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16847 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Sep 27, 2012 6:51 AM by Kyle Ewing
Dobrobuck Pro 151 posts since
Apr 17, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 27, 2012 11:07 AM

Essential road gear??

I recently purchased my first nice road bike. While getting used to the bike so I can ride some distances( 50-100 mi) I need to figure out what things to take with me ie. extra tube ect and how to carry it all. I will talk to the guy's at the LBS where I purchased but thought you all might have suggestions too. The bike is a Trek Madone 4.7 so I'm not going to have a rack ect. Trying to stay as light as possible for the group I will eventually ride with as they tend to ride fairly hard and fast. Any suggestions are appreciated, thanks.

4/30/11 IL Marathon 10K 57:43

5/14/11 Kirby Derby 10K 57:49 3rd place in div

7/4/11 Freedom 5K 28:59

Lost 80lbs since 6/17/10 starting wt 280lbs

Joined Second Wind Running Club 9/2011

8/27/11 13.38mi 2:32

9/17/11 13.45mi 2:27

Habitat for Humanity 5K 12/31/11 26:42 PR

4/28/12 IL Marathon 1st 1/2 2:10:38

Cycled 1600 mi summer of 2012

Cycled Hilly Hundred 10/25/12

Upcoming races

April 2013 1st full marathon..

  • Robaix Elite Rookie 1 posts since
    Mar 12, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Apr 5, 2012 3:56 PM (in response to Dobrobuck)
    Essential road gear??

    Saddle bag that will hold the following:

    Tube x1

    Patch kit

    Tire levers

    Multi tool

    Copy of ID and ICE info


    I prefer a frame mounted pump, Blackburn makes some nice small ones that has mount that goes under your bottle cage. Many carry in the saddle bag CO2 cartridges and inflator. Once used your done though and they can be tricky.


    Learn how to change out your tube and practice before you have to do it roadside. Always look outside and inside of tire for what caused the flat! Running your glove over the tire will grab a piece of wire that is hard to see. Sometimes you can pull out the affected area and throw a patch on and be on your way. A gel or food wrapper placed between the tire and tube will get you home if you have a larger hole or cut in the tire or sidewall.


    See if your local LBS has any classes for tire changing or maintenance, learning a few tricks can get you home with some simple McGyver type repairs.


    I also recommend a Garmin cycling gps computer, their new 200 unit gets you gps for around $150, 500 with heart rate maybe 300ish. If you can find a factory refurbished unit you can get more of a device for less $! Avoid PayPal sites as Garmin does not provide warranty through these site. Otherwise you get the same one year as a new. Great for training, tracking, and reviewing ride.


    Good luck and enjoy your riding!


    Use your jersey pocket if you feel the need for a second tube, really depends on the tires your running and the local road debris. If your riding with others them the ability to "borrow" tube is alway an option.

  • MotiveForcer Community Moderator 448 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Apr 18, 2012 9:55 PM (in response to Dobrobuck)
    Essential road gear??

    Hi Dobro,

    Ok. Be prepared. It is bad form to have to bum stuff off of your cohorts and even worse to have to call home to a significant other or relative for a lift.

    Thinking of going a 100 miles? Then be stocked with:

    Two tubes.  A patch kit is cool to carry just in case you hit more shards of glass and trash both tubes.  I have never had good luck with the glueless patch kits however. It may just be me but they blow off, even if I double them up.

    I use CO2 cartridges. I carry two but sometimes three. Of course you will need a well engineered inflator to make it work.  You will need Tire levers. They usually come in sets of three. Carry three as they sometimes break.  I also carry a small pump as suggested above but I hate the way they look on a nifty new road frame so I carry a small one (about 6" long) that will fit in my saddle bag.  I carry several allen wrenches or sometimes a petite multi tool.  I sometimes carry an extra end cap for handle bars but that is for a teammate who loses one and won't be able to race without it.


    So, here is the suggestion I never see but it is important and fortunately not expensive. Get a set of TIRE BOOTS. PARK makes them. If your LBS does not carry them they are not equipped as they should be. Find a shop that does.  They are credit card sized adhesive strong pieces of plastic. In case you cut a tire or puncture it so that a new tube would just blow through it you take this and pull off the backing exposing adhesive and stick it on the inside of the damaged tire. This is a temporary fix but should get you home on an otherwise trashed tire. You get 3 or so for about $5.00.  Some will tell you that you can use a dollar bill or a mylar power bar wrapper. Good luck with that. These boots are easy to install, stay in place with the adhesive, and if you carry them you won't need them, but you will be the hero for a buck when your buddy hits a nail.  They take up literally no room in your saddle bag.


    I like Serfas bags. I want a separate compartment for a key. I want it to have a tab for a blinker when I ride in the evening. I want a durable zipper and a tough material for the bag's construction. They have several models but I like mine to be longer and not wider. I hate trashing the inner panel of my nifty riding shorts on the wide ones.  I can get all this stuff in one bag that no one would think is obtrusive. 


    Put your cell phone in a plastic bag in case it rains or there are a few jersey companies that actually make waterproof pockets! (Funkier for one).  Now, mind you, there are a few magazine writers and others who think it tacky to use a saddle bag.  Okay. The bike looks cool that way but your rear pockets are stuffed and you are more likely to forget gear at home or lose it when you take a spill, but you won't do that. 

    Did you get road shoes and road pedals?  If you started with mtn bike pedals and shoes make the transition. There are several options to go in that regard.  Purchase a set of shoes with a carbon sole. Spend the dough.  Contact me if you have any other questions. I recently saw a set of pedals as light as Dura-ace from another company for only about $70 on a blow out sale.  GPS units are nice if you are afraid of getting lost but also can tell you how many feet you climbed. That is neat. I like SIGMA bike computers. On most of theirs you can reset the individual functions (say, reset your average speed after your slow warm-up) without losing the info on the other modes including Max speed or distance. In fact they mostly have two distance modes so you can reset one to get a sub set distance.  When I lead a ride I reset one so that the ride distance I refer to on the ride starts at zero so I know the distance for that ride route and can tell folks what it was and I reset the average speed after a suitable warm up in the trafficy areas.  Then I get an  average speed value that actually means something and keeps the speed controlled until the road opens up. Then when I get home I refer to the original odometer for my daily miles.  


    It appears that you are coming from a running background. Make an effort to not rely on your running legs but work diligently to spin at a faster cadence and improve pedaling efficience saving your running power for the sprints.  Make sure your saddle height is not too high.  A good bike fit is key and it starts with (despite some disagreements I have with several other authors including one buddy of mine who recently published an article on this topic) the proper alignment of your foot inside the shoe. That means a footbed. ALINE at makes the best off the shelf product available.  I can explain that further.  Floatation pedals can save your knees at the expense of power transfer.  


    HEADS UP! Rubber down.

    EJ Levy


  • Colbagger Rookie 2 posts since
    May 9, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. May 9, 2012 10:29 AM (in response to Dobrobuck)
    Essential road gear??

    The other advice you've received is good.

    My input would be to skip the tyre boot as there is always road side trash you can use (any kind of sanck wrapper will work, including the one you keep your gel in) and look for a multi tool with a chain breaker (you'd be wise to carry a quick link such as that from SRAM or KMC as well). It's not that chains break often but tha tyou are so completely screwed if you don't have the right tool when they do. I guarantee you will be a popluar guy when someone in the group breaks a chain and you whip out your tool!

  • MotiveForcer Community Moderator 448 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. May 21, 2012 10:30 PM (in response to Colbagger)
    Essential road gear??

    As I said, "good luck with that."  I made a point of describing how a tire boot is inexpensive and very easy to use and if you would prefer to scrounge around, maybe in the dark or say on a mountain bike trail and hope that that Powerbar wrapper will stay in place, if you have one in the first place, then go for it.  I've been on rides where my buddy used  the wrapper which did not hold and another tube blew through.  And that, by the way, costs more than a pack of tire boots.  Since the only reason I can think of to not carry them is one of expense, and since they are cheap and very convenient then I can't think of a good reason to not carry one.  By the same reasoning you could scrounge around for a nail and a rock to fix that chain that broke.  I do agree that to carry a nice chain tool is a good idea.  Tire boots are inexpensive and my answer holds, every well equipped saddle bag should have at least one in it.  It will most likely get you home once repaired, save time, and maybe money. 

  • BT.ROB Legend 270 posts since
    May 12, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jul 30, 2012 4:13 PM (in response to MotiveForcer)
    Essential road gear??

    Good suggestion on the tire boot; I'll add that to my saddle bag. Also, I carry a mini-pump for some of the logic you used. Multiple flats=multiple inflations and you could blow through two-three cartridges easily (especially if mishandled (hello Chrissie Wellington at Kona!)). I carry a multi-tool with a chain breaker that was invaluable on the 200-mile race when my chain broke. Took out a link and only lost a few minutes of time; I wasn't going to cross chain big-big anyway. Love the ALINEs by the way. Thanks for those two years ago.



  • Kyle Ewing Rookie 2 posts since
    Feb 27, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Sep 27, 2012 6:51 AM (in response to Dobrobuck)
    Essential road gear??

    I may be jumping in a little after this thread has gone silent, but I would definitely agree with the chain breaker as an addition to your saddle bag.  It's amazing how few people actually carry them so when you're in a pinch it's a tough item to borrow.  You'll be someone's new best friend when they break their chain and you are the only one with a tool.  They make some that are extremely light and compact these days.


    Another KEY piece of equipment is some form of ID system.  Bring your driver's licence at an absolute minimum.  But to go one step better purchase an athlete-specific ID system that contains key information about you such as full name, emergency contacts, medical allergeis and any previously existing medical conditions.  That way if something happnes to you while you're out riding, someone can quickly find out who you are, who to contact that you've been in an accident and how to treat you.  I highly recommend that everyone wear one.  If you haven't heard of Guerrilal Tags ID Systems, check them out for sure.  They are a new company out of Colorado that makes ID's for cyclists that actually look good in my opinion.  After all if it looks good you'll be 100x more likely to wear it!


    Chain breaker and ID system in addition to the above. You are ready : )

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