BICYCLE EQUIPMENT NOTE: What is in my Saddle Bag?

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Well it does vary a touch as I have a saddle bag for each bike: my Look 555 weekend warrior; the Kinesis Racelight Granfondo Ltd commuter; the Surly Long Haul Trucker touring bike and the Giant XTC 2 off-road tourer/mountain bike. That said I thought I would detail what is in my two regular roadie saddle bags.


My saddle bag of choice for the Look 555 is a medium-sized Topeak Aero Wedge Saddle Bag (the one with straps) whereas on the Kinesis I am fitting a Carradice Barley Saddle bag as want that daily commuter load carrying capability. That said the “bike” part of what goes in the bag is the same for both and is the core of my kit on the Surly and Giant as well. So what is in my bag?

Being the conservative type …

  • Two spare tubes (700c x 23). Carrying two has paid off on more than one ride;
  • A Park Tool GP-2 Super Patch kit or similar. I make a point of replacing any patches used after a ride;
  • A set of three Park Tool TL-1 Tire Levers (two is probably enough);
  • A multi-tool such as the Crank Brothers 10 Function model;
  • A spare Connex chain link;
  • A few zip ties;
  • FiberFix Spoke – Kevlar emergency replacement spoke;
  • $5.00 note – makes a good emergency tyre patch.

In winter I add the following …

  • A Deal Extreme UltraFire WF-606A torch which is my back-up front light;
  • Two spare AAA batteries (charged once a week) for the UltraFire torch;
  • A couple of AAA batteries for the rear lights.

In addition to the above, the Look 555’s bag has a Planet Bike Red Zepplin CO2 pump and a couple of canisters.


So what do you carry in your saddle bag?

4 Responses to BICYCLE EQUIPMENT NOTE: What is in my Saddle Bag?

  1. Nathaniel Offer 25 May 2011 at 3:11 AM #

    I need a large bag on my recumbent as I can’t carry anything in my jersey pockets. So I’ve opted for the Arkel TailRider Trunk Bag It cost a fair bit $150 from memory but I believe in finding the right tool for the job and in this case the Arkel bag was certainly it. The most important thing in my bag is my Topeak Mini 18+ multi tool It covers every nut, bolt and screw on my trike + it includes a chain tool. From memory I paid something insane for it like $60 but not walking home is worth every cent. I used to use the same Park self adhesive patches you mention Andrew but I had 3 punctures earlier this year and they failed on me. I had air leaking from the edge of the patch. So I gave up and bought a cheap standard patch kit from the LBS for $5.00 The 1 time I used it it worked albeit with a bit more effort required. I have the standard no name tire levers times 2 and approx 1/2 a dozen zip ties bundled together they’re about 10 cms long each. I’ve carried them for years & never used 1 but their so light theres no point getting rid of them. Finally I carry a presta to schrader adapter. Again I’ve never used it but it’s one of those “1 day it’ll save me from walking” things that I just can’t bring myself not to carry. Basically it means I can fill my tires at a service station and still be able to ride. Servo’s max out at 60psi but thats enough in a pinch and it sure beats walking. Almost forgot my pump. It’s a Topeak Speed Master Blaster with a claimed capacity of 160psi. I’m not thrilled with it but it fits in my rack bag & puts air in my tires so I guess it does it’s job. If I ever needed to replace it though I’d look at something different. Smaller would be better for starters.

  2. Nathaniel Offer 25 May 2011 at 10:14 AM #

    Just re-reading your article I forgot of course to mention tubes. Given that my wheels are 16in & it’s impossible to find that size tube with a presta valve in Perth I carry 2 in my bag and have a 3rd at home as an emergency. Currently only 1 Perth bike shop carries them and their $15 each. I’m yet to find them online but when I do I’ll be placing an order immediately

  3. Rodney Olsen 30 May 2011 at 9:38 AM #

    I really need to take your lead and put some spare batteries in my saddle bag. I have fairly new batteries but sometimes moisture on wet days can trick a light into turning itself on. I don’t want to get to my bike at the end of a day to find I don’t have lights to get home.

  4. Aushiker 30 May 2011 at 9:57 AM #

    @Rodney Olsen. Putting spare batteries in paid off me the other morning. Within 1/2 of starting out both my Radbot 1000 had died due to flat batteries. I was trying to push it out to a week between charges. It didn’t pay off 🙁

    Thankfully I had a spare set of batteries as I still had a 1/2 hour or so of riding on a busy fast ride in the dark.

    BTW found Nanna yet? 🙂

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