The trail can be really hard on your bike – good tires are essential, that is what they were made for. For experienced bikers the check before the tour starts is standard procedure – as also tools carried in your backpack for any eventualities. Here the most important tips from our bike expert Stefan Roos.
Bike-check before the tour
Before any tour the air pressure in the tires should be checked and this definitely cannot be done by hand as today tires are really robustly made. You need a pump with a pressure indicator or a separate pressure gauge (e.g. from Schwalbe).
Every few weeks you should check the pressure in the shock absorbers and in the fork with a special suspension pump and clean and oil the slide faces.
Brake pads should also be checked at intervals and freed of glaze with sandpaper.
If your bike has wheels without an inner tube, fluid should be topped up every three months.
Basic equipment and tools for the tour
First of all, the most important thing and hopefully a matter of course: you should wear a helmet and cycling gloves.
Take a drinking bottle in your rucksack or attached to the bike and you should also carry a first-aid-kit, something to eat (depending on the duration of the tour), a windcheater, mobile phone and some money.
For longer tours or family tours the following tools are also recommended by the professionals
- 2 tire levers to remove the tires quickly and easily from the wheel rim
- Allen keys 4, 5, 6 to fix all components to the bike and to loosen the slide-in shafts
- Owners of Formula brakes also need a Torx,
- Chain tool (in case the chain breaks),
- Co² pump to fill the tube quickly
- 2 spare cartridges, important in the case of several flat tires and for more pressure
- Brake pads (in case one goes missing)
- Gear cable (in case one breaks)
- 2 spare inner tubes
- Simple Swiss pocket knife as a substitute for the required screwdriver
- Cloths to wipe dirty hands (after all, oil and lubricants cannot so easily be removed from expensive biking gear …)