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
Doug Kirk says
I don’t understand the desire to move things from the frame to the jersey where it becomes a weight dragging down the jersey and digs into the back. I’m just the opposite: everything that can go on the bike does and out of my pockets!
Ditto on Doug’s comment. I think peer pressure has more to do with how you carry stuff than anything. You know, racer boys can’t have seat packs so they cram stuff in jersey pockets. Whatever floats your boat I suppose.
ANDY LACOMBE says
Exactly on what is wrong with a saddle bag. I hate things in my jersey pocket. I also carry 2 tubes – the main reason is that if you pull a tube and there is a problem with the valve you are done. A road tube is small and littleweight – besides you can have one in case someone that carries only 1 tube has multiple flats 🙂
Dave Le Fevre says
I’m not sure why someone would carry a master link but no chain tool.
If the chain breaks at its master link, you can fix it. If it breaks at any other point, you can’t.
I’m not criticising, not in the least. Merely intrigued.
(Maybe there’s an assumption that somebody else on the ride will have a chain tool?)
Jim Langley says
I think some of us prefer to carry essentials in our jersey pockets because we got sick of seatbags marking up our expensive seatposts and saddles. Yes, there are seatbags that don’t do this. But maybe you don’t like the look of a seatbag on your bike. Or maybe you don’t want to pay for a seatbag. Carrying stuff in your pockets is free. Just a few reasons some roadies might use their pockets. Merlin was right: “whatever floats your boat.”
Nicholas Gimbrone says
Not only do I carry 2 tubes, I also carry a pack of quick patches… I’ll never forget that day when the ride included 2 times that both tires went flat at the same time…
Joseph E Dowd says
I recently bought a medium size handlebar bag for my gravel bike and absolutely love it. But, for whatever reason, I prefer to carry bare essentials on road bike rides in my jersey. On my road bike I have 350 lumen tail lights that I don’t want to be eclipsed by a saddle bag and I feel a handlebar bag too much ‘baggage’. So, I like having choices to suit my preferences/whims.