After getting two flats in the rain at the Pacific Populaire, I discovered some weaknesses in my road cycling spares kit. I was feeling pretty smug after the first flat, I pulled off and fixed it pretty quickly, content in the knowledge that I had brought everything I needed to be self sufficient in case of trouble. But the second flat ended in disaster (a cab ride to the Skytrain counts as a disaster in my book).
The first thing I learned is that carrying two spare tubes is a really good idea. Second, that while CO2 inflators save weight and space, they are useless when you run out of gas, and when you're trying to find the puncture in a tube on the side of the road in the pouring rain, the infinite air available from a small pump is a lot more useful, and it can also be used to help others. Third, and this isn't directly related to the spares kit, but when riding in bad weather you should wear just enough clothing to stay warm when you're stopped, and then open it up (or pack it away) so you're not sweating to death when you're riding. I dressed for riding, and then promptly froze my ass off when I had to stop the second time and was fiddling around trying to patch a tube.
Previously I stored all my spares in an old water bottle/bidon in my second bottle cage. It worked well, and having the weight down low should be better for bike handling. But it only has room for one spare tube with everything else, and it takes up a bottle cage, and on some remote rides it's good to have that available for a second water bottle. So I've moved everything to my seat bag, and moved my phone, keys etc from my seat bag to my jersey back pockets.
Here's my new spares kit, and I weighed everything just to be a weight weenie:
MEC Shell Seat bag 83g
2x Conti Race 28 tubes 102g = 204g
Filzer mini tool with chain breaker 132g
Misc zip ties 4g
Mini patch kit, power link, schrader adapter 12g
Plastic tire levers 10g
Blue shop towel 1pc 6g
Seat Bag total = 480g packed
Jersey pocket: Lezyne mini pump 92g
Grand total = 572g (20.2oz)
Adds a fair bit of weight, might be able to get a lighter multi-tool. But it will all be worth it the next time I'm stuck at the side of the road and I can sort it out myself, so it's going on the bike for all rides over 2 hours or where there isn't any cell coverage.
What's in your spares kit? Post your reply below
* Probably going to add a Bontrager Flare R rear flasher for extra daytime safety too. Weather in Vancouver is often dark and wet, reducing visibility, and I'm planning on lots of rides on 2 lane backcountry roads with little or no shoulder where drivers and possibly logging trucks aren't expecting to see cyclists.