Bicycles are more straightforward than cars or mopeds but still need attention and care. When things go wrong - and they can - having the right tools to patch things up is essential. But, if you're well-prepared, you can fix the most common issues on the side of the road.
With this in mind, we've curated a list of essential tools every cyclist should carry on every ride, particularly if you're planning a route a little further than your average neighborhood jaunt.
Punctures are part of cycling, and inflating a replacement inner tube is essential to getting back on the road. The last thing you want is to be left stranded and forced to order an Uber or call a friend for a ride home. Regarding inflation tools, you have two options - a hand pump or a CO₂ inflator.
A frame-fit pump with a larger barrel is ideal as it pushes more air with each pump. Mini-pumps, while lighter and more compact, require more effort but still need lots of space that most riders don't have.
CO₂ inflators, on the other hand, are a rapid solution, inflating a tube to full pressure within seconds. Requiring significantly less space but are only a one-use solution.
Regarding inner tubes, carrying at least one spare is necessary; two is recommended, and three might be excessive. The number of spare tubes you bring depends on the length of your ride and the weather conditions. And remember, if you've got deep section rims, you'll need tubes with long valves.
If you lack the hand strength or the durable skin of a seasoned mechanic, don't worry. Tyre levers are your best friend for dealing with stubborn tires. A pair of levers makes removing and replacing a tire a breeze; remember to refit the tire by hand to avoid pinching the tube between the lever and the rim.
While all of these are essential to carry on rides, bringing cash or a card as a backup is important. Always ride prepared. Remember, the joy of cycling isn't just about the open road but also about understanding and caring for your bike, ensuring you can handle whatever the journey throws your way.