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The Essentials

Have you ever gone for a ride and ended up pushing or carrying your bike out of the woods? Or relied on someone else to provide a spare tube or patch kit to help you out?

The answer is probably yes if you’ve done any significant amount of off-road riding. It’s surprising how many kilometers you can cover in just an hour of riding – and how long it takes to walk out. So, read on….

Let’s start with the tools. You’ll need a set of tire levers to remove and replace the tire, a patch kit and/or a spare tube. On longer trips you might want to carry both. To re-inflate the tire you need either a pump or a CO2 cartridge-inflater. Know how to use the pump BEFORE you go out and make sure it has the correct attachment for your tube valve. A set of Allen keys (4, 5 & 6 mm), sockets or wrenches (8, 9 & 10 mm), a chain break, screwdrivers (flathead and Philips) and a spoke wrench are the main tools you should have. This may sound like a lot of tools, however there are “all-in-one” tools available which are easy-to-use, compact, lightweight and affordable. Some tape, string, bandages, can also come in handy for that unpredictable emergency.

If you’re going into an unknown area you should also have a compass and a map AND know how to use them. Don’t forget water – an energy bar can provide that extra lift during a long ride.

Now – where are you going to put all of this “stuff”? All of this will fit into a medium size bag which attaches under your seat, or can be stored in your hydration pack.

The first time you find yourself using your kit you’ll be thankful that you invested the time and money – it may even save you from spending an unexpected night on the trail.

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