December 08, 2019

Taking your bike down the open road on a sunny day is a perfect experience for any cyclist. But what if something happens along the way and your bike starts to feel wobbly? Do you have any tools to fix the tires before it goes entirely flat?


Tire punctures are only natural, especially for those who are always on the road. Accidents like this can happen even to the most cautious of people. It doesn't matter how often you check your tires or how well you avoid debris when you travel. At some point, your tires will get a flat.


Knowing that punctures can happen any time, having a fully- equipped saddle bag can make the entire flat changing process much more manageable and It will get you back on the road much faster.


It doesn't take a lot of tools to get yourself ready for your ride. As long as you have the right set of tools to fix anything, then it's already more than enough to make your trip much smoother.


The saddlebag essentials

 

Without the right tools and supplies on your saddlebag, you probably might see yourself calling for help in the middle of the road while you're on tour. Fortunately, bike equipment manufacturers are producing designed compact tools that don't take up much space inside your bag. At the same time, it can perform the tasks that other devices can do so that you wouldn't have to bring more than you can carry.


Spare tubes


Spare tubes should be at the top of your list when packing your saddlebag. You need to ensure that you bring the correct one, or else it wouldn't do you any good. It's also best to bring at least two spare tubes to play safe. Having one can get you home safely, but bringing two ensures that you can keep riding without worrying about a flat tire.


If you have different bikes at home, then remember to change the spare tubes over so that you can be sure that you have the right one. You can either wrap the tube in a zip lock bag or rub it with baby powder to prevent friction when rubbed with other items inside your bag.


Multi-tool


You should never go out on a ride without your handy multi-tool. It's like a Swiss Army knife that has most of the things that you need to repair your bike. It usually comes in many sizes and differs in the number of gears included with it. Most multi-tools come with the Allen keys that are up to 6mm, Phillips screwdriver, and a flat. 


If you're planning to go on a short ride, then you need to get something light to get you home. Make sure that your multi-tool can handle all kinds of bolt sizes and shapes that will fit the frames of your bike. 


Chain breaker


It's not often that you need to break a chain when you take your bike out. But when you do, not having a chain breaker can spell utter disaster for you. Having one lets you remove broken pins if ever your bicycle chain gets damaged.


Even if it's quite rare to get your chain broken, you wouldn't feel much of a difference if you bring one along. That's because a chain breaker is too small to add on any weight. Some even have it included in their multi-tool as an option.


Master link

 

The master link goes hand in hand with your chain tool. After getting the broken pin off the bicycle chain, you can then use the master link to join the two ends of the chain together.


Once you've snapped both ends together, you can get on your back to add some torque to the chain. The master link is smaller and much thinner compared to a matchbook. Some people refer to it as a missing link and often comes in different sizes.


Pair of tire levers


Always make sure to have a pair of tire levers every time you take your bike out. If you don't have one yet, then you can quickly grab one for yourself. Not only are they easy to pack, but they're also quite affordable, too. 


 Depending on the kind of tires that your bike has, those with wired beads could be difficult to remove. It would even be impossible to take it off if you don't have any pair of this tool at all.

 

Tire levers often vary between two types based on their materials: steel and plastic. Some would say that a steel tire lever is better than a plastic one, although it does come with its cons. A steel tire lever may be more efficient, but using one could potentially damage the rims of the wheels, especially if it's made of carbon. So, if you're planning to bring one on your ride, make sure to use them with care.

 

CO2/ Inflator


 If you're running on tubeless-ready rims, then CO2 inflator is the perfect choice for you. A CO2 inflator is an excellent alternative for putting air into your bicycle wheels if you don't have a hand pump around. It'll speed up the process of changing your tires so that you can get back on the road much faster. If you're going to bring one with you, ensure to have the inflator along so that you can use it.

 

Also, keep an extra cannister on your saddlebag in case the first one didn't release the air properly. The cannister can get icy cold once it starts to release the air. That's why it's best to wear a pair of cycling gloves when using it.


 Patch kit

 

Patch kits are an alternative tool in case you're having a bad day on your spare tubes. You can cover any of the punctures on your tubes as a temporary fix. 


Modern patch kits are easy to pack and can be quite handy, especially if you're doing long distances. It also comes in two basic variations: vulcanizing and pre-glued. 


Vulcanizing patch kits are excellent when dealing with punctures, but most cyclists would recommend glue-free patches that you can stick right over the hole without any need for adhesive. This type of patch has a flatter surface and doesn't need much cover space, which makes it better suited for skinny road bike tubes.


When dealing with punctures, you need to ensure that it's clean from any debris to make it easier for the patch to stick. But since changing the tires can be filthy, wearing a disposable glove can make your work much more manageable.


Small nail clipper

 

It may seem odd, but your nail clipper can come in handy when it comes to managing your bike.


You can use your nail clipper to take out those tiny pieces of debris stuck in your tires that you can't pull out using your fingers. There are times when debris can be so small that it's too difficult to remove them with your bare hands. So, you can use the nail clipper as a plier to help get that tiny debris off the rubber tires.


 Presta to Schrader Adapter

 

Although you'll rarely use this small adapter on your travel, having Presta to Schrader Adapter can still come in handy, especially when it comes to filling your Presta-equipped valves. 


All the air pumps in every gas station have outlets that can only fit a Shrader valve. Having a Presta to Schrader adapter can be a lifesaver if you forgot to bring your bicycle pump with you.


 Personal items


Lastly, you need to make room for your personal items inside your bag. It's best to place your meds in a small container together with some cotton so it wouldn't get damaged from the constant movement of your bike. You should also keep a few forms of identification in your pack together with your credit card or your cash. Adding some ointment can also be helpful when it comes to soothing your muscles.


Packing your saddlebag, the right way


Now that you know everything that you need to bring for your ride, it's now time to pack all these things together carefully. But with all those items on the list, how can you keep everything organized?


When it comes to handling plastic valve caps, it's best not to toss it from your spare tubes. You need to cut off the tip of the plastic and keep it inside your saddlebag in case you need it. 

 

Meanwhile, if you haven't bought any saddlebags yet, then do try to consider an integrated saddlebag for your trip. These saddlebags have clips specially designed to make it easier for you to attach it to your seat post. They're also sleek and easy to use.

 

Every cyclist wants to enjoy their ride in peace. So, if you're tired of hearing your cartridges clanking around with every pedal, use rubber bands to hold them in place. It'll keep them tightly together so that you can enjoy your ride.

 

Most cyclists always travel light and fast. That's why they often go with simple saddlebags for their every ride. What you want to put in it is entirely up to you. But remember that your saddlebag can only hold so much. So, plan all the things that you need to get you back on your bike without putting any extra weight.




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