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The sublime (riding) and the ridiculous (all our gear)

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The sublime (riding) and the ridiculous (all our gear)

Old 02-10-23, 09:34 PM
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The sublime (riding) and the ridiculous (all our gear)

We tandem bike 95% on rail trails, often somewhat remote. After six years we have developed a well-organized panoply of tools and spare gear to handle just about any mechanical or other emergency on the trail.
With a handicapped stoker, walking out in case of bike failure is not an option! Tyre, chain, electrical, bolt, and other failures up to ten miles from any road have occurred with some regularity.

So far so good, even in the depths of roadless river gorges having rail trails (PA, CO.) The only thing we are not equipped for is outright rim failure.

Here is the expedition equipment we carry on all rides, even locally. ALL of it goes in the panniers. Bike with gear can weigh 125#. With riders almost 400#. Steel frame, steel wheels, 26x2 schwalbe offroad tyres.

Rear Panniers, having tall drawstring rain collar. Secured with heavy zipties.

A couple of spare bungies in case of tear or failure. Short roll of repair tape.

Covid masks (yes, still), alcohol handcleaner, folded paper towels, protective gloves, and first aid kit live in outer pockets.

20 coated wire rope cable and padlock, to secure entire bike frame.

Spare daypack- for use when locking up bike to walk or picnic: to store bike battery, toolkit, camera. Contingency if one of the overstuffed panniers blows up.

Medical cooling gear- water sprayers, full water bottles, phase-change cooling gear 12#. In hot weather wear refrigerant-cooled water-circulation cooling vest, carry 12# spare 4-hour battery, distilled H20 fill, funnel, hardware. Another 20# of gear!

Clothing prepared for major changes in temperature and weather: rain/wind jackets; pile jackets; ear headband/hats and light gloves; spare socks; polypro shirts; other as required.

Two reflective vests for any on-road biking. Headlamps and battery bike flashers.

Spare tyre folded into 16 diameter and carried in the spare daypack.

8x15x2.5 snaplock box with:

3- 1.75x26 schraeder tubes

Rim tape

Tirepump- 12 long with fold-out footbrace and threaded hose

Tire patch kit, tire levers, spare valve caps, spare valve stems, valve stem tool.

C02 inflator head and two large cartridges

Spare length of chain

Set of two Rohloff speed cables in housing (specialty item)

Three brake cables (Takes three to make a run on coupled frame)

Length of cable housing, several housing ends

Bundle of 6 zip ties

Fanny pack, two zipper, with:

Outer pocket = coupled bike assembly/disassembly tools for each ride:

S&S coupler wrench, spray painted bright orange

6,5,4mm T-handle allen wrenches

Tyre pressure gauge 120 psi

Valve stem remover

Inner pocket- tools on rides:

Chain tool

6 adjustable wrench

cone wrenches

packet of 8 zip ties

tyre levers

pitlock socket for secured rear wheel removal

spoke tool

needle nose pliers

6 vice grip

Side cable cutter

Multibit screwdriver

Torque screwdriver and bits

Awl to ream cable housings after cutting

Quick change utility knife and blades

Spare Parts:

8 length of drive chain

Full chain in box

Spare cable splitters- one brake, one speed (used up other spares)

Assorted bolts and nuts

Safety ends to cover sharp fender stays

Seatpost clamp, dual bolt. They tend to strip out.

16-24awg wiring splicers, close with pliers

Spare fuse for inline battery protection

Rubber battery connector covers

Spokes and spoke nipples

Lunch/snacks in zippered insulated bag. Typically bread cheese apples and gorp, a few paper towels.

Collapsible tupperware for berry picking/foods. Two sporks for ice cream stops etc.

Additional tool kit that remains in truck:

Lots more medical cooling gear, cold packs, clothing, water, snacks.

Second spare tyre!

Spare kickstand and bolt in case primary stand fails.

Orange hand cleaner, roll paper towels, garbage bags

Comprehensive socket and wrench set

Battery wiring materials, terminals, heat shrink tubings, zip ties.

120v Soldering gun and gear (inverter in truck bed)

120v heat gun (inverter in truck bed)

120v Extension cord

Everything in the truck goes in Rubbermaid totes, nothing is loose, and is protected from rain and curious eyes, during loading/unloading.

We throw around a bunch of these totes unloading and loading the two bike halves.

It has been suggested to us:

- Get a bicycle trailer

- Hire a team of sherpas and a sag wagon

- Put saddlebags on a really big dog

What does your toolkit look like?
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Old 02-10-23, 09:41 PM
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man thats a lot. but we are usually 25 miles from home as thats as far as we can get and get back under our own power.
Battery with all the cables to charge anything I went to tubeless so now carry a dynaplug kit several co2 cartridges plus a pump and one tube. everything is sealed so we don't need a lot of tools. a first aid kit. these are most of the tools plus something to get a tire on and off and such. we signed up for AAA so if we need a lift home we have a solution.

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Old 02-11-23, 07:22 AM
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This is a great post. Doing the C&O and Allegheny passage this summer. Had a couple issues during the summer with a cracked rim and a couple flat tires so I'm not sure what tools and extra parts to bring. I have front and rear panniers with my tent and camping supplies on the rack. I should have room for lots of extras, just worried about the added weight.
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Old 02-11-23, 07:58 AM
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Sounds like you have special requirements, so your kit will be more extensive than most. My suggestions are 1. Take more compact tools. A multi tool would replace T allen, full size screwdrivers, crescent wrench, spoke wrench, separate chain tool. Pocket knife instead of utility knife. Cable cutters unnecessary, leave uncut cable until you get home. Just make sure you can work every fastener. 2. Meticulous care of cabling, instead of full cable sets (but do take spare inner wires, 1 each brake and gear). 3. One spare chain link and two quick links.

Consider the risk. Cable casing rarely fails, but cables do. I understand that walking out isn’t an option, but carrying unneeded weight reduces the reliability of your rig.
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