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What to carry in your saddlebag

Rules are for followers not leaders…

Yes we have heard the cry of “what’s that hanging from your bike? Surely not a saddlebag?” but we feel this view of the obeying the rules is all well and good if a director sportif is following you in a team car but for reality being prepared with a saddle bag is the right idea.

So with that in mind what are the essentials that you should take on every ride?

  1. Spare tubes – at least one and if you can two especially on long rides.
  2. Tyre levers – make the puncture fix easier and many lightweight, compact options exist.
  3. Inflation tool – a pump or gas cartridge. Gas makes short work of the job.
  4. Patches – pre-glued patches are a great fix for when those punctures keep on coming.
  5. Multitool – a mix of allen keys and a chain breaker should cover most eventualities.
  6. Chain quick link – fast and reliable means of fixing a broken chain.

The above will fit in a saddle bag and the following are perhaps more suited to a jersey pocket:

  1. Money – emergency café stop? Coffee and cake sorted.
  2. Food – a gel or bar takes up little space but can really make that last dig for home easier.
  3. Mobile phone – to broken to ride? (you or the bike) Phone a friend…
  4. Identification – should the worst happen then others can be contacted easily and quickly. Should include name, emergency contact details and any other pertinent information.