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  1. #1
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    What to carry on rides.

    I ride my bike over various distances and it does not matter what distance you do- you do need to carry a few spares. Mainly to appease the flat fairy but I carry a pump on the bike and a small saddlebag- called a wedge- under the saddle. In that wedge will be 2 x tyre levers- a spare tube- a puncture repair kit and a Multitool. Then other than a Water bottle and carrier there is nothing extra on the bike. Admittedly for longer rides I put a larger bag on to carry an extra tube and some food but that is it.

    I always dress for the "Expected" weather and I may wish to carry an extra coat of some kind- or take a layer off- but my final topcoat will be lightweight and pack into a small package that can be carried round the waist in it's own bag or stuff into a jersey pocket. Last weekend I did a 100 mile ride and I was surprised at the number of riders with panniers or large backpacks to carry their extra stuff in. No idea what was in them but I feel that carrying all that extra weight is a waste of energy. I have enough problems propelling myself up the hills let alone a lot of surplus weight that I do not need.

    Below is a picture of my bike as on the ride at the weekend and the only extras on the bike are the lights. It has the large saddle bag on it and this will do me for 100 mile rides. I will admit that I also had on a 2 litre Camelback and in the small pocket I had my phone and wallet. My jersey pockets had some food and the camera and that was it. I finished up wearing the Pertex top right from the start and that was why there were not many pics on the ride as I could not reach the camera with ease but that would have been in the pocket if not used.



    I do realise that some of us will ride in remote places and may have to carry a few extras for safety reasons. I also ride a Tandem offroad and there will be extra for that like a spare folding tyre- a spare chain and chain tool and possibly instead of the Multitool I will carry proper tools but that is because the Tandem breaks things easily and on our long rides we always had a back up vehicle carrying spare wheels and extra chain and tools but that is because you can't pick up Tandem spares at the normal Bike shops or repair stations on rides.

    So what do you carry on rides? or am I just taking a chance by wanting to be a lightweight on my rides?
    Last edited by stapfam; 05-29-12 at 03:11 AM.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member jmccain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post

    So what do you carry on rides?
    I take almost exactly what you describe. I do use 2 or 3 water bottles. With decades of riding, I can't say I've regretted not carrying more.

  3. #3
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    I carry a 28oz water bottle about half full unless it's hot and the ride is more than 20mi. There is a Topeak Dual G w/guage alongside it. In the seatbag there is a fresh tube/patchkit/levers, allen wrench for seat and bar adjustment, 4pks of Scooby-snacks and sugar packs for emergency (type 1), Ibuprophen, spare AAA's for Garmin Gecko and 6 dollar bills. That's about it.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  4. #4
    Oh! That British Bloke .. ThatBritBloke's Avatar
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    As well as a wedge-type bag I carry a phone, a bit of money, a rear blinky, and a Garmin on the handle-bars.

    More here ...

    bag01b.jpg

    Oh ... plus water-bottles ...
    Alan

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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Exactly what you describe except I add an extra tube, full tube repair kit, and 3-4 bottles of extra water along with food in a backpack if I intend to go any further than 80km on one ride.

  6. #6
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    1 CO2 cartridge, 1 quik stik, folding hex wrench set, innertube, phone (in jersey pocket), 2 standard water bottles.

  7. #7
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Less than 2 hours, cool weather: 1 water bottle, tube, tire irons, pump, phone, ID
    Less than 2 hours, warm weather: 2 water bottles, tube, tire irons, pump, phone, ID

    2-4 hours, cool weather: 2 water bottles, tube, tire irons, pump, phone, ID, Energy Bar
    2-4 hours hours, warm weather: 2 water bottles, tube, tire irons, pump, phone, ID, Energy Bar, stop for water at halfway point

    4-7 hours, cool weather: 2 water bottles, tube, tire irons, pump, phone, ID, snack food, banana, Endurolyte tablets, stop for water twice.
    4-7 hours hours, warm weather: 4 water bottles with two mounted on a seatpost carrier, tube, tire irons, pump, phone, ID, snack food, banana, Endurolyte tablets, stop for water twice. I also carry Hammer HEED and Sustained Energy in powder form to be mixed while on the route.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 05-30-12 at 12:27 AM.
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  8. #8
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Almost the same spares as you have Doug. The folding spare tire and chain tool are in for longer rides. I am adding some SRAM snap together master chain links to my day bag this week, just need to make time to pick them up. Food wise I want some jells or Gu blocks along with a Clif granola bar or two. Things that get me home and keep me safe from bonking. You probably do this but I don't leave the house without a cellular phone in my jersey pocket along with a bit of cash (pie and coffee, you know!) For a century or longer I'd want to do a specific list just for the ride and its terrain.

    Bill
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Me too, Stap. I've frequently been amazed at how much stuff some posters claim that they carry on every ride. I prefer to do my maintanance at home so basically just carry a light heart and enough stuff to fix 1 flat tire. I've got a couple of jackets in various weights that I sometimes carry if I'm anticipating rain or colder weather.

    I'm typing this from home so I've obviously always managed to get back - I do take my wallet and cell phone.

  10. #10
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    Where & what type or riding you are riding makes a big difference on what to carry, if I'm going to be near towns / railway stations I can carry a lot less than if out in desolate places.

    Club ride or local loop say upto 150km round trip from just fluids, an energy bar(s), Banana, tubes (x2) puncture repair / pump and credit card / money will do.

    If your doing supported rides like the BHF ones, they are normally support on route in casy you have a mechnical, and have feed stops, if you are Audaxing / riding on your own, then you need to be self sufficent, and carry what you need, have found it better to carry more than needed is perferable than to being stuck miles from nowhere with a broken bike or out of food.

    Was on an Audax on Sunday in the North Yorkshire Dales, 200km with very little civilization, and carried a pannier with plenty of food, spares and water. Yes this was a lot of weight to carry up hills, but I used all the water during the ride, and was able to re-supply another rider who had run out miles from any shops. That same rider had a flat, and was only carrying one spare tube , and had poor condition tires, I had spares for all this if needed, but as Retro Grouch, you should be doing your maintiance at home, and I considered this riders bike poorly prepared.

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Extended rides like 200Km Audax do require that little bit extra in the way of spares but if the bike is prepared before the ride it is only the unusual that will stop you. I would take a spare folding tyre on rides over 150 miles- I would take a spare chain and tool and definitely extra food. But it would be on a light pannier rack with just a top bag. Not the fully loaded full size pannier bags that are often seen on the organised rides.

    And on tyres-I check them before long rides and this one included. The front was replaced last year and had about 1,000 miles on it and I put a new rear on about a month ago as it was getting thin. I would not fit a new tyre the night before a ride or do any major repairs or parts replacement without getting a couple of rides on the bike before a big ride. New parts can fail quicker than an old well proven item.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  12. #12
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    My under saddle kit includes a small multi-tool, one spare tube, one tire lever, one tube patch kit, an old driver's license, and $20. Any food goes in jersey pockets. A CO2 inflator also goes in the jersey pocket. Depending on the weather I might also add a lightweight vest or wind shell tightly rolled and stuffed in the jersey pocket. Last, but not least, my cell phone is in plastic wrap and in the jersey pocket.

    All extended rides are either supported or planned so that any additional food can be acquired along the route.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    just carry a light heart and enough stuff to fix 1 flat tire. I do take my wallet and cell phone.
    Me too - in addition to the light heart I try to carry a jaunty demeanour, but sometimes fail. Lucozade tabs and a powerbar - will get a bonking T1 to a coldstore (like a little 7-11) on this small island. 750 ml bottle is fine for usual rides.

    Apart from enough to fix a flat - tube, levers, mini-pump - I don't worry much about breakdown kit. Every third vehicle is a friendly, glad to help pickup. Many good things about this island. A few dinars for replenishing supplies and thanking pickup drivers if needed - only twice in 7 years, and that was companions, not me!

  14. #14
    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    Most times I ride near home. Nothing but a spare tube and CO2 and a cell phone. On rides away from home I ramp it up a bit. On an organized Century it's actually back to just the basics.

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  15. #15
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    I prefer to be as independent as possible on rides so carry what I consider necessary for ordinary mechanical issues. I have noticed on the cycling journals on Crazy Guy On a Bike that even heavy loaded touring bikes have no trouble doing continuous 70 mile days and even century days now and again at lower speeds. It seems that very light weight is mostly a requirement for higher speed tours. I don't mind carrying a bit of weight to deal with common, even if rare, problems.

    The under seat wedge has flat, (puncture), repair supplies; patch kit, tire irons and two tubes. Also in the wedge is a foil wrapped towelette to clean greasy hands and a small amount of first aid supplies wrapped in a sandwich bag. I prefer a frame pump to co2 cartridges. During cold months I mount a rear rack and trunk bag to hold extra layers and a folding tire. In the summer months I use a cheap but very light bag lashed to the handlebar for rain gear when needed and the folding tire and anything else, such as a sandwich. In very hot summer weather for 50 miles or more, two water bottles on the bike and one in a jersey pocket. I was surprised that a water bottle in a jersey pocket did not cause any discomfort.

    In general, summer supplies, less water, amount to 2 to 3 pounds, say a kg or so. Colder months see about twice that load. The largest weight is the gain to myself since I retired.

  16. #16
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Minimum:
    tire irons
    spare tube
    frame pump
    largish water bottle (or two medium bottles, depending on the bike)
    wallet
    cell phone
    food!!!
    my everyday glasses (not that I'm blind without them, but I usually ride with non-progressive sunglasses)

    My older solo bikes have lightweight handlebar bags. On the newer builds I've been going more minimalist.

    However the tandem carries panniers. If we can't stop and have a nice picnic, what's the point?
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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  17. #17
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    - In my wedge: 2 tubes; 2 tire levers, small multi-tool
    - On the bike: mini-pump; 1 or 2 bottles (depends on temp outside)
    - On me: Clif Bar; cell phone
    I also dress according to the weather; however, if heavy rain is expected before my return, and temps are a little cool, I may stuff a shell in my back pocket.

  18. #18
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    All my bikes have a saddlebag on them containing two tubes, two tire levers, and one multitool...so since I never remove the saddlebags, that's at the minimum what I always bring on every ride. I could be going around the block and I'll have two tubes, two tire levers, and one multitool with me.

    In addition to that, I always (unless I'm just going around the block) have at least one 24oz water bottle, plus a cell phone, driver's license, insurance card, credit card, and $20 cash in my pocket.


    [edit: All my bikes also have a mini-pump attached to their frame also.]
    Last edited by Bob Ross; 05-29-12 at 03:57 PM.

  19. #19
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Obviously it varies depending on the nature of the ride. Tube(s), levers, multi tool, frame pump, water are my minimum. I always carry a spoke key, too, because it weighs nothing and takes virtually no space, and on the road bikes I have a spare derailleur hanger in there. Again, tiny, and I broke one once.

    I'm currently on a thousand-mile tour and in addition to the above I have a chain tool, a few spare links and some spare spokes. Plus clothes and stuff, of course.

    I'm surprised to see people carrying tyres. I have never had a tyre fail so catastrophically that I couldn't boot it well enough to get home, or to a big town. So I have never bothered with a spare, even on the longest tour. For an expedition in really remote territory, fair enough.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  20. #20
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    About that Tandem

    This is what we carry on all rides



    Reason for this is that the Tandem breaks things. Tyres can get sidewall damage very easily so spare folder. Two tubes and that is "At least two Tubes" The multittols is probably surplus as we carry enough "Proper" tools to repair the bike and it all fits in a top bag on a seat post mounted rack.

    The four allen keys are the only ones we use on the bike and an adjustable is good enough for the few nuts that might come loose. This is an offroad Tandem and everything is built to take punishment. Never had to true a wheel on a ride but have had spokes loosen after a fierce downhill. And the two bottles just below the Chain lube are a GTN spray and Asthma spray. We are both on medication and these are "Just in case" for our problems. One thing we should have in the bag is a first aid kit but that is in its own bag with a red cross on it attached to the frame. Then there are the usual attachments on the bike of Water bottles and Pump. All up weight of the Tandem is 400lbs so that is probably why we brake things so easily.
    Last edited by stapfam; 05-29-12 at 03:43 PM.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    I'm surprised to see people carrying tyres. I have never had a tyre fail so catastrophically that I couldn't boot it well enough to get home, or to a big town. So I have never bothered with a spare, even on the longest tour. For an expedition in really remote territory, fair enough.
    I carry a spare tire, somtimes when it's cold & wet it's just easier to swap the tire as well as the inner tube, and find out what caused the flat later.

  22. #22
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    It takes all kinds I guess. I carry flat protection - a spare tube, patch kit (in case of two flats), pump, and tire irons. I carry a multi-tool for emergencies and adjustments. I carry a couple of zipties and a spare rack bolt.

    I'm diabetic so I carry my test kit, a couple of sugar free energy bars, some sucrose tablets, and a sandwich.

    I bring a book if I ride alone, for lunch stops, rest stops, etc.

    Sometimes I'll carry an extra shirt if it's cold. I hate to be cold when I ride.

    I bring two full water bottles.

    Works for me.

  23. #23
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    About the same as Stap. I nearly always take a little wind vest tucked in the jersey pocket. That can be extremely handy sometimes.

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  24. #24
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    OK, time for a truth check.

    After his bike was stolen a few weeks ago Artkansas took a MAJOR ration of rag for not having a lock. Unless I've missed it, no one has mentioned "lock" in their regular riding kit and that's something that's too big and heavy to be easily overlooked. I, for one, seldom carry one. I'm thinking that either you guys are lying about making your required pie stops or, like me and Artkansas, you're taking some calculated risks when you make stops in the middle of a ride.

    Either is OK with me, but I think that it's wrong to kick a brother when he's down for something that we do ourselves.

  25. #25
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I don't carry a lock.

    My car was stolen from a secured limit access parking garage (4th Floor).

    If someone wants your stuff they will figure out a way to get it no matter what you do the secure it.
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