Bike Backpack – do you really need one?
The snow on the mountains is melting and the first bike trails are already snow-free – is that exciting news for bikers or what? Which means, in addition to getting yourself back into shape, you’ll also need to give your gear a thorough inspection and add a few extras as necessary.
But what do you really have to have besides a bike and a helmet? We took a closer look at everything that should go into your bike backpack to insure your day of trail biking doesn’t come to an unexpected and premature end.
Rucksack and Spare Clothes
A backpack for a bike ride?
It makes absolute sense, not only for long tours. That said, you need to make sure the backpack is neither too big nor too heavy. You can generally attach your drinks bottle directly to the bike frame, if you don’t decide to go with a hydration bladder instead. Meanwhile, your patch kit and pump/CO2 cartridge can be stowed away in your saddlebag. With that in mind, a small 15l backpack might well suffice for the other essentials. Ensure the backpack isn’t too long and that it is a good fit for your back. If a backpack doesn’t fit right, it rubs and slides around on your back, becoming very unpleasant in no time. If you do go with a small backpack, it should still have room for a windbreaker or rain jacket for the ride down the mountain or a rapid change in weather, along with a spare bike jersey just in case.
Nothing is more annoying during a bike tour than a technical defect or a “flat”. So that you can get yourself out of a bind if worst comes to worst, you should have a small tool kit and emergency gear with you at all times:
- Patch kit or replacement innertube
- CO2 cartridge or air pump
- Bike-chain lube
- Not for your bike, but rather for you and your biking buddies: a first-aid kit
At this point, your bike is pretty well protected against all eventualities. But what about you? What else do you need?
A pulse monitor & mobile phone or a bike GPS, to ensure you get where you want to go. Gloves and sunglasses provide the added control and clear vision you need, especially when you pick up the pace. Drinks, energy bars and/or snacks are also essential. If you are going to need a lot to drink, consider using a hydration bladder, assuming your backpack is designed to handle one. Otherwise, the classic bike water bottle is always an option.