Unexpected items that have proved valuable on tour. (page 2) - CycleBlaze

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Unexpected items that have proved valuable on tour. (page 2)

Brent IrvineTo Brent Irvine

https://www.amazon.ca/Bluetooth-Portable-Speakers-Waterproof-Accessories/dp/B0187ADGL4

Price is up to cad$40

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2 weeks ago
Gregory GarceauTo Kelly Iniguez

Kelly, it's a Sony XB-12.  Unlike the speaker Brent just wrote about, this one has no other functions besides playing music.  I think it has pretty good sound for the size and the cost. ($50)  I rarely listen to music while pedaling; the speaker is more of a campsite luxury--probably the only real luxury item I carry.  I do not like ear buds. 

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2 weeks ago
John SaxbyTo Kelly Iniguez

Hi Kelly,

On my first long(-ish) tour --Amsterdam to Vienna, 2012 -- I took along a roll of hockey tape, just-in-case, y'know?  Not the black kind Karen used, but the slick clear variant (best product: Renfrew tape, from the Ottawa Valley, eh?)  That tour entailed a lot of train transport at its end, for which I boxed the bike. I was dismayed to find no trolleys to shift the bike in train stations, and then, voilà! - added to both lower corners of the box, the tape provided a brilliant skidplate. Problem solved.

(Handy as that roll of tape from the Valley proved to be, I've never taken another one on tour since. Currently, my kit includes half a popsicle stick wrapped with a few inches of 2" wide black Gorilla tape. Haven't used that, either, but it takes up very little space, and weighs maybe an ounce, so I'll leave it in peace.)

Not quite so unexpected, but until a few months ago never before used on tour, was my resort to this wee device, nestled in my toolkit just-in-case:

Park valve tool, AA batt to show size

On my mini-tour this past August, I noticed a slow leak in my rear tube.  Just before leaving, I'd installed one of Schwalbe's ultra-light tubes, so was puzzled by the leak.  Then, defying the trend to senior's moments, I remembered a comment on the Thorn Cycles Forum about Schwalbe valve cores tending to work loose; and remembered too that that was why I'd bought the Park tool in the first place. And, as above, voilà! - problem solved.

Cheers,  John

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2 weeks ago
George HallTo Kelly Iniguez

Items that I find helpful; 1.) My Swiss army knife will open any alcoholic beverage known to man, and has a can opener for real food as well as the usual blades and such.  2.) Fingernail clippers and 3.) tweezers are handy tools to have.   And I find that I use my 4.) jetboil stove a lot even when I’m not camping (cheap hotels don’t always have a microwave for my breakfast oatmeal and it’s nice to be able to stop along the route and have a hot chocolate on a cold day).   Along with the usual minimal set of tools I also take 5.) small pliers - these can be highly useful.

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2 weeks ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo John Saxby

I have suffered the misfortune of a valve core leaking and the horror of one leaping out of the valve completely after pumping up a tyre, so the tiny valve tool is one of the first things that gets packed into my touring toolkit. 

In terms of unexpected uses, a swimming costume on freezing Tierra del Fuego helped when all my clothes were dirty and needed to be washed.

The cabaña had the heating fixed at tropical temperatures so a cozzie wasn't out of place.
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2 weeks ago
John SaxbyTo Jean-Marc Strydom

Thanks, Jean-Marc.  Your story reminded me -- I should have added to my post that I include a few spare valve cores in my kit.  Valves & their cores seems to be forgotten things, but a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Swimsuits in Patagonia indeed!  You'd have to look for & wide to find a place to use one here right now: nighttime temps in the -20s, windchill in the -30s, not much snow, though. First time this winter we've had real winter weather, & the canal is getting prepped for skating.   (Friends in Saskatchewan say, "Whatever global heating is, it's probably too little too late.")

Keep well, hope the new hub on Leigh's Raven is working well,

John

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2 weeks ago
Lyle McLeodTo John Saxby

Hi John,

I’ve suffered from leaking, and broken, presta valve stems as well, mostly while mountain biking. Rather than buying a specific Park Tool I stumbled upon an alternative …. The chain-break on most multi tools fits the valve core insert perfectly. We have both Crank Brothers and Lyzene multi tools with a chain breaker, and both work. Pictures show how better than I can describe;

I’ve also taken to removing the valve cores from trashed tubes as spares, and have also used the valve core from a spare tube when I didn’t have a separate spare core.

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2 weeks ago
John SaxbyTo Lyle McLeod

Thanks for this, Lyle, well described & well illustrated.

I didn't know that the CrankBros multi-tool had a valve-core tightener widget. Nice bit of attention to detail, even if it's not immediately obvious.  I had one of those for some years, but gave it to our son-in-law, as I wasn't using it.  (I'll let him know, just in case.)  I found the CrankBros item rather too heavy, tho' it's a well-made tool.  I now use a kit (made by PrestaCycle) with a ratchet driver that I bought from Ground Effect in NZ.

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2 weeks ago
Susan CarpenterTo Kelly Iniguez

I always tour with my massage stick and one of those Thera-bands that you get from the physical therapist. The stick helps work out knots and can alleviate the early signs of cramping on the road; the band reminds me to stretch.

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1 week ago
Rachael AndersonTo Susan Carpenter

I also bring a Theraband and use it for arm exercises also.

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1 week ago