What Do You Carry When You Ride?

Ever wonder what cyclists carry in their pockets, saddlebags, and hydration packs? We polled some folks around the office, asking to see what they carried to get out of a jam, and found some interesting stuff.

Which kind of begs the question: what do you carry when you ride?

And don’t forget that tubes, multitools, mini-pumps, Co2 cartridges, black size medium Giro Air Attack Shield helmets, and saddlebags make great stocking stuffers.

 

Commuter Kit (carried in messenger bag): Tire lever, multitool, patch kit, spare tube, pump

Commuter Kit (carried in messenger bag): Tire lever, multitool, patch kit, spare tube, pump

XC riding: Spare tube, Co2 inflator and multitool combo

XC riding (strapped to seatpost): Spare tube, Co2 inflator and multitool combo

Super-light road kit (carried in jersey pocket): mini pump, rear flashy light, tire levers, Ikea hex wrenches, tube, dollar bill

Super-light road kit (carried in jersey pocket): mini pump, rear flashy light, tire levers, hex wrenches that came with Ikea shelves, tube, dollar bill

Touring kit (in saddlebag): Multitool, SRAM masterlink, rear light, tire levers, tube, Gerber mutlitool, (not pictured: frame pump)

Touring kit (in saddlebag): Multitool, SRAM masterlink, rear light, tire levers, tube, Gerber mutlitool, (not pictured: frame pump)

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Trail Riding (carried in hydration pack): food, Go Pro + tripod, Co2 inflator, hatchet, shock pump, zip ties, multitool, tire levers, pump, spare tube

Road Kit (carried in jersey pocket): Tube, Co2 cartridge and chuck, spare Co2 cartridge, mutlitool

Road Kit (carried in jersey pocket): Tube, Co2 cartridge and chuck, spare Co2 cartridge, multitool

The Ultimate Trail Building Kit (carried in hydration pack): Hatchet, pump, shovel, chain saw, shears, pruners, strap, tube, food, bug spray, branch cutter

The Ultimate Trail Building Kit (carried in hydration pack): Hatchet, pump, saw, shovel, chain saw, shears, pruners, strap, tube, food, bug spray, branch cutter

How to Deal with Weather

It’s been kind of a weird summer, weather-wise. It seems like most of America is either baking in a heat wave or underwater with heavy rains— all of which can make getting outside to ride seem less than appealing. But don’t let the weather get you down. While most of us prefer to get our riding in when it’s 80 and sunny, sometimes rides in challenging weather can be more rewarding. You just need to make sure you’re properly prepared.

“There is no bad weather, just bad clothing” is a saying that has been variously attributed to World War II Norwegian commandos, Eddy Merckx and Gaynor from our tech department, but no matter the source, it’s as true now as it has always been. Clothing technology has come a long way in the last few years, so making the right clothing choices can turn what would be a miserable ride into a great one.

 PointLoma_2011-154If it’s a little wet out there, then staying dry is your first priority. Rain jackets are no longer the non-breathable pieces of plastic from days of old. Nowadays space-age fabrics like Gore-Tex and eVent provide highly breathable water- and wind-proof protection from the elements, while lighter weight, packable jackets have Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finishes that are low volume and pack easily into a jersey pocket or hydration pack, but don’t breath as well and offer more limited protection. It’s also important to keep your feet as dry as possible to avoid blisters, hot spots and athlete’s foot. A good pair of water-resistant overshoes can help your feet stay nice and dry, without overheating, in all but the most torrential downpours.

A packable rain jacket can provide lightweight, comfortable protection from light rain or high winds

If you’re riding with a group, or want to keep yourself (relatively) free from grime and road spray, then fenders are a must. There are many options available, from the much beloved “beaver tail” rear spray guards, to removable clip on fenders, and full bolt-on fenders. Your choice will depend on what kind of bike you have and what level of protection you would like. Lights are also a necessity when the weather is rainy, since visibility is reduced and many drivers may already be distracted by the weather. For optimal safety, try combining a medium brightness blinky headlight with a very bright rear light. If it might be getting dark, consider adding in a 1000+ lumen headlamp to light your way.

Fenders like this one from SKS are easy to install and remove

And hey, don’t forget to wash that bike after a good soaking. Nothing is harder on a bike than wet weather conditions. Taking a few minutes to wipe away the dirt, clean your chain, and re-lube all the moving parts can save you some headaches down the road.

_MG_2266But what if it’s blazing hot out? Here again proper clothing, equipment and common sense become the best tools to ensure you enjoy your rides. Many jerseys now are available in super lightweight fabrics that help shield you from the sun’s rays and breath extremely well to help you stay cool. Wear light colored fabrics or jerseys made with coldBlack to help reflect some of the heat. On very hot days you can also opt for a sleeveless jersey or use a few simple tricks that’ll help you cool down. Unzipping your jersey as much as possible is a time-honored way of cooling off and is one of the most effective. Loosening your helmet a little bit and removing your sunglasses also seems to help most people feel cooler. And, of course, splashing yourself down with some water will provide relief.

The Ultra jersey from Performance combines lightweight fabrics and ColdBlack technology to keep you cool

When it’s hot, the most important thing is to be smart and be prepared. Don’t ride during the hottest parts of the day, or if you decide you simply must, then choose routes with plenty of shade and plenty of places to top up on water along the way. Staying hydrated is probably the most difficult thing to do in extreme heat, so make sure to bring more water than you think you’ll need. Hydration packs offer the ability to carry up to 3 liters of water, which should be enough for most rides. If you prefer to use bottles, try using an insulated bottle like Polar, and carrying a third bottle in a jersey pocket. To replace lost electrolytes, bring some hydration tablets or powders like Nuun, Skratch Labs or Hammer.

Insulated water bottles help keep your drink cold on hot days

For more ideas on how you can beat the heat, check out our article in the Performance Bicycle Learning Center.

Osprey Packs Guest Post: How to pack for your ride

The folks over at Osprey Packs are experts when it comes to carrying gear on your back – they’ve been making innovative packs for just about any outdoor activity since 1974. They’ve recently applied their gear-hauling expertise, innovation and commitment to quality to bike hydration packs, and the result is their lineup of Osprey Hydraulics. Full of technical features like their AirScape Suspension back panel, Nalgene HydraForm Reservoir, LidLock helmet clip, magnetic bite valve mount, and loads of storage – Osprey hydration packs are a great option for the next time you hit the trail.

We often get asked what gear you should bring in your pack when you head to the trailhead, so we thought we’d go straight to the experts at Osprey for their advice:

If you have ever had a great ride cut short for unforeseen reasons such as a mechanical failure, flat tire or inclement weather, you know the importance of being prepared before embarking on your journey. Proper equipment and preparations will lead to a much more enjoyable ride and prevent a long walk back to civilization if something goes bad. Riding with a hydration pack provides easy access to an ample water supply as well as the ability to carry essential tools, spare parts and extra clothing. The location and type of ride you are embarking on as well as some personal preferences will ultimately determine your individual checklist but here are some suggestions for loading up your Osprey hydration pack.

Short MTB ride near an urban area or commuting to work:

Recommended pack – Viper  7 Hydration Pack or Verve 7 Women’s Hydration Pack

Essentials:

Viper 7 pack and gear before the ride

Recommended:

Viper 7 pack fully packed for the ride

Intermediate length rides where immediate help may be more difficult to obtain:

Recommended pack – Viper 10 Hydration Pack or Verve 10 Women’s Hydration PackRaptor 10 Hydration Pack

Essentials:

Raptor 10 pack before it's loaded up

Recommended:

  • Cell phone
  • Waterproof wallet with $5-$10
  • Sunscreen
  • Small first aid kit
  • Extra chain links

Raptor 10 pack fully packed for the ride

Epic full day rides into the backcountry:

Recommended pack – Raptor 14 Hydration Pack, Zealot 16 Hydration Pack

Zealot 16 pack with gear laid out for the ride

Essentials:

  • Full 3 liter reservoir of water for staying hydrated
  • ID and emergency contact card
  • (2) Spare tubes (proper size for your tire)
  • Small tire pump
  • (2) Tire levers
  • (1) Patch kit
  • (1) Multi-tool with chain breaker
  • Duct tape
  • Spare parts depending on your bike (i.e. derailleur hanger)
  • (2) Energy bars or gels
  • Rain shell
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit
  • Waterproof wallet with $5-$10
  • Compass and map
  • Headlamp or pen sized flashlight

Zealot 16 pack loaded up & tool pouch rolled out

Recommended:

Zealot 16 pack front strap pocket

Zealot 16 pack hipwing pocket

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