Five Essential Tools for Every Bike Ride
There are thousands of things out there you could take on a bike ride – multitools, fenders, all sorts of baskets, seat bags that hold a beer growler, leather top tube straps that hold a banana. But you just want to go for a ride! Here are five things that’ll keep you rolling without weighing you down.
Bike flat kit
Fixing a flat tire is a basic skill every cyclist needs to have before going out on a ride. A proper flat kit will have: the correct-sized tube for your bike, a couple tire levers to help get that tire off, and maybe an inflator and a CO-2 cartridge. If you’d rather not fiddle with cartridges, you could also use a frame-mounted mini pump like the Lezyne Pressure Drive.
On a Wilderness Voyageurs bike tour, all rental bikes are supplied with a small seat bag that contains a tube, tire levers, CO-2, and an inflator.
A multi-tool doesn’t have to have a million different parts to work. Big multi-tools are clunky and heavy, and you won’t end up using half the widgets anyway. For simplicity, we recommend the Lezyne CRV 12 Multi-Tool. Sturdy chrome vanadium bits for loosening stubborn bolts, with a low weight and profile. Plus a 9- and 10-speed compatible chain breaker for when you’re really in a bind. Grabbing the CRV for your biking adventures is a no-brainer.
We all have that friend who just wants to do a “short ride”… which turns into an all-day epic and usually ends after sunset. That’s why it’s a good idea to have lights on your bike. A decent front-and-rear set of lights will keep you visible on the road and alert drivers of your position. In most states, cyclists are required by law to use lights when it starts getting dark.
Using lights in the dark is obvious, but have you thought about illuminating yourself during the day? When motorcycles were required to use daytime running lights, there was a 13% drop in the accident rate.
Over the past few years, the market has been flooded with an abundance of small, lightweight and inexpensive LED flashers and strobes. The lights are simple to use and clip onto your handlebars or helmet in seconds. The Arc 500 bike light is rechargeable and features two independently controlled light sources – a 500 lumen spot light and a 120 lumen flood light. The EOS bike light is made to mount on a helmet.
Never, never, never go for a bike ride without a helmet! Never! The stats on bicycle helmets are clear: they save lives and prevent head injuries. Between 1994 and 2010, at least 70 percent of the cyclists killed in the U.S. each year weren’t wearing helmets, and in many of those years, the proportion was more than 90 percent, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Way back in 1989, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that helmets reduced a bike rider’s risk of head injury by 85 percent and the chance of brain injury by 88 percent.
By law, all helmets sold in the U.S. must meet standards set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). Some helmets are also endorsed by other organizations, including the nonprofit Snell Foundation. Test results have helped manufacturers create helmets that are light, comfortable and able to handle significant impacts.
Remember, any helmet involved in an accident is likely to get damaged. Replace the helmet after any significant impact, even if everything looks OK.
If you’ve been crash-free, it’s generally recommended to replace your helmet after five years. Pollution, UV light and weathering can weaken its components over time.
The Giro Cinder MIPS is strong and light, with Air-FX padding for comfort on long rides and MIPS technology to redirect impact energy, providing more protection in certain impacts.
You might associate gloves with cold weather, but once you try a pair of cycling gloves you’ll reconsider. Using a nice pair of fingerless cycling gloves can help improve your experience on a long ride. Gloves with generous palm padding cut down on hand and wrist fatigue by absorbing vibration. Palms with silicone coating also give you a better grip on the bars, which will help you climb and keep your hand position solid. We like the Garneau Nimbus Evo cycling glove, in men’s and women’s styles.
Don’t forget about your hydration and nutrition! Read all about our hydration tips and tricks.
Get out there and ride!
If you want to experience the sights, sounds, culture and geography of a place, what better way than from the saddle of a bike?
All Wilderness Voyageurs tours are fully supported with a SAG vehicle and include beautiful routes through stunning landscapes, excellent food and accommodations, top rate equipment, dedicated and enthusiastic guides.
Give our wonderful reservation staff a call to book your next bike tour vacation. (800) 272 – 4141