How To: Pack for a long ride

Tubes, duct tape, and zip ties are all good things to have

How To Parts Tech
A multi-tool is a must have item for every ride.

A multi-tool is a must have item for every ride.

Editor’s Note: This article is courtesy of the team at Art’s Cyclery. The original post can be found here.

So you are riding a century next month and want to be prepared? Here’s the bare minimum of what you need to bring along for the ride.

For road and mountain cyclists alike, there is a relatively short list of things that you can take on your long rides to ensure that you make it home no matter what happens.

Though it’s not too long of a list, it’s more than we’d recommend for any short or jersey pockets. For this reason, we’d recommend purchasing a fanny pack, hydration pack, or seat bag to store your necessities

Once you’ve got your storage situation dialed, begin to accumulate the following gear. First and foremost, you’ll need a good multi-tool that has a chain breaker on it. Both Lezyne and Crankbrothers offer several multi-piece tools that also include a chainbreaker. To go along with your multi-tool, it will also be best to get at least one chain pin or Powerlock chain connector to fix your chain should it break.

Zip ties can help out with all sorts of problems.

Zip ties can help out with all sorts of problems.

Next up, we’d recommend two to three zip ties. You never know when one might break on your mountain bike’s cables, and they’ll always come in handy during a worst case scenario where you broke your rear derailleur off and need to hang it on the chainstay away from the rear wheel.

Most everybody has been saved by it at one point, and even pro tour mechanics are never caught without some on hand. We’re talking about Duct Tape. Whether you prefer Duct Tape or Guerrilla Tape, don’t forget to have a little bit on hand at all times. And if storage is an issue, you can always simply roll it onto itself.

If you’re one to be truly prepared, then don’t forget to pick up a spare derailleur hanger for your specific bike. Murphy’s Law states that the one time you don’t have it is the one time it will break.

Duct tape is another one of those must-have items.

Duct tape is another one of those must-have items.

Something that should be a part of every bike ride, no matter how short or long, is a derailleur cable. They’re incredibly cheap, don’t take up much space, and are critical to your bike’s function.

Another thing that’s always good to have on hand is $10. Whether you are bonking hard and need a burger, forgot to pick up cheese from the grocery store on the way home, or are in dire need of chain lube, having $10 will do the trick.

One tube is usually enough, but pack two just in case.

One tube is usually enough, but pack two just in case.

Last but not least, we’d recommend that you carry two tubes with you. Most of the time, one is plenty, but for the minimal extra weight of another, it’ll make your day that much better when you don’t have to cut your tube and tie it in a knot to make it home. And of course you’ll also need a pump or CO2 cartridge to fill up those tubes.

What else would you add to this list?


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About the author: Arts Cyclery

This article was originally published on the Art's Cyclery Blog. Art's Cyclery is dedicated to offering free expert advice, how-to videos, and in-depth product reviews on ArtsCyclery.com to help riders make an educated decision when selecting cycling gear.


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  • David Walker says:

    After 3 years of road cycling, my must carry kit simply includes compact chain break, a chain missing link, a tyre sleeve, a spare tube, sml puncture repair kit, 2 decent tyre levers, a co2 inflator with 2 bottles plus eftpos card. This all fits into a small quick fit bag under my saddle. I don’t carry cables or Allen keys, I rely on my own maintenance to ensure nothing is lose and all cables are on good condition.
    This kit allows me to change a tube quickly, put a sleeve inside a damaged tyre, repair a broken chain. I should be able to get home in 99.99% of break downs or crashes. Still couldn’t finish a sportive with my only crash in 3 years, when my bike cartwheeled. My alloy Ultegra pedal took the impact and broke. Could of biked home if I had to slowly through

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