Bike accessories

You might encounter tunnels. Some of them are without lights, which is why I recommend at least a red tail light. Something small and fiercely flashing.

I also recommend bringing along a bike lock. You can either choose a small one that prevents a grab-and-ride theft of your bike. Such thievery is more common than you might think.

Cheap and light combination lock

The other option is, of course, a proper heavy bike lock that withstands simple tools for stealing your bike. If you bike in a group, you can lock two bikes together with just one heavy lock. To save space in your front bag, try to find a model that you can attach to the frame of the bike when the lock is not in use.

Heavy and heavy duty lock

My current choice is to bring along both. If someone steals your bike, your vacation is over. So think twice about locks.

You also need a water bottle, perhaps even two. How much do you drink while biking, and how hot is it going to be? I stick to plain water, but it is up to you.

I am not much of a bike mechanic, but you absolutely need the tools and skills to replace punctured tubes and tires. On all my trips I bring along one extra tire and two extra tubes. If you end up replacing a tube, then you still have an extra tube and tire in case you realize the cause of the puncture was something sharp still stuck into the tire. Then buy new stuff at the next opportunity. On average I had a flat tire for every week of biking until I switched to 28 mm wide hard shell tires. Since then I get a flat tire after about every month of biking, but it all depends on where and how you bike.

In Argentina I once had both tubes punctured at the same time.

Evil Tribulus Terrestris nutlets that caused me three flat tires in Argentina

It is also a good idea to learn how to adjust your gears. It is well worth the time and money to pay a local bike mechanic for a tutorial. It is also a good idea to know how to replace brake pads (unless you have disc brakes). If you service your bike before you go, and your trip is just a few weeks, then you won’t need extra pads during your trip, but for longer trips you don’t want to wear out your brake pads without replacements.

You need a bike multi tool to tweak bolts and screws, but pick a small one since they’re quite heavy. I have one which has a special tool for fixing broken chains, but I have never used it. It is actually one of the only things that worries me, being stuck on a remote mountain with a broken chain.

I think it is also a good idea to bring along a small wrench/spanner to re-attach the pedals to the crank arm when you re-assemble your bike for riding, and to wrest off the pedals from the crank arm when packing the bike for going home. In Morocco I once re-attached my pedals just by hand, which resulted in one of them slowly unscrewing, got twisted and eventually fell off. It almost ended that whole bike trip, after just one day.

I also bring along a small bottle of chain oil and apply it about once a week, or when I hear the chain rattling.

Bike equipment is with a few exceptions often available within 100 km or so from wherever you are, so don’t worry too much if you realize you need another water bottle.

%d bloggers like this: