Every cyclist who ventures further than the end of their road should always carry a minimum amount of tools and spares with them. Some feel that a mobile phone and €20 is all the toolkit that they need. But what happens when you get a mechanical 30k from home in an area with no phone coverage? Or what happens if it is lashing rain and your wife or husband has to go collect the kids from football training before they can come in search for your now freezing body?
The bare minimum that any cyclist should have with them is a spare tube, tyre levers and a pump but ideally it would be something like this
A small saddle bag which can be permanently left on the bike. Very often the back pocket method can lead to a forgotten tube in the rush to get out the door.
A spare tube, with a valve long enough to allow a pump to be fitted where it protrudes from the rim. Many deep section rims need 52,60 or even 80mm valves in order to fit on a pump head so be sure to bear this in mind when purchasing your spare tube.
Tyre levers to facilitate the easy removal of the tyre in order to replace the tube.
A pump, which again should remain on the bike at all times.
A few self adhesive patches. If you have only one tube and get more than one puncture what next? At least by having a few patches you can mend the tube and get home.
I have added a small multi tool to this picture. Very often a small multi tool with a few allen keys and screwdriver heads can be a lifesaver on the roadside. They are small, light and relatively inexpensive and are well worth having with you.
Next up comes the full size tool kit for a person who spends more than 3 hours at a time on their bike. Here I have included a second tube. A larger multi tool with a chain breaker and a spoke key. There is also a tyre boot to repair a tyre that has been damaged enough to cause the inner tube to protrude through the outer casing. A rarely used item, but a life saver when it is needed.
The Co2 canister I have given a picture of its own. They are great if used properly but you still need to bring a pump to lightly inflate the new tube before fitting and also to have on standby if the Co2 does’t work properly. On more than one occasion I have seen a white cloud of gas envelope a cyclist unfamiliar with the use of Co2’s when they open the valve before fitting it onto the tube.
These tools will get you out of 99 % of mechanical trouble that you may encounter out on the road, but for that other 1% do be sure to bring along at least €10 and the mobile phone. The €10 can also come in handy if you need a coke or a coffee to help get you home after a long day in the saddle.