Author Topic: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?  (Read 2571 times)

wawot1

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Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« on: August 28, 2017, 10:57:18 PM »
I started commuting to and from work recently on my bike built for utility, not speed.  It's got mud guards so I don't have to change clothes and a bike rack with panniers so I can carry a limited amount of stuff with me.

I rode to work the other afternoon, and when I finished around 1am, was dismayed to find my front tire was totally flat and I had to Uber it home.

My question:  What repair gear to people carry with them?  Extra tube?  Bike pump?  A few wrenches?    Obviously, there's a balance here - the more junk you're hauling around, the more weight, lost space for other stuff.....but I also don't want to get stranded again.

Thoughts?

Paul | pdgessler

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 06:44:17 AM »
My list for commuting is limited to stuff I would actually use on a commute. If the repair is more complex / less common, I'm likely to find another way home and do the repair in the creature comforts of my garage :-) :

  • Spare tube (simply replacing the whole tube is faster in the field, but I'll patch the punctured one later at home if it would still be usable)
  • Mini pump
  • Don't forget tire levers if you've found you need them for your particular tire/rim combination some are much more troublesome than others
  • Small multi-tool with hex keys and screwdrivers for small adjustments or tightening

Just try to make sure if you bother to carry anything, that you carry enough to complete the job. A tube won't do you much good without a small pump or CO2 inflator, or if you have a bike without quick-release hubs, you'll need some tools in order to remove the wheel.

kendallf

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 07:25:49 AM »
I actually carry less stuff on the commuter because it has much tougher tires.  Having said that, I had my first commuting flat in years last week.  I did have a tube, tire levers and a CO2; actually took two cartridges to fill the big tires.

Novik

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2017, 07:41:47 AM »
I bring no repair gear (I also don't really own any repair gear or know how to fix a flat, but that's another discussion).

My bike is a "hybrid" or something so not as finicky as a road bike. I bike to work 1-2 times a week in good weather and work in software with flexible hours so being late due to bike issues is not an issue.

Given the above, I bring phone/wallet for big issues, and for small issues I bring a bus card. Many buses in my city have bike racks on the front, so I can finish a trip or make it all the way home and bring my bike easily if I can't ride it.

EarthSurfer

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2017, 08:03:30 AM »
One other thought -- choose tires & tubes for your commute. When I commuted on a bike path next to a creek, thorns were a constant issue. I used thorn-proof tires & filled my tubes with Slime. This makes the tire heavier, but substantially decreased the number of flat repairs.

One day I was rolling down the path, suddenly my front tire was spewing green SLIME, then suddenly it sealed. That non-repair lasted through the remainder of the season.

Hybrid 700c/28mm or 32cm tires are my usual commuter tire.

Mountain bike tires are probably a better fit for more urban environments with more potholes and height changes.

meghan88

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2017, 08:25:51 AM »
I carry an adjustable wrench, an allen key, and a small bottle of oil.

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2017, 09:52:55 AM »
I keep a spare tube, multi-tool (allen keys, screwdrivers, chain tool, spoke wrench), and two tire levers in a little bag under my saddle . . . and a mini pump in my backpack or jersey pocket.  You can fix anything likely to be a problem on your commute with those tools.

robartsd

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2017, 02:04:47 PM »
I pretty much always have what I need to fix a flat (tube, tire levers, patch kit, mini-pump) any time I ride my bike. I also usually have a bus card with enough fare value to get home in my wallet.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2017, 12:41:15 AM »
...I bring phone/wallet for big issues...

This. Although I carry a spare set of lights, even in the summer in case I stay out past dark. It would be quicker for me to walk (either back home or to the station) than do a repair.

When I'm out for a long, remote bike ride I carry two spare inners (I'm generally caught out by thorns or glass that can catch both tyres before I realise what's happened), a multitool, pump and an adjustable spanner. I also carry a little first aid kit that I've used more than the repair kit, it includes wipes which are great for helping someone out who has tried and failed to put their chain back on.

Has anyone successfully and time-effectively patched a tyre as a field repair? I've done it in the evening of a multi-day trip, but never by the side of the road. The couple of times I tried it as a kid or a student it held just enough to get home, but needed to be redone. I probably didn't leave it long enough, but I was riding to get somewhere, same as most other times.

Novik

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2017, 06:45:32 AM »
...I bring phone/wallet for big issues...

This. Although I carry a spare set of lights, even in the summer in case I stay out past dark. It would be quicker for me to walk (either back home or to the station) than do a repair.

When I'm out for a long, remote bike ride I carry two spare inners (I'm generally caught out by thorns or glass that can catch both tyres before I realise what's happened), a multitool, pump and an adjustable spanner. I also carry a little first aid kit that I've used more than the repair kit, it includes wipes which are great for helping someone out who has tried and failed to put their chain back on.

Although I don't think I'll start carrying repair gear, you've reminded me that I do need to break out the lights as fall settles in. And the minor first aid supplies is a great idea.

jpeizie

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2017, 06:50:28 AM »
My list for commuting is limited to stuff I would actually use on a commute. If the repair is more complex / less common, I'm likely to find another way home and do the repair in the creature comforts of my garage :-) :

  • Spare tube (simply replacing the whole tube is faster in the field, but I'll patch the punctured one later at home if it would still be usable)
  • Mini pump
  • Don't forget tire levers if you've found you need them for your particular tire/rim combination some are much more troublesome than others
  • Small multi-tool with hex keys and screwdrivers for small adjustments or tightening

Just try to make sure if you bother to carry anything, that you carry enough to complete the job. A tube won't do you much good without a small pump or CO2 inflator, or if you have a bike without quick-release hubs, you'll need some tools in order to remove the wheel.

I carry exactly this. I also use puncture-resistant tires to help make sure I don't get a flat during my commute. Merely an annoyance in the afternoon coming home, but I want to minimize the chances of a flat making me late in the morning.

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2017, 07:28:10 AM »
Has anyone successfully and time-effectively patched a tyre as a field repair? I've done it in the evening of a multi-day trip, but never by the side of the road. The couple of times I tried it as a kid or a student it held just enough to get home, but needed to be redone. I probably didn't leave it long enough, but I was riding to get somewhere, same as most other times.

Successfully, yes. Time effectively, hell no.  If you need to patch, it's probably at least a half hour wait to be sure the glue is set and the puncture patched properly.

SweetTPi

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2017, 09:25:23 AM »
On both my bikes, either of which I might commute with (one is officially the commuter, but the road 'fun' bike also gets ridden to work), I have: Mini pump (with a pressure gauge), spare tube, patch kit, tire levers, & a set of allen wrenches. 

All are attached to the bike either under the seat, or on the frame (pump).  I do carry both a spare tube and a patch kit- I have had 3 flats in a single ride before.  It's part of why I prefer a mini pump over CO2- not only do you avoid the ongoing expense of buying cartridges, but you don't run out.  Well, your arm might give out, but that's a different problem. 

SisterX

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2017, 10:14:59 AM »
I carry a multi-tool and one of those portable electronics rechargers, just in case I've forgotten to charge one of my lights.

I don't carry a tube anymore because my tires are ridiculous to change and I don't think I actually have the strength to do it myself. That being said, it's been over two years of hard daily use and I've never had a flat. They're also just starting to get to the point of wear that I'm thinking of replacing them. I highly recommend Schwalbe tires. They're also, incidentally, what my brother uses for his crazy around the world bike trips. (Here.) So if anyone is sick of flats, I highly recommend changing your tires.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2017, 10:32:07 AM »
Mini chain tool with KMC Missing Link.

Also, not sure if this is in effect nationwide, but my local AAA now does bike service.  They will assist with basic repairs.  If they can't get you back on the road they will give you a ride back home or to work.  I like to be self sufficient but this is nice Peace of mind.

wawot1

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Re: Bike Commuting - what repair gear do you routinely bring?
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2017, 09:03:30 PM »
Thanks everybody - I think I'm going to get a spare tube, tire levers, small pump and mini tool kit.