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Bagging it

What you need to carry for that epic days riding 

Your bike bag is your guarantee for a safer ride. It contains all the items you’ll need for fixing your bike and fixing yourself. Your bag will help you to make it back home if the riding conditions turn bad. That’s the typical content of mountain biker’s bag:

mountain bike bag's content

1  Water bladder

Whatever bag you have, fit a large one with at least 2 liters capacity, you don’t have to fill it in full for a ride but the day you’re going for a long ride you’ll be glad to have a large capacity.

2  Bag with straps and enough pockets

Your bike bag must fit comfortably. You don’t want it to flap on your back every time you hit a bump. So get a bag with a solid and ergonomic waist strap and chest straps. Casual trail riding requests you to bring a range of items ranging from tools to spare clothes that must fit in your bag. The picture shows a relatively small bag good for rides lasting up to 3 to 4 hours by good weather. A larger bag would be necessary if a spare jacket or a change of cloth was needed.

3 Food

Always bring food with you. Food is energy.

4  Spare inner tube

Having a spare inner tube is the quickest way to fix a flat. Make sure the tube you have is the right size and have a valve suitable with your rim and pump valve.

5  Pump

Always bring a pump, or make sure someone in your group as one. Choose a pump with universal valve that can pump any kind of inner tube valve without touching at the pump’s valve.

6  Tape

Tape helps you making quick fix when something breaks. Stretchy electric tape can be used for first aid and to hold in place a ripped helmet’s visor, a knee pad which Velcro are inefficient, etc… Duct Tape is strong enough to hold in place a broken bike and make it back home (we’ve seen it!), and temporarily mend about anything on you and your bike.

7 Spoke tools

This tool allows you to true your wheel during the ride. It’s particularly useful when a spoke brakes and your tire is rubbing against the frame, you’ll need it to make your wheel roll freely again and make it back home.

8 Zip ties

Zip ties are incredibly strong and can be used to fix a lot of things during a ride.

10 Chain tool

A bike without a chain is almost useless.
The chain tool is your only way to fix your chain when it brakes.

11 Tire levers

They greatly help removing the tire from the rim. Ligh XC tires are often easy to remove by hand but heavier tires requests tire levers. If you’re not used to fix flats it’s best to have 3 levers.

12 Inner tube patches

It’s not rare to have more than one flat within one ride especially on HK’s rough trails, so you’ll need inner tube patches to fix your flat. The self-adhesive ones (displayed here) are quick to use but request the inner tube surface to be very dry and clean. The patches coming with glue are more reliable but more time consuming to use.

13 Derailleur hanger

Derailleur hanger is meant to brake instead of your frame if you slam your derailleur against a rock. So having it as a spare part kept in your tool handy is safe. This is not a vital part to have with you while riding but will greatly help the day you damage the one on your bike.

14 Knife

A good folding knife is a vital item to have in the outdoors.

15 Headlight

You may get late and the night may fall. You want to be able to see where you’re going to make it back home at night. A small headlight will do the job and will keep you safe but it won’t be powerful enough for some real night riding.

16 Mobile phone

In the outdoors a mobile phone is a safety device although you may not have network everywhere you go. Keep it in a dry bag (zip lock, or water proof pocket).

17 Wallet, ID, money

Never leave home without enough money to buy drinks and food and an ID for you to get identified in case a crash knocks you unconscious. It’s good to have emergency contact numbers in your wallet for the emergency services to contact your relatives.

18 First aid kit

You should have in it at least some antiseptic solution (the earlier you clean a wound the faster is heals), gauzes, bandage, tweezers, and medical tape.

19 Map

It’s always good to find out where you are when you are lost!