Following our article on hiking repair kits, here’s what you’ll need to bring along if you’re swapping two feet for two wheels. Whether road cycling or bikepacking Ella Forward-Yang reckons you should pack these items.


I am an avid cyclist.

I barely go a day without cycling; whether it’s to commute to work, for fun on the mountain bike or even just around the city.

As fun as cycling is, whether it’s short or long distance, it is important to carry a repair kit, to save you the trouble of having to do the dreaded cyclist ‘walk-of-shame’ to get back home.


The Mawson Trail – Ride This Iconic Route From Adelaide to the Flinders Ranges, Lachie Thomas, walking bike through paddock, south australia

Walking a bike along the Mawson Trail  from Adelaide to the Flinders Ranges | @_lachiet

The Many Different Types of Bike Riding — and Bike Malfunctioning

It’s worth noting that there are many kinds of cycling, and therefore lots of different parts of the bike that can go wrong depending on what kind of cycling you do — and over what kind of surfaces.

For instance, mountain biking involves more rugged and rough terrain compared to road cycling. There are also a lot more moving parts on mountain bikes that require a fair amount more attention than a road cycling bike. Depending on my environment and how long I’m on the dirt tracks, sometimes I take some all-purpose metal lubricant in case my chain or other components require it.

Another example is off-road bikes equipped with something called ‘tubeless tyres’, meaning (quite literally) that there are no inner tubes in the tyres. These are installed in bikes as the tyres can operate at lower pressures (increasing traction on the dirt) without the risk of pinch punctures. However, with these installed on my mountain bike, it means, depending on how long I will be cycling, I may opt to carry some tyre sealant with me, or even CO2 canisters to re-inflate the tyre if need be.

No single list of repair items will cover all modes of cycling. In putting together this list, I have thought about what is light and reasonable to carry on your day-to-day, but also what applies to most bikes. Consider it your starter kit.

1. Puncture Repair Kit


What Should You Carry in Your Bike Repair Kit?


The most common problem that almost all cyclists encounter at some point of their cycling career is a flat tyre, which is massively disabling (trust me, I’ve tried cycling home on the bare rim).

It saves a lot of anxiety by carrying a puncture repair kit, which is generally inexpensive, accessible, lightweight, and easy to use.

These kits generally consist of;

  1. Adhesive patches
  2. Rubber cement (rubber glue)
  3. Abrasive paper
  4. Tyre levers

I’ve seen repair kits that just consist of adhesive patches without the rubber cement and that are supposed to work like stickers, however, I don’t advocate for these as I haven’t had the best experience with them.

I’d recommend having a go at deflating your tube in the comfort of your own home, and learning how to remove your tyre and extracting your tube for repair.

It is also great practice to inspect the inside of the tyre and feel around for whatever punctured the tube in the first place and remove it. Often it’s a piece of wire or glass that remains in the tyre…and yes I have made the mistake in the past of replacing the burst tube only to pump it up for it to burst again since I didn’t check the tyre prior for anything sharp prior).

2. Spare Tube


What Should You Carry in Your Bike Repair Kit?


Even though I carry a repair kit with me, I also carry a spare tube.

This may sound overkill but in the past I’ve gotten a puncture that is too big, or is in an awkward place, to repair.

This also helps if you’re short on time and want to chuck a brand new tube in without having to faff around with repairing the leak on the go (I often do this and just remember to repair the damaged tube when I’m home).

As I said in point one, just remember to check the inside of the tyre and feel for the cause of the puncture (often it is a piece of wire or glass that remains in the tyre).

3. Portable Hand Pump


What Should You Carry in Your Bike Repair Kit?


In order to reinflate your tyre after fixing the leak in point one, or replacing your tube in point two, you’ll have to re-inflate the fixed tube using a pump.

I carry a very basic hand pump that fits to both a Schrader valve (which are found generally on older bicycle tubes), and a Presta valve.

Although inflating to your desired tyre pressure may take a while on these small hand pumps, they are extremely useful and essential in a bicycle repair kit, and they are generally very light and inexpensive.

4. Bike Tool Set


What Should You Carry in Your Bike Repair Kit?


I carry a very old but reliable bike tool that contains a bunch of Allen keys, a flat head and Phillips head attachments in one small convenient tool.

A couple of my bicycles don’t have a quick release to take the wheel off so the Allen key attachments come in handy.

Infrequently something on one of my bikes will come loose and need to be adjusted so this tool is always used in some capacity and saves you carrying each tool separately which gets clunky and heavy.


What Should You Carry in Your Bike Repair Kit?

What else?

In saying all of this, it’s always important for someone to know your cycling plans before you set off.

Some bicycle repairs we can just never prepare for. For instance, this was me last year, with my whole left pedal crank arm detaching from my bike after losing an important bolt.


What Should You Carry in Your Bike Repair Kit?


I couldn’t really do much with the repair kit I had, so I had to wait until home to repair it.

I’ve also had cables snap and brake hoses crack, where there was no quick fix, so having a safe backup plan is always smart.


Cover image by @mattiejgould