The lower half of a man dressed in cold-weather riding gear riding down a paved road next to a barrier.

What to bring on a bike ride and how to pack it

There’s nothing better than cutting loose on the open road, but there’s some essential gear that you should take with you on every bike ride and there’s an art to packing it correctly. Here, we’ll teach you the five things you should bring on every ride and the best way to pack them.

THE FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD BRING ON EVERY RIDE

1. Lights

Daytime running lights are essential on every ride. Using them is the single most impactful step you can take towards standing out to motorists. Bontrager DRLs are designed specifically for visibility in all hours of the day, even when the sun is shining, and they can be seen from up to 2 km away

2. Flat Kit

Flat tyres are a reality of riding, but they don’t have to mean the end of your ride. With the right gear and little knowledge, you’ll
never be stranded because of a puncture.
Your flat kit should contain a spare tube, a way to inflate it (CO2 cartridges and inflater or mini-pump), a multi-tool, tyre levers and
patches. Check out Bontrager’s all-in-one flat kits, and be sure to check out the step-by-step instructions on how to change a flat
tyre below.

3. Water and food

It’s never fun to run out of energy on the road. It’s a good idea to bring a couple of gels, bars and chews on your ride. And of
course, don’t forget to bring water to keep hydrated. You should expect to drink at least one full water bottle for every hour of
riding, and more depending on the weather, your effort and what your body needs.

4. Warmer clothes

Nothing turns a good ride bad like getting cold and wet. What you pack for extra clothing depends on the season and where you live, but if there’s a chance of cooler weather or rain on your ride, be sure to pack some extra gear like arm warmers, gloves, a vest or a rain jacket. All of these items are light and packable, and you’ll be glad you have them if you need them.

5. Mobile phone, cash, credit card and ID

Think of these items as your mini survival kit. In a worst-case scenario, this is what you’ll really need. Always carry a phone, a little
cash, a credit card and your ID. The Bontrager Pro Ride Wallet is a sleek, waterproof case that fits perfectly in a jersey pocket and
keeps these valuables dry and protected from the elements.

How to pack

OK, so that seems like a lot of stuff. But if you pack it strategically, you’ll barely notice it’s there. You’ll pack this essential gear in
two places: on your body and on your bike

On your body

Most cycling jerseys are designed with three roomy pockets at the back. This is where you should keep the stuff you want to reach
without getting out of the saddle. 

Left side pocket

Keep your cash, phone, credit card and ID in one side pocket. The Bontrager Pro Ride Wallet fits perfectly in a jersey’s side pocket and keeps these essential items contained and protected from the elements.

Middle pocket

Clothing items, like a vest or jacket, can be rolled up and tucked into the middle jersey pocket.

Right side pocket

Put your snacks in your jersey’s other side pocket so the weight is balanced across all three pockets.

On your bike

Pack the items you need to access less frequently, like when you start or stop your ride, right on your bike
Flat kit
Packing your flat kit in a seat pack or storage bottle will keep your tools tucked out of the way while you’re riding. Seat packs are available in a wide range of sizes. They fit under your saddle and attach to your seat post and the rails of your saddle. A storage bottle fits into your second water bottle cage in place of a water bottle, and it’s the perfect size for a flat kit. Your flat kit should contain a spare tube, a multi-tool, CO2 cartridges, a CO2 inflater, tyre levers and patches. If you prefer a mini pump to CO2 cartridges, you can put it in your jersey pocket or attach it to your bike’s frame.

Daytime running lights

Don’t forget your most important on-bike accessory: daytime running lights. Attach your front light to your handlebar and attach your rear light to your seat post. Position your lights so they’re pointed towards the horizon, making sure that your rear light isn’t covered by your saddle bag.

Learn more about daytime running lights

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