Riding an e-bike should be a fun relaxing experience, but if mechanical difficulties arrive, your ride can be anything but relaxing. So, what should you bring with you to ensure you're prepared for the unexpected?
Let's take a look at the best emergency supplies, so you’ll be prepared for your next e-bike adventure.
Puncture Repair Equipment
Luckily, e-bikes are incredibly durable and designed for mechanical simplicity. Most of the difficulties your new e-bike can suffer are the same as on non-electric models. So, one of the most common issues that will come up on your e-bike is flats caused by a punctured tire. Luckily, these are not hard to fix, even for those completely new to bike repairs. Here are the tools you should bring with you to fix a flat tire.
A patch is an easy-to-use temporary alternative to replacing a tube that is light, compact, and perfect for bringing with you. These are faster to apply than replacing a tube, and they do not always require removing the tire to use. This is great for rear tires, which are harder to remove.
Plus, as much as we all hope not to get two flats on the same trip, sometimes it happens. When it does, you will be really happy you have these unless you packed two spare tubes.
When a tube is too damaged to be patched or a valve stem breaks, you are going to need a replacement tube. This is likely to happen one day, so for any long trip, this is a really important item to bring with you.
This doesn't need to be too cumbersome. Bicycle tubes are sold with different levels of thickness and puncture resistance. For your emergency kit, it is a good idea to bring a thin, lightweight tube to get you home and then replace it with a more durable one later.
A common question then is, should you bring enough tubes for both tires? It can be a good idea, but space is often at a premium on a bicycle, especially with many other pieces of equipment needed as well. So, one is fine if that's what you can carry, and it is what most riders bring with them.
Mini-Pump or CO2 Inflator
Once you patch or replace your tube, you will need to refill it with air, and this is why you need a mini pump or a CO2 inflator. This is one of the most important tools, and both varieties have advantages.
A mini-pump can often be strapped to your bike's frame and is small enough to fit in a toolset if not. These provide an unlimited source of air for your tires, which is great if you have a slow leak and no patches or spare tubes.
A CO2 inflator is small, fast, and easy to use, so definitely a great companion in any tool bag. However, these tools inflate your tire with disposable CO2 cartridges that you will need to bring with the tool. It's important to remember that you will need a minimum of two cartridges to fill a flat tire.
Tire levers are needed to remove the outer part of the tire to expose the tube for repairs or replacement. These are generally sold as sets of two low-cost plastic levers to help you pry it off from multiple points. These are small and lightweight, so easy to bring with you.
Whether it is for tightening a loose-fitting or removing the tire to help repair a puncture, there are some general tools such as screwdrivers and Allen wrenches you should consider bringing with you on every trip. Let's talk about them.
Luckily, for bike riders everywhere, most of the tools needed to repair and adjust an e-bike have been compacted into a multi-tool. High-quality multi-tools are incredibly versatile and typically contain a set of folding Allen wrenches, screwdrivers, and a limited selection of wrenches. These are tools you would need to carry separately if you cannot get them contained in one, but this would take a lot more space.
A wrench that fits your hubs is critical so that you can remove your front and rear tires for repairs. Generally, this will be a 15mm wrench; however, it is possible the nuts will be different, so it is a good idea to check first.
This will be included in many multi-tools; however, it can often be difficult to get the leverage with these to break tightly torqued hub nuts free. For the same reason, you should be cautious using an adjustable wrench because these can easily round the nuts out instead of turning them. The best choice is simply a fixed wrench that can give you the leverage you need.
There are a few other supplies you should at least consider bringing with you. These can be especially important for longer rides where you cannot quickly get help from others.
First Aid Kit
This should include basic first aid supplies, including several bandages of multiple sizes. Multiple alcohol disinfectant pads sealed in foil packs. Painkillers generally Aspirin is a good choice. Other supplies should be included as space allows.
The style of flashlight you choose will depend on the space you have and your taste. But it is critical to bring a light with you in case you need to do some night repairs. Try to choose an led lamp; these are far more durable than incandescent and are far more likely to work when you need them.
Many cyclists prefer a headlamp style because these can work as an extra light while you’re riding. However, a small keychain-style light will do in a pinch, so feel free to choose what you're comfortable with and even multiple if you would like!
This is a repair classic, and it can be great for holding loose equipment together or even temporarily repairing a tear in the side of your tire. You do not need to bring the whole roll; even a few inches will do. Simply wrap it around something else, such as your wrench handle.
Replacement Links of Chain
Even on your e-bike, if the chain breaks while you’re riding, you will want to replace it. Fortunately, just a few chain links are often enough, and these are small and extremely light, so easy to pack with the rest of your tools.
Don't let an unexpected breakdown leave you stranded on your next e-bike outing. Remembering to bring even a few basic supplies can mean the difference between riding your e-bike home or walking. So, next time you ride your e-bike, remember to pack your toolkit.