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Bike Week: Gear to Have

August 20, 2011

Julie: What kind of equipment do I need to be carrying on my bike?


Your bike bag should include:

Spare tube– for road bike (700 x 23 ) – I use the presta valve that twist to open with a 60 mm stem for my tri bike (I have Reynolds strike wheels that have a deep wheel base) and 48mm stem for my road bike.

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Tire levers – These usually come in packs to two or three (really only need one). These will fit between the tires and the wheel. Slide the lever along the wheel while pulling away from the tire, this will release one side of the tire from the wheel which will allow you to access the tube.Image courtesy of:

CO2 Cartridge with valve-One the tube is inserted back into the tire and placed back on the wheel this is the fastest way to add pressure back to the tube. A 16G CO2 will inflate your tire to about 100-110 PSI and a 20G cartridge will inflate your tube to about 120-125 PSI. I ride either Verdestein or Schwalbe tires and since I inflate the verdestein to 130-240 PSI and the Schwalbe to 130 PSI. Most riders will inflate their tires to 120 PSI.

Skins– These are patches that will fit on the inside of the tire and can be used when you receive a small puncture in the tire.

I always carry an additional CO2 cartridge in case one blows before you can properly inflate your tire and I usually carry a second spare tube (when on a training ride) and if your tires are older (1000 plus miles) you may want to consider carrying a spare tire as well. On race day, I will not carry a bike bag on a shorter distance race, but a race that is an Olympic distance or longer I will carry one.

One thing I did not realize when I first started riding was you should inflate your tires each time you ride. You will lose some PSI on each ride and if not inflated every time you are not getting the maximum performance out of your tires and you will be working harder than others.

If you get a flat on your back tire, before loosening the skewer to take off the wheel, put the chain on the smallest ring in the back, it will make it easier to take the wheel off.

If you get a flat while training, take the time to find the puncture in the tube and match your tube to the tire and look for anything lodged in your tire on the inside and out. The worst thing that can happen is to replace the tube and have it punctured again due to not looking for the cause of the problem.

While on training rides, train with your phone in case anything happens and always ride with a friend or a ROAD ID.

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