For starters, always prepare the necessary food and water required for your ride based on the duration, intensity and weather condition.
As you start embarking on longer rides that typically last between 2 to 4 hours on the roads or in the trails, here are 7 essential items that you will want to carry in your bag and/or hydration pack.
1. Spare tube
Flats do happen so bring a spare tube or two whether you are riding tubeless or not. Plus you get to be the great friend who bails your buddy out when he/she forgets to bring a spare tube in the event of a puncture.
2. Patch Kit
Typically available in a small pack that contains about 6 to 8 pieces of pre-glued patches that are very easy to apply. These will be your last resort when you run out of tubes.
3. Hand pump
You will need a decently working hand pump to inflate your tire after changing out the tube. Most hand pumps will work with both Shraeder and Presta valves. Items (1) and (2) are useless without this so bring a packable pump on your rides! For a faster way, use CO2; the CO2 cartridges are one-time application only but will be your best companion in a race.
This comes in handy when you need to adjust seat height, tighten up bolts on brake/shifting levers, rotors, calipers and bottle cage (just to name a few). Choose the right tool for your bike but it should carry the necessary features such as Allen keys (up to 8mm), Torx wrench (T25/T30), Phillips and flathead screwdrivers and chain tool. Ensure that you know how to use each tool.
5. Tire levers
Carry at least 2 tire levers and learn how to use them.
6. Mobile phone
Smart phones these days can perform many functions and are equipped with GPS features. A must-have item in case of an emergency. Help is just a dial away! You might want to save a list of emergency contact numbers in your favourites list.
Enough said. You need this for a post-ride meal, to do some shopping at the bike shop or a ride home with your bike!
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