What do you do when your bike breaks down kilometers from home?
You can stick out your thumb, you can phone a friend, or with a bit of forward planning , you can get yourself home. Here’s how.
Like a boy scout you need to be prepared. As well as the basics of a pump, multi-tool and a spare inner-tube or two, carry a survival kit of essential spares and materials. Use a small container, such as an old patch kit box or a 35mm ﬁlm canister, and ﬁll it with the following, packing them in tightly so as not to rattle:
- Small and medium zip-ties
- A small piece of cut-down carton wrapped with a length of duct tape
- One or two chain Power Links, 9 and/or 10-speed, depending on your bike and those of the people you ride with if you want to be your mates repair guy. These links will work with most chains
- A small length of malleable wire (copper wire that can be twisted by hand is best)
- Some 20 or 50 cent coins
- A piece of tyre casing or other suitable material cut down to about 5cm square
- Optionally, a spare 5mm Allen bolt or two, about 2.5cm in length, and 4mm and 6mm Allen bolts if you have enough space to ﬁt them in your container
Bike prep for panic prevention
- Replace a couple of your shorter 5mm bottle-cage bolts with longer ones that are 3-4cm; these can be used on many modern twin bolt seatposts or clamps.
- Fill your tubes with tyre sealant such as Ryder sealant. This can be extremely effective at warding off the debris found along your cycling route. You can buy pre-filled tubes or inject sealant into Schrader or two-piece Presta valves.
- Buy a couple of spare normal spokes of the right length, with nipples, and tape them or zip tie them tightly under the left chainstay to keep them out of sight – they are handy to have in reserve.
Now you’re all set, we will publish how to use your emergency kit to deal with common problems in our next few blogs.