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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

Picture Gallery
Travel Plan

My Books
About Me
Media/Press Room


Photo Use Info

Read Sample Letter
Continue My Travels

Places I have been
How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left

*Help Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.

Equipment Pages Index

How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Bike Touring Shorts

Short-wave Radio
Bicycle touring lights

Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures

See My Videos Here

(see all 3 book)

Bicycle touring breakdowns, tools, and repairs

Most Common Touring Bicycle_Breakdowns_Tour_Bike_Repairs

The most common Toring Bicycle Roadside Repairs

Most cyclist, if the bicycle tour long enough, will epierance several different mechanical breakdown

Below I have listed what I think are the most common mechanical problems one can expect while bicycle touring and camping.  This list is not scientific or accedemic but is based on my years of touring bike problems and the many cyclis Ihave helped on the road and campgrounds. 

- flat tire:  I have a page about buying tire page and tips and tricks for preventing flat tires but in the end if you cycle tour long enough you will get flats

- tightening bolts:  Chainring bolts, water bottle cage bolts, and anything els than can be ightened can work its way loose

- adusting gears = Index shifting, common to all but the oldest bikes, requires adjusting from time to ime - easy if you know howchain





- broken spoke:  Easily a very most common major mechanical problem and requires an intermediate level of mechanical ability.  You can either remove the cassette with a special tool, put in a new spoke, and true the wheel or find a bike shop. 

true wheels:  It is normal wear and tear for a wheel to come out of true and a simple thing to fix if you know how but a spoke wrench in the wrong hands can easily do more harm than good. 

broken brake or derailer cables:  These things break at the worst times but are easy to repair if you know how.

broken chain:  With todays thinner chains breaking the is more common. 

broken racks


tent repair

sewing kit

super glue


A one month tour in a country with modern bike shops is not so long or remote that you need a huge tool kit. I like to think of what problems you are likely to encounter instead of a list of tools. You always need all the stuff to fix flats and have allen keys, wrenches, and screwdrivers to tighten things as they come loose. The Leatherman and bike multi-tools mentioned above are great for short trips. Breaking rear spokes on a loaded bike is common but unless you know how to use a spoke wrench and cassette cracker why bring them? Better to prevent as I discuss below. Other common bike tour repairs are broken chains or cables but these can be preempted as well.

I suggest these minimum upgrades to your bike unless you know these areas to be sound:

1. New rear rim and spokes. Have them hand built on your existing hub in a skilled shop. Instead of bringing all the tools to repair broken spokes a new quality wheel simply prevents them. I would still have a spoke wrench to touch up the new wheel but a shop can do that too. A spoke wrench in a unskilled hand can do more harm than good.

2. New tires. With new rubber under you it is pretty unlikely you will get a flat in 30 days. Remember to pump them to pressure using a gauge every week.

3. New cables - at least the derailers. New cables installed are not absolutely necessary if you think yours are in good shape but getting them installed at a bike shop insures brake and derailer adjustment.

4. New Chain. This does wonders to a worn bike and reduces the odds that your chain will break but I would always have a chain tool and joiner links anyway.

Hope that helps



eXTReMe Tracker





/ (different design for different bikes, heavy thing to carry so make sure you can use it)

crank puller/bottom bracket tool

Park BBT-9 Bottom Bracket Tool


cone wrench

cone wrenches


  (read more about determining factors for bike tour tool kits)

Park Head Wrench 32/36mm - HCW-15

This take a bit more than paragraph to explain so I made a page about the most common breakdowns and repairs touring cyclist experience. Basically, o


eXTReMe Tracker

tire levers
patch kit

Bike multi tool with:
- allen key set
- wrenches
- chain tool
- screwdrivers
- spoke wrench

Presta Valve adapter
- if needed

chain joining links x 2 -



 short tours abroad or 3 to 6 months in first world.

Tire pressure gauge
chain tool
spoke wrench
Folding allan  keys Set
cassette remover
8 and 10 mm wrenches
cone wrenches
chain lube - rag
Leatherman with:
- needle nose pliers
- cooking blades
- screwdrivers
- other tools

Replacement spokes
extra derailer cable

If Needed:
- Headset Wrench,
- Pedal wrench

chainring bolt tool
cable cutters
bottom bracket tool
real Allen keys

4 extra   brake pads
extra cables and housing
Spare Folding tire
bike grease

stove repair kit
Brooks saddle maintance
real spokes



real allen keys
chainring bolt tool
cable cutters
bottom bracket tool - can borrow adjustable wrench
brake pads (discs?) = 4










spare tubes

1 or 2 spare tubes are fine for day rides, 3 for intermeduate tours and more for longer tours.  It all depends on tube availability on your route

chain replacement section with extra joining links

gear and brake cables and housing

Not needed for day rides, 1 derailer cable is min for intermediate tour and 2 complete sets of brake and dshifter cable and housing

emergancy flex spoke

frame bolts short

electrical tape

zip ties

duct tape

super  glue

hose clamp



folding spare tire

if you are starting with new tires on short trip not needed but essential on ling trips

spare brake pads

an old pair with a little fife left in them is fine for short trips but 2 new sets is recomended for long trip

bike grease

 extra short length of chain



Pump, Tire Levers, and the Basics 




pump (my description)
tire levers
patch kits
Presta Valve adapter
multi tool with allen keys, wrenches, chain tool, and screwdrivers
chain link

pressure gauge
chain joining link - extra piece of chain
spoke wrench
better allen keys
cone wrench
8 and 10 mm wrenches
pedal wrench
better chain tool

cassette remover
temporary spoke - real spokes
electrical/duct tape
extra cables - at least one derailluer cable
bike grease
chain lube



Everyone that rides a bicycle should know how to repair a flat tire on the side of the road and have the tubes, patch kits and tools to do the job. Since tires are such a necessity, I have two separate tire pages: fixing a flat and preventing flats.

In my opinion, every cyclist needs to be able to repair and inflate flat tires, adjust gears and brakes, clean and lube the chain/drive train, and perform general maintenance like tightening bolts.

Ongoing maintenance true wheel, adjust derailleur, clean and adjust, bolt tightening - can be done at homw

Day ride tool kit and spares: (Depends on road bike, mountain bike, access to bike shops or a ride home) Multi tool (folding Allen wrench multi-tool) Patch kit tire levers pump inner tube

can lube chain at home




 patch kit

tire levers

spare inner tubes (double check for the right type of valve)

brake pads

extra brake and gear cables

 chain links (extra chain?)

chain tool

spare spokes

spare bolts and screws of all sizes

chain lube (illegal to carry Teflon based lubes on airplanes now)

grease (waterproof grease)

cable ties

duct tape


tire pump

tire pressure gauge

multi tool (I carry a set of individual Allen keys as well)

spare folding tire



Bottom bracket tool/crank puller (different design for different bikes, heavy thing to carry so make sure you can use it)

Chain tool

tire pressure gauge

Cable cutter

Spoke wrench

Cassette tool (also called a cassette cracker or remover)

Pedal wrench

Allen key set

Chain ring bolt wrench

cone wrench (if not using sealed cartridge hubs)

8 and 10 mm wrenches

pedal - 32 mm headset wrench if not using threadless system

crank puller/bottom bracket tool

32mm head wrench/pedal wrench combo (if not using a thread-less system)

multi tool/Swiss Army knife (blades, pliers, screwdrivers, needle nose pliers, file, etc.)

Brookes saddle wrench


Disk brake torque wrench



folding spare tire

spare tubes

gear and brake cables and housing

spare brake pads


bike grease

frame bolts

short chain replacement section with extra joining links

electrical tape

zip ties

 A freewheel remover tool (like this) (

Spare cartridge bearings (examples include: pedals, & hubs), provided the parts are "user serviceable". Examples include (but are not limited to) Crank Brothers pedals, Chris King&Phil Wood hubs. Some might suggest a bottom bracket tool&spanner&spare bearings, I'd submit that perhaps this goes too far. None needed if minimal wear prior.

A chain tool, as well as a spare master link, or "Quick link" perhaps a length of 6 links. No need to carry a spare chain, rings or cassette for a 3 month tour-provided drive train wear is minimal prior.

Spare cleats&cleat bolts (if using clipless shoes)

I wouldn't bring spare "quick" release skewers. I'd swap them out for really good ones or even better, swap them out for the bolt on type.

 Because I live on tour, I have a pretty big set of tools and only feel comfortable if I can take my whole bike apart with what I'm carrying. There's no point in carrying tools that you don't know how to use.

 Ongoing maintenance true wheel, adjust derailleur, clean and adjust, bolt tightening

Roadside repairs Most common: Flat tire, broken spoke, broken cables, broken chain

 Everyone that rides a bicycle should know how to repair a flat tire on the side of the road and have the tubes, patch kits and tools  to do the job. Since tires are such a necessity, I have two separate tire pages: fixing a flat and preventing flats.

Day ride tool kit and spares:

(Depends on road bike, mountain bike, access to bike shops or a ride home)

Multi tool (folding Allen wrench multi-tool)

Patch kit

tire levers


inner tube


chain tool

spoke wrench


Short term Tour in Developed Country

Long term


Short Tour in Developing Country

Long Haul

Individual Allen wrenches

Bicycle Touring
Tips & Advice

- Bike Stuff
- Camping

Touring Bicycles

Tools and Spares

Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress
Camp Stove
Water Filter
Pots and Pans
First Aide Kits
Solar Power
Bike Maps
Preventing Flat Tires

Bike Computer
Cargo Trailers
Kick Stands
Commuting Bikes

Camp Shower/Toiletry Bag


Bike Shoes
Bike Touring Shorts

Stealth/Free Camp

What I Have Learned On The Road

Dreaming of Endless Travel

Injustice of Poverty

Much MORE Gear Here!

Sponsors (how?)

Cycle Touring Racks

Tents and ground cloths
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress Pads

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