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Bicycle maintenance

bicycle repair kitThe subject bicycle maintenance can fill easily a whole website. On this page I want to focus on basic repairs and maintenance while being on the road.

 Some problems can not be fixed on the road without proper tools and materials. Depending on where you are cycling, you may or may not find the materials you would like to use. Sometimes improvisation is part of the process.

Going on a long journey? What should you bring? Bringing too much is carrying heavy loads, carrying not enough can cause problems. So, our first step is to make a list of preferable tools and materials you should carry for a long journey.

This list is based on a journey of at least 3 to 6 months in areas with little options for finding bicycle repair shops. Of course, should you cycle in Western Europe, you may want to skip some of the mentioned items.

What to bring?


Bicycle maintenance starts with bringing some essential tools: the bicycle repair kit

  • bicycle repair kit with tire levers, patch kit, tire boot, small piece of sandpaper and a small rag
  • Multitools set with # 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, & 6 mm Allen wrenches, # Flat-blade screwdriver and Screwdriver
  • Chain Master Link
  • Spoke wrench
  • Pump
  • Lubricant

More about the bicycle repair kit, on this page

More about bicycle materials

Everybody who goes for a longer time on the with a bicycle should consider bringing spare materials. However, what do you have to bring? To a certain extend this will depend what you will expect to be able to buy on your journey. However, any cyclist should consider bringing the following materials:


  • Freewheels or Cassette Freehubs
  • Chain
  • Sprocket chainring (at least the one you will use the most)
  • Derailleur (Derailler)
  • 2 sets of brake pads
  • Lubricant
  • Spare tubes (remember, in many Asian and African countries French valves are not available so be sure your rim's hole is wide enough).
  • Spare tire (if you are using other then 26 inch tires)
  • Spare spokes
  • Shifters, levers and brake sets

The list can extensive but in my experience these are enough to keep you going to the next town where either you can get more help or be able to find transport to a bigger town with more repair options.

One thing many cyclists seem to overlook is so simple in bicycle maintenance: keep your bike CLEAN! Personally I like to cycle on a clean bike but your bike components will last longer too. Like personal hygiene, bike hygiene should be part of your activities on the road. Your materials will last longer with keeping it clean.

Tip: It might be useful to have some spare materials at home, in case you need them to be send to you by family or friends.

And hopefully you never need "bicycle repairman":

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