Over the course of your cycling adventures it’s sometimes wise to have a stash of commonly used items for you or your bike.  Listed here are 5 items we think everyone should stock up on when they find them on sale and absolutely will be used at some point.

  • Tubes:

    You should always carry at least one tube with you if you’re running clincher tires.  If you’re going to be trekking longer than 70 miles or more it’s wise to carry 2.  Nothing is more nerve racking on a long ride than flatting a few miles in only to know that you’re out of tubes.  If you know you’re going to be riding long distances with a group you will be able to get away with only carrying one provided you have a buddy who will allow you to borrow an extra tube in the event you need 2 tubes.  I don’t rely on the other riders to share their tubes with me.  Again, nothing is more frustrating or inconvenient than riding with zero tubes.  I’ve had experienced riding friends actually forget that they didn’t have a tube in their repair bag because they forgot to replace the tube in their repair bag from the previous flat.  C’mon their about $3-4 if you find them on sale.  Stock up, have some handy at home for immediate replacement to your repair bag.

  • Chains:

    It’s always nice to have a spare chain in your repair box.  The cost for a chain is roughly $30-$40 depending on manufacturer and performance level.  There isn’t much difference in performance or quality from the cheaper Shimano 105 chain to the higher end Dura-Ace chains other than weight.  You can also find KMC branded chains for under $30 online.  In time you will experience your chain breaking during a ride and much like the previously mentioned tubes, it’s nice to have a new chain at the ready in your parts bin.

  • Nutrition:

    Ok, this one has a bit of an expiration date, if you find a deal on your favorite drink mix, energy bar, gel or snack it’s best to stock up when you find a deal.  We’ve come across a few buy one get one free offers from time to time.  You know you’ll use them at some point so why not stock up when you can.  The shelf life on many of these foods is greater than a year.  We’ve also used items that have gone past their expiration dates with mixed results, primarily energy gels.  If you go too long past the expiration date on an energy gel it will start to become granulated at the bottom of the gel pack which will lead to a very unpleasant texture in your mouth.  If you can find gels for less than a dollar it’s best to stock up for the entire year.

  • Co2 Cartridges and Pumps:

    It’s a good idea to always carry extra C02 catridges in your bag and also have spares at home so you can quickly replace used ones from your repair bag.  For many the 1st C02 cartridge out of the bag is a 50/50 proposition when infalting the tire.  Sometimes you forget how the C02 inflator works and if you’re not careful you can lose all the air.  Much like tubes, if you don’t have a spare / replacement ready at home to immediately replenish your repair bag you may forget your C02 cartridge on your next ride.  You can typically find C02 cartridges in multi-packs which will reduce cost.

  • Saddles:

    You might not think of a saddle as something you need to stock up on.  Many items on this list are indeed consumable items that need to be restocked over time.  Saddles on the other hand are something you might want to consider stocking up on.  Saddles are so personal.  What saddle might fit one will not fit everyone.  When you find a good saddle that you can ride on for hours it’s best to purchase an extra, 2 or maybe 3 in the event one gets damaged from a crash, breaks from usage or the manufacturer discontinues the saddle.  For many, myself included, I have multiple bikes all with the very same saddle and also a few extra saddles in my gear stash.  It’s a great investment to ensure you don’t have to risk trying a new saddle years down the road and have the frustration of trial and error with new saddle tests.