Author Topic: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?  (Read 2045 times)

eyePod

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What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« on: March 07, 2013, 06:51:17 AM »
I'm going to be biking to work tomorrow for the first time.  I've only put about 100 miles on this bike, but I got it used from a bike shop. 

Just wondering what I should have in my bike bag to handle any emergencies.

I already have a mini pump and my ulock and a combination lock, and will have my cell, but any extra advice would be awesome!
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rtrnow

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 07:15:37 AM »
I have a spare tube, bike multi tool, chain tool, and a $20 bill. I know I have a couple of other random things, but those are the ones that have proved useful.

sheepstache

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 07:33:18 AM »
I keep a spare tube.  It's heavier than a patch kit but IMO it's faster and less frustrating to just change it out than try to figure out where the hole is in the punctured one by the side of the road.  I fix that one when I get home and then keep it as the spare.

Oh, I also have a tire lever.  I only need one; some people don't need them at all.

I keep whatever regular wrench size I need for my axles of course but also any allen wrenches I would need to adjust my seat height or saddle angle or anything else that could be adjusted.

Also of course consumables like snacks and water.

Also a map.  In case I'm inspired to do errands on the way home. 


GuitarStv

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 07:56:16 AM »
Seatpost bag:
spare tube
spare batteries (for lights)
multitool
tire lever
zipties

Frame:
frame pump
front rack (w/bungees)
rear rack (w/folding baskets on my winter commuter)
front light
rear light
water bottle

Also, I have a light that is attached to the back of my helmet for dark/foggy mornings or in case something happens to my rear light.


I didn't used to carry so much, but had a blowout in the rain and had to carry the bike five miles home one time.  Never again!

destron

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 08:19:41 AM »
Multitool
Patch kit (park tool)
Tire boot (make your own with a cut piece of plastic, sand down the edges to make is smooth)
Tire lever
Batteries for lights
Hand pump

I bought a little CO2 pump and CO2 cannisters -- turns out that the hand pump works great for me so now I don't bother carrying them. $$ wasted.
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kendallf

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 08:30:42 AM »
Race bike minimalist seat bag: 1 tube, 1 plastic tire lever, one tire boot, one CO2 cartridge. 

Commuter or travel bike: 1 tube, patch kit, steel tire levers, boots, multi-tool, CO2s.  I have a frame pump that I usually carry on long and/or isolated, unfamiliar rides, like the French Pyrenees, or the Canadian Rockies.

I keep a CO2 inflator with a cartridge in my jersey pocket on most rides.

The best tire boots are made by cutting up an old tire into approximately 2" pieces, then cutting the beads off of these chunks.  They allow even a badly sliced tire to be ridden indefinitely.  I have ridden tires booted this way until the tread wore out.

mpbaker22

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 08:46:17 AM »
I've been pretty bad about this recently.  My bag got misplaced when I moved, so I haven't been carrying anything with the last few weeks.  Everywhere I bike is within walking distance if I break down.  I'll start carrying it again when I put another bag together for a trip I'm going on in a few weeks.
Normal Bike Bag -
2 CO2 cartridges
2 tire levers
multi-tool
patch kit
tube
couple bucks - if I'm doing a fun ride, I won't necessarily bring a wallet

Russ

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 09:06:57 AM »
for trips under 5 miles:
cell phone
acceptance that if anything goes wrong I will be walking the rest of the way

for longer trips:
cell phone
minipump (way better than CO2 cartridges ATMO)
spare tube
1 tire lever
some dollars (good for buying things and as emergency tire boot)
ID
multitool
15mm wrench (depends on wheels - not all of mine have QRs)

extra for winter:
1 or 2 plastic grocery bags for emergency insulation

GuitarStv

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2013, 09:11:11 AM »
extra for winter:
1 or 2 plastic grocery bags for emergency insulation

Now this has me intrigued.  What do you do with the plastic baggies?

Ottawa

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2013, 09:52:30 AM »
Ha!  I would guess for the feet.  I find the best ones to use are those vegetable/fruit ones in the grocery store.  These have been engineered to keep such produce fresh longer by being breathable.  Just put them on over your sock and then put boots/shoes on.  Even in the wettest (and cold) conditions your feet will stay dry and therefore warm!  Awesome free trick...better than super expensive gortex socks in an emergency. 

GuitarStv

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2013, 10:24:38 AM »
I guess that makes sense.

Even when it's freezing outside my feet tend to sweat quite a bit on the commute though . . . so they would probably end up soaked anyway.  I have learned the awesomeness of wool socks this winter though.  For about 12$ a three pack, they keep my feet warm even when soaking wet and it's freezing cold out.  AND they don't smell when I hang them up to dry in my cubicle (I'm looking at you, incredibly smelly sweat-wicking clothing).

Sounds like a good trick in a pinch though.

Justin234

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2013, 11:08:30 AM »
In addition to lights, water bottle and extra clothing, I carry:

A pump
3 tire irons (my tires are tight)
A patch kit (I've always been a patcher although I'm thinking of starting to carry a spare tube)


eyePod

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2013, 11:55:25 AM »
Gonna grab the spare tube, lights (been wanting those for a while anyways).  Thanks for the updates guys.  You've been a big help with all around ideas on what I need.  WORST case, my wife is home tomorrow so I'll leave my car keys home so she can get me if I'm too far (~9 mile ride total).  We'll see how it goes though!
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Russ

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2013, 12:05:19 PM »
extra for winter:
1 or 2 plastic grocery bags for emergency insulation

Now this has me intrigued.  What do you do with the plastic baggies?
Ha!  I would guess for the feet.  I find the best ones to use are those vegetable/fruit ones in the grocery store.  These have been engineered to keep such produce fresh longer by being breathable.  Just put them on over your sock and then put boots/shoes on.  Even in the wettest (and cold) conditions your feet will stay dry and therefore warm!  Awesome free trick...better than super expensive gortex socks in an emergency. 

Just the regular checkout line bags, and I rarely use them for my feet. They're for stuffing down the front of my shirt as an impromptu windbreaker on the unexpected days where the afternoon ride home is colder than the morning ride to work. They work alright for feet and legs too, but not as well as the fruit bags Ottawa mentioned.

galaxie

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2013, 12:14:19 PM »
I carry:

patch kit
tire boots (plastic, more durable version of the dollar bill for when your tire has a hole)
plastic tire irons
hex wrench set
pump that clips to the frame

I got pretty quick at patching tires by having several flats in a row, so I don't feel like I lose much time vs. putting in a tube -- you still have to do the most time-consuming bit, which is taking the tire off and putting it back on.  Turned out I had several flats in a row because my tire had a crack in it, and the tube was pushing through the crack and getting worn down.  That's why I carry tire boots now.

Extra batteries are a good idea.  I should throw some in there.

ehgee

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2013, 12:35:35 PM »
To be specific, I bring my Topeak Road Morph G pump and Park MTB-3 multitool, in addition to a patch kit, tube, and tire levers. That pump is nice because it has a foot peg and hose for easy pumping, and that multitool is nice because it has just about ever tool needed, including 8/9/10/15mm wrenches and a chain tool, as opposed to being just allen wrenches as many multitools are. Both are reasonably priced and have proven durable.

I'm not nearly as insistent about carrying a full toolkit now that I live in New York, and if anything goes wrong I can take the bike home on the subway. It's probably worth knowing if or how to take your bike on local mass transit system if anything goes wrong.

Nate_D

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2013, 12:36:18 PM »
Not really something you can carry with you, but if you haven't ever dealt with a flat, I'd take some time to practice at home.  Just take the tire and tube off, then replace and re-inflate. That way you won't be teaching yourself a new skill under potentially difficult conditions (in the rain, on the side of a busy road, etc.).

Even if you have some experience fixing flats, it might still be a good idea to try it on your new bike. There is substantial variation among different wheel/tire combinations, and you may find that your current setup is more or less finicky than others.

CanuckExpat

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2013, 12:49:14 PM »
Here's an alternate suggestion: depending on how far your commute is, and if you have another other way of getting home, don't worry about taking anything to repair flats.

When I'm going on a long ride for fun, I'll take along a mini-pump, extra tube, and a patch kit. For commuting, I just don't worry about it anymore. If something comes up (on my relatively short commute), I figure I can just bite the extra time and walk the bike to where I am going and deal with it there, but this has never been a problem. All the times I've gotten a flat while commuting have all thankfully been slow leaks that I didn't realize until after the ride. If the destination is home, that great, otherwise I just leave the bike locked up securely until I can get a ride and throw it in the car. I'd rather deal with flats at home then on the side of the road and be worried about getting grease all over myself before going into work.

Being prepared is great, but unless you anticipate getting flats regularly, I would say just rolling with it is also an option (assuming you have someone to call in an emergency).

Kriegsspiel

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2013, 04:25:04 PM »
A wrench
tire levers
bike tool with spoke wrenches and allen keys
patch kit
reflective belt
front and rear lights

I keep this in one of my panniers, since pretty much everywhere I go I have at least one pannier on.

Mike

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2013, 04:24:27 AM »
Just get a set of Gatorskin tires if flats are a problem - I had four flats before buying these early last year, and I have had none since.

As far as gear is concerned, I always have a spare tube / co2 cartridge / tire tool in the seat bag just in case and also make sure I have my wallet and cell phone on me at all times. 

Bakari

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2013, 01:06:28 PM »
I used to carry a minitool, patches, and pump at all times, but these days I just carry a transit card and cell phone (which I have on me all the time anyway).  Worse case scenario, I walk a few miles.
I need to do mid-trip repairs so infrequently, its not worth the weight, jingling, or theft concern.

I do keep front and rear lights mounted at all times, cause I never know when I might end up out later than I expected
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BlueMR2

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2013, 03:28:40 PM »
Hex wrench set, CO2 inflater with a couple cartridges, handpump, 2 spare tubes, 1 spare tire, helmet cover (the kind you use on cold days to keep the wind out), shoe toe covers (for if my feet get cold), and a pair of tennis shoes (should things go so horribly bad that I'm unable to repair the bike and end up carrying it home).

nikhilm

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2013, 10:45:50 AM »
Like Ross and the others said, it depends a lot on what distances and surroundings (urban/remote) you ride in. My daily commute is less than 5 miles in a city, so I don't really carry any emergency equipment, except a bike multi-tool and spare batteries for the lights. If i get a flat or similar I can walk, take public transport or worst case (injury) take a cab.

On longer rides outside of the city, I carry one spare tube (under the premise that the chances of getting two flats are extremely remote and I can still bike back to civilization with one flat)
and a patch kit. Again I usually ride along CA-1 and its tributaries, so if I face something that can't be fixed, someone is likely to let me hitchhike to civilization.

With the weather here never going dangerously hot or cold, I don't have to worry about emergency insulation or energy. So keep your environment in mind, and don't end up carrying too much.

jpo

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Re: What do you keep in your bike bag for emergencies?
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2013, 12:23:45 PM »
For commuting (8.5 miles each way):
  • Hex wrenches
  • Patch kit
  • Need to buy a mini hand pump
  • Lights
Plus a bunch of other gear, like lunch, clothes, shower towel, shoes, etc. for when I'm at work.