On such a long multi day ride like the UK End to End cycle it is important that you are prepared to carry out basic repairs on the road side and to do this my advice would be to carry some basic spare parts with you. While in come parts of the UK you are not far from a local bike shop, a snapped chain or cable may mean that getting there is an unwanted hassle. Carrying a few small lightweight spare parts may mean that you are back on the road in no time.
On my LeJog ride I carried the following spares which gave me the peace of mind in case things went wrong with my bike on the roadside. While I am not an extremely confident bike mechanic, I am able to the basics when needed.
Some common mechanical failures can strike at any time when cycling long distance.
- Snapped Chain
- Snapped Brake or Gear Cable
With these in mind I decided to take the following with me on my ride.
Spare Inner Tubes
I carried two spare inner tubes with me, I usually carry one however on such a long ride I wanted to make sure that I always had a backup. This was in case I used one and I succumb to another puncture soon after. While a puncture repair kit is also a good thing to take, it takes time on the road to do this and this is a task that could be carried out when the day ride is finished. Due to the state of the UK roads and the poorly maintained parts of the UK National Cycle Network a puncture could happen at any time. It is best to be prepared for this!
Spare Chain Quicklink
I carried a spare quicklink just in case my chain snapped. A chain snapping is a rare occurrence however if it was to happen it can be a major problem. Being stuck in the middle of the Scottish Highlands without a chain is not somewhere I wanted to be. My decision to carry a quicklink meant that if I had an issue with my bike chain, I could fix it at the roadside with my chain tool that I packed in my cycle toolkit. A spare chainlink is light and takes up no space but it could be a day or even ride saver. Thankfully I did not have to use it but it was there if needed.
Spare Gear Cable and Brake Cable
I did get my bike serviced before I started LeJog and I was confident that my cables were in good condition. However, a broken cable is not a predicament I wanted to find myself in so I decided on taking a spare cable for both my brakes and gears. This meant that I knew that in the unlikely situation of an issue with my braking to gear changing, I had a back up. While this may seem a bit excessive, cables take up no room, weigh very little and were stored easily in the interior pocket of my Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Pannier Bag.
Any other issue that I encountered along the way I would have to seek the help of a bike mechanic but having the options listed above gave me some confidence that I could handle a range of mechanical issues if I was to encounter any.