Cycling Essentials | The Ultimate List of Tools and Spares to Carry

No matter the length of your journey, when cycling, it’s always a good idea to carry some tools and spares along with you. If your bike breaks during your bike ride, you may not be able to continue cycling for the rest of the journey. Fortunately a lot of repairs can be completed on the spot if you have the correct tools with you. We have created the ultimate list of cycling essentials you should carry on every bike ride. Check out our guide on names of bicycle parts to help you understand any cycling jargon.

Cycling essentials to repair a puncture:

  • The correct size spanner or allen key . These tools will be necessary to undo the wheel nuts or thru axle to remove the wheel (Unless you have a quick release skewer)
  • Tyre levers to help you to remove the tyre
  • A spare inner tube. This is in case you can’t mend the hole because of the size or location or because you want to speed up the job.
  • A tyre patch. Not vital, but if you have quite a large gash in your tyre from a piece of metal or glass, this will temporarily stop more debris from re-entering the tyre and causing another puncture.
  • A small pump and /or CO2 canister. This will allow you to re-inflate the tyre.
  • Puncture repair  kit. Useful in case you get more than one puncture and you only have one tube.
  • Pump.  You will need this to inflate your tyres.

Cycling essentials to fix a chain break:

  • Chain link extractor. This will enable you to remove any damaged and broken links.
  • Spare joining link.  Make sure that it is the correct link for the number of gears you have on your bike.

Having these two sets of tools will help you get back on the road, but it is a good idea to also carry other tools to fit nuts and bolts that are on your own bike.

Other tips for cycling essentials

Other cycling essentials we suggest carrying are Allen and torx keys.  Most modern bikes use allen key or torx key bolts to attach parts to the bike. 

A basic crosshead screwdriver will be useful to carry too if you need to adjust your gears.

The easiest way to carry these cycling essentials is where they are all folded away together. A good example of a product you can buy to carry all of your cycling essentials together is a multitool, in a similar style to a swiss army knife.

We always recommend that whenever you leave your bike unattended, you should take any pumps and tools with you, otherwise they could get stolen.

Long touring holiday cycle essentials

It is always a good idea to make sure that your bike is fully serviced before you go. However, accepting that if something major happens it may mean that your touring holiday may have to change, regardless of how prepared you are with the cycling essentials tools and spares.  We always recommend diverting your trip to incorporate a town or city with a bike shop just in case anything does happen to go wrong. It’s always best to be prepared. Cycle Maintenance Academy also recommend ensuring your handlebars are tightened and ion the right position. You can find out how to do this in our previous blog post ‘how to tighten bike handlebars

If you are planning to be away for a few months you may want to consider some additional tools and spares:

  • Spoke key. This is needed if your spokes come loose or need repairing.  Make sure that you buy a key that fits your particular spoke nipples
  • Spare spokes.  Take a couple of spare spokes in case you have any that break.  Even if you can’t fit them yourself. you may find a bike shop that can do it for you and if they don’t have your size in stock, you can provide the spokes.
  • Spare gear hanger. If you have an aluminium or carbon bike, it is really worthwhile carrying a spare gear hanger for your particular bike.  They need very few tools to fit and are specific for each make and model of bike. Carrying the correct one for your bike could save a lot of time and effort
  • Spare folding tyre. Modern folding tyres are generally small and light.  It may be worth taking one of these, as a badly slashed tyre can be as bad as having a puncture and no spare tube.

Preventative Action

The list of spares and tools could be endless and you need to stop somewhere.  Our advice for a long holiday would be take some preventative action before you go. We also suggest to fit, or have fitted the following:

  • New tyres, tubes and rim tapes.  
  • New brake blokes/pads
  • New gear and brake cables.
  • New cassette and chain

Overview of Cycling Essentials

Thanks for reading, we hope this list of our ultimate cycling essentials helps to prevent you from coming across any major cycling issues, but if you do, at least you will be fully equipped to deal with it. Please head over to our YouTube to watch the video in more detail where we will talk you through our list of essential tools and spares and what they look like. If you want a more in depth understanding of bicycle maintenance, including learning the names of bicycle parts check out our other blog posts.

What essentials do I need for cycling?

Water bottle
Multi tool
Allen key or spanner
Tyre levers
Tyre patch and a puncture repair kit
Spare inner tube

What bike tools should I buy?

Multi tool
Allen key
Tyre levers
Tyre patch
Puncture repair kit
Spare inner tube
Spoke key
Spare spokes
Spare gear hanger
Spare folding tire

What are bike multi tools used for?

Multi tools are a great cycling essential we already recommend carrying along with you on every bike ride. They serve a variety of tasks, both on bike rides for roadside fixes as well as in the workshop. The reason we suggest investing in a multi tool is because they’re easy to use, comfortable to carry, lightweight and durable.

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