Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Bike kit

This is the simple set of tools that live somewhere in the bottom of my pannier bag.

  1. Punture repair kit (with tyre levers inside)
  2. Crappy Muiltispanner
  3. Decathlon multitool
  4. Real spanner
  5. Mini pump 
Plus I keep an old sock tied to the seatpost, which is just for using as a rag if I ever need to touch the chain when out on the bike.

That's it. It's not much stuff and doesn't weigh much or take up much room. Obviously the main reason to carry this stuff is incase I get a puncture and need to do a roadside repair. But since March 09 when I started commuting everyday by bike I haven't had a single puncture to repair*, so this kit hasn't been a whole lot of use really but one day it might be the difference between a very bad day or just a slight inconvenience.

You have to hope that more people will steadily begin to commute by bike, but I can imagine something as simple as a puncture putting people off, so my tips would be:

  • Keep your tyres inflated fully - you are talking 50 psi+ even for cheap mountain bike tyres - much higher for skinny road tyres or small wheelers.
  • Carry a simple kit of tools like above.
  • If you're not prepared to do that - at least get a set of puncture resistant tyres such as Schwalbe Marathons. 
  • Stay out of the gutter - not just because it will encourage drivers to blast past you without a care but also because thats where all the glass and nails collect.
  • Don't go hopping on and off kerbs all of a piece - it pinches the tubes and twists rim tape.
  • Keep an eye on your tyres - give your tyres a once over every so often to check for any cuts or shards. - letting the air out temporarily will allow you to squeeze the tyre to reveal any nicks or shards embeddded in the rubber.
  • People also tends to get a number of punctures all at once. Probably because they've repaired the tube but not examined the tyre to make sure whatever caused the puncture in the first place isnt still embedded, waiting to cause another.

I had this post all ready and lined up for posting when suprise suprise, I get off the bike at home to the sound of 'pssssssssssttttttttttttttttttttttttttt'. Puncture. Sods law strikes again. Anyway, at least it was at home and not halfway through the journey. So I'll be taking my own advice and replacing the Cityjets on the Nexus with a pair of Marathons as I'd orginally intended. 

Here's the bugger. A tiny shard of brown glass (do they even make brown glass anymore?, where the hell did that come from)

1 comment: