Hi Richard here from EBike Sussex, this article will give you a heads up on what I keep in my trail bag and coming from a firm believer that if you fail to prepare you are preparing to fail you would be correct in assuming it’s a relatively comprehensive list.
So you have your beautiful new EBike and now want to explore the South Downs or beyond but you don’t want to be caught out if something unexpected occurs. Even if you aren’t capable of fixing your EBike if you snap your chain let’s say, at least if you have the right components and tools for the job you could flag down a kind hearted rider and they may have the knowledge to get you back on the road. What is certain is that without those spares and tools you will only need one thing, and that’s the number for an off-road taxi service.
First get a decent back pack with waist supports and ideally a frame to stop your back from sweating. I love the Vaude Aquarius myself, but there are other brands/models available.
Now with this backpack you have a handy bladder to fill up with thirst quenching water, but it also has the added bonus of a pocket for beer money on the waist strap. I would fill it with notes and not change, otherwise you might be ten pence short of a pint of Harvey’s or you could go crazy listening to three coins slap against each other your whole ride. I’ve seen this sorted with cellotaping the coins together to stop rattling but it gets difficult to pay for your beer if you have cold fingers and have to unwrap sticky taped coins at a busy pub. Don’t forget if you don’t learn from your past mistakes you are condemned to repeat them.
Here are the other goodies you should be putting in your backpack. These have no particular order. In my mind they are all essential:
1. Spare tube, Puncture repair kit, heavy duty tyre levers, pump for tyres and shocks, pump adapters.
2. First aid kit including tweezers.
3. Rear derailleur spare drop out, spare chain correct for your EBike, missing link chain links from KMC correct speed for your EBike, chain tool for breaking/shortening chains. Allen key and torx tool.
4. Water and snackage (bananas are good).
5. Ultimate failure taxi home money, or unexpected bike shop purchases or unplanned lunch out at local pub money.
6. Helmet, gloves, riding glasses with various interchangeable lenses.
7. Lights and fittings, fully charged and ready to go.
8. A fully charged mobile phone.
9. A suitable bike lock and key.
10. Something to start a fire (you never know!)
11. A decent utility knife like a leather man wave. What happens if it all goes Lord of the Flies on you?
I hope you enjoyed reading my article, please note this is a work in progress.
Kind regards Rich