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Bike Packing List and Must Have Tools for Long Rides

Ever been miles from home, in the middle of nowhere, when your tire decides to take a nap?

Yep, been there, done that, and it’s no fun walking your bike back with a flat tire.

That’s why having a well-packed bike bag (or saddlebag, if you prefer) is a game-changer.

Let’s talk about the best bike bags for emergencies, why you should carry one, and what essentials to pack on your training rides.

A Quick Story: The Time I Got Caught Short

Picture this: a beautiful Sunday morning here in Southern Spain, perfect for a long ride. I planned to meet my friend on the coast which is a 10-mile steep downhill.

I was 4 miles out when I heard the dreaded hiss—flat tire.

No problem, I thought. I parked up in a picnic area by the side of the road and reached for my CO2 cannister and realized I had left it on the kitchen counter! I tried to call my partner, but they did not pick up. It was not my day.

So, I walked my bike back home, all 4 miles, with my tail between my legs and wore out my cleats!

Lesson learned: always pack smart!

Quick Bike Packing List

1. CO2 Cannisters and Inflator

2. Tire Levers

3. Spare Inner Tube

4. Multi-Tool

5. Patches and Glue

6. Chain Tool and Quick Link

7. Gels, Bars, and Electrolyte Tabs

8. Mini First Aid Kit

9. Cash and ID

10. Phone and Emergency Contact Info

Why You Should Carry a Bike Bag

1. Peace of Mind

Having a bike bag with the right tools and supplies means you’re prepared for the unexpected.

Flat tire? No problem.

Chain break? You’ve got it covered.

It’s like having a first aid kit for your bike.

2. Self-Reliance

Relying on yourself to fix minor issues means you won’t have to call for a ride or wait for someone to rescue you.

Plus, it’s a great confidence booster knowing you can handle whatever comes your way. On race day this could be the difference between finishing and a DNF!

3. Convenience

Everything you need is right there. No more stuffing pockets with tools and snacks or worrying about leaving something behind. It’s all in one place, ready to go.

What to Pack in Your Bike Bag

1. CO2 Cannisters and Inflator

Why? They’re lightweight, easy to use, and quickly inflate your tire. Way faster than a mini-pump, especially when you’re in a hurry.

Pro Bike Tool CO2 Inflator$23.99 at Amazon.com

If you don’t get on with CO2 cannisters then why not try a mini electric pump?

This rechargeable one from Rock Bros is small but mighty.

ROCKBROS Mini Bike Pump – $74.99 at Amazon.com

2. Tire Levers

Why? Essential for getting those stubborn tires off the rim without breaking a sweat (or your fingers).

Ultra Strong Bike Tire Levers – $9.99 at Amazon.com

3. Spare Inner Tube

Why? Patching a tube is fine, but replacing it is quicker and more reliable, especially if you’re in a race or a rush.

If you want to pack light and compact you should opt for TPU inner tubes.

Ultra Strong Bike Tire Levers – $19.98 at Amazon.com

4. Multi-Tool

Why? It’s the Swiss Army knife for your bike. A good multi-tool can help you adjust your seat, tighten bolts, fix your chain, and more.

Crankbrothers Multi Tool M 19 – $35.97 at Amazon.com

5. Patches and Glue

Why? For those times when you run out of spare tubes. A patch kit can be a lifesaver.

I find the pre-glued patches are more convenient and these ones from Park Tool are great.

Park Tool GP-2 Pre-Glued Super Patch Puncture Repair Kits – $10.98 at Amazon.com

6. Chain Tool and Quick Link

Why? Chains can break, and a chain tool with a quick link can get you back on the road fast.

Amazon: $13.99

$10.98 at Amazon.com

7. Gels, Bars, and Electrolyte Tabs

Why? Fuel for your ride. Keeping your energy levels up is crucial, especially on long rides or during races. View the best gels and and chews to triathletes.

8. Mini First Aid Kit

Why? Accidents happen. A few bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers can make a big difference.

This weatherproof first aid kit from CureIT attaches to your bike frame and includes 50 essential first aid supplies.

Bike First Aid Kit for Cyclist – $39.99 at Amazon.com

9. Cash and ID

Why? Just in case you need to buy a snack, make a call, or in the rare event, identify yourself (remember to charge it!). Plus, some spare cash can be handy for those tiny bike shop emergencies. Even if you have contactless payments on your phone cash is king on a bike ride!

10. Phone and Emergency Contact Info

Why? For navigation, emergencies, or just to brag about your ride on social media. Always have a way to contact someone if needed. If you have an allergy or health condition, consider wearing a bracelet.

Medical Alert Bracelet – $21.99 at Amazon.com


Being prepared on your rides is not just about performance; it’s about safety and confidence.

A well-packed bike bag can save your ride and your day. So, take a few minutes before your next ride to pack smart.

Trust me, your future self (the one who doesn’t have to walk 10 miles home) will thank you.

Happy riding, and may your tires stay inflated, and your snacks be plentiful!

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Karen Parnell
Karen Parnellhttps://chilitri.com/one-to-one-coaching
Karen Parnell is a Level 3 British Triathlon and IRONMAN Certified Coach, WOWSA Level 3 open water swimming coach,  80/20 Endurance certified coach and NASM Personal Trainer and Sports Technology Writer. Need a training plan? I have plans on TrainingPeaks, FinalSurge and TrainingTilt: TrainingPeaks FinalSurge TrainingTilt I also coach a very small number of athletes one to one for all triathlon distances, open water swimming events and running races, email me for details and availability. Karen.parnell@chilitri.com


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