Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tool Kits for Tandem Riders

So I am riding the Sunday of this years Hilly Hundred Weekend on my single (my Trek Domane 2.3 - love this bike, as single go) with a friend down from Michigan, when a 4 tandem entourage of HOOTS friends passes us while we are in the first food stop.   I don't think much of it, but about 20 minutes and 5 miles later, I come up on the same group, all pulled over and staring at one of the bikes.

"Hey Jay, do you have spare tandem cable with you?!?" is the refrain from the group.

Like I said, I am on my single, and while I do have spares for single, I don't happen to carry spares for a tandem.  (As a matter of fact my tandems spares kit was back at the start in my van.)

"None of you have a tandem cable with you?" I ask.

"Uh, No" was the group answer.

I am pretty old school and used to the idea that tandem specific parts are going to be hard to find anywhere outside of a large metro-area bike shop.  And I have also been on tours that have taken us hundreds of miles away from large metro areas.  So I have chosen to have us ready for anything.  So here is picture of what that entails. 

You can call this my extreme kit, with spares for all sorts of contingencies you are likely to encounter on a self-supported, long distance tandem tour.  With this kit, and I can do a basic tune-up and cable replacement (front or rear, brake or derailleur) along with a wheel repair (spare spokes are on the frame of the tandem).  I also have spare bolts for cleats, racks and bottle cages, along with spare links for the drive and timing chain.

Drop me an email at if you want the full list, in a reprint of an article I did for Recumbent and Tandem Rider Magazine a few years ago.