Spare Parts and Tools for Safe Bicycle Touring in Southeast Asia.
Thailand has good bicycle shops all over the country, even in smaller villages.
The availability of good shops in the rest of Southeast Asia is limited to big cities.
I like to be independent and avoid the risk of needing to use public transportation for hundreds of kilometers because my bicycle broke down.
In order to stay rolling and avoid unnecessary breakdowns, here is a list of pre-departure checks to be done before you head out:
Gear and cable condition
- Brakes and pads
- Crankset and cassette condition:
I usually buy a new cassette that I use only for trips. It will last for about 4-5,000 km, then I buy another one and use the old one for my training or short distances. The crankset life is about 10 – 15,000 km
I fit a new chain for every journey and keep the old one for training.
Remember that the chain stretches and changes its length during its life, so you’ll need adjust it occasionally. The stretching is what consumes and damages the cassette firs and the crankset gears.
When you fit new cables, chain, brakes, etc., take a few rides before your trip.
Sometimes new components need to adapt and stretch, and your bicycle will need some adjustments after a couple of rides. In particular, a new chain might not match with an old cassette or crankset because of the difference in wear between old and new.
Below is a list of standard equipment that I keep in my bag during training sessions at home.
A simple chain junction that usually isn’t included in a repair kit will allow you to cycle back home in case your chain breaks.
Make sure your chain repair tool includes the part necessary to remove the pin from the chain link.
Spare parts check list before departure:
- Spare Inner tubes
- Repair patches
- Sand paper
- Tire levers
- Chain junction
- Repair pocket folding tool
The following is a list of tools and spares that will allow you to save a lot of time and money, and may just save your holiday as well!
- Spare tire (not easy to find outside of big cities)
- Chain lubricant
- Tape (can come in handy for all those situations you can never plan for)
- Zip ties (just like tape, will keep you going until the next place for repairs)
- Spare chain
- Spare gear cable
- Multi-tool knife with pliers
Bicycle check list before departure:
- Water bottles
- Front lamp
- Rear lamp
- Lamp chargers
- GPS tracker
- Bags and/or dry bags
- Camera – video equipment