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50 mile gravel ride: absolute minimum gear

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

50 mile gravel ride: absolute minimum gear

Old 11-05-20, 11:41 AM
  #26  
sloppy12
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Originally Posted by Helldorado View Post
How minimalistic will you go when it comes to packing (or leaving behind) tools and gear on a 50-ish mile long gravel ride? Assume that A) your destination is fully supported (i.e. there's a bike shop there should you need it), B) in between there's not much of anything closer than a 30 minute hike through the forest, and C) all of us will take a pump or CO2 inflator, tire levers, patch kit or plugs or spare tube. But what else do you absolutely 100% always take with you?

I pick C 50 miles is a just get on the bike and go ride. a multi tool and a snack I guess.

I assume water is just not on list because it goes without saying.
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Old 11-05-20, 11:50 AM
  #27  
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Water, snacks, flat repair. In November in PNW, rain jacket regardless of forecast. Extra layer if any elevation on the route. Go.
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Old 11-05-20, 04:21 PM
  #28  
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Glad to see I'm not the only one who's lost a cleat bolt at some point. I keep an extra one in my tool bag now, as it's tiny and takes up almost no space.

For a 50 mile gravel ride with cell coverage, I'd just bring water, snacks and my usual flat repair kit/multi-tool. If it's through a remote area without cell coverage, I'd probably bring a mini-pump, otherwise I usually just roll with CO2.
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Old 11-06-20, 07:16 AM
  #29  
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So just to point out, not all gravel rides are created equal. Some consist of nicely manicured dirt and gravel roads, and others consist of bone-jarring rocks, exposed shale or granite or whatever your local flavor is. Seasonal forest service roads may have rock filled ruts as deep as half a wheel, pooled water even in the middle of the hottest days of summer, trees down, branches to kick up and get in spokes, etc.

That said, if I can walk out of breakdown situation in an hour or two, I probably am not taking more than a basic kit to repair flats (plugs, a tube in case plugs fail, tire boot, CO2 and mini pump), plus a shifter cable and at least one quick-link for my chain. Multi-tool and a small Park chain tool. I've considered possibly a spare folding tire after slicing a sidewall badly in the middle of nowhere this summer, but even then I was able to ride out. And if I hadn't been able to - it was maybe an hour walk to a road where I could have flagged down some help if I needed to. If I frag both tires beyond repair, break my chain, and break a shifter cable all in the same ride I"ll let you know.
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Old 11-06-20, 07:17 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Glad to see I'm not the only one who's lost a cleat bolt at some point. I keep an extra one in my tool bag now, as it's tiny and takes up almost no space.
Blue Loctite on your cleat screws and you won't lose them
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Old 11-06-20, 07:46 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
Blue Loctite on your cleat screws and you won't lose them
Blue loctitie to hold them in until they rust in place. Works for me!
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Old 11-06-20, 07:26 PM
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50 is 3-4 hours. Seat bag: Tubilito tube, Dynaplug, tire boot, co2 cartridge/inflator, 1 tire lever, multitool. Top tube bag: $20, snack or 2, phone, mask, keys. 2 bottles on bike, gear for weather in jersey pockets.
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Old 11-07-20, 06:24 PM
  #33  
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3 bottles of water (22 oz) and 2 clif bars. Unless it's hot out, then I need a Camelback.
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Old 11-14-20, 06:40 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Helldorado View Post
How minimalistic will you go when it comes to packing (or leaving behind) tools and gear on a 50-ish mile long gravel ride? Assume that A) your destination is fully supported (i.e. there's a bike shop there should you need it), B) in between there's not much of anything closer than a 30 minute hike through the forest, and C) all of us will take a pump or CO2 inflator, tire levers, patch kit or plugs or spare tube. But what else do you absolutely 100% always take with you?
Two bottles of water. That's it. I do that 50mi gravel ride all the time.
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Old 11-17-20, 10:37 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Helldorado View Post
How minimalistic will you go when it comes to packing (or leaving behind) tools and gear on a 50-ish mile long gravel ride? Assume that A) your destination is fully supported (i.e. there's a bike shop there should you need it), B) in between there's not much of anything closer than a 30 minute hike through the forest, and C) all of us will take a pump or CO2 inflator, tire levers, patch kit or plugs or spare tube. But what else do you absolutely 100% always take with you?
Helldorado: Based on your original post I think you'll be well-covered with (A+B+C). If the worst happens somewhere on the trail and you're caught "unprepared", relying on options A or B doesn't seem horrible. And option C may save you from options A or B. I suppose it really comes down to how much you want to rely on options A, B and C compared to carrying more resources on the bike.

Personally, I'd rather carry more weight in order to be more self-sufficient. Most of my rides are 50+ miles (though mostly on tarmac or paved trails relatively close to civilization) and I always carry the following tools/repair items:

- multi-tool
- spare tube
- $1 bill in case I need a tire boot
- tubeless plugs / repair kit
- CO2 inflator
- three 25g CO2 cartridges (three cartridges is overkill, but I carry extras in case I encounter another rider who's in need)
- 4 oz. bottle of Orange Seal
- tire levers
- valve core remover
- spare Presta valves
- Wolf Tooth Master Link Pliers with spare master link
- multi-tool w/chain break
- needle nose and regular pliers
- chain lube
- 4mm, 5mm & 6mm hex wrenches (full size)

Last edited by Cyclist0100; 11-18-20 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 11-22-20, 04:45 AM
  #36  
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For any spin more than 5 mins from home:

-spare tube.
-self adhesive patch.
-super small saddlebag pump(still allows 90psi)
-multi tool Inc chain breaker.
-chain link
-cable ties

May add a tiny bottle of lube at some point.
Only thing to add for longer rides is food and liquid.

This kit fits in a small saddle bag with space for a choc bar or two, keys, sunglasses and a little room left over. wouldn't even know its there.
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Old 11-30-20, 03:08 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Well I know what I take, what do you take? lol

Me: plugs, co2 or hand pump, multitool, two water bottles, appropriate food for the day, cell phone.
Same here. I may add my Spot Gen3 device if I'm gonna be out of cell phone range in the mountains (which where I live I can hit without going too far).
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Old 12-03-20, 08:25 AM
  #38  
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Wow, what’s going on here? Do you folks have a lot of mechanical failures? Why? Other than flats, which themselves are uncommon for me, the chances of having a mechanical on any given ride are extremely low for me; like, if it were 1 in 50, I’d be surprised if it was that common. With that in mind, when someone asks what’s the absolute minimum gear for 3-4hr ride, my answer is no gear at all.

I understand that we ride in different conditions and face different hazards, but some of you pack out more stuff than I used to carry in the late ‘80s for MTB rides! Back then, we used to ride road equipment on rough trails, and the new MTB specific stuff was still experimental and sometimes lousy, and yeah, I’d crash and stuff would break, and even though it was pre-cell phone, I still never packed out stuff like pliers and lube!

I guess I’m really surprised that so many find cycling 50 miles so risky due to mechanical unpredictability in this day and age.
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Old 12-04-20, 06:24 PM
  #39  
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Lunch!

Brent
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Old 12-04-20, 07:18 PM
  #40  
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I don't think people have loads of mechanical failures. The things I posted is what I carry anyways - although not lunch and not as much water (if anything) on a daily basis.


Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Wow, what’s going on here? Do you folks have a lot of mechanical failures? Why? Other than flats, which themselves are uncommon for me, the chances of having a mechanical on any given ride are extremely low for me; like, if it were 1 in 50, I’d be surprised if it was that common. With that in mind, when someone asks what’s the absolute minimum gear for 3-4hr ride, my answer is no gear at all.

I understand that we ride in different conditions and face different hazards, but some of you pack out more stuff than I used to carry in the late ‘80s for MTB rides! Back then, we used to ride road equipment on rough trails, and the new MTB specific stuff was still experimental and sometimes lousy, and yeah, I’d crash and stuff would break, and even though it was pre-cell phone, I still never packed out stuff like pliers and lube!

I guess I’m really surprised that so many find cycling 50 miles so risky due to mechanical unpredictability in this day and age.
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Old 12-05-20, 10:16 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by CargoDane View Post
I don't think people have loads of mechanical failures. The things I posted is what I carry anyways - although not lunch and not as much water (if anything) on a daily basis.


Yeah, I understand that, and I find that a shockingly huge array of stuff!

I carry a multitool (without a chain tool), one tube, 2 16g CO2 (because 47c rubber), an inflator head, and 2 levers. That’s it. Maybe I have unusually great confidence in my bikes because I build them with good stuff and do the maintenance, but I also see so few others broken down or doing roadside repairs that I believe bikes are really quite reliable generally, so why someone would carry around a spare tube and spare Presta valves is flummoxing.
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Old 12-07-20, 04:25 PM
  #42  
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For a 50 mile ride on a gravel bike you should bring a multi-tool, 2 C02 cartridges, tire lever, extra tube, chain/ master link etc. Here is a better idea of what I pack on my bike. This is for a 56mile gravel ride which can be done in under 4 hours.
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