The 10 Essentials to Carry In Your Bicycle Saddle Bag

Jan Poshenko
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Spare Tubes

CO2 Inflator and Canister

This item is very handy, especially if you are riding long distances and may need a quick, on-the-go ball pump.

It is a lot easier and takes less time to add a few more ounces of air into a tire with an inflator and canister rather than to walk to the nearest shop or store and blow up the tires with a hand pump.

However, a compressor with a canister is quite heavy, so if you are going to carry it with you, make sure you have other items that weigh more (food, water, etc.) to compensate for the weight.

The only downside to canisters is that you have to plan ahead and remember to buy enough air to last you through an average ride, otherwise you’ll have to carry more stuff and resist the urge to take other items with you.

Either way, getting a CO2 canister with additional tools is a very good investment, as it could save you a lot of time and money while extending your cycling experiences.

Pair of Tire Levers

Maintaining Your Tyres.

If you’re planning on cycling on a road, mountain trail or anything in between, you’ll probably need to fix a puncture at some point. After all, the likelihood of getting a flat tire is quite high.

This is why it’s a good idea to keep a handy pair of tire levers in your bicycle saddle bag. Tire levers look a lot like clip of pliers. They have rubber tips that help you pry the tire and a metal hook for patching a hole. They’re the go-to tool if you need to make a quick repair on the bike road.

Multi-Tool

A multi-tool will come in very handy if you’re on a long bike ride and have a mechanical breakdown. You’ll find yourself being able to do a number of fixes. But if you do not carry it, then it’s going to be a hassle to look for a tool kit somewhere.

Carry a multi-tool, and it’ll be like having a repair man with you all the time. You can do quick fixes in times of emergency and finish off the job when you have time. Even if you’re a DIY beginner, a multi-tool will be able to get you out of trouble.

Patch Kit

You’re bound to get some kind of a flat tire at some point. If you’ve never had to repair a flat tire, you’re very lucky.

Flat tires are more common than you think and happen not just due to punctures, but also due to things like a small nail going through your tire or even your tube.

A patch kit is a must-have for bicycle maintenance. It helps you mend your tube quickly so your ride isn’t delayed.

Things to Look for in a Good Patch Kit

Look for a patch kit that contains a variety of patches and glue. be they for tubes or for tires. Make sure the kit has multiple repair patches (usually 12 in a kit).

Many patch kits come with a variety of tools. These tools include:

  • A C-spanner to fix a tire when the tire is flat
  • A file to remove the old rim tape
  • A puncture eyelet remover
  • A disc wheel-remover
  • A valve centering tool
  • A scissors for trimming the tube
  • A tube-patching bolt
  • A hole puncher
  • A valve stem removal tool
  • A tube-seat removal tool

> Check out this excellent video, showing how to apply a repair patch kit.

A Small Piece of Old Tire

Let’s admit it, at some point, it would have been hugely helpful to have a piece of old tire for tire repair! A small piece of old tire works well. Try asking your local bike shop. If you have many bikes at home, be sure to carry a few small pieces.

Small Nail Clipper

You can have a great design on your bike but if your bike parts have rust on it, it becomes ugly. That is why you should have a small nail clipper with you, to trim off that rust. Get a small nail clipper and use it to cut off the small parts of rust from your bike.

Presta to Schrader Valve Adapter

Yes, most pumps are Presta valve system compatible, but you might find some cheapo throwaway pumps that are Schrader valve compatible … and you’ll need to make sure that your pump is also compatible with the valve on your tires. Having a pump where you can keep connecting it to whichever tire you need, without having to re-thread the tube and re-pump every time, can save a lot of time and frustration. Of course, having the adapter on your car is also a good idea.

Avelair

If you have air compressor access, of course, just get one of the more expensive A-head shaped pumps. But even so, this lesser version can still inflate all types of regular tires in a hurry. Just have it in your bike saddle bag to plug a slow leak or top off your tires.

Valve Extender

Sometimes a hole in your tire will be just small enough to allow air to escape, but just big enough that you cannot remove the object that caused the puncture.

This is one of those gadgets that will always be useful, but you hope you will never have to use – to make it a worthwhile investment.

You can also use a bicycle valve extender to inflate a bicycle tire after removing a section of the tire.

Zip Ties

When you have no tools handy, zip ties can be a life-saver. Use them to strap your bike bag onto your bicycle, or tie them to poles to hold important things like your phone or keys.

Ziploc Bags

Everyone should carry some plastic bags. They are great for securing an important document, keeping your belongings from getting wet, or storing trash.

Buff/Hat

This fits in most pockets and can help break a wind chill if you’re biking or hiking in winter. It doesn’t take up much space and is an important piece of every cyclist’s wardrobe.

Sunglasses

If you really never leave home without them (and why would you), sunglasses are a good choice for the essentials. They don’t take up a space in your bag, and if something happens, you can always bring them along as an option.

Multi-Tool

Maybe you’re not the type to carry a toolkit for every trip. Or maybe you just don’t want to carry one. Whatever the case, a multi-tool can be a lifesaver when a tool is needed. It can be a broken spoke, or a tight bolt.