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What do you carry and how?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

What do you carry and how?

Old 08-06-15, 07:46 AM
  #1  
WNCGoater
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What do you carry and how?

I admit I fall into the, "I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it" camp. Some times this can get me in trouble, especially when backpacking.

So my interest for this post isn't saddlebags, or computers or water bottles, or lighting or otherwise the "necessities" people keep all the time, and otherwise mount to the frame. Not about saddlebag vs. not... to each his own.

But my question is what do you take on your person, specifically for a ride and where do you carry it? I've become interested more in endurance/mileage rather than speed but have quickly become aware this requires fuel.

With variations of course, I carry some raisins, banana, PB&J sandwich, Clif bar, maybe some energy gels. Occasionally a juice pouch-type drink absconded from my little girl. Always a small zippered pouch containing ID, emergency contact info, a credit card, some cash and insurance card. (On shorter rides, under 20 miles or so, I would likely have one water bottle only, excluding the above list of "fuel")

I don't like the feel of all that weighing down my jersey pockets though admittedly, when I'm riding it isn't that noticeable really. But I also like to start out on longer rides right at the crack of dawn, but don't want to wear sunglasses at that time but certainly want them later as the sun climbs. What to do with them?...

So last week I spotted a small fanny pack with a water bottle holder in the garage. I piled everything out of my jersey and into the pack, including my sunglasses. I made sure the waist strap was down on my shorts and not in contact with flesh and started out.

In 40 miles I never noticed the pack. I pushed it about 2/3 behind, so it rode just behind my hip but not quite at the tailbone. When I took breaks I just swung it around and accessed it easily. The only negative if you want to call it that, is it cannot be accessed while on the move, you have to stop. Realistically I don't typically pull things from my jersey pockets while moving anyway. I did not use the bottle carrier but this could provide a spot for a third bottle if one so desired.

What do you typically carry and where?
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Old 08-06-15, 08:18 AM
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I keep all my flat repair stuff in the saddlebag. Generally I have my phone, wallet and keys in my jersey, but sometimes I'll throw and extra bottle or two in there as well if I'm going to be out for a long time with no known place to refill. I've become partial to Honey Stinger waffles and you can fit a lot of those in a jersey pocket since they're so thin.

That's really all I need to bring... On days where I do need to bring two extra bottles I'll use a larger saddlebag and dump everything in there and just carry the bottles in the jersey.
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Old 08-06-15, 08:30 AM
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Depends on the length of the ride with water and food I bring. I usually bring 1 water bottle per hour, depending on heat and planed intensity.

For every ride, however, I bring a cycling-specific multi-tool, tube, several strips of cut tube, spare light, $20 and a small first-aid kit in a small saddle bag. In my pockets I carry a plastic baggie with my ID, a credit card, cell phone and lens cloth. I also carry another tube, keys, and sharp pocket knife. With longer rides I'll stuff some food and sometimes an extra water bottle in my pockets too (usually avoid the extra bottle, and just plan on stopping at a gas station to get more water). If I'm not wearing sun glasses in the morning, I'll tuck them in my helmet vents, or I'll just switch lenses to a good balance because I don't like bugs in my eyes.

That's about it. For the commute I'll don a backpack.
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Old 08-06-15, 08:46 AM
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For me...

Saddlebag: tools, spare tube, co2, repair kit.
Jersey: food, cell phone.

Things I use a lot go in the jersey, things I don't (or hopefully won't) go in the saddle bag.
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Old 08-06-15, 08:59 AM
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I hate stuff in my jersey pockets, it's a ventilation/cooling thing for me.

Credit card, ID, cash & house key go into my saddlebag, along with two spare tubes, CO2 cartridges, levers, tools and an emergency gel.

Food for short rides goes into a bento box and my phone slides in there as well. Two large insulated bottles are mounted on the frame plus an air pump.

Bike computer(s) and headlight (if needed) are on my bars.

For longer rides, I have a small bag that I can strap to a bar extension. Extra food, electrolytes, external batteries, etc goes into the bag. On these long rides, I also bring a hammer flask full of honey & lemon (the lemon juice makes the honey flow and brightens the taste). I use the honey in my water bottles for carb calories earlier in the day when it's cooler and later I switch to electrolytes.

As long as I have a water source every 30-50 miles, I can supply myself for very long rides, 10+ hours without too much problem.
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Old 08-06-15, 09:06 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
For me...

Saddlebag: tools, spare tube, co2, repair kit.
Jersey: food, cell phone.

Things I use a lot go in the jersey, things I don't (or hopefully won't) go in the saddle bag.
Pretty much the same here, but 2 tubes+CO2 cartridges, and my wallet also goes in the jersey pocket.
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Old 08-06-15, 09:10 AM
  #7  
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Damn, some people are prepared for the zombie apocalypse to begin while they are out riding.
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Old 08-06-15, 09:10 AM
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I rarely ride more than 30 miles, and I'm rarely more than 10 miles from my house, so my set up may sound light to some.

I have a medium size bag under the seat with spare tube, and multi-tool. Zippered flat repair pouch in middle jersey pocket with CO2, levers, patches, etc. Cell phone, $5-10, ID and debit card in my left jersey pocket. Arm warmers, keys, etc in my right jersey pocket. One water bottle in each cage.
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Old 08-06-15, 09:10 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
I admit I fall into the, "I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it" camp. Some times this can get me in trouble, especially when backpacking.
When you go hiking or backpacking, the more emergency gear you bring, the more likely you are to need it. There was a guy here who set out to do Three Fingers as a day hike, but brought a tent and sleeping bag just in case; the weight slowed him down so much he got caught out on the trail after dark and did in fact spend the night out.

With that in mind, I bring full water bottles, everything I need to change a flat (in a saddlebag), and lights on the bike. Then I have my ID and debit card in a pocket with my phone. The phone is running tracking software, my girlfriend has a map that shows where I am. If I'm taking my bike into more remote areas, I'll bring food, and maybe a water filter.
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Old 08-06-15, 09:14 AM
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In the jersey: slimline wallet, iphone, very thin rain jacket, and however many gels/bloks I think I need. In the fall I may start out with arm warmers on and they eventually come off and go in the pocket.

In the saddlebag (just repacked it last night): One tube, one CO2 cart, a slimline CO2 nozzle, one tire lever, one piece of old tire cut into a boot, one tiny package of self-sticking tube patches. I removed the folding tool because in the last three years I've never had to use it. As a result I will probably need it on tonight's ride

On the bike frame: Two water bottles (one 24oz, one 20oz), garmin mount. In shoulder seasons for evening rides I'll add on a rear light and a front light. The latter is more for others seeing me than for actually lighting up the path - don't like to ride in full dark around here.

I'll admit that when we did Mt. Evans on Saturday I jammed quite a bit more into my jersey pockets, but that's a special case

Last edited by Gladius; 08-06-15 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 08-06-15, 09:16 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
Things I use a lot go in the jersey, things I don't (or hopefully won't) go in the saddle bag.
That's really it, in a nutshell.
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Old 08-06-15, 09:23 AM
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Saddlebag with tube, co2, tire levers and mulititool, frame pump and keys, phone, wallet (cards and cash in band) and tire bead jack in jersey pocket. The bead jack is a new addition but current tires are so hard to get on I don't want to get caught on the side of the road without it
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Old 08-06-15, 09:26 AM
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I carry a small Camelbak with 2L of water which holds my cellphone, wallet, food/snacks, and other small miscellaneous items. My saddlebag holds tools.
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Old 08-06-15, 10:21 AM
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Left jersey pocket goes this small, thin Bontrager wallet that holds a multitool, tire levers, two CO2 bottles, CO2 nozzle, first aid and patch kit. On top of that goes the spare tube or tubes depending on where I am riding. Center pocket get the mobile phone and clip with ID and payment cards. Right pocket get the car key and a cliff bar (or several) and sometime a small bag of dates or raisins or a little almond butter & jam bun or small ham sandwich or rice cake. The food changes on what I have made and have ready to go out with me but I very rarely take more then two of them in total per ride.
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Old 08-06-15, 10:27 AM
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Old 08-06-15, 10:35 AM
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In my Camelbak I carry my wallet, cell phone, spare batteries, pump, spare tube, multitool, tire lever, patch kit.
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Old 08-06-15, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by jrossbeck View Post
I rarely ride more than 30 miles, and I'm rarely more than 10 miles from my house, so my set up may sound light to some.

I have a medium size bag under the seat with spare tube, and multi-tool. Zippered flat repair pouch in middle jersey pocket with CO2, levers, patches, etc. Cell phone, $5-10, ID and debit card in my left jersey pocket. Arm warmers, keys, etc in my right jersey pocket. One water bottle in each cage.
Holy crap, you bring keys? For ballast, to make you stronger going up the hills? I just buzz in when I get home.
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Old 08-06-15, 11:02 AM
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I also don't ride more than 25-30 miles at one time, but here goes (All of this is in the saddle-bag...I don't like things in pockets on the bike):
-Spare tube, tire levers, multi-tool (includes a chain tool), patch kit (for the second flat)
-Cell phone
-1 Cliff Bar
-2 quarters for emergency money.
-Also, I have one bottle cage with a bottle of gatorade.

If I were going to up my mileage to 40-50 miles, I would likely bring 2 bottles, and 2-3 cliff bars.

(The group rides I do generally stop every 10 miles or so and people get a bite...but I also generally pre-cut the wrapper on my cliff bar, and position it in the bag so I can reach back, unzip partially, grab the bar and take a bite without stopping the bike.)

(and on my 7-8 mile commute, I don't need any food, and don't really need to take a drink either.)
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Old 08-06-15, 11:13 AM
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On rides of 50 mi. plus, I carry two water bottles with Hammer Heed mixed in, a Cliff Bar, and on my last 50 miler I brought along a small squeeze bottle of Hammer Gel which seemed to help with the end of the ride crash I was having. The Cliff Bar and Gel go in a jersey pocket.
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Old 08-06-15, 11:44 AM
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On my road bike (2015 Jamis Ventura Race): In Ortlieb saddle bag (small and waterproof), I keep two tire levers, a CO2 cartridge and inflater, one tube, a Topeak multi-tool, and a spare cell phone battery (charged). In my pockets, I keep my cell phone, ID/cash/card in rubber band, and snacks. On the bike, water bottle(s) and cycling computer, rear blinkie on left seat stay. Can't say enough about the Ortlieb. Small, waterproof, and easy to get on and off.

On my commuter bike (2011 Kona Dr. Fine with Shimano Alfine 8): In a Topeak trunk bag, work clothes, laminated summary of state cycling laws (have to use sidewalks in two spots, some cops don't know the laws), snacks, wallet and keys, small bike pump, tube, tire levers, extra cell phone battery, multi-tool, small first aid kit, laminated emergency contact information, sunscreen. On bike, water bottle, cell phone in handlebar mount, fenders, rear blinkie on trunk bag and bright front light on handlebars. It's a heavy load, but better than having it all on my back in a backpack- tried that for a year and it sucked.
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Old 08-06-15, 11:50 AM
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Typical summer training ride:

left pocket: phone, ID, few dollars
center pocket: Epi-pen, 3d bottle if it's super hot
right pocket: key card, food if it's a long ride
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Old 08-06-15, 11:59 AM
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Old 08-06-15, 01:01 PM
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But my question is what do you take on your person, specifically for a ride and where do you carry it? I've become interested more in endurance/mileage rather than speed but have quickly become aware this requires fuel.
Am I the only one to read this? The OP doesn't want what's in your saddle bag or mounted to your frame, only what you carry in your jersey pockets or on your body.


For me, I have some Cliff bars, Honey Stinger waffles or the mini waffles from Trader Joe's. I tend to put a credit card/license carrier from my wallet with a $20 bill and health insurance cards in a zip lock bag with my keys. Since I got a Timbuk2 2015 Goodie Box, I no longer carry the cell phone on me. It goes in there and often I will bungy cord over it and put the zip lock bag and its contents in there.

On long rides I put a Camelbak Podium Chill in the jersey.

Because I am a little thick around the middle, my jerseys tend to be a bit long and anything I put in the jersey pockets pulls it down to my butt. I find this uncomfortable and try to keep them empty as much as possible.

With the bike computer having a clock, I do not even wear a watch but I do have a Road ID band that indicates my allergies and who I am in case I get separated from my id.

If it is going to rain, I will wear or stuff in a jersey pocket a Showers Pass Elite Pro breathable rain jacket. It packs very well and is less than 9 oz. I also have a Hi Vis helmet cover for rain and visibility.

If I am going out at night, I put reflective ankle bands on from Road ID and a cheap minimalist mesh reflective vest that is small and tight from Aliexpress.

Sunglasses will always be worn if they come on the ride and I always ride with them. They either have clear lens or one of the Tifosi tinted ones (medium density red or 15% grey dark. Recently I have been wearing a Tifosi Podium sunglasses that are rimless and photo-chromatic that gets me from dusk to dawn without worry of being too dark or too light. It goes from 41% to 15% transmission.

In colder days, I put on shoe covers and tape up any venting.
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Old 08-06-15, 01:07 PM
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Old 08-06-15, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
So last week I spotted a small fanny pack with a water bottle holder in the garage. I piled everything out of my jersey and into the pack, including my sunglasses. I made sure the waist strap was down on my shorts and not in contact with flesh and started out.

In 40 miles I never noticed the pack. I pushed it about 2/3 behind, so it rode just behind my hip but not quite at the tailbone. When I took breaks I just swung it around and accessed it easily. The only negative if you want to call it that, is it cannot be accessed while on the move, you have to stop. Realistically I don't typically pull things from my jersey pockets while moving anyway. I did not use the bottle carrier but this could provide a spot for a third bottle if one so desired.

What do you typically carry and where?
This is what I carry, Mountain Smith Lumbar Pack: Kinetics

Not only for biking but serves well for day hiking too. Big enough for my Kool Stop Tire Bead Jack.

mountainsmith Kinetic TLS
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