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Tools & Spares

Here are our top 10 tips on tools & spares to carry with you

 1. Mini Pumps

Mini pumps provide a practical solution for inflating your bicycle tyres on the road. They often come with clips to attach them to your frame or are small enough to fit in your jersey pocket. Most will comfortably inflate to over 70 psi which is enough to keep you going until you get home to your track pump, while some of the higher-end pumps can reach over 120 psi, making them suitable for road use.

Status: Must have (or alternative - see no. 6)

Great brands: Topeak, Lezyne.

  2. Inner Tube

Choose an inner tube that matches your tyre size and diameter to ensure the tube fits correctly (more info). Presta valves are the most common valve types on road bike tubes. Butyl rubber inner tubes hold air more effectively and are cheaper in price than their latex equivalent.

Status: Must have (preferably more than 1)

Great brands: Continental, Schwalbe.

  3. Tyre Levers

These are usually necessary to help prise the tyre off your rim in the event of a puncture. Choose strong plastic tyre levers and check YouTube if you're not sure how to use them.

Status: Must have. 

Great brands: Topeak, Pedros, Park.

 4. Self-Adhesive Patches

Self-adhesive patches are practical for repairing a tube on the road because they're fast to use. They are not a permanent repair - eventually the adhesive fails and the patch comes off. When repairing a tube at home, use the traditional patches with vulcanising solution which are permanent.

Status: Nice to have

Great brands: Park, Lezyne.

5. Tyre Boots

If you have the misfortune to cut or tear your tyre, a tyre boot placed on the inside of the tyre may be the only way you are able to inflate the tyre and get mobile again.  Remember that this again isn't a permanent repair; replace the torn tyre as soon as you can.

StatusNice to have (though some people have made use of a crisp packet to do the same job to get them home!)

Great brands: Filzer, Park or better still a three inch section of an old tyre.

  6. CO2 Pump

CO2 pumps offer an alternative to the traditional manual pump. By using mini canisters of CO2 these pumps are designed to inflate a tyre in a few seconds to a suitable riding pressure. The disadvantage is that your puncture-repairing capacity is limited by the amount of canisters you're carrying. 

Status: Nice to have

Great brand: Proflate (no danger of burning your hand as the canister can freezes when the gas is released), Lifeline.

  7. Multi-tool

Multi-tools come in a range of sizes and capabilities. At the bare minimum you should carry one which includes a basic set of allen keys and screwdrivers, or if you prefer, you can opt for a more comprehensive tool which includes a chain-splitter, tyre levers etc. If you don't have a chain-splitter on your multi-tool, it's worth buying one separately (see no. 10).

Status: Must have 

Great brands: Topeak, Lezyne.

  8. Chain Quick Link

A well maintained chain is unlikely to break, but we've all been there. A quick link will enable you to reattach a broken chain easily. 

Status: Nice to have

Great brands: KMC, FSA.

  9. Chain & Quick Link (see no. 8) or Pins

Sometimes not only does a chain break, but it also gets mangled in the process, when the only way to get the bike mobile again is to remove the broken, mangled section and replace it. New chains are usually supplied longer than needed, so it's worth packing the surplus piece into your saddle bag along with a couple of quick links or chain pins which will enable you to make a roadside repair. 

Status: Nice to have

Great brand: The manufacturer of your existing chain.

  10. Chain Splitter

If your multi-tool doesn't include a chain splitter, it's worth carrying one in your saddle bag to enable you to make repairs to your chain. Neither quick links nor pins and extra chain sections are any good without one.

Status: Nice to have

Great brand: Park