Standard Kit

Even as a casual cyclist, I consider some equipment as essential, which I won’t go for a ride without. Here’s the list of what I’m currently taking with me:

On the Bike:

  • Pump
    Repairing a puncture is useless if you can’t re-inflate the tyre. Mine is a small frame mounted pump which incorporates a pressure dial, to ensure the tyre pressures are correct. I also use this same pump for occasional checks and top-ups which are needed from time to time.
  • Water Bottle
    Not necessary for short rides, but definitely required for anything longer than, say, an hour. For particularly long rides or hotter days, I’ll take two bottles.
  • Saddle Bag
    Where I keep bike maintenance essentials for mid-ride repairs
  • Top Tube Bag with Clear Phone Holder
    For small, easy to access essentials.
  • Cycle Computer
    Recording my rides is essential for me because it means I can see how I’m improving over time, be that by distance, average speed or the grades of hills. I use a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt which also gives me basic route navigation, can link to cadence, speed and heart rate sensors (which I don’t yet have) and when connected to a smartphone, can supply live ride updates to those who I decide to share it with.
  • Lights
    At night or low light conditions, these are essential and I tend to run them all the time regardless. Currently using Kryptonite F-450 at the front and a CatEye Rapid Micro at the back.
  • Action Camera
    I have one forward facing GoPro Hero 7 Black. This is used to record entire rides for fun, but also as evidence in case of an incident. I also intend to run a rear camera but haven’t settled on a solution yet.

In the Saddle Bag:

  • Multi-tool
    Making repairs at the roadside would be impossible without a multi-tool. Mine incorporates tyre levers, three sizes of allen keys and a Philips head driver. Just one allen key and the tyre levers are needed for me to remove a wheel and tyre for puncture repair.
  • Tyre Levers
    These form part of my multi-tool, but other tools may not incorporate them.
  • Replacement inner tube
    Perhaps not essential if taking a puncture repair kit of some form, but replacing a punctured tube is quicker and easier than fixing a puncture mid-ride. As I’d rather not struggle or be delayed more than necessary, it’s part of my standard kit.
  • Self-adhesive patches
    In case the replacement inner tube has been used or if I have punctures in both wheels, these allow me to fix punctures without the need to worry about glue.

In the Top Tube Bag:

  • Smartphone
    Used for mid-ride photos and route checking – and by linking with my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, it provides a live feed of my ride to those I share it with. Also essential in case of emergencies, be it an accident requiring medical help, or simply a taxi in case of unrepairable mechanical failure (of course, a regular mobile phone would do for this too).
  • External Battery
    For rides over about 45 minutes, I use this to provide power to my GoPro camera, the battery for which doesn’t last a particularly long time. Most power packs will keep a camera going for many hours, great for the longer rides. This is also useful as emergency power if the smartphone should run out of juice for any reason.
  • Credit/Debit/Pre-pay Card
    Unless my ride is a quick trip to town, I don’t take my wallet. However, some method of payment is essential, not just for paying for the odd mid-ride coffee and cake, but in case an emergency pick-up by taxi is required. A pre-pay card is perhaps the safest option, as long as it allows cash withdrawals in case the taxi firm doesn’t take card.
  • Emergency Cash
    As well as the above, I take a small amount in notes in case I need to pay for something where cards aren’t an option and there’s no local cash-point.