Before each ride its important to go through the ABC's
AIR: Check to make sure you tyres are pumped up to the correct PSI. The pressure depends on the type of tyre you have, but for most road bikes it is around 100-110. Not having enough air in your tyre will make you work harder, plus you will have more chance of getting a flat if you pinch the inner tube while going over a bump or pothole. Also check your tyres for any small holes or cracks. If you do find any, you may need to replace your tyres at your local bike shop. If your tyres are old, consider replacing them so you don't get a flat or blow a tyre.
BRAKES: Always check your brake pads to make sure they are in the correct position and locked on and working.
CHAIN: Your bike chain needs to be cleaned and lubricated at least one a week. Not sure what to do? Check out a YouTube video! A clean chain last longer and makes it easier to shift between gears.
What to take on each ride?
Helmet: In good condition that fits your head and is worn correctly. If you have a cycling accident, it can save your life.
Lights: Flashing lights are the first thing drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists notice when out in the early morning or late at night. Always make sure you have a bright front and rear light during your ride. It's a good idea to buy the rechargeable lights as they last longer, just don't leave them at home plugged into the wall!
Drink Bottle: Whenever you are exercising you should always be consuming water to stay hydrated. Make sure you have enough drink bottle holders on your bike, especially if you are doing long rides.
Phone: Its a good idea to always have a phone on you when out riding in case you have an accident and need assistance.
Cash - I like to carry a cash/card on me just in case I have a disastrous day and need to catch an Uber/Taxi home.
Nutrition: Depending on how long you are riding for its important you take enough nutrition and water on the bike.
Puncture Repair Kit - see below
What to Pack in your Puncture Repair Kit?
Unfortunately punctures are part of cycling and it’s something none of us can escape. It doesn’t matter how well maintained your bike is, how often you check your tyres or how well you avoid glass and debris on the road. At some point, you will get a flat.
Knowing there is no escape from the occasional puncture, having a well-stocked saddlebag makes the flat changing process an easy, stress-free process that will get you back on the road in no time.
To make sure you can change multiple flats and fix minor mechanicals mid-ride, carry these essential tools and equipment in your saddlebag anytime you hit the road:
As a cyclist it is your responsibility to make sure you have all the necessary equipment to fix your bike should anything go wrong. Don't rely on your coach or cycling buddies to have the equipment for you!
Here is a list of the equipment you should have in your puncture repair kit:
- Saddle Bag/Cannister – Find a bag that works with your bike and can fit all of your flat-repair tools. Some bags have Velcro straps while others use buckle systems for a secure fit.
- Tubes – Carry two tubes for extra security. If you flat and use one tube for the repair, it’s nice to have a backup tube in case you’re unlucky enough to get a second flat.
- Tyre Levers – Tyre levers make changing flats a snap. The added leverage these colourful tools provide will help you get your tyre on and off while changing a flat.
- CO2 Cartridges and Inflator – Are less bulky then carrying a hand pump and far more effective. This will help you pump your tyres back up in no time.
- Multi-tool – Mechanicals and mishaps can happen anytime. Carry a multi-tool (allen key) in your saddlebag so you can fix minor problems and get back to riding
- How to Change a Flat Instructions - don't change flats often or not confident you will remember the steps? Write the instructions down and keep in your saddle bag when in need!