What to pack when riding my first road bike

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
ndwgolf
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What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby ndwgolf » 9 Dec 2018, 1:25am

Guys I have just bought a new Trek Madone SLR7, and would like to know what you guys would recommend me taking with me in case if puncture or Di2 issue.
I've been riding my mountain bike for over two years now, mainly on the road and haven't really taken anything with me. I have heard that road bikes are prone to punctures so I guess spare tubes and a pump will be essential........anyway any advice will be much appreciated
Neil

eileithyia
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Re: What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby eileithyia » 9 Dec 2018, 7:23am

No idea regarding Di2 but would certianly have 1-2 spare inner tubes. Tyre levers. Pump and or Gas cylinder (or 2). Multitool and a waterproof.
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Brucey
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Re: What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby Brucey » 9 Dec 2018, 8:16am

There are one or two things that very occasionally break which might stop you unless you are prepared, so you could usefully add to the items mentioned above.

1) chain breakage; not that uncommon with modern super-skinny chains. It is not a bad idea to carry a spare quicklink that will fit your chain (eg a KMC one). If your multitool already includes a chain tool you can use this to remove a broken link and then rejoin the chain using the quicklink.

2) spoke breakage; modern wheelsets have fewer spokes (yours may have 18F and 24R, something like that) and this both increases the risk of spoke breakage as well as making the consequences worse, i.e. if a spoke breaks the wheel goes quite a long way out of true. If this happens the immediate objective is usually to get the bike adjusted so the wheel will run through the frame/forks/brake and you can ride home. The brakes can be adjusted (eg using the QR) but beyond that it is usually a question of adjusting a few spokes to allow the wheel to clear the frame/fork. Thus a spoke key that fits your spoke nipples is a good idea. Often multitools include spoke keys, but they fit so badly they are nigh-on useless when you need them.

3) tyre gash; occasionally you will run over something that not only gives you a puncture, it gashes the tyre open so that even with a new tube in it, it might not be safe to ride on. To deal with this it is a good idea to fit a 'tyre boot' of some kind. A piece of lightweight but strong fabric will reinforce the tyre and get you home (or better). I carry a piece of fabric cut from an old umbrella; three or four layers of that will reinforce the tyre so that you can ride home. This weighs virtually nothing and packs down very small.

You could ride a long way without needing any of this stuff but to carry means of addressing the above might add an ounce or two to a seat pack, i.e. not much.

cheers
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Canuk
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Re: What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby Canuk » 9 Dec 2018, 8:45am

ndwgolf wrote:Guys I have just bought a new Trek Madone SLR7, and would like to know what you guys would recommend me taking with me in case if puncture or Di2 issue.
I've been riding my mountain bike for over two years now, mainly on the road and haven't really taken anything with me. I have heard that road bikes are prone to punctures so I guess spare tubes and a pump will be essential........anyway any advice will be much appreciated
Neil


A £20 note and a sarcastic expression for the motorists who are bound to cut you up. A tube and a tyre lever could be useful. Should you make it within 3 miles of home with no mechanical problems, I'd heartily recommend spending the 20 in the nearest pub, you'll probably need a stiff drink after a few hours on British roads :wink:

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Tinnishill
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Re: What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby Tinnishill » 9 Dec 2018, 9:19am

+1 for the cash. Also, the new plastic banknotes can be used as a tyre boot !
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Cunobelin
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Re: What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby Cunobelin » 9 Dec 2018, 9:30am

I believe the tradition for "roadies" is to wait for a passing commuter or tourist and use their kit....... less weight you see.

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foxyrider
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Re: What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby foxyrider » 9 Dec 2018, 9:36am

I've been riding road bikes for quite a while and probably carry less now than ever. A lot of the 'advice' above is scaremongering and not really helpful to anyone.

The kit you should always take:
Pump (Co2 is great for a one shot but useless and expensive for multiples) make sure it's suitable for high pressures.
Tyre levers
Spare tube
Glueless patch kit (more reliable for on road repairs than old skool sets)
Quicklink
Suitable multitool
Plus your phone and wallet!

That should get you home 99% of the time.

There is stuff that will help prevent 'loads of punctures' and so on. Make sure the tyres are pumped up to recommended pressure (typically @90 - 100psi) and in good order. Most punctures are caused by poor maintenance, ie too low tyre pressure, worn/damaged tyres which then allow foreign objects to cause deflations.

Don't clart the chain up with lube, it doesn't need it, instead a regular wipe off and just a few drops of light lube will be ideal.

IME, unless you are a brutish rider, low spoke count does not mean lots of spoke failure - even on crappy roads and trails. Like any wheels, keep an eye on trueness and try to avoid the biggest potholes! Even my lightest wheelset have gone 3 years without any damage or even truing and they have been hammered with lightweight touring, trails and run 23 tyres.

Mostly, enjoy your new bike and whilst it's a 'road' machine don't be afraid to venture off tarmac - it will happily live on most trails (canals and disused. Railways for example), don't get too carried away on fast descents / corners until you are comfortable with the handling and braking - I regularly see over enthusiastic newbies over cooking it on downhill bends!
Convention? what's that then?
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Brucey
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Re: What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby Brucey » 9 Dec 2018, 10:05am

if stuff is small and light it is better to carry it and not need it than the other way about.

Fetishistically choosing to leave ~50g of stuff at home is just daft.

cheers
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slowster
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Re: What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby slowster » 9 Dec 2018, 10:07am

I would suggest you take with you:

1. A bike that is well maintained - if you look after the bike, and investigate any seemingly minor faults before they become serious faults, it's less likely that you will have a major mechanical failure when out.

2. A bit of ingenuity can often come in useful when the problem might seem very bad. For example, if you don't have a tyre 'boot' like Brucey describes, you can often use something else, e.g. a piece of inner tube card packaging.

3. As already advised, a multi-tool with chain tool (or equivalent separate tools suitable for your bike). I think it's a good idea to try the chain tool at home instead of whatever larger/workshop chain tool you might normally use, so that if and when you need to use it in an emergency, you are familiar with using it and know that it will work.

4. One or two Quick Links, and the knowledge of how to install and undo them without tools, e.g. for undoing them - viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9539&start=30#p752883.

5. As well as tyre levers and two tubes, I always take some glueless patches as well which take up no space and weigh almost nothing. On at least one occasion they saved me a very long walk home when circumstances resulted in me having already used up my spare tubes, which is unusual but can happen, e.g. if you fail to identify the original cause of a puncture (it's not always apparent) and remove it before fitting the replacement tube.

6. A good pump which you know you can use to pump up a tyre relatively quickly (CO2 cartridges are a waste of resources). The lightest most compact mini-pumps look great, until you are fixing a puncture when it's cold and raining. Bigger (which for narrow road tyres means longer) pumps are quicker.

As for Di2, I've no idea.

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foxyrider
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Re: What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby foxyrider » 9 Dec 2018, 10:50am

Brucey wrote:if stuff is small and light it is better to carry it and not need it than the other way about.

Fetishistically choosing to leave ~50g of stuff at home is just daft.


Which is all fine and good if you know how to use the tool, fit the part but pointless otherwise. As a teen I had a tool roll under the saddle that contained more spanners, keys etc than I could ever have found useful (it must have weighed a full kg at least!). One day, unbeknownst to me, I managed to lose the whole lot, only discovering the loss when I got home. After that I only carried the essentials for a puncture and that was more than enough for my road bike riding for over 30 years.
I only added to that when I started riding mtb's and then when I started touring. I have had chains break so I carry the gear that should get me home for that, likewise multiple punctures. A decent multitool will get me sorted with the majority of potential issues. If I broke a spoke on a day ride, well its a day ride, that's where the twenty comes in or maybe International Rescue!
Who's weighing this stuff? I certainly never mentioned weight.
Convention? what's that then?
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Vorpal
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Re: What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby Vorpal » 9 Dec 2018, 10:57am

Most punctures can be prevented with decent tyres, and checking / topping up the pressure regularly.

Other than that, it depends what you are willing to do by the roadside & what your other options are. If you can take the train, or get a lift home without too much trouble, you probably don't need to carry much. If you plan to ride long, unsupported rides in rural areas, take your pick of the longer lists above. And there's everything in between. I tend to not carry much when utility cycling, as I don't go as far.
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thirdcrank
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Re: What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby thirdcrank » 9 Dec 2018, 11:30am

As already posted, regular maintenance will prevent a lot of problems. A bit of knowledge is valuable with that so have a look at something like the Park Tool www which has a lot of vids.

Then, the stuff to carry depends on what you know how to use so try to learn for that reason as well.

I'd suggest that punctures are the most likely cause of a problem on any bike, but luck comes into it. However, it's an example of where preventive maintenance pays dividends. Keep your tyres properly inflated and check their condition after every ride (before every ride is ok, but it gives you less time to rectify problems.) When you do have the misfortune to puncture, a disciplined approach to repair, in particular finding and dealing with the cause will help prevent a series of "mystery" repeats. By disciplined I mean making sure the labels or some other marker on your tyres are by the valves. When you puncture, you may find the hole in the tube or its cause in the tyre first, depending on circumstances. Working from the valve/ label as appropriate, that will help you find the other. Replacing the tube can be better and almost certainly quicker than repairing the puncture at the roadside but it's pointless if you don't deal with the cause of the puncture.

Canuk
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Re: What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby Canuk » 9 Dec 2018, 1:35pm

Where I live punctures are almost unheard of, mainly because of well maintained rural roads and a lack of hedgerow (no thorns). I've only come a cropper once and that was on a long descent where I managed to double nip both front and rear wheels in a pothole that literally came out of nowhere. I rarely cycle alone so between the 3 of us I managed to get back on the road with spare tubes.

I normally donate my old tubes and cycle clothing / helmets to the local club where some of the young lads are very happy to fix /repair them. I think it's a good idea to carry a proper puncture outfit though as stick on patches I find next to useless in the rain or winter.

Obviously the £20 is your best friend, as even the most experienced cyclist can't predict what will happen on a long ride from home, especially if it's something totally unexpected like a crash. My training partner got stuck in a tree root at the side of the road last winter and came off quite badly. The bike was wrecked but between us we had enough money for a long walk to the train station and then a fast train back home. I realise that people in rural areas might not have the luxury, but a £20 note will really save your bacon some day.

Just remember to remove it delicately from your tool bag before you sell your trusty steed. Twice now I've been 20 euros up on buying a second hand bike with a nice surprise in the the tool roll! :wink:

flat tyre
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Re: What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby flat tyre » 9 Dec 2018, 3:09pm

Here's what I take:
Multi tool
2 inner tubes
Pump
2xCO2 cartridges and Genuine Innovations inflator (almost always use these instead of the pump)
Tyre levers
Emergency patches
1 pair disposal gloves
Tyre boot
Lock
Lightweight packable waterproof jacket in case it rains or I get cold

All of the above goes into my Topeak saddle bag.

In my pockets I carry;
Phone
Credit card
£20 note
Foldable reading glasses
Emergency rations eg banana, flapjack

I've only had 2 occasions when I've been stuck. Once was due to finding that the pump I was carrying wouldn't actually inflate the tyre, hence the CO2 cartridges, the other was due to getting 2 punctures and only carrying one inner tube and no patches. I was able to call a taxi on one occasion and my daughter came to my aid with the other. I suppose it depends how far you are planning to venture from home, if you are likely to be somewhere remote then you may need some of the other items that people have suggested.

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Cugel
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Re: What to pack when riding my first road bike

Postby Cugel » 9 Dec 2018, 3:56pm

Spare tubes (at least two) and glueless patches, in case of multiple punctures (you often get none or several rather than the one). A good pump as well as a tool to tighten valve cores, which are otherwise a pain if they come loose. Don't rely on CO2 cartridges as when they're gone they're ... gone.

a split link and a chain tool. The link is no good without the chain tool to get rid of the broken link(s).

A spare gear hanger for your variety of frame. Modern ones are made to break easily if the rear derailleur is bashed and it's a pain to turn your bike into a single speed by shortening the chain (the only other solution if you have no spare gear hanger) which also requires than chain tool.

A mini-tool, hopefully including a chain maker-breaker tool and an 8mm allen key (for when your chainset or pedal comes loose).

A back-pocket packable windproof-waterproof.

In winter, front & back light - good for being visible in dim winter daylight but essential if something delays you and you have to pedal home in the dark.

Cash money, in the form of notes, which are also a good tyre boot for dealing with tyre sidewall gashes.

None of the above weigh much or are bulky yet they can save your ride.

***********
Most important of all - the knowledge, skill and ability to use all the above. They're no good unless you've practiced with them until you know how to use them successfully. "Practicing" out on the road when it's tossing it down, cold and going dark is no good.

Cugel