a backpack to carry everything.
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Old 04-24-16, 06:50 AM   #10
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I use a small seat pack for spare tube, multi-tool, etc., so that stuff always stays on the bike. Depending on which bike we're talking about, there's also a CO2 inflator in the seat pack and/or a frame pump attached elsewhere. Anything else, like clothes, lunch bag, etc., will go in a trunk and/or panniers on the rear rack. I doubt I'd ever go back to using a backpack while riding. That just got so uncomfortable and sweaty.
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Old 04-24-16, 07:05 AM   #11
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I used to take my panniers on and off for different types of rides, so to have my tools and spare parts in a small saddle pouch was a necessity. I also used to fold up a spare tube in a sock and use a Velcro strap to secure it to the underside of my saddle.

Now I have a trunk rack that converts to panniers, so I keep everything in there and just leave it on the bike all the time.
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Old 04-24-16, 07:13 AM   #12
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I used to keep my repair stuff in a trunk bag, but since I'm not allowed to bring my bicycle inside anymore, I keep everything in a zipper storage bag inside one of my pannier bags. It's a lot easier to carry two bags in and out then it is to carry three.
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Old 04-24-16, 07:30 AM   #13
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When I had only one bike I carried an innertube, patchkit and tools in a saddle bag with a frame pump. However I carry the spoke wrench and plier/multitool in my backpack. When i got the second bike I did the same, and the third bike, but now I wonder if I shouldn't just carry one kit in the backpack. However, even though I keep shoes, a winter coat and jacket at the office, the backpack gets kinda crowded in the winter.
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Old 04-24-16, 08:09 AM   #14
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I keep patch kit, extra tube, tire levers, and a multitool in seat bags on most of our bikes all of the time. I have pumps mounted full time on 5 of our bikes. I keep a spoke wrench in a rear Ortlieb pannier that I use most. I carry more/better bike tools in a pannier when touring or on longer rides. I am the default mechanic on rides and while touring for me, wife, and our 4 kiddos. Oftentimes end up with similar role on group/social rides.

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Old 04-24-16, 12:53 PM   #15
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Undoing a seat pack multiple times is a minor hassle that's major enough for me to not want to deal with it, so I use a peanut butter container. Until I have to use the tube, it's packed tight enough that it doesn't rattle.

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Old 04-24-16, 01:57 PM   #16
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Undoing a seat pack multiple times is a minor hassle that's major enough for me to not want to deal with it, so I use a peanut butter container. Until I have to use the tube, it's packed tight enough that it doesn't rattle.

You're a bit smarter than I am. I do the same thing with a small container Specialized calls a "keg" and it rides in the bottle cage on the underside of my downtube. With all the peanut butter our dog eats I coulda' saved the $12 on the Keg. Multi tool, tube, levers, CO2, patches, etc... all packed too tight to rattle. Easily portable from one bike to another too.


-Kedosto
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Old 04-24-16, 02:19 PM   #17
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2 pockets on the back of my Brompton Front O bag, 1 has a bottle of water in it, the other puncture repair tools..

So, nothing left on the bike, put tools in your pannier(etc) you take off when you lock up the bike @ work.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-12-16 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 04-24-16, 08:25 PM   #18
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I think I'm sold on the seat bag. I have one on my road bike of course and it'd be nice to have one for this bike, too.
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Old 04-24-16, 10:03 PM   #19
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I've got a seat bag and a little pump on every bike. With that said, I like the idea of the plastic jar, especially because you can see at a glance that everything is in there.
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Old 04-24-16, 10:47 PM   #20
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My tool kit lives in my pannier, so that its always with me.
Same.
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Old 04-24-16, 10:59 PM   #21
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I'm about ready for a trunk bag to replace my hodge-podge method. I keep adding stuff for routine rides, as each mechanical or physical problem reminds me I need more stuff.

For now, I use a couple of lens pouches from my old Lowepro camera waist pack for my first aid kit and basic tool/tire patch kit, each Velcro strapped across my handlebar. But I'd rather reserve the Lowepro for holding my camera gear, since the entire waist pack also doubles as a useful handlebar bag. And I like being able to grab my camera gear easily without getting off the bike.

My spare tube is in a ziplock bag stuffed under the saddle -- no special bag needed. My weight squishes the springy padded saddle enough to ensure the tube stays put through bumpy roads and gravel rides.

But I'm about to add a larger multi-tool for the chain and spoke tools, spare links and spokes, etc.

Seems like overkill, but I prefer to be self-sufficient on longer rides and away from the city, and don't like to call friends for favors when the bike breaks down. Saturday I broke a spoke on the rear wheel and just wobble-rode home rather than calling for help. So I plan to add spare spokes and spoke tool, although it wouldn't have helped this weekend since the break was on the cassette side and I'd need to carry a full wheel kit for that repair.
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Old 04-24-16, 11:01 PM   #22
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Undoing a seat pack multiple times is a minor hassle that's major enough for me to not want to deal with it, so I use a peanut butter container. Until I have to use the tube, it's packed tight enough that it doesn't rattle.

Clevvver! I'm gonna do that pronto with my first aid kit. In an emergency I'd like to be able to just point to the bike and ask a helpful bystander to grab the kit. Much easier if it's easily identifiable.
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Old 04-24-16, 11:05 PM   #23
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I'm a back pack guy, too. I carry 4 tubes (2 each for my 2 different-size wheel commuter bikes) pump, multi-tool, plus a change of clothes or whatever else I need for the day. I just sling it on my back and I'm good to go with no worries about changing gear over from one bike or bag to the other. It's just easier for me to remember this way. If I'm going over 50 miles, I might modify my carrying scheme, especially if I am riding my bike that has panniers. I will admit that those rare rides I take with no weight on my shoulders feel like I am flying! Or cheating.
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Old 04-25-16, 06:30 AM   #24
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I carry a few small tools, and two spare inner tubes in the seat bag, along with my jacket which I stuff in there like a parachute. Bike pump strapped onto the frame.
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Old 04-25-16, 08:28 AM   #25
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Saddle bag for me because it is always with me when I ride.
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