Training, racing, gear, facial hair styles and thoughts from my push to become an elite cyclist.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Road Toolkit

I hate saddle bags.  It's not that I think that they don't have a purpose, but I just think that they detract from the simple aesthetics of race bikes.  Earlier I mentioned my byekyle simple strap solution for the mountain bike, so here is my saddle bag- free solution for the road.  

Like most competitive mountain bikers I spend a fair bit of time on the road, and this time of year that's the only option.  My long training loops bring me through some remote areas where I'm a long way from the sag wagon and I need to plan accordingly.  

A few summers ago I had a stretch where I was going through 2 inner tubes a week.  I attribute that to a bad batch of tubes, but in one particular instance I flatted once, fixed it, then flatted again ten minutes later.  Since then I've been better prepared.   

The contents of the bag are pretty simple: two tubes, a vulcanizing patch kit, a pump and a multi tool.  CO2 is great for fixing one flat, but after getting multiple flats in a single ride I've decided to carry a pump to make sure I can always get rolling again.  There are about ten patches in the kit, and by the time I've used about four of them I've probably already thrown the bike in the woods and started walking anyway.

The Crank Brothers multi tools are the best I've used and I carry one with me whenever I ride.  Chains fail on road bikes and it's important have a chain tool in addition to the standard assortment of hex wrenches, spoke keys and screwdrivers.  Often I'll tuck a couple dollar bills into the rubber ring on the tool.  Spare change goes inside the patch kit box.

All of this fits neatly into a Thomson stem bag which I've labeled as "Road" to distinguish it from my CX and MTB kits with different tube sizes.  Altogether this is a good solution that has me prepared without an unsightly saddle bag.   

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