Are you going on an all day ride, deep in the backcountry, where there are little to no resources or are you doing a 1 hour quickie after-work just outside of town?
Regardless, it's important to carry these essentials while out riding, AND know how to use them.
1. Spare tube + Pump + CO2
You never know when you may flat.
If you're tubeless, you'll want to bring a few CO2 cartridges (I carry two). A pump is nice backup if you blow through your CO2, and still need air.
2. Food & Water
Food & water = energy = Fun! Avoid the bonking and pack a bar and/or baby food.
Super important to tighten bolts, make those random adjustments, and generally save the day! A leather-man also comes in handy if you need to cut cables, toy with spokes, etc... It's a bonus if your multi-tool includes a chain breaker!
Depending on the season, this may be a windbreaker, or a full blown rain jacket -- always prepare for the worst, and check the weather before you go.
5. Derailliuer Hanger
This is a super small part that will absolutely SAVE your day. Super simple to replace, if needed, and may I repeat, will absolutely SAVE your day! Note: Each bike has a specific derailleur hanger - this is not a one size fits all situation. Do not leave home without it!
6. Random miscellaneous Parts:
Chainlink/quicklink: Remember, the link you need to carry depends on your specific drivetrain!
Spare valve w/core
Tire levers (unless you have super hands)
7. Random miscellaneous tools:
Zip ties: I fold these in half and stash in the center of my cranks- Handy!
Electrical Tape: Fixes everything from shoes to cable ends -- Do a couple wraps around your seat tube or handle bars for easy storage.
8. Fancy Stuff:
Sunscreen: Because, you know...
Extra pair of gloves: If you know you're going to get caught in the rain, or will be riding a trail with low-hanging wet brush, bring an extra set, and thank me later.
Tire-plugs: I am a huge fan! They take up such little room to carry, and depending on the terrain, may give you your only option to ride vs walk out. If you're somewhere where it's more likely you might see multiple flats -- just bring a plug tool and some extra plugs.
Extra chainlube: For all the geeks out there who hate the dry chain sound, bring a small bottle of extra lube. Or... more realistically, if you're planning to race a dusty epic, pushing all the watts, this will help your chain stay happy and in one piece. I highly recommend Dumondetech...
First Aid Kit: Not a bad idea...
Sunglasses: In the PNW where we're generally riding in the trees, not so much. In Colorado, hike-a-biking over a pass in the alpine, YES! Unless your riding lenses are tinted, of course.
Shameless plug: If you're looking to get some of this "stuff" out of your pack, and lighten the load, consider Dakine's Hot Laps Gripper Frame Pack -- it fits a tube, tire levers and 2 CO2! Super handy, gets the weight off your back and more space in your pack!
Anyone got a 9 and 10? What do you carry in your pack?
Kim & Nick Hardin