17 comments on “In the bag?

  1. Good question – for me, on a short journey it’s a mobile phone, and puncture repair kit, and that’s about it apart from what fits into my pockets. On a longer journey it includes a map, glasses, waterproof, camera, and wallet, and sometimes a digital recorder (if I am collecting stuff for the OSM map). I put a water bottle in the clip on a hot day, and the GPS and cycle computer fit on the handlebars. A lock and chain wrap round the seat post. Apart from the waterproof (which rolls up and goes on top of the rack, or into a pannier), everything else fits into a handlebar bag. So far I haven’t needed any tools, so the multi-tool tends to stay at home, but that’s a bit silly I suppose.

  2. I’ve been thinking about how much I need to kit myself when I get my new bike. I’ll get a pannier for lecture stuff and Tescos shopping, but I think my tools should be confined to a small bag like one that straps on near the saddle or a pencil case size thing.
    If I get a puncture I guess with any repair kit I’ll need a pump, but that can take up a lot of space especially as I want to get one you hold to the ground with your feet.
    As I’ve only brought my lights and an old lock from home home, all these things will add onto the price of a bike making set up cost quite high. I sort of like the idea of becoming the bike expert among friends though. My house mate’s old bike is in serious need of a good pump!

  3. Interesting isn’t it? I forgot to mention the new pump, whose mounting bracket shares screws with the water bottle bracket. I also forgot my mobile phone, my wallet and my sunglasses (ever the optimist).
    By the way, the bike cost £160 back in May. The cost of accessories has exceeded that by a large margin already, the two locks and the Brooks saddle being the most expensive items. Not complaining – I could have bought a bike etc. a great deal cheaper had I wanted to.

  4. I always carry a small tool kit in my seat bag, in case something should go wrong when I’m far from the nearest bike shop — patch kit, tire (or tyre) wrenches, pliers, hex key set, etc. I also carry a spare tube, and a roll of duct tape, which has been used for everything from reattaching loose parts, to binding my foot to a broken pedal. You’ll also find a first aid kit, which has been used far more often on total strangers than on myself, along with my wallet, keys, cleat covers and a small tube of suntan lotion to protect any exposed areas from the Southern California sun. And there’s always a granola bar or a box of raisins in case I get hungry on a long ride. My mobile phone is attached to my handlebars in a special case, in case any clients, or my wife, should call when I’m on the road, and there’s a small air pump attached to the frame. No lights, since I don’t want to trust my safety to L.A. drivers rushing home after dark. And no chain or lock, because I never leave my bike out of reach away from home.

  5. I usually carry what you carry, plus a mobile phone ‘just in case’. Plus one extra water bottle. Plus sandwiches. Plus cameras. Plus map. Plus waterproof trousers. Plus GPs Garmin computer. Plus pump. Oh dear, no wonder I need panniers and a bar bag!

  6. Gregory – I don’t think you need a track pump on the bike to get you home. I keep one at home, because I can’t get the tyres up to full pressure with the little one on the bike, but I can certainly get enough air into them with a mini-pump to manage a return journey.

  7. I have a nice bike repair kit that looks like a water bottle and fits in the bottle carrier on my bike (or did until the carrier rusted off). I carry everything I need in a little backpack on my back which isn’t really recommended because it gets sweaty under the straps and raises your centre of gravity but until April my bike was primarily a commuting bike that got left at a train station all day so I didn’t want to be messing with removable panniers (if you leave a bike with a basket locked up in London it quickly gets filled with rubbish). I tend to look at the map before I go and try and remember my route, but that can be frankly disastrous given my sense of direction. Otherwise, water, waterproof jacket and cap and gloves are all in the backpack, plus a mobile. If I get a mechanical problem I just stand at the side of the road looking helpless, but that may only work for girls…

  8. Sadly being prepared carries a price, I know that to be true. I have large pannier bags over my back wheel, which add at least 15-20 lbs to my daily commute. Weight I’d love to decrease, but how do you do it? Better cycling specific tools, better light battery equipment etc., all sadly more expense than I can adjust to at present, so I’ll just have to continue with my make-do equipment, which no doubt, still comes up short of the ideal preparedness needed for my commute. But for now, it will have to stay, part of the, what I continue to be amazed by, fantastic adventure of cycling.

  9. I don’t know about looking helpless, but sitting at the side of the road covered in blood seems to work for me. I’m not sure it would get a puncture fixed, but you do acquire a lot of baby-wipes.

  10. What I carry depends on if it’s a fun ride, or a commute ride. For a fun ride: cell phone, housekey (absolutely critical, I found out the hard way to double-check before shutting the door that I have the correct key), tire pump attached to frame, water bottle, patch kit, tire levers, and a couple of tissues. What’s not attached to the frame fits in jacket pockets, or a small fanny pack. I always ride with headlight and taillight on, for the simple fact that motorcyles do it so it seems like a good idea for a bicycle which is an even smaller object.

    For work commute, I have my lovely panniers which typically hold: tire pump (off the frame since I transport the bike by car the first 12.5 miles, then ride the last 13.5, and don’t like anything on the frame when driving), spare inner tube, patch kit, tire levers, set of hex wrenches, whatever garbage I need for the day like my glasses, cellphone, security badge, wallet, lunch. If I’m organized enough I drive my clothes in the previous day, along with snacks for the week. I keep most of my toiletries in a locker at work (shampoo, soap, styling goop, hair dryer, towel, etc.). Also, since it’s getting so dark in the mornings now, I have two headlights on the bike, but still only one rear light. If I have managed to drive in most stuff ahead of time, I’m thinking of taking my camera (it’s not one that will fit in a pocket) and stopping to get photos on the way home. I haven’t done any riding in the rain yet, don’t even have any rain gear but the time is nigh.

  11. I think I will have to come to terms with using the panniers full-time and leaving the small saddlebag at home. Nearly all the items above can go in the panniers with ample space to spare, but all (except the locks) can be loaded in two or three separate carrier bags within the panniers so that they can be taken out in a hurry and put back later without having to check everything against a list. Thus, on very short trips to local shops the panniers could be emptied easily beforehand leaving space to carry shopping.
    Thanks for your comments folks, all very helpful.

  12. Pingback: How Brave. « Welshpurpletree’s Weblog

  13. I take loads of stuff

    Puncture Kit (I never take a pump which is extremely stupid I know!).

    I take my sketch book, coloured pencils

    Crossword Puzzles (so I can survive being stuck in the train)

    Some Work Stuff

    Some Post

    Deep Heat Spray (well I had an ache in my arm yesterday)

    A Cycling Magazine, A Woman’s Mag

    I hate being ‘bored on my rides’ so I like to have something for ‘my brain’.


    Headache Tablets

    Change of Clothes

    FAR TOO MUCH – but it makes me enjoy my ride more.

  14. Things I forgot

    My Mobile

    Extra Batteries


    Make Up

    A disposable camera (yes another one!)

    A note book for recording bad drivers.

  15. and a Turkish Delight and Wispa. I am eating the Turkish Delight now because I have so much stuff in my bag, I forgot about it!

  16. Cellphone (to call my wife if I get in trouble) – Map of local pubs – LOL. Prefer the pub option…..

    Here’s a post I did a ways back: http://www.cyclemania.ca/2008/08/cycling-ultimate-bicycle-toolkit/

    It really depends on how far, how long & where. In Afghanistan, you would need a bullet-proof vest (for a silly example).


    PS VeloChick —- I’ll skip the makeup (wouldn’t help me much)

    PSS Skip the lock and buy a cheap bike — Unless you live in Amsterdam where even a beater will get pinched!

  17. For short rides, no more than 10 km round trip, I tend to take… virtually nothing. Puncture repair kit and pump are about the lot. I do tend to have waterproof clothing this time of year, and of course the bike is permanently fitted with lights and locks (removeable ones are too much hassle). If anything more serious goes wrong, I walk. It’s happened once only on short trips on decades of cycling.

    I really take nothing if I’m just going to shops and back, as it reduces what I can carry and it’s not exactly a disaster if I should end up having to walk a couple of km.

    For longer rides, the list expands to include quite a lot of tools including spoke key, crank puller, chain tool, spare spokes, spare tubes and tyres, spare brake and gear cables, chain oil, stiff wire and duct tape. All these things have been used on occasion. The stiff wire – together with a stick – even made a broken frame ridable on one occasion. Also food and drink, maps and perhaps a few changes of clothes and a tent…

    As for needing so many tools. It’s a nuisance. Mike Burrows once told me he was trying to make everything on one of his new bikes adjustable with a 5 mm allen key. There will of course always be exceptions (spokes, cassettes, for instance), but I thought this a very good aim for basic jobs.

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