In this day and age, travelling with a bike (tri or road) has become a common thing. In preparation for Kona and any upcoming travels with your bike, here are FIVE TOOLS you shouldn’t leave home without.
1. TORQUE WRENCH + BIT KIT (2 MM TO 8 MM)
Carbon bikes are sophisticated machines and must be handled with care, especially when it comes to torque. Travelling with a torque wrench is essential, unless, of course, you travel with your own bike mechanic. An adjustable torque wrench is the most ideal but a torque wrench with a preset torque corresponding to the specified torque parts disassembled during the packing of the bike will also work. N.B. All bike torque needed is specified in the bike’s assembly guide.
2. ALLEN KEY SET (Metric) or Bike Multi tool kit
Another must-have item to have in your travel bag is the trusty Allen key set. Choose one that has all the necessary bits (2mm to 8mm) or the tools necessary for your bike. This will come in handy for accessories like cycling shoes cleats as well as pedals. Ideal is the one that you can put in your jersey pocket for on-the-road adjustments.
3. PEDAL Wrench
For optimal leverage when installing or removing the pedals off your bike, a pedal wrench is handy. An Allen key/multi-tool is also usable for pedal installation/removal but make sure you have the proper bit for your pedals on your Allen key set.
4. TIRE levers
Yep, unfortunately, flat tires happen and tire levers are a mandatory tool to carry with you at all times when you ride. Make sure to bring a few inner tubes and an extra set of tires as they can always come in handy. Check the sizes of tires and tubes before you pack.
5. BIKE pump
Remember you can’t travel with CO2 cartridges! Here are a couple of options to pump up once you get there:
A. Floor pump: preferably one with a gauge so you can inflate your tires to the recommended pressure according to your size and weight. Nowadays, there are high-quality travel floor pumps compact enough to fit right in your bag.
B. Portable pump: best is one that fits nicely in your bike jersey for the training rides. Just remember to stay patient if you need to use it.
C. CO2 Cartridges on location: Find a bike store at your destination and purchase cartridges. Cartridges are a good troubleshooting option, however, not ideal to inflate your tires to the proper pressure when you assemble your bike.
These are all tools that can make travelling with your bike much easier!
Other things that you may want to consider would be chain lube, tape (duct tape and electrical tape), zip tie wraps and cutters. These will be useful when you unpack and repack the bike. A couple of rags and a pair of rubber gloves are also good to have to keep the bike and hands clean.
N.B. You do not need to have professional tools, but you are always better off with good quality ones so that they don’t let you down when you need them.
Happy travels and happy riding!