What needs to be in the saddle bag ?

m o b

Speeding Up
Jun 22, 2008
341
23
38
Bremen
cyclitis.wordpress.com
#1
I would be interested to hear some opinions from the TCC members what they take with them in terms of tools/repair kits on day rides. Don't bother to write about sun screen, rain jackets, power jelly, lights or other auxiliary stuff.

Here are some of my thoughts :

I think the most important things you needs are some very basic tools if you have mechanical troubles and something to repair flat tires.
Mechanical troubles means in most of the cases adjustment of the brakes shifters, derailers, saddle height and NOT to de-assemble and grease your bottom bracket. So a simple multi-tool such as :

http://www.topeak.jp/tool/tol139.html

A 4 and 5 mm hex key and a plus and minus driver solve most issue on the road, everything else is luxury. So one doesn't need this:

http://www.topeak.jp/tool/tol113.html

And also this one is light :

http://www.topeak.jp/tool/tol127.html

But unpractical, because there is no leverage.

At home I have better and more practical tools for repair and moreover, being in the saddle bag, things tend to get rusty, so it is even better to buy something cheaper than Topeak.

Next thing is tire repair, I have tubes, so I will focus on this. I always have a spare tube with me, sometimes the one I have repaired the last time. Then I pack two levers to take the tires from the rim. A lot of people can do without, but I feel at least better if I have the levers with me. Two things are important I guess:

1. They should be light and made out of plastic, so that they don't scratch the rim and don't ruin the tube if you do something stupid.

2. They should have a slit on the backside so that you can fix one with the spokes and work with the other one.

So for example like this one:

http://www.topeak.jp/tool/rebuildkit.html

[see below top018 and top019]

Of course instead I own a pair of very good looking levers made from aircraft grade aluminium which do have scratched my rims and are very mendokusai to use. But they look perfect.

To get air into the tire there are two alternatives: pump or valve plus cartridge. I prefer the cartridges. Yes, this is expensive, but fast and also a lot of fun. I always have the valve plus two cartridges with me and that proved enough in most of the cases. One cartridge is good enough for one and a half tire, as long as there is not too much time between the two tires.
Apart from the "expensive" argument, there is nothing disadvantageous to be said about the cartridge solution. OK, sometimes it seems that the cartridges explode when under extreme heat and sometimes the valves simply blows up (happened to me), but apart from that ...
A hand pump doesn't fit in the saddlebag, unless the saddle bag is very big or the pump very small, both not very attractive or functional solutions.

Finally, what concerns me most is that I have more than one puncture on a bike during one ride. Like when someone is riding over the rainbow bridge ....So I like to have some patches with me.

I dislike the standard patches, where you have to roughen the surface first with a small patch of sand paper, then put this slimy gum gore on the tube and then attach the patch to that. I don't know why, but the only thing I achieve with this is to glue my fingers thoroughly together. Even after pressing my fingers on the patch for an hour there is still air coming out when checking.

I am pretty sure that this is due to the fact that I have rather two left wings than two left hands and all other TCC rider can do that perfectly blindfolded.

But is there something you can recommend?
I use this one now, what do you hink, is there something better?
http://www.joint-cycle.com/joint/7.1/tl-pana-easyp/

Finally there is the bag itself. I use this one :

http://www.topeak.jp/bag/bag181.html

Because it is small, light, one can attach a rear light to it, it has an extra part for keys, 3M reflective strip and looks good. I would love to have this in orange though.

I was a little bit sceptical about the adaptor first, but it is very practical, so I can easily remove this one for races from the bike. Much better than having velcrom stripes.

So please let me know, what else do I need or to I need to improve. Any good ideas?






And that's it
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#2
Quick answers:
- Tire levers (necessary for me)
- One spare tube
- Hex keys (3 sizes I think, for various bits)
- Mini Swiss army knife (on a key ring with bike lock key), which includes flat and Phillips-head screwdrivers and, of course, a knife.
- Topeak bag, but the next size up than yours, I think.
- Large patch as a tire boot
- I sometimes carry a small adjustable wrench, handy for quick wheel re-truing if you lose a spoke, and other odd jobs.

And two longer answers:
- Glueless patches, such as from Park are great for getting you home in case you use up your spare tube. They won't hold for more than a few hundred km, however, so the puncture has to be fixed properly when you get home. (I don't believe a proper repair can't be done at the side of the road. Among other things, you need to let the glue set properly, preferably overnight, before remounting in the tire...this is probably why many people find their puncture repairs fail.)

- Mini pump (this one fits on a frame mount, in the saddle bag, or jersey pocket, and works great). I honestly don't see the point of cartridges. You can run out of them, with injector + cartridges they're bulkier than a small pump, they're pricey, and non-eco friendly, if you care about that...all to save two minutes of elbow grease. I suppose a pump can break, but apart from that, you're never going to be short of air. The fun factor, though, I've never experienced, so maybe I just don't know what I'm missing.... :D
 

Philip

Speeding Up
Feb 15, 2007
765
7
38
Setagaya
#3
Belt & Braces Man . . .

  1. 2 plastic tire levers
  2. 2 tubes
  3. 1 mini pump
  4. 1 gas pump + 2 cartridges
  5. Tube patches
  6. Tire boot patch
  7. 6 chain links
  8. Mini tool with chain tool
  9. 1 valve extender
  10. Contact lenses

All fits inside a medium size Topeak saddle bag

Philip
 

massa

Warming-Up
Feb 22, 2008
174
0
0
Setagayaku
#4
Hi mob

It's nice to see this thread because I'm curious to see how prudent riders carry tubes even if they don't have saddle box with them in terms of risk management.

I'm not good at risk management for bike riding but let me add a couple of things to follow up.
I bring one or two spokes in sheet post and a nipple wrench with me. Because even luck of only one spoke is easy to ruin whole wheel.:D

http://www.cycle-yoshida.com/kawashima/parktool/wheel/spoke_wrench_page.htm
http://www.cycle-yoshida.com/a_f/dt/compe_page.htm

Massa
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,516
213
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#5
I have a mesh bag I keep in my back pocket with a tube, tyre lever, cleat covers and a mini pump.
On the bike in the drink bottle holder I have a plastic canister that has my multi tool, ( tyre lever, spare allen keys--> which I have squeezed into a 10cm piece of tube I cut of an old tube...to use as a tyre cover boot patch, plus it stops the pieces jiggling and rattling around). Also in the canister is another tube and 2 gas cartridges- one already to go with the valve attached. Plus a small pack of puncture repair patches, one or 2 small tubes of glue, a spare key to my house, 1000 yen. And it all squeezes in so tight that nothing moves. Like a rubics cube to unravel it all and put it all back together. I also have a topeak saddle bag but I only put that on as well if I'm doing a really long ride... It has another tube, garbage bags and probably another tyre lever....batteries if I intend to ride at night. I haven't taken a kitchen sink riding with me but don't count it out.
 

TOM

Maximum Pace
#6
Tool can

Personally and for purely aesthetic reasons, I prefer the tool can which fits into the bottle holder of the seat tube. Mine holds 2 inner tubes (each one in ziplock bag), 2 tyre levers, 3 hex wrenches, knog white LED light, piece of tyre to mend side cuts (lifesaver - Thomas' idea) and, like Peter, the key to my house (just in case I've been abandoned by my folks...) A mini pump is attached on the same seat tube bottle holder. Of course, for longer rides in summer in the mountains with no vending machines around (or group rides with fast guys:cool:), I need two bottles and that is when I go for the saddle bag, preferably as small as possible (ziplocked inner tubes fit neatly in jersey back pocket).
 

chazzer

Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
449
0
36
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
#7
Mini tool

I have a very light Topeak mini tool

http://www.topeak.com/products/Tools/ToolBar

plus one spare tube (pre-punctured for maximum frustration) and a very thin latex glove for major roadside surgery to both man and machine. I also carry my combination lock in the bag. This is effective against any thief not armed with a pair of nail scissors.

Apart from that I have a special good luck charm from a jinja in Nishi Arai. All of this is packed into a very small bijou saddle bag carrying the signature of the latest doping cheat professional of your choice. Mine is Alessandro Petacchi.

In my pockets I carry another spare tube, a tire boot, some glueless patches, and a CO2 pump plus one spare cartridge. The CO2 pump initially provided endless entertainment but rarely actually worked in inflating the tyre. Now I have improved by technique and it works a treat. However, like Phil, I am beginning to question the value over and above a decent pump and may revert soon.

Also in my pockets I carry food, money, keys, gaijin card, medical insurance card, one credit card and reading glasses.

chazzer
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#8
Just the necessities!

P1000047.JPG


My new(ish) "KLICK-Fix" saddle bag is large enough for all of the above:

* Two spare tubes.
* Patch kit.
* Tyre levers (Panaracer - set of three).
* Multi-tool - with 5 sizes of Allen-Keys, a "+" and "-" screwdriver - quite rusted from lack of use (which only means that I never break-down:D)
* Roll of electrical tape.

For long rides, there's also enough space to fit in a couple of "Calorie-Mate"s or an Energy-Gel.

I ride with it everywhere!

However, on hill-climb races (Kusatsu, in particular), I take the entire lot off, as well as my bike mounted pump. I take one tube, the tyre-levers and one CO2 cylinder (with valve) that all fit into the jersey pockets. Nothing else.

*Note: I don't use CO2 cartridges on group rides, because I've seen them go wrong too many times, and you only get one chance - what do you do if they mess up?

So far (touching wood), I've never been in a situation that I, or my fellow riders haven't been able to get home from in regards to mechanical problems.

A chain-ring tool though, might prove advantageous in the future.

T
 

m o b

Speeding Up
Jun 22, 2008
341
23
38
Bremen
cyclitis.wordpress.com
#9
Am intermediate summary

Thanks for all good advices so far, they were really helpful. I guess I will post this thread also on the Positivo Espresso blog for the benefit of our riders.

Summary and comments so far:

Multitool

Some hex keys and plus/minus drivers are a must.

Punctured tire

I believe this is regarded as the number one problem on rides so everyone has at least tire levers, spare tires and patches with them. The info about the easy patches was particular helpful, so I will use them only for temporary repair in the future. Also I have bought some tire patches from park Tool in case there is some serious damage to the tire. But I don't think this has as high a priority as a punctured tube.

Pumps or CO2 Cartridges

I have to agree with some of the comments, that working with CO2 cartridges can go wrong and that one only has one chance. I remember a particular incident where three of us thought be would have 5 cartridges to inflate a punctured tired and we failed nevertheless (in fact we had only four with us, two were empty on the valve, another one blow the first tube, and we forgot to close the valve when we screwed the last cartridge on).

http://positivo-espresso.blogspot.com/2008/04/izu-weekend-ride_07.html

The valve itself I use is very small, so from a volume point of view I guess the cartridge solution has a point nevertheless.

One more disadvantage is, that you cannot take the cartridges with you on a flight. Neither in your suitcase, nor in your hand baggage.

My personal feeling is: I had pumping, so I would prefer the cartridges but overall it is a very balanced issue.

Spokes

This is a point I completely overlooked. But broken spokes happen from time to time on a ride and if you have a wheel with only a few of them, it is rather impossible to continue to ride. (like my G3 Campa Zonda wheels). Of course the reasonable choice is to buy a wheel with 28 or so spokes (with standard replacements at every bikeshop in Japan) , but they look so .... boring.
I think it is a good idea to pack a tool/wrench and a spoke on a ride, but for me that is impossible, as the bloody Campa spokes are different left and right AND rear and front, so this would mean four replacement spokes. No way.

Batteries

Standard types can be bought at most of the combinis, so I don't think that they are really necessary. (also some of them tend to leak and to clean the acid in your saddle bag is comparable to the Exxon Valdez disaster.

Latex Glove

This was the most surprising idea. The only time I got in contact with them was for rectal cancer prevention. But I guess that is something you perform rather seldom on each other during a ride out in the country side.

Good Luck Charm

Of course. How could something like this been have possibly overlooked? Small types, made out of carbon or titanium are preferred. Otherwise an arrow or an 絵馬 with the pleas written on them for every ride are also decreasing the risk of accidents, punctures and general poor performances. Should always have a small bell attached to.

Electrical Tape

I think this is also a very good idea. A German craftman if called for to a house, would invariably carry a set of tools with him, such as screwdrivers, hammer etc. with which he would work on a problem.
However, when I was living in (countryside) China, a plumber would normally come without any tools but always with a roll of duct tape. Believe me, there is no problem in China which cannot be solved with the appropriate dossis of duct tape. Leaking waterpipe? - 100 meter of duct tape will do the job. Broken light on your car due to crash? - duct tape first. High unemployment rate in the cities? - duct tape over the mouth if protesting.

Even the Beijing Olympic stadium design, as one can clearly see, was inspired by random wrapping of huge duct tape over a standard stadium.

So electrical tape is a very good idea. In can help if the handlebar tape unravels because one is too stupid to do that properly. And probably it can be used to repair tubes, tires, tie spokes together, provide first aid and silence your wife and kids.

In Japan there is a wide variety available and I bought some in nice colors (yellow, grey, red) for 37 Yen a piece at the local home depot equivalent. I used it as a finishing tape on the handle bar - the stripes provided with the handle bar tape are ridiculous short. Looks great now. Actually very Chinese.

Finally I found Edogawakikomans idea very good to have a wad of freshly printed 10.000 Yen notes in a brown envelope printed "LDP" on it in the saddle bag; in case something goes seriously wrong. Better to buy a new bike with them instead of wasting time with repair.
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
436
103
Tokyo
#10
Looks like Philip's the man to have along on your ride!

I carry
1 spare tube
1 patch kit (traditional glue style)
2 shimano chain connector pins inside the patch kit box
This Topeak Hexus multi-tool
proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.topeak.com%2Fmediafiles%2Fproducts%2F1380%2F&hash=1e9bcd140b39862e07e49cfdbcc76a7f


A combination CO2 cartridge / manual pump like this one
proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bikebarn.co.nz%2Fproductimages%2FMEDIUM%2FIS2545.jpg&hash=8b3411f2755e8b5e3e703f998efb9221


A couple of 1000 yen notes
Spare AA batteries for GPS for really long rides or extra cold days.

So basically I can fix a single puncture very quickly and be on my way, but if I get more than one I won't be stranded. I can also tighten loose bolts and make minor adjustments, and could fix a broken chain well enough to limp home.

All of this fits in my Deuter saddle bag.

I also usually bring along on my rides my interpreter and source of Japanese information & knowledge, although this requires a second bike :D

AW.
 

m o b

Speeding Up
Jun 22, 2008
341
23
38
Bremen
cyclitis.wordpress.com
#14
Topeak Promotion

I think some products from Topeak are excellent and reasonably priced:

White Light Front Light
http://www.topeak.com/products/Lights/WhiteLite

Small, well designed, easy to fix, powerful, off/on/blinking only (no fancy patterns)

Saddle Bag Aero wedge pack DX small
http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/AeroWedgePack_DX_small

Light, unfortunately not available in orange, good clip, big enough for what is needed, reflective plus latch to install the

Rear Light Red Lite Black
http://www.topeak.com/products/Lights/RedLite

Small, well designed, powerful, easy to fix

As for the multi tools, I think they are good as well but then there are so many other good brands to choose from. Of course there are other good brands as well such as Park Tools, Cat Eye etc.. I think the reason that they show up on this thread so often is also, that they have a focus on the stuff in the saddle bags.

Yet I couldn't found latex gloves made by Topeak.
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,516
213
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#15
I think some products from Topeak are excellent and reasonably priced:

White Light Front Light
http://www.topeak.com/products/Lights/WhiteLite

Small, well designed, easy to fix, powerful, off/on/blinking only (no fancy patterns)

Saddle Bag Aero wedge pack DX small
http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/AeroWedgePack_DX_small

Light, unfortunately not available in orange, good clip, big enough for what is needed, reflective plus latch to install the

Rear Light Red Lite Black
http://www.topeak.com/products/Lights/RedLite

Small, well designed, powerful, easy to fix

As for the multi tools, I think they are good as well but then there are so many other good brands to choose from. Of course there are other good brands as well such as Park Tools, Cat Eye etc.. I think the reason that they show up on this thread so often is also, that they have a focus on the stuff in the saddle bags.

Yet I couldn't found latex gloves made by Topeak.
You shouldn't to Peak when using latex gloves just ToFeel.
 

Philip

Speeding Up
Feb 15, 2007
765
7
38
Setagaya
#16
I myself use this toy of 65g and capable of 160psi injection is one of the best I guess.
I carry this pump. It's a great back-up. However, whilst Topeak claim it will pump to 160psi, that is impossible in the real world. The same story with all these mini pumps.

I would be interested in a more powerful pump if it did not come with unrealistic size, weight and carrying penalties.

I have seen one manufacturer who is going back to using the old fashioned hose connector between the pump and tube valve (just as we used to have on the old frame pumps when we were kids). This makes it easier to use a smaller pump to pump without holding the wheel or damaging the valve.

Why don't frame makers build the pump into the frame? The frame tube acts as the pump housing - saving weight in this area. This allows a larger (heavier) plunger up to track pump size. The valve could come out on the seat stay close to the rear wheel rim. A small tube connects you to the rear tire valve. To pump the front tire, you take the front wheel out and place it close to the rear seat stay to pump the tire-up. If the seat tube is used to house the plunger the handle could be placed under the seat - much easier now with integrated seat posts.

Just my thoughts :)

Philip
 

massa

Warming-Up
Feb 22, 2008
174
0
0
Setagayaku
#17
I wonder if how much extent of air pressure you guys fill into tubes front and rear.
Some of tire makers claim between 108-152psi for their products.
Mostly it seems 100psi is enough to prevent easiest punctuation, but I'd like rather higher pressure around 130psi. Then you guys, which is your highest without any trouble? In other word, can we safely inject highest pressure which makers claim?:confused:
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
436
103
Tokyo
#18
I wonder if how much extent of air pressure you guys fill into tubes front and rear.
Some of tire makers claim between 108-152psi for their products.
Mostly it seems 100psi is enough to prevent easiest punctuation, but I'd like rather higher pressure around 130psi. Then you guys, which is your highest without any trouble? In other word, can we safely inject highest pressure which makers claim?:confused:

You can but why would you want to? All this will do is make the tyres have less grip, less control and less comfort as they skitter over the road surface. Unless you're riding on a wooden velodrome track, there's no point.
 

massa

Warming-Up
Feb 22, 2008
174
0
0
Setagayaku
#19
Hi AlanW

I weigh 75kg and 'm having very often of flat tiers. It's just prevent from frequent punctuations and to get a little bit of more speed.:eek:

Massa