What to Pack in a Gravel Bike Repair Kit

with MAHSHID HADI, Liv Ambassador Canada

Gravel bikepacking trips are always memorable adventures; each trip is an opportunity to learn from successes and mistakes made. On my first bikepacking adventure, I fortunately only rode 15 km out of the city before I realized I had to make a U-turn. Everything was perfect, I was over the moon, singing along the road until I heard the hiss of a flat tire. This supposedly minor problem became a serious buzzkill because I was missing my bikepacking repair kit. Since then, my tool kit is at the top of my checklist.

Mahshid bikepacking.

My favorite tips for trailside repairs

  • Make sure your tool kit is easily accessible
  • If you get a flat and forget your tire levers, you can pinch either side of the tire bead into the center of the rim to create slack
  • Don’t just swap or patch a flat tire, make sure to remove whatever caused the flat before inflating
  • In a pinch, a clean tire lever can be used to reset hydraulic brake pistons
  • Strapping the rear derailleur arm to the chainstay of your bike is helpful when you need chain slack while repairing a broken chain
  • A thick branch just above saddle height can be used as an impromptu A-frame stand while adjusted your shifting or brakes, as opposed to flipping the bike upside down
Mahshid packing her kit.

Why is it important to be prepared?

When bikepacking, you never know where the roads will take you or what you might encounter. Sometimes you have to battle less-than-ideal road conditions which can cost you hours of waiting and repairing your bike. As a self-supported bikepacker, to sustain your adventure, it’s also essential to be able to repair your two-wheeled friend yourself. Neither gravel roads nor perfectly paved roads can guarantee you a no-repair bike trip, and there are many reasons you may need to roll your sleeves up for a roadside repair. However, you can decrease the chances of mishap by doing a pre-ride safety A.B.C. check and thorough gravel bike maintenance after long rides.

Mahshid Fixing her tire

Some common bikepacking repairs

  • Broken spokes due to rocks or overloading the bike
  • Contaminated brake pads
  • Damaged tires from sharp sticks, rocks, or glass
  • Bent or broken derailleur hanger
  • Chain gunk from mud, dust or the changing environment

Mahshid’s Gravel bike Repair Kit Must-Haves

Tire repair

  • Tire Boot Repair - Plastic and Tube,
  • Spare tube
  • Tubeless Tire Lever
  • Puncture Repair Kit or and Glueless Repair Kit
  • Lightweight High Volume Pump or Co2 cartridges
  • Spare Tubeless Valve
  • Presta to Schrader Adapter
  • Vulcanising rubber cement
  • Tire plugs

Brake pad replacement

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Any flat tool for pressing in the pistons; tire levers work well
  • Screw driver
  • Spare brake pads

Other tools/parts for emergencies

  • Extra derailleur hanger
  • Quick link pliers
  • Chain breaker
  • Allen keys
  • Spare spokes
  • Extra section of chain
  • Zip ties / Fabric straps
  • Duct tape

Everyone's bikepacking setup is unique!

Do you have some advice to share on multi-day bike trips?

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