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Cycling repair kit – emergency essentials you need to carry

Make sure you have bicycle repair kit with you on a cycling holiday.

Cycling is a brilliant way to explore Scotland, including great trips such as the Badger Divide and the North Coast 500.

To ensure you enjoy adventure, it's important to carry the right kit, especially all the right repair items.

Before we get to the list of emergency essentials it’s a good idea to learn how to fix a tyre puncture, whatever your tyre set-up is. If you are heading off the beaten track, a bit of bike mechanical know-how is vital, such as knowing how to fix a broken chain and makeshift repairs of issues such as a loose pedal, a seat post that moves, a broken cleat and sticky gears.

Most of these mechanical problems can be repaired temporarily until you reach a bike shop or the Highlands Transfer support vehicle. There are plenty of guidebooks and on-line tutorial for bike repairs, or book on to a session or course to learn basic bike mechanics at a bike shop.

Do you know how to fix a puncture? Credit: Mathius Reding

Cycling repair kit

The items that you take with you for puncture repairs will depend on whether you have tubeless or tubed tyres. Pack tyre levers and a pump.

For traditional tyres with inner tubes, take several spare inner tubes in case they end up with a puncture. Alternatively, or as well as, a small puncture repair kit, including a patch, will allow you to make a repair to the puncture inner tube on the spot.

It’s important to carry at least two spare inner tubes because if you need to use one for a repair, you’ll then risk becoming stranded if you get another puncture.

For tubeless tyres, make sure you have a a “slug” kit. Slugs are “plugs” that are applied to a hole in a tyre with a special tool. This provides a tyre repair so that you can pump up the tyre again. It’s also a good idea to carry a spare inner tube in case you can’t plug the hole.

Ensure you bike is in good working order before setting off on a cycling holiday.

Other bike repair kit

There are a few more useful items to cover other bicycle mechanical issue. Multi-tool: Cycling multi-tools provide a lightweight tool kit and should include a number of Allan keys. They might also include a chain tool, screwdriver and pliers.

Chain tool and a spare link: If your chain snaps on a cycling holiday, it will be the end of your adventure unless you can fix it. A chain tool and spare link will allow you to do a road or trackside repair job.

Brake pads: Check your bike pads for wear before you set off. If they are looking worn, replace them before a trip. If you are heading off on a long-distance cycling tour, you might want to carry spare brake pads.

Gear cable: Again, a gear cable could mean the difference between the end of a trip, or cycling onwards. A snapped cable is easy to repair if you know how and carrying a spare cable won't take up much room or add weight to your pocket, pack or bikepacking bags.

Hanger: The hanger is what the chain runs through on your bike and these can break mid-ride. It’s easy enough to take a spare one just in case this happens.

Chain lube: For longer bike packing trips, a good tip is to keep your chain oiled so that it doesn’t grind and wear.

Spare bolts: You never know when a bolt might break, such as on a seat post or handlebars. If you carry a small selection of spare bolts, you won’t be caught out on a long cycling adventure.

Learn about simple bike repairs before you head off on a cycling tour in Scotland. Credit: Pavel Danilyuk

More useful items for bike packing trips

Further useful items that might be the difference between cycling and a long walk while pushing your bike include:

  • Duct tape

  • Zip ties

  • A bag to carry all the items.

Keen to try a cycling holiday in Scotland?

Highland Transfer offers a range of cycling tours. You can contact us to find out more.

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