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Ride Essentials: The Emergency Toolkit

Ride Essentials: The Emergency Toolkit

Ride Essentials: The Emergency Toolkit

Sometimes when you’re out on the road disaster strikes. We’ve all been there – whether it’s a thorn in your tyre or you’ve hit a pothole and popped a spoke, these seemingly trivial issues can put an end to your ride. Finishing a ride with a trip to the train station or a cold wait on the side of the road for a lift is never a good feeling. Being prepared for these instances will save you a lot of headaches, so we’ve made a checklist of what you might need and why!



Mini Pump

You can try all you like, but a fully-fledged track pump probably isn’t going to fit in your jersey pocket. Luckily there’s a solution to this dilemma: the mini pump. 

Lightweight, pocket-sized and surprisingly powerful, whether you’re going for a spin around the block or heading out on a point-to-point adventure, a mini pump is essential. Most mini pumps nowadays pack a punch compared to those of yesteryear, and although it might take a bit more effort than a track pump to get the tyre inflated, it’ll get you up and running again in no time when you’re in a pinch.





Compact, efficient and cost-effective, CO2 cartridges are a great alternative to pumping away at the side of the road. They’ll get you rolling again in no time, inflating your tyre to a reasonable level in just a couple of seconds when used with an inflator attachment.

Though they’ll work like a dream a majority of the time, it’s not unheard of for a cartridge to fail on rare occasions, so it’s always worth taking both cartridges and your mini pump along for the ride, just in case.

It’s important to note that if you’re using a tubeless setup, check whether your sealant of choice is compatible with CO2 before experimenting.





It’s all well and good having the kit to pump your tyre up with, but if you don’t have a spare tube you won’t be getting far!

Make sure to keep a tube or two to hand when you head out on the road, whether it’s in your jersey pocket or in a luggage bag. Even if you’re running tubeless, failures can happen, in which case having a tube to re-inflate the tyre will be a lifesaver.

There’s nothing worse than the sinking feeling of realising the only spare tube you have is the wrong size! Always double-check what size tube you need, taking into consideration the width of the tyre and the length of the valve for deep-section wheels.



Tyre Levers

The humble tyre lever: simple, but effective. These tough bits of plastic enable you to get some leverage on the tyre bead to get it off or on the rim so you can replace a punctured tube.  





Out on an epic ride, but have exhausted your supply of inner tubes and run out of CO2 cartridges? Fear no more, patches to the rescue!

Give life back to your punctured tube by installing a patch on the hole. A once fiddly process is now made easy with self-adhesive patches, so you no longer have to worry about glueing them on yourself. These are generally the last resort, and it’s generally a good idea to replace the patched tube once you return to the comfort of your home.




Not every issue you encounter out on the road is going to revolve around fixing a puncture – sometimes things might slip or come loose, whether it’s your seat post, saddle, bars or stem.

If only there were a tool that could do it all...behold the multitool! As the name suggests, they’ve got a variety of useful tools all in one compact device so you can remedy your mechanical issues.

No toolbox required – they’re compact, lightweight and fit just right in a jersey pocket or luggage bag. 




Zip Ties

Hated by some, loved by many. Though zip ties should never be used as a long term solution, when you’re in a pickle and left with no other option they’ll do the trick. Remedy a broken mudguard or light mount, secure a popped spoke – the possibilities are endless.

When you consider the criteria for an on-bike solution – small, lightweight, easy to use – zip ties tick all of the boxes. Nobody is too weight weenie to carry a couple of zip ties, so it’s always worth taking some with you. When you need them you’ll be glad you had them.



Saddle Bag

Now that you’ve got your emergency tool kit put together, you’ll need somewhere to put it all. Saddle bags are a simple but effective storage solution: out of the way, small and lightweight. You’ll forget it’s even there. Carrying too much on your person in a jersey pocket can weigh you down and be quite annoying when it’s all swaying side to side.

Of course, there are plenty of storage bottles that’ll fit nicely in the cages and keep your tools secure and close to hand. You could always go for the traditional roadie solution of a neatly packed open-top bidon, but there is the risk of its contents being strewn across the road if you hit a nasty bump!




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