Tool Kit & Spares

Ask any serious and experienced cyclist and they will tell you to always carry a pump, a puncture repair kit (or spare inner tube) and a simple multi-tool (allen keys and spanner etc).  The last thing one wants is to be cycling home and get a puncture and not to be able to fix it. 

When one sets off on a long distance cycle tour, especially outside of western Europe, you really need to carry a set of essential spare parts and a suitable tool kit, so that a minor problem such as a broken gear cable or broken spoke does not become ride-stopping event.  In most of Europe, you should be able to get to a bike shop with everything you need and a mechanic to help, in the next big town, but elsewhere (e.g. the Balkans, the Caucasus mountains, Iran or India) you will not have such a luxury. 

So, take spares and learn a few skills in basic bike maintenance and simple fixes.  We carry the following spares…

  • Two spare inner tubes
  • Rema Tip Top puncture repair kit
  • Park Tools Emergency Tire Repair Boots
  • Fiber Fix Emergency Replacement Spoke
  • Spare spokes (different sizes for each of our wheels)
  • Spare brake & gear cables
  • Spare brake pads (V-brake inserts & disc brake pads)
  • A handful of spare nuts, washers & bolts (for pannier racks & misc. attachments)
  • Cable ties
  • Roll of vinyl electrical tape
  • Spare hook inserts for our Ortlieb pannier bags
  • Good quality chain oil (small bottle)
  • Small tub of grease (35mm plastic film canister)

We carry the following tools…

  • Leatherman Charge TTi multi-tool with pincer needle-nose plyers
  • Topeak Alien II Multi Tool (allen keys, mini spanners & chain break tool)
  • Small pedal spanner
  • Two lightweight tyre levers

The basic repair know-how that you will need includes….

  • Fixing a puncture
  • Adjusting brakes
  • Replacing a broken brake cable
  • Replacing a broken gear cable
  • Turning handlebars & removing pedals for transporting bikes

Meanwhile, just to be safe, it is always worth having your bike checked and serviced before embarking on a long cycle tour.  Bicycles are simple and robust mechanical objects, not much can go wrong and if properly checked/serviced, your bike should be fine for a few thousand miles.