Breaking down far from... anything?

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
In fact, a Chinese rocket is due to fall out of the sky any day now.
Really?! 😲 I did not know that! (Duh.) What an amazing coincidence that I would use that metaphor in such a timely fashion! And even specify a Chinese rocket!

How likely is it, do you think, to hit you, me, or the other guy on the head when it comes down?

TT
 

theemartymac

Well-Known Member
I have ordered a pump, patches, chain tools that come with a link. I know I should pick up a spare tube or two and a second chain, but am I missing anything else?
Keep the spare chain in the garage. A couple of spare master links is plenty. There is no way that you can destroy an entire chain on a ride - that wouldn't also destroy the bike.

In addition to the tire and tool basics that the others have mentioned, I'd add a few strong zip ties for temporarily securing loose bits when bolts fall out, and maybe a small (Partial) roll of electrical or utility tape.

A very small first aid kit is a good idea too (Alcohol or BZK wipes, gloves, mixed band-aids, butterfly closures for big gashes, tape, and one or two pressure dressings in a small sandwich bag is plenty). I also have a tiny flashlight in case I'm trying to fix stuff after dark, and since it's an Ebike with handlebars full of buttons and displays, I carry a pair of handlebar jacks (my luxury repair item).

When I'm leaving town on the really remote trails, I'll add at least 1L of water, and a couple of power bars to eat. My Phone, my inreach sat device optional if I'm going to be well out of cell coverage, and a light rain layer. My spare battery, and the KEY TO CHANGE IT (Ask me how I learned to remember that one... 🤬).
 

Cowlitz

Well-Known Member
I do the same as when I hike alone. I carry survival gear--fire starter, extra jacket, extra munchies, extra water, etc. Look up The Ten Essentials. They aren't that heavy and don't take up a lot of space. I let somebody know where I'm going, if I can, and I go. I don't know how to change the tires on my bike and have been told that it is Too Hard For Any Non-Bike Mechanic To Do So You Will Have To Bring It In But Don't Worry Because You Have Good Tires That Should Be Bomb Proof. Two bike shops told me that. It has something to do with a tiny clip and dismantling hydraulic brakes to get the tire off. Wish I knew that before I bought the bike. I have the Schwalbe Marathons on my Gazelle Arroyo.

Fun with a slight risk? Or safety and boredom? You choose.

Disclaimer: I made a career of often working alone in the forest so might be more comfie with this.

My dog goes along under her own power if the ride is 10 miles or less. Her paw pads cannot handle longer distances.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
I don't know how to change the tires on my bike and have been told that it is Too Hard For Any Non-Bike Mechanic To Do So You Will Have To Bring It In But Don't Worry Because You Have Good Tires That Should Be Bomb Proof. Two bike shops told me that. It has something to do with a tiny clip and dismantling hydraulic brakes to get the tire off.
Okay, I don't know much of anything about hydraulic brakes and I don't know you, but other than with some hydraulic brakes which may have an issue with leakage if you turn the bike over, in my opinion it's nuts not to know how to fix a flat and it's horribly self-serving and irresponsible for a bike shop to tell you you have to bring your bike in for flat repairs. Maybe you have demonstrated some special mechanical ineptitude or have a physical handicap, in which case, okay, I guess. Just don't ride your bike more than walking distance from your bike shop!

There's no such thing as bomb proof tires.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with having a bike shop fix your flat. I just know I would much rather fix a flat than take the time and energy to walk my bike 14 miles back to my car or the LBS.

TT
 

kmccune

Active Member
I do the same as when I hike alone. I carry survival gear--fire starter, extra jacket, extra munchies, extra water, etc. Look up The Ten Essentials. They aren't that heavy and don't take up a lot of space. I let somebody know where I'm going, if I can, and I go. I don't know how to change the tires on my bike and have been told that it is Too Hard For Any Non-Bike Mechanic To Do So You Will Have To Bring It In But Don't Worry Because You Have Good Tires That Should Be Bomb Proof. Two bike shops told me that. It has something to do with a tiny clip and dismantling hydraulic brakes to get the tire off. Wish I knew that before I bought the bike. I have the Schwalbe Marathons on my Gazelle Arroyo.

Fun with a slight risk? Or safety and boredom? You choose.

Disclaimer: I made a career of often working alone in the forest so might be more comfie with this.

My dog goes along under her own power if the ride is 10 miles or less. Her paw pads cannot handle longer distances.
Get Her "Puppy Booties" , she will finally associate these "paw savers" with hiking and probably bring them to you.
 

Kayakguy

Active Member
Really?! 😲 I did not know that! (Duh.) What an amazing coincidence that I would use that metaphor in such a timely fashion! And even specify a Chinese rocket!

How likely is it, do you think, to hit you, me, or the other guy on the head when it comes down?

TT
I'd say we have about a fifty-fifty chance of surviving it. It's why I always carry an iron umbrella. Protects from meteorites, too. Which brings up a mystery: If the weatherperson is a meteorologist, what do you call someone who studies meteors?
 

theemartymac

Well-Known Member
There's absolutely nothing wrong with having a bike shop fix your flat. I just know I would much rather fix a flat than take the time and energy to walk my bike 14 miles back to my car or the LBS.

TT
Just a random bit of side trivia, but generally AAA or any comparable roadside assistance program will also pick up you and your ebike under your policy and deliver you home or to your preferred LBS. Worth knowing the details if you already have a AAA card, so that you don't lug your bike home broken when you 'paid' for a ride with your policy. I believe the basic AAA policy is 2 rides per year for a disabled ebicycle - obviously you must at least get to a road that the truck can access.

For the average city user who is not mechanically inclined, that could be worth it's weight in gold. I think with the older demographic riding more, or those who simply need the mobility assistance, there is no need to feel intimidated by an ebike as long as you are capable of at least picking up your bike if it falls over. The rest is optional...
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Just a random bit of side trivia, but generally AAA or any comparable roadside assistance program will also pick up you and your ebike under your policy and deliver you home or to your preferred LBS. Worth knowing the details if you already have a AAA card, so that you don't lug your bike home broken when you 'paid' for a ride with your policy. I believe the basic AAA policy is 2 rides per year for a disabled ebicycle - obviously you must at least get to a road that the truck can access.

For the average city user who is not mechanically inclined, that could be worth it's weight in gold. I think with the older demographic riding more, or those who simply need the mobility assistance, there is no need to feel intimidated by an ebike as long as you are capable of at least picking up your bike if it falls over. The rest is optional...
we don't drive so no AAA but veloinsurance has roadside service.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
we don't drive so no AAA but veloinsurance has roadside service.
Yeah, but the title of the thread is "Breaking down far from... anything?" I mean it's good to let people know their roadside assistance works for bikes too, but ya gotta be at, or get to, the roadside.

TT
 

retiredNH

Active Member
Region
USA
Just a random bit of side trivia, but generally AAA or any comparable roadside assistance program will also pick up you and your ebike under your policy and deliver you home or to your preferred LBS. Worth knowing the details if you already have a AAA card, so that you don't lug your bike home broken when you 'paid' for a ride with your policy. I believe the basic AAA policy is 2 rides per year for a disabled ebicycle - obviously you must at least get to a road that the truck can access.

For the average city user who is not mechanically inclined, that could be worth it's weight in gold. I think with the older demographic riding more, or those who simply need the mobility assistance, there is no need to feel intimidated by an ebike as long as you are capable of at least picking up your bike if it falls over. The rest is optional...
But where I live it might be an hour or two for roadside assistance to arrive! And that's if I can even get cell phone reception, which is very spotty. We live in SW New Hampshire, USA, not in the remote wilderness somewhere.
 

kmccune

Active Member
But where I live it might be an hour or two for roadside assistance to arrive! And that's if I can even get cell phone reception, which is very spotty. We live in SW New Hampshire, USA, not in the remote wilderness somewhere.
Happens farther down in "Appalachia' too.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
All generally good advice here.

I'd just add that an ounce of prevention can save a lot of field repairs. So get in the habit of preflighting your bike before each ride. Be fussy about maintenance and fix everything that is broken -- stuff isn't going to fix itself on a ride.

Be proactive about replacing tires. Depending on the surfaces you are riding on you might want to replace tires every 1500 miles if you ride on a lot of janky stuff.

Get a good book on bike repair, watch youtube videos on bike repair, and consider taking a class on how to fix your bike. The lightest piece of equipment you can carry is information.

If you do need to do field repairs, you'll do a better job if you aren't cold and hangry, so take a hat, windbreaker, and a couple of granola bars.

There are lots of every ride carry lists out there that are quite good, and there have been several good threads on this site about what stuff you ought to carry.

Also, if you are riding alone in an isolated place, it is a good idea to take things easy and not be as aggressive or brave as you otherwise might be. A minor accident that would probably be a humorous recollection in a built-up area might be more like a Jack London story in the outback.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I know some here pooh-pooh carrying a spare chain, but its a common must-have in the DIY ebike building community. Certainly its likely you can fix it, but why sit in the dirt in the sun any longer than you have to, fussing with something you think is going to solve your problem, vs. something that is a 2-minute reinstall and a sure bet to work? The weight is a non issue on a bike with a motor by and large, and the chain will be put to use eventually anyway as the replacement for the one you are running when it wears out.

What if the chain falls off somewhere you can't get at? I was here yesterday and there's plenty of places where that can happen. No working chain = walking and walking out of here would *suck*.

 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
What if the chain falls off somewhere you can't get at? I was here yesterday and there's plenty of places where that can happen. No working chain = walking and walking out of here would *suck*.
Chain snaps very rarely. If that's a hub drive motor, you can just pedal without the chain on the PAS system or apply the throttle. With mid motor, using a master link is a breeze repair.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I know some here pooh-pooh carrying a spare chain, but its a common must-have in the DIY ebike building community. Certainly its likely you can fix it, but why sit in the dirt in the sun any longer than you have to, fussing with something you think is going to solve your problem, vs. something that is a 2-minute reinstall and a sure bet to work? The weight is a non issue on a bike with a motor by and large, and the chain will be put to use eventually anyway as the replacement for the one you are running when it wears out.
My pannier gets rain in it. A chain in there would just be rusty. Measure the chain periodically, and keep it below 100% worn. Master links do pop off, it is worth carrying one of those. I have a kids school pencil box (metal) as a tool box in the pannier, which is mostly sealed against water. Master link rides in there.
Besides, with a geared hub motor, If I lost a chain, I'd just power my way to home. I don't even keep a chain out at my summer camp. I do keep 3 tubes and a spare tire out there. Also a spare pedal bike I paid $15 for at a charity resale shop 7 miles from there. With me pedaling myself unpowered 80% of the time, I haven't lost the ability to pedal myself home. Or walk if I had to. Wife brought me to town one time in her car to deal with an unlocked front door, then ignored me. 3 days later I walked out. Took 7 hours. Carry water.
 

RGVCycling

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Mission
I have a bike on order (so excited, haven't had a bike for over 20years) and since I'm a wee bit obsessive I've been checking out places to ride. In my area there is a group of trails and old logging roads, all gated off with no vehicle access. I would need to bike through the neighborhood, 4km minimum. While checking out the map there are a few wide parts of a river system I'd love to see. Those spots are between 9 and 15km away from the gate at a minimum. I'm a little bit worried about breaking down out there.

I have ordered a pump, patches, chain tools that come with a link. I know I should pick up a spare tube or two and a second chain, but am I missing anything else?

I plan on having my dog with me, but I she can't go 30km so I have a pet trailer for when she gets tired. I am concerned that something on the bike is going to go that I can't fix. Pushing, or even riding an unassisted bike weighing about 90lbs with the gear, plus a trailer, plus a big dog is A LOT. So does anyone have any tips if the worst happens?
The thing that many people forget is practice fixing a flat at home. Learn what tools you need and how to use it at the comfort of your home and not out in the field.
 

RGVCycling

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Mission
Best compact chain tool - pliers, chain breaker and magnetic link holder


View attachment 86942
That looks pretty cool.