Flat tires while touring: What you need in your panniers


Whether you're touring 100 or 1,000 miles, you'll likely get a flat tire at some point. FHowever, fixing a flat tire can either be a pain or a breeze. The difference between the two is whether you have the right gear in your panniers to deal with the inevitable flat tire or two. 

Here's some essential gear that every cyclist should carry in his or her panniers to conquer a flat tire swiftly and get back onto the road. 

Patch kit 
The simplest way to fix a flat tire is to patch your tube. If it's a small puncture or pinch, you should be able to patch the tube, reinflate and get back onto the road in no time. To make the process go easier when you're touring, practice removing and reinstalling your tire a few times before you set off on your travels. 

Don't let a flat tire slow down your touring trip.
Don't let a flat tire slow down your touring trip.

New tubes
Although tubes are heavier than a patch kit, if you have a serious blowout in the middle of nowhere you'll be happy to have one in your pack. Only bring one or two. After you use one, make sure to pick up a new one at the next bike shop you pass to always be prepared. 

Rim tape 
Your spokes and rims can really feel the weight of an overloaded touring bike. If they start poking through and hit the tube, you can be in a lot of trouble. Carry a little rim tape to protect your tube from sharp spokes.

Levers and wrenches 
Make sure you have the right tools to remove and install your tire and tube, or you risk puncturing the new tube before you ever even put it on. 

An air pump 
A tube is only as good as your ability to inflate it. Make sure to carry a portable air pump or compressed air cartridges to ensure that you can inflate in the wilderness. 

About Stephane Marchiori

Owner of
Bike touring since 2003, including:
a 5-Year Bicycle Journey Around The World!

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