Today’s QT comes to us from Premium Member Greg Titus, who offers a unique tip that addresses a fundamental item that we roadies need to take along on every ride as part of our flat-repair kit – a spare tube. Of course, you also need to tote something to inflate that tube; in Greg’s case, that’s a mini-pump. What makes his tip unique is that he has devised a way that works for him to, in effect, carry them both as one package.
Here’s what Greg wrote:
I’m definitely in the minimalist category of road cyclists when it comes to what I carry on rides. I don’t like anything on the bike except what’s absolutely necessary, so I’ve always resented having to use a saddle bag. When I figured out that carrying a mini-pump in my jersey pocket would eliminate having it attached to my frame, I was all for it. I was still having to carry my spare tube under the saddle (attached with a velcro strap).
But I figured out a way to carry both together. Basically, I wrap the tube around the mini-pump and fasten it to the pump. (See the photo below.) To secure the tube around the mini-pump, I use a couple of hair ties, the kind that are used to tie ponytails in place. You could use anything similar: rubber bands, etc.
I have a cell-phone wallet (Bellroy makes it) that allows me to carry a couple of tire levers, a one-piece mini tool (Park), and all my other items I like to have on rides (cash, ID, self-adhesive tube patch, 11-speed KMC link, key, etc.) I don’t carry a chain tool, nor more than one spare tube (in SE Iowa, our rural roads have a lot less puncture risk than metropolitan areas, so carrying just one spare works really well.)
The mini-pump fits nicely in my middle jersey pocket in the space next to the cell-phone wallet. Wrapping the tube around the pump only takes up a little more space, so the pump/tube combination fits well. And there’s still room for some strip-down items if need be (thermal headband, or gloves, or toe covers), and the other two side pockets are free for all the other stuff I might have on a ride (Cliff bars, sport drink mix, dog-poppers (remember them?), handkerchief, etc.
The mini-pump is a Lezyne product. Sans tube, it fits in my jersey pocket without sticking out over the top, but with the tube wrapped around it, about 1 inch sticks out. That’s not a problem for me. The upside is that with the tube around the pump, the pump is much less likely to slip out of the pocket (which it can do when in a very tucked, aero position on a descent).
The only possible downside for me is that access to the pump is now more complicated. If I flat, I’m going to need the tube anyway, so that’s no big deal. But, if I just want to access the pump (for instance, to help someone else fix aflat), I’ll have to take off the tube, then put it back on afterward.
You can do this without having to completely unwrap the tube and wrap it up again, but it’s a bit of a hassle. It’s worth it, though, for me, because I expect I’ll hardly ever have to do it: flats are not common at all on my roads (I went six years once without an on-road flat).
If you have an idea for a QT, fire away. We’re always looking for good info we can share with fellow roadies. We would love to hear from you with any suggestions you have. Contact us by clicking Quick Tips Ideas.
—John Marsh & The RBR Team