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