How to Handle a High Volume of Races: Fix It Kits

One of the most common questions newer cyclists ask is, "What do I need to carry with me in case of an emergency?"  There is no single answer to this question, but I usually ask the rider two follow up questions, "What level of repairs are you comfortable taking on by yourself?”  and “How far are you riding?"  If you never want to fix a flat tire, or if you never ride more than a few miles from your house then you may just need a cell phone to call a friend or a cab, and maybe some money.  Also, if you are going for a fast paced road ride your repair kit will be much smaller than if you were going on a cross country tour.  

Here are a few examples of what Is most commonly packed into our saddle bags:

Road Rider/Commuter

-Keg: Basically it is a water bottle cut in half with a screw top, used to carry tools and stores in your water bottle holder.

-Saddle bag: Used to carry tools behind your seat.

-Tube: A spare tube is usually easier and faster to replace than finding the puncture hole and patching it.

-Patch kit: A patch kit is nice to have as a backup in the off chance that you get more than one flat on a single ride.

-CO2 Cartridge: This is a much faster way to fill your tubes with air, and easier to pack away than a hand pump.

-Tire lever: Used to pry the tire off the rim.

-Multi-tool: Used for anything and everything you may need to tighten or loosen up

-Money: IF you have a malfunction that is beyond road side repair it is always smart to have some cash for a cab or bus to get you to your nearest bike shop

Bike packing/Touring

On a long distance bike trip, you need to be a little more prepared for mechanical issues on your bike.  The longer and harder you ride your bike, the more maintenance you will need.  Also, you may not always find yourself within a reasonable distance of a bike shop, so you want to be comfortable doing repairs on your own.  Here is a good start to a touring repair kit.

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-Patch kit
-Tire boot
-Tire levers
-Hand pump
-Co2 cartridge
-Extra chain
-Shifter/brake cable
-More tools
-Duct tape
-Electrical tape
-Latex gloves
-First aid supplies
-Small flashlight/headlamp