Saddle Bag Essentials

Thursday, May 5th, 2022

In association with Cycle Superstore

You have reached the start line of the Wicklow 200, but what should you pack in your saddle bag?

Spare Tubes X 2

Always check the condition of your spare tubes. There is nothing worse than picking up a puncture only to discover the replacement tube has a tear or rip. Remember rubber perishes over time so make sure the spare tubes are fit for purpose. Do not forget your tyre levers and a mini pump. In recent years, CO2 mini pumps have become increasingly popular especially in competitive events. Their big advantage over traditional pumps is they inflate the tyre a lot quicker, meaning you get going again a lot faster. Learn how to use a CO2 cannister before you are on the roadside with a puncture.

The CO2 cannister is a must if you are using tubeless tyres and need to seat the bead of the tyre. To seat the bead properly, you’ll need compressed air to fill the area quickly. This is something a traditional pump cannot do. However, there is a downside to the CO2 cannisters. If lady luck is not on your side and you encounter multiple punctures or don’t employ the cannisters properly, you may end up running out of cannisters.

Range of tubes at Cycle Superstore

Range of Pumps and CO2 Pumps at Cycle Superstore


Another essential item for your saddle bag is a multi-tool. Try to have one which contains a chain breaker. This coupled with a chain connector/Powerlink/quick link will ensure you can continue even if you snap your chain. When purchasing a chain connector, make sure it is suitable for your group-set speed.

Chain Connectors at Cycle Superstore

Multitools at Cycle Superstore

A Rear Derailleur Hanger

Not the device you hang your clothes on but a bicycle part! This part is vital and if it breaks will spell the end of your event. The hanger is a sacrificial part located at the rear mech and costs in the region of €20-€40. It is designed to deliberately break to limit or prevent damage to the bike frame or other components. Each bike model has its own unique hanger, so the likelihood of mechanical support having your model of hanger is very remote. Your local bike shop will be able to supply you with one.

Other Tips

Always make sure you bring enough food and water for the event and make sure you refill your bottle when able to. Do not try anything new on the day, such as a new type of energy gel, a pair of cycling shorts or decide to use the event to break in new cleats. Also don’t forget the chamois cream.

All these items will be available plus loads more during number collection in Cycle Superstore. Number collection in Cycle Superstore will take place during the following times:

Friday 10th June between 16.00-19.30

Saturday 11th June between 10.00-15.00

To help you complete this year’s Wicklow 200, Cycle Superstore are offering 10% off any of their service options. The offer is valid from the 1st – 31st of May. You will need to present the barcode below as well as providing confirmation of your entry.