Daily Archives: October 15, 2011

My cycle commute setup part 2

In My cycle commute setup part 1 I covered my cycle commute setup, now I’ve got a bit of spare time I’ll cover the contents of my bags. Some of the tools and bits and bobs are not required and you can survive without them (I do tend to over pack) but having been stranded miles from work before now I never want a repeat of that day!

Handlebar bag

Top tub:

Personal bits and bobs – wallet, keys, mobile phone(s), extra strong mints
Emergency snack – current favourite are yoghurt coated fruit flakes because I don’t want to eat them so they actually last longer than one ride!
Notepad and pen – useful for recording ride conditions, observations and mileage. Also good to have in case of accidents you may witness or (unlikely) be involved in

Tub two:

Puncture repair kit
Spare quick links for my chain (they have to match!)
Latex gloves – really good when the chain breaks
Electrical insulation tape – you never know when you’ll need some tape to tape something up
Tyre levers x 2
Small adjustable spanner – one of my bikes is not quick release
Driver with flat, cross point, torx T20 and an allen bit
6 different sized allen keys (for every sized bolt on the bike) – preferred to a multitool
A pin – useful for clearing dirt out bolt and screw heads
Chain link removal tool
5 or so chain links that are left over from fitting the chain – combined with the chain tool and quick links I have complete defense against any chain breakage that may happen
1/4″ and 5/16″ sockets (for every nut on the bike)

(these things I’ve not needed to use, yet!)
Glue-less patches – just incase the glue and patch puncture repair is tricky e.g. in wet and cold weather
140mm x 3.6mm cable ties x 2 – just incase the rack breaks and I need to hold it together until I get home
100mm x 2.5mm cable tie x 2 – ideal size for emergency chain repair, use a ping replacement as a means of joining the chain links
A torx T20 key
A spoke tool

Edit: I found a couple of pictures of the tools, useful for checking I’ve got everything

Tub three:

Spare rag – when your chain comes off or you have to change a puncture on a dirty tyre you’ll be glad of a spare
Two spare inner tubes – because one is sometimes not enough and changing punctures at the roadside is not fun

Other handlebar bag contents:

House, shed and gate keys
Bike lock keys in side pocket for easy access
Front light battery pack in other side pocket
Antibacterial hand gel

Office pannier bag

Spare cycling jersey – in case of a large drop in temperature or a puncture in winter, you’ll be glad of a spare layer
Work pad and pen (for work)
Cuff links
Carrier bag – for wet and dirty cycling gear

What? No shoes? Why carry heavy bulky shoes when I can leave them at work.

Yes, I could cut down a lot on weight simply by leaving my two heavy bike locks at my office. But I would then have to buy two more so I can lock my bike up at home. I opt for carrying them around with me rather than the extra expense.

My setup isn’t lightweight but it is fairly solid and carrying the gear means I’m prepared and never have to worry about anything.