Essential bicycle tools

Carrying basic tools and bike essentials with you on your ride can save time and give you peace of mind if the unexpected should occur. What tools should you keep with you? Markel offers tips on what tools to take with you on your next ride to help get you back on track if a mishap should occur.

When you are cycling, you never know when you may have to repair a loose chain, tighten a bolt, or fix a flat tire. It’s best to be prepared, so you don’t get stuck walking home. Carrying basic tools and essentials with you on your ride can save time and give you peace of mind in an otherwise frustrating situation. Here is a list of the basic bike tools and additional essentials to take with you on your next ride.

Items to take on your bicycle ride

  • Patch kit – comes in handy for patching a small hole on your tire when it has a slow leak.
  • Spare tube – a spare tube is needed when you have a blowout and the tire just can’t be patched. Tubes are easy to carry and change out.
  • Tire levers – use these small tools to remove the tire from the rim in order to patch or replace the tube.
  • Mini-air pump – after patching or replacing your tire, or if it is low on air, you will need to fill it.
  • CO2 cartridges – these small cartridges refill a tube immediately with compressed CO2. They are usually designed for one-time use.
  • Multi-tool – this handy gadget is a convenient tool to carry as it helps you make basic adjustments, and includes several tools such as Allen wrenches, adjustable wrenches, a chain tool, a Phillips screwdriver and a flathead screwdriver.
  • Chain lube – in case your chain becomes squeaky on the road.
  • Rags – clean your bike or yourself after fixing your bike.
  • Keychain flashlight – in case you are in a dim area or fixing your bike at night.
  • Duct tape – holds things together in the short term, so you can get home.
  • Zip ties – can tie loose cables, spokes and chains.
  • Repair guide – if you are new to bike repair a guide like this can be very helpful.
  • First aid kit – a small kit with Band-Aids, disinfecting wipes and aspirin is always a good idea to take with you.
  • Miscellaneous essentials – lip balm, sunscreen, cell phone, money, ID and insurance card.
  • Small bag – a seat bag or handlebar bag can carry all your essential items and is a better option than weighing down your pockets. 

Having these tools and essentials handy while cycling can get you back on track fast should a mishap occur. However, some times larger circumstances can come into play and small tools just won’t cut it. For added safety, consider bicycle insurance from Markel. For $10 a year per bicycle, you can have access to the nationwide, 24-hour emergency road service with up to 35 miles of transportation per breakdown.  Markel Bicycle insurance also provides coverage for your bike and the things that are important to you like your spare parts, cycling apparel and accessories. (Plus we also offer competitive fee reimbursement if you are unable to race!)


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