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-   -   🤔 Do I actually need to carry a repair kit? 🤔 (https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/1216038-do-i-actually-need-carry-repair-kit.html)

TortoiseAvenger 10-24-20 10:54 AM

🤔 Do I actually need to carry a repair kit? 🤔
 
I've been riding my bike more and getting into better shape. Given that, I'm sprucing up my ride a little, getting fenders, etc. One thing I haven't done is carry a pump, patch kit, etc. I have a feeling this is ill advised, so I wanted opinions. Here's why I'm not sure it's necessary:

I live in a metro area. I ride on greenways and streets. Even if I had a repair kit, I doubt I would use it. I would call a friend and hope they were available to pick me up a the nearest intersection and get my bike home. If that wasn't possible, my plan was to lock up my bike somewhere, uber home, and pick it back up ASAP.

Part of this is because I haven't yet learned how to fix basic stuff. I probably should. Even still, I'd probably rather fix it at home anyway.

Am I forgetting something? Is my phone-a-friend no repair kit on board strategy fair, or foolish?

Thanks for any input!

Mulberry20 10-24-20 11:04 AM

how far do you ride?

CAT7RDR 10-24-20 11:10 AM

What is your trepidation about changing a tube? I am slow as molasses but get through it in 20 minutes. Had a flat yesterday 15 miles from home; that would have been a helluva walk instead of just swapping a tube.
Practice at home before you ride. Flats are infrequent but tube swaps are part of the deal.

TortoiseAvenger 10-24-20 11:12 AM


Originally Posted by Mulberry20 (Post 21758238)
how far do you ride?

Not terribly far. 20 miles. Eventually I want to get that up though.

shelbyfv 10-24-20 11:13 AM

Asking someone to abandon whatever it is they may be doing to help you when you could have easily been prepared to handle the situation yourself? Entitled and ethically challenged.

TortoiseAvenger 10-24-20 11:16 AM


Originally Posted by CAT7RDR (Post 21758246)
What is your trepidation about changing a tube? I am slow as molasses but get through it in 20 minutes. Had a flat yesterday 15 miles from home; that would have been a helluva walk instead of just swapping a tube.
Practice at home before you ride. Flats are infrequent but tube swaps are part of the deal.

I have no doubt whatsoever I could learn how to do it. But all the crap I'd need all the sudden and have on me at all times? The tube, the pump, the levers... and a place to put them, That's what seems like a PITA.

aggiegrads 10-24-20 11:16 AM

Lots of people ride with cell-phone only. This is OK, as long as you only ride where there is service, and you always have a full battery.

I abhor the “call of shame”, and I like being independent. I do my own repairs, but not everyone wants to learn these skills. Support your LBS, that’s OK. No shame in that.

At the end of the day, if the way that you ride makes you happy, then you’re doing it right. Don’t worry about what we think. If you have flats or mechanicals in the future and it starts to change your opinion, then you can always learn how to do basic maintenance then.

roka 10-24-20 11:16 AM

I personally enjoy being self sufficient and knowing that I can fix flats and other minor issues “out there” myself. It’s fun and satisfying learning how to fix things yourself and with the incredible amount of info available online it’s actually pretty easy.

Mulberry20 10-24-20 11:22 AM


Originally Posted by TortoiseAvenger (Post 21758250)
Not terribly far. 20 miles. Eventually I want to get that up though.

Then you need or should be in a position to fix a flat. Tires are so much better that it should a rarity. Avoid tires that are hard to get on and off.

bargo68 10-24-20 11:36 AM


Originally Posted by TortoiseAvenger (Post 21758259)
I have no doubt whatsoever I could learn how to do it. But all the crap I'd need all the sudden and have on me at all times? The tube, the pump, the levers... and a place to put them, That's what seems like a PITA.

I can think of bigger PITAs.

spelger 10-24-20 11:41 AM


Originally Posted by TortoiseAvenger (Post 21758259)
I have no doubt whatsoever I could learn how to do it. But all the crap I'd need all the sudden and have on me at all times? The tube, the pump, the levers... and a place to put them, That's what seems like a PITA.

When those things are fastened to the bike they are hard to forget. hardly a pain in the ***

genejockey 10-24-20 11:49 AM

A simple, small saddle bag can carry a spare tube, levers and a patch kit, and once it's there you need never think about it. A mini-pump can go in a jersey pocket or attach to the frame with a bottle cage, and once it's there, you never need to think about it. And you can still call a friend to take time out of their day to come pick you up, but just in case your phone dies or you're where there's no service, you're still covered. It takes a lot less time to swap tubes and pump up a tire than it does for your friend to reach you.

fujidon 10-24-20 11:50 AM

It would be helpful if you knew someone who has experience with fixing a flat so they could show you in person.

I've actually "raced" swapping out a tube. It took me less than 2 minutes to pull the old tube out, install the new tube AND pump it up with a floor pump. Add another couple of minutes for a mini pump and another minute to pull the wheel off of the bike and put it back on. That adds up about 5 minutes, but I'm experienced at it. The first one may be a bit longer.

BTW, I can remove and re-install the rear tier without ever touching the chain. It's something that I see people do all of the time, but it's actually easy once you know the technique. Again, seek out someone experienced.

dmanthree 10-24-20 12:06 PM

Unless you're certain you have a lifeline available every time you ride, carry a patch kit and pump, and learn how to use them. Why not carry them? Is weight that much a concern?

frogmorton 10-24-20 12:20 PM

If you ride regularly, you will get a flat. Learning to fix it is easy. Not carrying equip to fix it yourself and depending on others to help you is selfish.

coupster 10-24-20 12:23 PM


Originally Posted by TortoiseAvenger (Post 21758224)
If that wasn't possible, my plan was to lock up my bike somewhere, uber home, and pick it back up ASAP.

How confident are you that it'll all still be there when you return? A flat tire certainly wouldn't slow down any thief - especially if its a nice looking bike.

Learn how to fix a flat. Get a small bag and carry a couple of tire levers, a tube and a CO2 inflator. Be self supporting.

Fendertele 10-24-20 12:26 PM

I rode without when I started biking. After walking back 8 miles one day I purchased a kit that night.

Milton Keynes 10-24-20 12:28 PM

I'd much rather carry a spare tube, patch kit, and tools so I can fix tires & other problems myself rather than have to call someone to bail me out. Of course I live in a rural area where I can get 30-40 miles or more from home with nothing around, and I'd rather take 15-20 minutes to fix a flat tire rather than wait 30 minutes or more to have someone pick me up. And it's not always guaranteed that someone (that someone usually being my wife) can come pick me up should I run into trouble. Plus I don't want a flat tire to end my ride when I can quickly patch the tube or throw a new tube in the tire, then resume my ride. But carrying a patch kit, spare tube, and tools in an underseat bag is simple insurance that I won't have to rely on someone bailing me out if I have a problem.

Ironskillet 10-24-20 12:31 PM


Originally Posted by genejockey (Post 21758313)
A simple, small saddle bag can carry a spare tube, levers and a patch kit, and once it's there you need never think about it. A mini-pump can go in a jersey pocket or attach to the frame with a bottle cage, and once it's there, you never need to think about it. And you can still call a friend to take time out of their day to come pick you up, but just in case your phone dies or you're where there's no service, you're still covered. It takes a lot less time to swap tubes and pump up a tire than it does for your friend to reach you.

anyone have any good recommendations for a good small pump that can attach to a bottle cage?

Milton Keynes 10-24-20 12:37 PM


Originally Posted by Ironskillet (Post 21758361)
anyone have any good recommendations for a good small pump that can attach to a bottle cage?

I don't remember where I got it, probably Walmart or somewhere, but I have a Schwinn hand pump which mounts on the bottle cage mount. I mounted the mount under the bottle cage on the seat tube of my bike, and the pump hooks on to the left side of the seat tube. It's out of the way enough I don't have to worry about hitting it with my feet, and it's got a double headed connector for both Presta and Schrader.

I-Like-To-Bike 10-24-20 12:41 PM


Originally Posted by bargo68 (Post 21758293)
I can think of bigger PITAs.

Yeah, like a PITA who calls for free personal taxi service to "rescue" him from taking care of himself like an adult.

HerrKaLeun 10-24-20 12:45 PM


Originally Posted by TortoiseAvenger (Post 21758224)
. Even if I had a repair kit, I doubt I would use it. I would call a friend and hope they were available to pick me up a the nearest intersection and get my bike home. If that wasn't possible, my plan was to lock up my bike somewhere, uber home, and pick it back up ASAP.

Part of this is because I haven't yet learned how to fix basic stuff. I probably should. Even still, I'd probably rather fix it at home anyway.

Am I forgetting something? Is my phone-a-friend no repair kit on board strategy fair, or foolish?

Thanks for any input!

Always easier to guilt-trip and inconvenience someone else to help you instead of just learning basic skills and buy some tools.
I don't mind helping people. But like to see them at least make reasonable effort and not asking someone else as the first option. Especially for something simple like a flat. If your cassette breaks, sure, I come over and give you a ride. But you were just too lazy to learn to pump up your tire? Better learn to walk then, no one will do that for you.

CAT7RDR 10-24-20 12:54 PM

IMHO, the Call of Shame should only be done when absolutely necessary. Kind of like your last resort. I carry $60-$80 for a taxi/Uber if need be. On my main ride I also use SPD pedals so I can walk several miles if needed.
Save the phone calls for friends to bail you out when you actually need them for emergencies or the bike is beyond road repair. Stuff happens like accidents where you do not want to be the boy who cried wolf.

Ghazmh 10-24-20 12:57 PM

Why bother carrying a heavy water bottle? Hopefully someone will be standing by the road just waiting to give you free water.......

Gresp15C 10-24-20 01:04 PM


Originally Posted by TortoiseAvenger (Post 21758259)
I have no doubt whatsoever I could learn how to do it. But all the crap I'd need all the sudden and have on me at all times? The tube, the pump, the levers... and a place to put them, That's what seems like a PITA.

Seems like you can choose between something that's a PITA for you, or you being a PITA for your friends.

Something I always advise new cyclists is that your experience as a cyclist is likely to be greatly improved by becoming self sufficient at basic maintenance. Fixing a flat is probably the most obvious place to start.

You should actually learn to do it at home first. This is the most likely scenario anyway, for a couple of reasons. First, bike tires naturally lose air over time, even in the absence of leaks, so you will hopefully soon own a decent floor pump just for periodically re-inflating your tires. On the same shopping trip you pick up a REMA patch kit, tire levers, spare tube, and maybe a mini pump. Next, minor punctures tend to manifest themselves when you're at home and about to go on your next ride. So you get yourself up to speed on fixing a flat. Now you're ready to do it while on a ride.

Folks tend to blow bike problems and maintenance out of proportion. For me, it would have to take an hour or more to fix a flat, before it became quicker or more convenient to call someone. I mean, they have to drive out, load your bike, drive back, unload your bike at your house. If they don't have a big car, you'll be detaching the wheels to fit it into their car. Or they have a dog in which case their car is full of hair and stinks. You can see that this isn't going to end well. And when you get home, you're not done, and will probably throw the bike into your car and take it to a shop to get it fixed, and then go back again when it's done. Now you've consumed 1-2 hours of yours and someone else's time for something that could take 15-30 minutes tops.

On the other hand, yes, cyclists carry a few items with them on rides. Just for the sake of example...


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