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What do you keep in your saddle bag?

  • 27-08-2021 7:55pm
    Registered Users Posts: 7,082 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    I've just cleaned out my saddle bag which touch wood has largely stayed on the bike since last year beyond handing out a few CO2 cartridges

    I've got:

    • Multitool
    • 1 spare tube (running tubeless)
    • 2 tire levers
    • CO2 & inflater (also use a frame pump attached to the bike just in case)
    • Tire boot & two patches
    • Tubeless repair kit (e.g. dynaplug)
    • Quick link (I've installed a chain before but not sure if I would sort it out on a ride)
    • Tubeless valve & valve core tool (as above not really sure if/why I would change a tubeless valve out on a ride)
    • Two small cable ties just for the sake of it

    What else do you carry with you on a road ride? I don't tend to have someone ready to collect me when I'm out, but do have a breakdown service that I'm not sure how quick/reliable it is.


  • Disposable gloves can be handy, especially if you have white bar tape and have grubby hands changing a flat or popping a chain back on.

    I carry very basic first aid stuff now, plasters, small bandage, gauze, wipes etc. doesn't take up much space but I cut my thumb when I was out recently, not deep but there was a decent amount of blood and it was dipping on to me and the bike for a bit. So for the sake of a few extra grams I put that stuff in the bag now too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,563 ✭✭✭✭Squidgy Black

    Topeak multitool that has a chain tool and tire levers built in, a buff (not just for the weather but as a mask too in these times), patches, spare tube, spare house key, revolut card and a small bit of cash

  • Registered Users Posts: 332 ✭✭AxleAddict

    My checklist is very similar to yours:

    • Multi-tool with detachable tyre levers (and integrated valve core tool - I used to carry a separate valve core tool - but no need to now - more on that later), and chain-breaker - Topeak Hexus X
    • 1 x spare tube - with 60 or 80mm valve length - longest common denominator - so it'll work with various rim depths on the various wheelsets that I have - so I can swap the tool bottle between bikes without worrying whether the valve will be long enough - otherwise there's a risk the valve length of the spare tube might not be long enough for the wheelset thats currently fitted and I'd have to resort to fixing the puncture on the existing tube (assuming it is fixable) out on the road. I can always replace the tube with a different one with a more suitable valve length when I get home if the valve length on the spare tube is overkill for the wheel its now fitted to.
    • 2 x CO2 cartridges and adjustable CO2 inflater nozzle so that I can control the flow of CO2 into the tube more easily.
    • Tyre boot and self-adhesive patch kit (Lezyne Smart Kit) - more of a 'good enough to get me home' type solution rather than a permanent fix.
    • Couple of quick Links
    • A couple of individually foil-wrapped wet-wipes. I used to carry a pair of nitrile gloves for keeping my hands clean when doing any messy work at the side of the road - but I found these got quite sweaty after a while and just didn't give me the fine tactile feel that I needed when trying to do fiddly repairs. So now I just let my hands get as dirty as necessary (whilst remembering not to wipe them on my clothes) and then quickly get rid of any grease at the end. Since they're individually foil wrapped, they don't dry out and you can use them one at a time - cheap enough to buy a box of them from Amazon.
    • A compact, high-pressure pump with flex cord - Lezyne Pressure Drive Mini - in my experience, when using pumps which press directly onto the valve core, there is more change of bending or damaging the core during the pumping process (or maybe I'm just useless) which is why I opted for a pump with a flex cord - which you screw onto the valve and the other end you screw onto the pump - this give a little bit of extra flexibility. The potential downside is that if you screw the flex cord onto the valve too tightly there is a chance that the valve core may come out as you go to remove the flex cord - this is where the valve-core removal (or tightening in my case) tool is an absolute lifesaver.
    • A small LED torch (just in case I need to do something in less than ideal lighting conditions) - if you have a standard LED light fitted to your bike at all times, you could use this instead for any emergency repairs in darkness.
    • An old rag - dual purpose - for cleaning and stuffed into the top of the tool bottle to stop everything else rattling about when I'm on the move.

    I don't carry cable-ties myself, but thats something I might consider in future - you just never know when you might need them - they don't take up much room and they're light. I used to use a saddle-bag, but now use a tool-bottle instead, although this does mean I sacrifice one of my bottle cages for this purpose.

    Edit: For everything else (mask, money, phone, bank card, ICE contacts) I use a water resistant See Sense phone & accessories pouch that goes in the back pocket of my jersey.

    Post edited by AxleAddict on

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,619 ✭✭✭✭Tell me how

    • Multitool
    • Tube
    • Tyre levers
    • Park Lever Repair Patches
    • Spoke Key
    • Energy bar for emergency bonk
    • Cash/wipes in ziploc bag
    • Face mask in ziploc bag

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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,422 ✭✭✭✭dahat

    Took me a long time to find a bag which I did recently on Dh gate. It’s one with a Velcro wrap around. Fits what I need on a long spin.

    Two tubes - 60 & 80

    Co2 inflator with 2 canisters



    Merida saddle has a multi tool with it, handy out.

    Should look into chain links but I replace chains at 75 so no broken chain to date.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,992 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    two tubes, tyre levers, multitool, quick links, €20, a couple of sheets of kitchen roll (latter has been handy for wiping glasses on especially sweaty days)

  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,031 Mod ✭✭✭✭adrian522

    Tube/Multitool/Tyre levers. And the bag is pretty full just with that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 945 ✭✭✭James 007

    Just a tube of lovehoney lube & a pack of 3 condoms & one €50 note for emergencies such as a early morning breakfast or late night food order.🙄

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,573 ✭✭✭Wildly Boaring


    2 tyre levers

    2 tubes

    Few of those self sticking patches

    2 nitrile gloves

    Very small spare red light

    Have a little pump goes in my back pocket

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,145 ✭✭✭Rechuchote

    Toolkit, pump, puncture kit (I think), spare socks and knickers and inside-helmet cap and silk liner gloves in case of torrential rain, rain gear and cycling gloves (though not in this weather), €20 when I have it, hi-viz just in case, phone and reading glasses, apple and water. Sometimes a date-and-goji energy ball or two. I've yet to work out a nice but not-fattening savoury snack - might start bringing some cooked brown rice and stir fry; I'm a helpless victim of miso soup or onigiri or chowder after cycling for a bit, if I see them for sale.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,145 ✭✭✭Rechuchote

    Oh, and also, two of the three locks with which I lock my preciousss, and in this wasp season, a couple of Piriton. Must get a small first aid kit, though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,004 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    Kitchen sink for me...

    • 2 Tubes
    • 2 CO2
    • Patches
    • A couple of tyre boots
    • Levers
    • Mini pump
    • Quick Link
    • Mini-tool with chain tool
    • A couple of baby wipes in zip lock

    I use a large topeak wedge with Quick Click, and have the quick click fitting on all the bikes so I can just swap it over. Find it easier to carry the saddle bag and keep the pockets free.

    Gravel Bike has a top tube bag, which has the bacon strips, spare cores etc for tubeless.

  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,526 Mod ✭✭✭✭Darkglasses

    • Multitool
    • Tube
    • Tyre levers

    Never used anything else that I've put in it, so took it out. Mini pump goes in jersey pocket

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,096 ✭✭✭Tombo2001

    Interesting to read this. Makes me think I am doing something wrong. I'd say its two years since I've had a puncture (cycling several times a week, most days really, and some days for 2 or 3 hours). Mostly on hybrid and/ or gravel bikes. Occasionally on road bike.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,992 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i had a similar run of luck with punctures, but have had three in the last nine or ten months.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,573 ✭✭✭Wildly Boaring

    I went 3 years without a puncture.

    Then had 3 in a week during July!!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,961 ✭✭✭68 lost souls

    2 CO2 cannisters, birzman co2 canistr style tubeless kit, multitool, magic link, valve core tool. small bottle of extra sealant, last 2 years also a mask just in case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,145 ✭✭✭Rechuchote

    What exactly do you do with those CO2 canisters?

  • Registered Users Posts: 332 ✭✭AxleAddict

    They're for quickly inflating the spare tube, or tyre in the case of tubeless setups (normally within 5-10 seconds) - so no pumping required. That said, even though I carry them I tend to use my pump and save the CO2 cannisters for emergencies or horrid weather conditions.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,004 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    I accept I carry too much - it's the suppressed audaxer in me I think. I think all has been used at some point, if not by me, by one of the group. I try not to carry anything in my pockets (following a crash where stuff in my pockets did damage to me), so I once I went big enough to carry the pump*, the rest kinda expanded.

    *As I swap bikes, frame mounted wasn't really an option.

    I have had embedded glass that took out two spare tubes and 2 co2's though - it was a sliver of glass, and embedded enough to puncture an inflated tube when I got on the bike, but wasn't sticking out either side when I did the usual inspection/ run fingers inside. Shankill on the Mick Byrne 200 on the way out fwiw!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,145 ✭✭✭Rechuchote

    Been carrying one around for years and never really new what I should do with it!

  • Registered Users Posts: 332 ✭✭AxleAddict

    On their own, CO2 cannisters are of little use - they require the use of an inflator head to pierce the cannister and connect to the valve for inflation - some CO2 cannisters come with an inflator head when you purchase them (or more correctly, some inflator heads come with a bundled CO2 cannister to get you started) - the inflator head is reusable whilst the cannisters should be disposed of. There are also some bicycle pumps out there to which a CO2 cannister can also be attached. There are both threaded and non-threaded CO2 cannisters, so you need to ensure that the inflator head and cannisters are compatible. The outer surface of the cannisters become quite cold during use so you have to be careful you don't end up with a cold-burn as a result of your skin sticking to the cannister during inflation - either use gloves, or some CO2 inflators come with a protective sheath into which the cannister can be placed to protect your hands.

    Finally, if you do use a CO2 cannister to inflate a tube when out on the road, you should replace the CO2 with 'regular' air at home before your next ride (rather than just 'topping-up' the tyre with 'regular' air) as you'll likely find that CO2 leaks much more readily from tubes than air does otherwise you might find your tyres going softer quicker than normal out on the road (of course, you can always pump more air back in out on the road, but better to do these things at home, eh?)

  • Worth sacrificing a CO2 to practice at home if you have never used one just mind your fingers!!!!!!!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 332 ✭✭AxleAddict

    ABSOLUTELY! 110%

    The thing I find that freaks most people out when they use a CO2 cannister for the first time is the initial piercing of the cannister by the inflator head - they usually freeze at that point as they hear the hissing sound, thinking they've done something wrong - when really all they need to do is keep screwing the cannister into the inflator head and the hissing will stop.

    ...and not only CO2 cannister practice, but people should really practice taking a tyre off (ideally with the rear wheel as its slightly more fiddly with the derailleur), tube out and then putting it all back together again with their tools at home - don't be that person that waits until it happens for the first time out on the road!

  • Yeah have Vittoria tyres than literally roll off the rim with one lever and others I've used that take 3 levers to get off new.