RBR Newsletter

What Should I Carry on a Ride? – An RBR Roundtable

Some riders carry only a spare tube and a tire lever, while others haul a portable workshop. And while most roadies carry their gear in a seat bag, some prefer to stuff it in their jersey pockets.

What to carry on a ride -- and how to carry it -- depends on your need for preparedness and your physical comfort. Are you comfortable with the minimalist approach, and with carrying your wares on your body, or do you have a nearly neurotic need to be prepared for almost any eventuality, and prefer to keep your jersey pockets free for food, phone and such?

Because everyone’s comfort level is different, beyond at least one spare tube, a pump or CO2, tire levers and perhaps a mini-tool, what to carry with you on a ride is a matter of personal preference, and there’s no right way or wrong way of how to do the carrying.

So instead of a recommendation, we’ll provide a quick rundown of what the RBR Crew carry on the road; and in some cases, we’ll note how we carry it. You’ll see commonalities and may get some ideas for additional items for your own stash -- or you may think we’re a little batty for what we do or don’t tote. Share your own atypical “carry-on items,” and anything you think we’ve missed, on the Comments page.

John Marsh


- 2 spare tubes

- 1 tire lever

- tire boot (old piece of tire; paper money works well, too)

- glueless patch kit

- 2 CO2 cartridges and chuck

- a mini-tool that has allens, screwdrivers and a chain tool (and a master link)

- a thin, soft cloth wrapped around the CO2 cartridges to keep them from rattling; can be used to wipe off hands if needed

- a band-aid or 2, 3 or so Ibuprofen tabs, and a couple of antihistamine (for bee stings)

- Victorinox SwissCard Lite, a Swiss Army knife in the size and shape of a credit card (was a long-ago gift from a friend and fits perfectly in the side pocket of my seatbag)

Jersey pocket

RBR JerseyBin with:

- about $20 in cash

- mobile phone

- photocopy of drivers license, health insurance card and emergency contact info

- I also wear a Road ID on which is duplicate emergency contact info

Jim Langley


- a spare tube

- a patch kit

- a tire patch (boot)

- a mini-tool that has allens, screwdrivers and a chain tool

- a 10-sp master link to repair the chain, like a Wipperman Connex link

- if I’m on unique wheels that require it, I carry the correct spoke wrench for my wheels – otherwise, I use the spoke wrench on the mini-tool

- if I remember, I carry money

- if I’m worried about the ride for any reason, I carry my cell phone

- SPECIAL NOTE: I don’t carry tire levers because I don’t need them, but most people should carry them.

- Also note that Jim carries a frame pump on his bike

Coach Fred Matheny


- 2 tubes

- patch kit

- a square of Tyvek material for a tire boot

- a Park MT-1 mini tool

- 2 tire levers

- CO2 cartridges and chuck

Jersey pockets

Bike Wallet with:

- ID

- cell phone

- small tweezers (for extracting goat head thorns from tire)

- money

- energy bar


- Blackburn FP-1 frame pump tucked in along left seat stay

Long rides:

- I add a chain tool, master link and spoke wrench

Additional Tips:

-- Make sure nothing hard in your seat bag is resting against the seatpost because it will bang against it and slowly but surely make a hole in your seatbag that your tools can fall out of.

-- Make sure nothing sharp is rubbing against your spare tube(s)

-- Make sure to roll up the glue tube after using it to patch a tube or else the remaining glue will evaporate/dry up quickly

-- Make sure your pump or CO2 air chuck fits your valve type


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