Progress so far...

June 30th 2009 - 22 stone 4Ibs. Current weight - 17 stone 1Ib. Weight loss - 5 stone 3Ibs. Commuting miles - 3389.
Non commuting miles - 359. Mileage this week - 101 miles. Total mileage - 3748 miles.

Monday, 7 June 2010

My MTB kit.

I thought I'd take a moment today to show you what kit I carry on a typical MTB ride. I don't carry much, just the bare essentials. There are probably loads of "nice to have" bits of kit that would be a great addition but the army taught me that if you want it along, you carry it!

Here's a piccy of the contents of my Camelbak all laid out.

If we start at the top left of the photo, there's a roll of black electrical tape. Always handy for any amount of trail side reasons. Then there's my camera which is kept in its pouch which is attached to the Camelback chest strap for ease of access. Next to the camera is my Camelbak Mule, fantastic piece of kit, with a bladder that takes 3L of fluid and holds all my daily ride goodies with room to spare.

Below the camera and tape if we ignore the headache tablets is my puncture repair kit, which contains a presta valve adapter, some French Chalk, a yellow crayon (for marking punctures), a couple of heavy duty rubber patches for tyre repair and 3 steel tyre levers. I'm not sure you can get them any more, I only see plastic ones about now. Steel levers are the way forward for especially stiff and awkward tyres on tricky rims when a bit of brute force and ignorance is needed.

Below the puncture repair kit you can see what looks like an adjustable spanner with bits hanging off it. That is a Cool Tool. They were all the rage as a trail side multi tool back in  the late 90's, indeed I got this one free with a years subscription to MBUK back in the day. It is a fantastically useful tool which has never let me down and the neoprene pouch it comes in keeps all of its rattly bits nice and quiet. The tool itself has all of the usual allen key sizes, a screwdriver, a chain splitter and the adjustable spanner which has thin enough jaws to enable you to use it as a pedal spanner.

Close up nicked off t'web:

And a disassembled Cool Tool:

Next to the Cool Tool is the ubiquitous poly bag to keep all of the bits dry and when wrapped up nice and tight, suitably compact and non rattly.

A spare inner tube, which has all of the air sucked out so it can be rolled up to a minimum size and packed tidily nearly completes the kit, then finally my Topeak Mountain Morph pump. nearly as good as a track pump and it gets strapped to the outside of the Camelbak for ease of access.

My MTB kit and bike.

The observant amongst you might be wondering what that thing is clamped around my seat post? Well it's this:

Stll non the wiser?  This a Joby Gorillapod. No relation or anything at all to do with our very own Northern Cycling Psychopath, Joby of Biking to Work fame!

If you've clicked on the link you'll have seen it's a flexible camera tripod which is brilliant for trailside photography, something I am very keen on if absolutely pants at! I carry the tripod on the seat post as it's very easy to access there for those spur of the moment picture opportunities.

Here are a few examples of its versatility:

Bog standard tripod use.

Hanging off my back gate.

Wrapped around a our drive light.

Ok the examples above aren't exactly ideal representations of true piccy taking, but you get the idea of how handy it would be out on the trails. Fences, trees and walls etc all become photo platforms.

I hope you found that at least mildly interesting and maybe a bit useful.

Onto pedalling today, I came in on my Giant via the City Centre, I'm on the Giant today as I need to get home pretty sharpish tonight as I have a Rugby meeting this evening.

Stats here:

Started: 7 Jun 2010 05:39:07
Ride Time: 39:57
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.79 miles
Average: 15.45 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 34.27 miles/hr
Climb: 243 feet
Calories: 547


  1. Luv the Gorrila pod idea Clive

    Looking at ure kit Mark Beaumont springs to mind matey

  2. Hi Lez, Mark Beaumont!! I wish! Hope the elbows are healing well matey...

  3. Wot appened to LTMWB lol

    elbows r aching at times occasionaly getting shooting pains but am ok mate thank u

  4. Oh yeah, sorry LTMWB! Earlt senility mate.

    Glad the elbows are getting better. :-)

  5. I have got to start taking more stuff with me while MTBing.

    At the moment I have an inner tube and a pack of patchs electrical taped to my seat tube.

    A 1.5l water bottle (in the bottle cage)

    A packet of patches, multitool and a small pump thats no bigger than a lipstick in my jersey pocket.

    and ummm, that it.

    No bag required.

  6. I'm a huge believer in Sod's Law. In that if you're not prepped for something then that makes it inevitable. If you are prepped then it won't happen.

    Except on my last MTB pedal obviously... :-(

  7. Good post, am meant to be writing one for the MTB club website. If I list what I do differently I could cut'n'paste later...

    Gaffer tape not electrical tape, wrapped round body of pump so one less thing to carry.

    Cable ties

    Nitrile gloves (2 pairs)

    Quick links for chain (in case it snaps)

    Gerber multi-tool with pliers (in addition to bike multi tool which like you I also have).

    Old toothpaste tube with ends cut off

    Self-adhesive patches - much easier than glue/patches/chalk/crayons

    Emergency Mech Hanger

    I use folding bead tyres, means you don't need pesky levers. Though I do have some plastic levers just in case it's not my bike... You can still get the ones like you have. For really stubborn tyres though I have some plastic clad metal ones, but they stay in workshop?!?!?!

    All of it has been used or would have been used if I'd of had it at the time (i.e. it's evolved through experience). Pays to be prepared if you're leading rides/teaching courses like I am (meant to be ;).

    The toothpaste tube is because I came across a chap on our local trails with a split tyre and a walk of many miles back to his car. I thought, what if that happened to me...

    The other day a mates freewheel died and it just span. 10 miles from the cars. Fortunately it re-engaged after a bit of bashing, otherwise he'd of had a long walk. Unless he'd talked to me nicely when I'd of given him cable-ties to fix his cassette to his wheel.

  8. Cable ties, got loads of 'em, good idea, why didn't I think of that?

  9. You certainly travel light, I'll be rationalising what I carry bigtime. I seem to carry everything, including the kitchen sink, on my commutes

  10. Welshie, when I was first in the Army you get ( a bit like cyclists) obsessed with all of the latest shiny kit and end up carrying shed loads. After a few trips out into the hooloo you eventually realise that staggering around under the worlds biggest bergan isn't that great. So I developed a technique that I applied to pedalling. This is it.

    If I haven't used a bit of kit in let's say 2 months (use your own time frame for your own circumstances) then that bit of kit will be relegated to the garage.

    Never carry something just because you can. The lighter the better!

  11. Depends where Im going as to what I carry. Generally its this:
    Coil of rope wrapped around my chest
    Fold up grappling hook in my sock
    Mirror to signal with or throw at bunnies
    8 berth tent (in case I meet any cuties)
    Portable BBQ & gas cylinder
    Selection of fresh meats
    6 pack of White Lightning
    Tennis balls
    inner tube patches
    MIG welder
    Spare wheel
    Complete Encyclopaedia Brittanica (extended edition)
    Stirrup pump
    Spare loin cloth

  12. Fair do's, I can understand all that kit apart from tennis balls. I'd be too knackered for a few sets while I'm on a pedal.

    What do you use them for? I'm expecting some Ray Mears or Bear Grylls type use for them. If you just say tennis I'll be very disappointed...

  13. Tennis balls to place down trousers to attract hotties, thus making ensuring tent gets used.

    Totally agree re travelling light despite carrying more than you! Cable ties, mech hanger, gaffer tape & toothpaste tube are the only things I've not used so subject to your rule. However they weigh nothing and take up no space!

  14. nice set up clive, i use gorrilla pods for filming, £6 on ebay!

  15. That is pretty close to everything I carry. Including the electrical tape, camera, multi tool, spare tube, patch kit, motrin, (headache pills) I do not have a camel back, use 3 32 oz water bottles, and have a couple of places I can refill when hot. I also take a product that is like a self contained cleaning cloth, in case I wipe out in the gravel and need to clean up road rash. Large bandaids. But I ride a lot of country trails and often to don't anyone. OH and a bit of toilet paper. :-X

  16. I imagine my husband carrying that knapsack full of power tools. Haha! You're a handyman, huh? I love to see the versatility of handymen and how they can do a lot with just a set of tools. I know you take a lot of pride in your tools, but I think they are useless without skill and technique, so I tip my hat off to you!

    Thelma Bowman