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Bush mechanics by Craig Kolesky

By Cape Epic, 10/01/15, 4:15PM HST


How much is too much to carry?

How much is too much to carry? Sure, you want to be safe, but carrying too many tools on you can be a headache. I try to stick to the theory of: keep it simple and have a (practiced) system in place.

Firstly, remember that tools can (and should) be split between both riders, you really don’t need two of everything. Well, sometimes you do, but I’ll deal with ‘managing disasters’ in an up-coming edition.

In the pocket

  • CO2 with head on ready to go as to not waste time.
  • Good multitool with a chain breaker.
  • Spare dropper or hanger. (Each rider should have one).
  • Spare brake pad (s). (Each rider should have one).
  • A small Leatherman, this model is super small and light, has pliers and scissors and has been the most used tool on out rides.
  • Spare tubeless valve. (Each rider should have one).

This all fits neatly into a small neoprene pouch the size (roughly, I wouldn't actually know, ha!) of a pack of cigarettes (would not recommend smoking), you can also include a strip of Rennies tablets for cramps, so you know that they're always there.

If you don’t ride with a small pump you should ride with at least six CO2's between the two riders.

On the bike
You can store a lot on your bike and there are great ways to keep gear both safe and within easy reach. As above keep a system in place, so when do you have an issue you know exactly where all the spares are.

Spare link
I keep this taped to my brake cables up front. If they fall off you will notice this and replace them.

Tyre leaver and CO2
Various manufacturers make CO2 holders. They’re easy to access and will not rattle loose. One leaver on your bike, one on your partners. You can also add some duct tape around the C02, this helps keep your hands from freezing and you can also use the tape for side wall tears on your tyres.

Spare Tube.
Tubes can be a hack. There are some lightweight options available but they come in at a higher price, if you go this route save these for race day and use regular tubes while training. Tape the tube to your frame, all bikes will have a safe place to do this. Both riders should have a tube.

Another tip: take your tubes to a butchery, get them to vacuum seal them, it will squash the tube lot smaller to save space and the plastic will protect the tube in all conditions.

SahmuraiSword (fits into your handlebars) is a great option. Easy and safe to use, you can keep spare plugs on the reamer. What I also do is tape four zip ties to the reamer and store them in the bars, remember to tape the end of the zip ties so they don’t rattle while you riding.

You can also carry a spare tool set on the bike, there are systems available that attach to bottle cages and other parts of the bike.

Next time we will chat about bottles and how to secure them to your bike… you will lose bottles during the Cape Epic.

Story and Photo's by Craig Kolesky