First of all, you should at least have a saddle bag. I saw a rider the other day who did not even have one. Years ago I rode in the Tour de Cure without a saddle bag. I had a new bike and thought that I didn’t need one. Of course I got a flat 5 miles into the race. Fortunately my teammates changed my tire. I learned my lesson.
Before getting into what to put in the bag, let’s talk about the strap that holds the bag to your seat post. Be sure to trim the Velcro strap if needed to prevent it from wearing a hole in your shorts. This happened to me earlier this year which is why I did a tip on patching your shorts.
Here is a recommended list of what to carry in your saddle bag from Chris Horner, retired pro cyclist and NBCSN announcer. I’ve never met him, but we’ve exchanged a few emails. He knows his stuff, but tends to go a little overboard. However, like most of us, he has learned from his mistakes.
1 – Bike pump – strap to the outside
2 – Tire levers – wrap in duct tape to use on cut tires
1 – Piece of tire – use it to patch hole in tire
2 – Spare tubes – store them in a plastic bag with powder to prevent them from sticking together and to prevent your valve from rusting (me)
1 – Multi tool with Allen keys
1 – Patch kit – just in case. After all, this is 2020
2 – CO2 cartridges
2 – Valve adapters – in case one doesn’t work (me)
2 – Valve extenders (for deep dish rims) with valve stem remover – in case your only option is someone’s spare tube that has a short stem.
Since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic I’ve added a small bottle of hand sanitizers and mask.
Quote of the week: “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring.” – Desmond Tutu
Here is Chris’ complete video: