Nothing compares to the feeling of a long road ride. Imagine a calm, winding roadway, beautiful scenery, the melodic tune of circulating tires on tarmac, and the rhythmic beat of your breath. You are in the zone. To maintain this feeling of bliss, you must be prepared should something go wrong. Having a good set up will put your mind at ease and keep you riding longer. This article goes over 10 essential items to bring with you on every road ride.
#1 Portable Bike Pump
A mini hand pump or CO2 cartridge inflator are helpful in case you get a flat.
CO2 cartridge inflators are quick, and compact. They easily fit inside a seat pack and inflate your tires in a flash. To be safe, it is best to bring two or three spare canisters to avoid being stranded. However, this results in added weight and cost.
Hand pumps require more effort than CO2 cartridge inflators, especially when pumping tires to a high psi. However, they are more economical and environmentally friendly as they can be used repeatedly. You also never have to worry about being stranded for lack of cartridges. Most road tires require 100-120 psi. If you choose to bring a hand pump, make sure it is designed to reach high pressures.
Hydration plays a major role in overall performance. Experts from the Ride to Conquer Cancer event recommend you bring at least two large water bottles with you for the ride. Most endurance athletes have one water bottle filled with electrolyte solution to replenish electrolytes lost through sweating.
# 3 Saddle Bag
A saddle bag, is a small pack that sits beneath your bicycle seat. It is the simplest way to carry important items in a way that does not interfere with your riding. Saddle bags come in different sizes. The Axiom Fondo H20, shown above is perfect for the Ride to Conquer Cancer or Gran Fondo events as it is on the larger side. Its size allows you to easily bring all your necessities. It also allows you to bring an extra water bottle, which is a saviour on those hot summer days.
Read: Fondo H20 Review here
Multi-tools are essential for every ride. You never know what minor adjustments you may need to tweak. There is nothing worse than finding a problem on your bike you can’t fix!
#5 Tire Levers
If you get a puncture tire levers are your best friend!
Watch: How to Change a Flat Tire
#6 Spare tube
It is always best to bring at least one spare bike tube. Look on your tires for dimensions and valve type to see which tube will fit best. Road bikes most often need a 700 X 18 – 28c tube with a Presta valve. If you know you are riding through an industrial area prone to flats, bring two spare tubes.
#7 Patch Kit
Always bring a patch kit or glueless patches for back up. In a pinch, this miniature item is a massive help. They accommodate all types of tubes, so even if you prefer to change out your tube, you may end up helping a fellow rider on the road.
On a long ride, keeping fueled is the key to happiness. Proper food intake sustains energy levels and prevents your muscles from fatiguing as quickly. Even though Gran Fondos and Ride to Conquer Cancer events are supported, it is always good to bring snacks for between stations.
All cyclists have different tastes when it comes to how to fuel for a ride. Experiment to see what works for you. There are many different options on the market including energy bars, gels, gummies and more. I’ve even encountered a cyclist who always brings boiled potatoes on his ride!
#9 Packable jacket
It is crucial to be comfortable while riding. Having a packable jacket can save you from shivering if weather suddenly turns or if temperatures drop as you ride into the evening.
#10 $$$ and ID
ID is a definite must bring, especially if you are on a solo ride. Cash or a bankcard is also important for emergencies, or if you decide to stop for coffee or beer!
Whether you are training for a major event or just having fun, bring these ten simple essentials with you to keep you smiling and your wheels turning!