When planning a bicycle trip, especially a long one, the selection of the material that you will carry in your luggage is crucial. A poor choice of cycling gear can turn the most epic adventure of your life into a true pedaling nightmare.
In this article, I present you 8 objects that will surely get you out of more than one trouble on your long-haul routes. You can read more: Womens bikes size guide. If you want to know why all these items always travel in my bikepacking bags, make yourself a coffee and read on, the adventure begins!
The straps are rubber straps with a nylon or metal buckle with which you can literally fix anything on your bike. They can be attached directly to the frame, the luggage rack or the fork with the help of other accessories.
With the popularization of bikepacking, they are becoming more common and the truth is that they are all advantages. Their applications are endless, they are lightweight, they self-winding, and they are virtually unbreakable. Today you can find different brands on the market that offer different sizes, materials and colors. Keep reading https://kbsm.org/how-to-deep-clean-a-road-bike/
On a long trip, it is common to spend the night in the most inhospitable places; campsites, train stations, gas stations, health centers, schools, abandoned buildings. They all have a common denominator: power outlets, if found, are usually scarce.
The combination of this reality, with the fact that we consume more and more electronic devices, can end up pedaling without a battery for several days.
A multi USB charger with which you can charge different devices at the same time will allow you to go back on the road with all your electronics with full batteries.
Today the market for accessories for transporting liquids on the bicycle is huge. Bottles, drums, hydration bags, integrated tanks, among many others. The kilometers and the experience in long trips have made me position myself.
For me, the best way to transport water and liquids, in general, is in bottles. Up to this point, everything seems simple, but here comes the trick: bottles of different materials and cap widths.
Why? Simple! Transparent plastic bottles (BPA free), in addition to being light, will allow you to regulate your water consumption very well. This is especially useful in cases where it needs to be rationed.
For its part, metal bottles (generally aluminum or stainless steel) can be used with hot liquids and you can even heat water or cook a soup in case of emergency in the same container (they do not melt in the heat). On the other hand, the fact that one of your bottles is a thermos will save your life on most days of the cold winter.
The different cap widths (bottle orifice) give you the versatility to fill all the bottles from any type of supply that you find en route (fountains, lakes, pipes, wells, etc.). The supply points are not always easily accessible and you can use any type of filter to fill all your bottles.
Finally, when it comes to drinking, you will always be able to choose which bottle is the most comfortable for you for regular consumption. You can fill your favorite bottle on the go with the other bottles.
As you probably already know, there are multiple hardware items that can be of great help on a long trip. Duct tape or cable ties are already a classic in many tool kits. However, here I bring you one that may not be so popular, but I assure you that it has all the necessary advantages to never go out without it; it’s about the cord.
Just a few meters of the cord can get you out of an unexpected situation and also facilitate many of the activities in the day-to-day cycle traveler. The fine climbing cord is light, takes up very little volume in your saddlebags, is very resistant and best of all, it is reusable (unlike the tape and zip ties mentioned).
As for its possible uses and applications, they are endless. From hanging the laundry, reinforcing the tent on stormy days, tying the helmet to the bicycle, to making emergency repairs and even giving your new sandals a little fun. Put a few meters of cord in your life and it will make you smile again.
One of the million-dollar questions: clipless or platform pedals? In my opinion and especially for long trips: long live the platforms! Undoubtedly. Here are the reasons:
Less is more. They are much simpler and lack mechanisms that can be broken, locked or misaligned. In addition, they are found without problems around the world should they have to be replaced. The last thing you want is to run out of pedals in the middle of a desert.
They can be used with any type of footwear. On the other hand, clipless pedals are designed to be used with a specific shoe, so you will depend on it to be able to pedal.
Using platform pedals, you will always be able to vary and choose your footwear based on the routes you have planned. For example, sandals in coastal areas or trekking shoes for the most demanding trails.
Today, most of the world’s most spectacular cycling regions lack clean drinking water. The pollution of our days forces us to carry water from potable supplies or to have to filter the water from the resources that we find on the road.
In this sense, traveling with a water filter is a great option that will make you much more independent on your travels. Another of its great advantages, and despite the initial investment in a filter, is that making the decision to purchase one will help you save a lot of money on water.
Long bike trips are an exercise in minimalism. Each and every one of the items that you include in your saddlebags supposes a weight and a volume. With that in mind, the ideal would be to choose simple and multifunctional objects that optimize your quality of life on the road.
When it comes to clothing, many of us tend not to invest too much money in it since it is a part of the equipment destined to suffer a lot of wear and tear over the kilometers. However, despite its price, I can guarantee you that a merino shirt is one of the best investments you can make when selecting the clothes for your traveling wardrobe.
Merino garments are hot in cold climates and cool in hot ones. They dry very quickly and are quite durable. Another important feature is that they do not smell with the presence of sweat, something that in long days of pedaling is a real treasure.
By pedaling with a merino shirt, you will be able to wear the same shirt for several days without having to sleep outside the tent.
Of the entire list, this is probably the object that will give you the most joy to have it on hand, especially when you compare it with its size and weight. Having a Schrader valve adapter, especially if you travel with large volume tires, will allow you to easily regulate your tire pressure at any gas station you find on the road.
Having the possibility to inflate your wheels with any compressor will also allow you to bead the tire well in case you roll with a tubeless system.
The best of all is that this article only weighs a few grams and you can carry it in any pocket, no matter how tiny.
Finally, another advantage of this tiny item is that you will not need to constantly change the nozzle of your inflation pump in case you cannot find the corresponding valve chambers.
Anyway, I hope that the article you just read has shed some light regarding possible doubts regarding the choice of equipment that you will include in your next pedal adventure.
In any case, this cycling is endless learning, a continuous evolution. Regardless of what you take on a trip, do not forget the most important thing: the crazy desire to pedal! Good routes!