How to pack a saddlebag for your bike

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Before you head out for a road trip on your bicycle, you need to have some basic equipment and accessories to ensure a safe trip. Steve Madden, editor of Bicycling magazine, tells you just what you need to pack in your bike's saddle bag.

How to pack a saddlebag for your bike

You know, you go out on a ride and you hope for the best. You want everything to go great, but sometimes emergencies come up. So it’s a good idea to have some equipment with you so that you can take care of the problem and get rolling again.

  • Start with a bag like a Pedro’s bag. It fits right under the saddle of the bicycle and it will hold all of the stuff you will need to make a repair.
  • The most likely thing that will happen while you’re out on a ride is you get a flat tire. So, you want to carry a spare inner tube to replace the one that has a puncture in it. In order to get the tire off the bicycle you need a couple of tire irons lthat you can use as a lever to remove the tire from the wheel itself.
  • Once you have the spare inner tube in, you’re going to need to inflate it. There are a couple of different ways you can do that. Advanced cyclists tend to use CO2 cartridges. It’s a little tool that fits right in the bag and it contains CO2 cartridges that you pop in, you push a button and the thing inflates in about a second. You might want to carry a pump with you, which might not fit in the bag itself but it will fit in your jersey pocket or it can mount to the frame of the bicycle as well. It’s really important that you carry some device to get air in the inner tube; otherwise you’re going to be stranded.
  • You might also need to make a repair or an adjustment to the bicycle, to a derailleur or a brake. It’s a good idea to carry a small multi-tool that has a variety of wrenches on it. It opens up and you can fix almost any problem that would arise on a bicycle. And, it’s nice and light and fits right in the bag, too.
  • Cycling burns up a lot of calories; and if you’re out on a ride you might get hungry or you might start to feel as if you’re just running out of energy. In that case, carry an energy gel with you. Something like a Clif Shot or a Power Bar Gel. They contain about a hundred calories each and they’re made primarily of brown rice syrup. And it’s like a can of spinach; it gives you instant energy. You suck it down (it’s gel), have a little bit of water and you’ll have energy to spare.
  • it’s always a good idea to carry a cell phone with you so you can call home. And carry $20 to get a cab.
Transcript

Hi, I’m Steve Madden with howdini.com, and today we’re here to talk about the perfect cycling kit to have with you when you’re out on the road.

You know, you go out on a ride and you hope for the best. You want everything to go great, but sometimes emergencies come up. So it’s a good idea to have some equipment with you so that you can take care of the problem and get rolling again.
You want to start with a bag like this Pedro’s bag. It fits right under the saddle of the bicycle and it will hold all of the stuff you will need to make a repair.

The most likely thing that will happen while you’re out on a ride is you get a flat tire. So, you want to carry a spare inner tube to replace the one that has a puncture in it.
In order to get the tire off the bicycle you need a couple of tire irons like this that you can use as a lever to remove the tire from the wheel itself.

Once you have the spare inner tube in, you’re going to need to inflate it. You’re going to need to put air in it. There are a couple of different ways you can do that. Advanced cyclists tend to use CO2 cartridges like this. It’s a little tool that fits right in the bag and it contains CO2 cartridges that you pop in, you push a button and the thing inflates in about a second. It’s pretty amazing, but it’s a little expensive as well.

So, you might want to carry a pump with you. Now, this pump might not fit in the bag itself but it will fit in your jersey pocket or it can mount to the frame of the bicycle as well.

It’s really important that you carry some device to get air in the inner tube; otherwise you’re going to be stranded.

You might also need to make a repair or an adjustment to the bicycle, to a derailleur or a brake. It’s a good idea to carry a small multi-tool like this. This has a variety of wrenches on it. It opens up and you can fix almost any problem that would arise on a bicycle with one of these things. They include screwdrivers and things like this. And, it’s nice and light and fits right in the bag, too.

Now, as we all know, cycling burns up a lot of calories; and if you’re out on a ride you might get hungry or you might start to feel as if you’re just running out of energy. In that case, carry an energy gel with you. Something like a Clif Shot or a Power Bar Gel. They contain about a hundred calories each and they’re made primarily of brown rice syrup. And it’s like a can of spinach; it gives you instant energy. You suck it down (it’s gel), have a little bit of water and you’ll have energy to spare.

Now, in the event that all this stuff doesn’t work and you can’t get rolling again, it’s always a good idea to carry a cell phone with you so you can call home. And carry $20 to get a cab or buy yourself a nice meal.

I’m Steve Madden with howdini.com, and this is how you build the perfect cycling kit.

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  • Steve Madden

    Steve Madden Editor-in-Chief of Bicycling and Mountain Bike Magazines Steve Madden is the Editor-in-Chief of Bicycling and Mountain Bike magazines. He was also a reporter and columnist for Fortune, staff writer for M, and Editor and Publisher of Cornell. more about this expert »

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