Are you planning on going for an extended biking trip this summer? Make sure you have everything you need with this essential bike tour packing list.
When leaving for a long bike ride, it’s important you pack the necessary items for your journey.
What happens if you pop a tire or scrape a knee? From clothing to sleeping gear, from tools to snacks, we are here to make sure you don’t forget your bike touring essentials.
In 2016, America voted biking as its third favorite outdoor activity, right after running and fishing. With over 66.5 million cyclists on roads and trails all over America, you won’t be alone when you hit the road this summer.
In this article, we look into all the essential items that should make your bike tour packing list. Grab your gear and let’s get started.
Your Essential Bike Tour Packing List
It’s time to gather your long distance biking gear and pack up your panniers. When packing up your bike, there are some key factors to call to mind.
As you pack your panniers, remember to distribute your weight on each side. Practice the handling of your bike around turns and hills.
For more stability try to keep your pannier weight between 15-45 pounds with 60% of the weight on the front wheels and 40% on the back wheels. If you are packing a handlebar bag, it’s ideal to keep it between 5-8 pounds. It’s best to keep tools for fixing a flat tire in your handlebar bag, for easy reach.
During your trip, you’ll need clothing for on and off the bike, unless you prefer to sleep in spandex. But the question is do you roll or fold? 70% of Americans choose to fold their clothes when packing.
On the bike clothing:
- Cycling helmet
- Cycling shoes
- Walking shoes (if you are planning to walk as well as ride)
- Cycling gloves
- Cycling shorts
- Cycling long pants
- Moisture-wicking short-sleeved shirts
- Lightweight, long-sleeve shirt
- Rain-resistant shoe covers
- Rain jacket
- Rain pants
Off-the biking clothing is more specific to you depending on where you are going and what you are doing. Are you attending events, sightseeing, eating out, or camping? Be sure to keep an eye on the weather in the area of your route to ensure you have the clothing and gear you need.
It can be easy to get carried away when packing clothes but remember that less is more. It’s always a good idea to keep extra room in your panniers for items you may pick up along the way.
When it comes to tools, it’s better to over prepare than under prepare. Don’t let Murphy’s Law get to you. Make sure you have everything you need when you hit the road. Gather your tools ahead of time and prepare for the worst because too often, anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
- Tire levers/patch kit
- Duct tape and electrical tape
- Spare tube
- Extra spokes
- A spare strip of tire
- Spare tire
- Travel-sized triangular file
- Chain lube
- Travel-sized vice grips
- Brake cable
- Extra nuts, bolts, and wire
- Hose clamp
- Old rag
- Extra brake pads
- Knife or scissors or a multi-tool
- Extra clipless-pedal-cleat bolts
With this all-inclusive list, you can be sure you’re prepared for every situation you get yourself into. Be sure to do research on your terrain and weather before you leave to ensure you have the best tires and gear for the ride ahead.
If you aren’t camping during your tour you can skip over this section. If you enjoy being in nature as you ride, this is an important checklist to have.
- Sleeping bag, pad, and liner
- Tent with ground cloth
- Eating utensils
- Backpacking stove with cooking equipment
It can be expensive to eat out for every meal when traveling, even if you are saving on the costs of transportation. Save some cash by camping and cooking your own meals why you camp.
This is another section of your packing list that you can get carried away with. The problem with the “just in case” mentality when you are trying to pack light is that you overpack. Consider where your route is and if you can purchase your “just in case” items in the area or if it’s something you can pick up on your way if an issue arises.
- Power Snacks
- Sports Drinks
- First-aid kit
- ID and Credit card
- Quick Drying Towel
- Hydration packs or water bottles
- Sunglasses/contacts/regular glasses
- Bug repellent and after-bite cream
- Bungie Cords and cable ties
- Bike lock and cable
- Camera and accessories
- Area-specific items such as bear spray or water filter, if needed
You may have noticed we out flashlight on here twice, not because you need two, but because it can fall in either category and is such an important item. It is one of our must-have items when biking and traveling.
All too often you’re stuck with a dull lighted flashlight when you need it the most. Never let that happen again. Check out the Fenix Store for flashlights that are sure to never let you down. https://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-flashlight-series/
What’s On Your Packing List?
Now that you’re all packed, you are ready for any adventure life throws at you. Tell us where you’re going this summer so we can follow along. As always, if you have any questions or comments relating to biking or traveling, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Is there an item missing on our bike tour packing list? Let us know in the comments down below if we missed anything!
Good luck and ride safe!