A saddle bag kitted out with the right selection of tools and spares can get you out of all sorts of trouble out on the road or trail. At the very least it can prevent a small mechanical from spoiling your ride but if you're heading off the beaten track, it may even save you from being stranded in the middle of nowhere.
The beauty of riding an adventure bike is you never really know where you’re going to end up on a ride. The upshot of this though is that you never really know what you might need to be prepared for. I’ve packed my saddle bag full of as much kit as I can to try to cater for any situation.
I went for the Topeak Medium Wedge DryBag as I knew I was going to be doing a lot of off road and bad weather riding. So far it's done a great job of keeping all my kit clean and dry and It also means I can hose it down with the rest of the bike after any really muddy rides. It has a capacity of 1 litre and I’ve just about managed to cram in all the kit from my list below.
A spare tube is an essential for any saddle bag but the terrain can be pretty harsh on adventure road so I've packed two just in case. These Lifeline tubes are really great quality and really great value.
Emergency patch kit
Sometimes even two spare tubes isn't enough so for the small amount of space it takes it's well worth carrying a patch kit. This kit from Lezyne contains six patches and an emergency tyre boot. If that's not enough to get you home you've got serious problems!
With the right technique, most tyres can be removed with just your bare hands but a good set of tyre levers don't half speed things up, especially when it's cold. These Park Tools tyre levers are great quality and easy to find when you've spread the contents of your saddle bag across the side of the road.
Multi tools come in a range of sizes with all number of selections of tools. I like to be prepared for any eventuality so I always carry the Topeak Alien II 26 Function Multi Tool. It is a bit on the bulky side but with 26 tools, you're pretty well covered for most repairs.
A broken hanger can leave your trusty steed completely unrideable so it’s well worth carrying a spare. This little wonder from Lifeline will fit virtually any bike, fitted with a quick release skewer and might just save you a long walk home.
I always carry a chain tool to remove damaged links but this is by far the easiest and safest way to re-join the chain when you’re done. Just make sure you have the right size.
Cable ties and Oil
If it moves and it shouldn’t use cable ties, if it doesn’t move and it should add oil. Okay, things might not always be that straightforward but both of these items are well worth having to hand in your adventure road saddle bag. I use an eye dropper bottle with a medium weight oil that I know won't get too thick when it's cold.
Pair of Gloves
A pair of nitrile gloves don’t take up much space and will helps keep your hands clean while performing roadside repairs. These Black Mamba gloves are really tough and last up to four times as long as regular nitrile gloves.
It’s always worth having a spare gel in your saddle bag, especially if you’re going off the beaten track without a route plan. These High5 Mojito Gels are one of my favorite and are exclusive to Wiggle.