What should I pack for a cycling holiday? This all depends on your trip and needs.
Saddles, racks and bags and spares are all important considerations.
What equipment do you need for a bike trip?
The list of equipment varies among the bike tourers, depending on the budgets, the duration and difficulty level of the trip.
Table of Contents
- 1 What should I pack for a cycling holiday? Introduction
- 2 Make a list of materials
- 3 What should I pack for a cycling holiday? Accessories
- 4 What should I pack for a cycling holiday? 3 ways to carry your gear on a bike trip
- 5 Better equipment equals higher prices
- 6 What should I pack for a cycling holiday? Conclusion
What should I pack for a cycling holiday? Introduction
We want to help you decide what you should pack for a cycling holiday.
But remember that what suits one person may not suit you.
If we have only one piece of advice for you, don’t read all the articles in the world and follow them blindly.
Some products can improve comfort, but you can survive without them!
Make a list of materials
What is the essential equipment to make your material list?
This will constantly evolve, as the years go by and your approach to cycling adventure changes.
To each his own equipment
If there is one rule in bicycle touring, it is that there are no rules.
Everyone adapts to their needs and finances.
One person’s essentials are not those of another. What seems important to us may not be important to you!
The travel bike
Choosing a bike for your trip is a difficult moment because it often requires a lot of research, patience and thought.
After all, it will be your best and constant buddy at all times.
But the bike alone is not enough, it is often necessary to equip it further.
On our first ride, I kept the original bike saddles on. Not the best of decisions.
We spent most of the time squirming to find a better position.
So, for our second long trip, we went for a good quality saddle.
It made our rides much more comfortable, so much so we didn’t need padded shorts.
Find out here what are the best bike seats for overweight cyclists.
If there was only one piece of equipment to change on a bike for a trip, it would be the tires.
To avoid a flat tire, it is better to be well equipped.
In order to limit trouble, you must invest in very good tires. This is one expense you don’t want to skimp on.
In addition to the tires, take something to change the tubes in case of a puncture.
What should I pack for a cycling holiday? Accessories
Important accessories for the travel bike
- The stand. It’s hard to find a stand that will hold up for several months.
- The luggage rack. It must be sturdy enough to accept a load and not break while in transit.
- A good handlebar. It really depends on how you travel, but this handlebar allows you to change position regularly. So it’s a little more comfortable on long trips!
- Lighting for the night (and for the main roads). Even if you are visible, motorists are sometimes distracted.
The bike repair kit | What should I pack for a cycling holiday?
- Replacement cables for brakes and gears
- A pump
- A spoke key
- A key to repair the spokes and some spare spokes
- A multi-tool : which allows to screw the bike regularly
- A derailleur hanger to choose according to the bike
It sounds like a lot, but the whole thing fits in a very small bag (or nearly, because of any spare tubes).
Tip: An unwritten rule is that every rider should bring their own repair kit and know how to use it, so one is never left stranded even if one has temporarily lost the rest of the group.
What should I pack for a cycling holiday? 3 ways to carry your gear on a bike trip
The way you carry your equipment will affect your trip.
It will usually induce some changes and a period of balancing in order to get comfortable.
Traditional panniers that fit on luggage racks
Panniers are one of the most common options for bike riding.
In our opinion, it is essential that they are waterproof for more comfort when traveling.
We started with non-waterproof panniers and it’s really not ideal. With shorter trips, you can take the cheap or used models.
But if you are going on a long trip, high quality panniers, preferably waterproof, are your best bet.
Bike packing bags that do not require a luggage rack
Today, a new form of panniers has emerged.
They are installed directly on the bike, which avoids the weight of the rack or simply choosing a bike with eyelets.
They also have less wind resistance and are more maneuverable on bumpy terrain.
On the other hand, they can usually carry less.
So they are more suitable for people carrying less who are seeking for better performance.
The trailer that can also carry children and animals
The trailer is generally used by those who do not have a luggage rack, and who are heavily loaded.
With a lack of space (in tandem for example) or carrying children or animals, a trailer is a must.
It remains the least fun option for a bike trip.
If it has the advantage of running smoothly without holding you back on flat land, it still pulls backwards when climbing and has more wind resistance (especially for child and animal trailers).
It also wears out the brakes more by putting a lot of stress on them when going downhill.
It is also possible to combine bike packing bags with traditional bags.
You can also put panniers only in the front or only in the back.
Try out different solutions before setting off.
Better equipment equals higher prices
Desires, life, adventures evolve and so does the equipment list to carry them out!
It’s OK to go with equipment that is entry level if you can’t afford it or already have some equipment at home!
It is by traveling that we learn, use, and know what equipment we really want and need.
What should I pack for a cycling holiday? Conclusion
Everyone has their own preferences. The type and duration of the trip should be what dictates your equipment needs.
It’s not stressful, just take it as a part of planning that will make life on the road easier.