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Water Bottle Kit

June 22nd, 2008 [print] Go to comments

I typically use a CamelBak to carry my tools and water along on rides, but for shorter rides, it isn’t always neccessary.  However, I hate strapping a seat bag onto my bike because it’s too time consuming messing with the straps, and seatbags are usually wedge-shaped, so cramming everything inside can be difficult.

So, for a short evening or morning ride where you may need just a few essentials, and especially if you have multiple bikes and never know which one you may take with you, I thought I’d pass along this tip.

This first thing you need is a spare water bottle, preferably with a large opening; a 24oz. size works just fine.

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What you consider "essential" may vary, but to me it means a multi-tool, tire lever, stick-on patches, some extra chain links, a way to inflate the tires, cash and keys.  Remember, this isn’t for an afternoon ride where you should plan for anything; it’s for a shorter ride where you may not travel too far from home (but far enough that you don’t want to have to push your bike back).  For longer ride, see my Cycling Prep List.

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Because my mini-pump is too large to fit in the bottle, I’ve opted for a CO2 cartridge instead.  However, if you have a frame pump, you can pass on this.  With everything layed out, I began dropping the larger items in first, which consists of the CO2 cartridge and my multi-tool, followed by a tire lever, patch kit, a couple chain links in a spare patch case, and the CO2 nozzle.

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Next, I tossed in a few dollars in cash and my keys.  There’s very little chance my ride will require anything more than this, although you may want to take along a cellphone in your pocket.

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Finally, to keep everything from banging around inside the bottle, I stuffed a lightweight cloth on top.  It’ll not only add pressure to keep things in place, but I can use it to wipe dirt or grease off my hands should I need to stop for a repair.

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Now all you need to do is toss it on your bike and head out.  Obviously, you’ll need a second water bottle cage to hold a bottle that’s actually filled with water if you plan to ride more than 30 minutes or so.

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