There are many benefits to carrying tools and accessories on your bike. It can help lighten the load in your pack and possibly eliminate the need to carry one at all. While we are certainly advocates of being prepared every time you venture out for a ride and are digging the comeback of the fanny pack, it sure does feel good to move freely without the extra weight of accessories strapped to your back or stuffed in your jersey pockets. Moving these vital accessories off of your body and onto the bike drops your center of gravity, making for a more stable ride too. Without further adieu, here is a list of our favorite products for stashing stuff on your bike.
For road bikes, a saddle bag is a great way to stash tubes, CO2, tire levers, and a multi-tool. They come in a variety of sizes and features, but they all pretty much do the same thing. Secure stuff to your saddle. Pick out a saddle bag that matches the amount of stuff you are looking to stash. It really helps to see it in person, so we recommend swinging by your LBS to check them out. Some of our favorites are the Micro Two from Ortleib or the Specialized Road Bandit for a minimal ultralightweight option. For mountain bikes, we recommend steering clear of saddle bags unless you are riding a hardtail.
Have an extra bottle cage to spare? Using a tool bottle puts the weight of your accessories even lower in the bike, keeping the center of gravity close to the ground and your tools out of your jersey pocket. Using a tool bottle is a great option for shorter rides where you only need to bring one full water bottle. This way you can use your second cage (if you have one) for tool storage. On mountain bikes, a tool bottle can be a good alternative to the SWAT box found on Specialized bikes. Just make sure to ride with a friend who can spare some water.
EDC Lite Tool
The EDC Lite stashes a multi tool in your steer tube. This nifty gadget makes pulling your multi tool out super fast. It free’s up space that your OG multi tool otherwise would’ve taken up in the saddle bag or other storage spot. The EDC Lite has almost everything you need for a quick fix, other than a chain breaker. The biggest benefit of the EDC Lite is how fast you can access your tool. By the time your friend is done asking to borrow it, you’ll have it in your hand.
Bike Frame Straps
Straps from brands like RaceFace, Backcountry Research, and All Mountain Style offer a lightweight and effective solution for strapping whatever you need to your bike. These straps can handle everything from a spare tube, CO2 canisters, a multi tool, and tire plugs. They help keep the weight low in on your bike and free up space that a bulky item like a tube would normally take up in your pack. To help keep the strap from scratching up your frame we recommend using a bit of frame protection like these from All Mountain Style.
As you can see there are several ways to stash accessories and tools on your bike. Most of these options cost less than 50 bucks and can help reduce the weight in your pack or eliminate the need for one on shorter rides! Happy riding!