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  1. #1
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    How do you carry your tools for XC riding?

    This is a newbie question so be warned....

    I'm starting to get a bit more serious about mountain biking and I'm evaluating my ride setup since I'm switching from a 26er FS to a 29er HT that will be run tubeless. I carry a camelbak with a tube and a few tools, but it seems like all the hard-core (fast) guys out on the trail do not (not talking about racing either). Many have a tube somehow fastened to their seatpost. Is it taped on and how? Do you carry tools in your jersey pockets? If so, how do you keep them from bouncing around and falling out? As a road rider getting into mountain biking, I'm surprised I don't see any under seat bags out there, why not? Any other light and fast options please share... Thanks

  2. #2
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    I dont like to weigh down the bike at high point of CG, so no seat bag for me

    I do like my Dakine over the camelback, more compartments, i have one for 1st aide(tweezers, snake bite kit etc) and other for tools, co2 and hand pump

  3. #3
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    I am old school and have been running an under seat pack since the late 80's. My seat pack contains a multi-tool, tire lever, patch kit, 1 or 2 tubes, CO2 gun w/ spare cartridges, spare chain links, couple of bucks, and some zip ties. Sure it rattles some on the descents, but that is not enough of a deterrent to me. Never a worry about grabbing the wrong pack, as the seat pack is always on the bike.

    I run two large bottles and have a pump attached to clips under the down tube bottle cage. If needed, arm warmers, small jacket, phone, wallet, car keys, energy food all go in my jersey pockets. Most of my MTB rides are in the 1-3.5 hour range and rarely go over 30-35 miles, so no need for a bunch of extra stuff along.

    I can throw the bike around just fine with this setup and prefer it to having a pack on my back. There is virtually no difference in handling and I feel fresher at the end of the day with the bike carrying the extra weight instead of my back. The endurance events I have raced have been well supported and I did not feel the need to ride with a pack.

    If I am going out for an extended ride (3-4+ hours) in areas where water is not as easily accessible, there is a chance of getting stranded, or chance of quickly changing weather, I'll take one of my packs for the extra water and clothing carry capacity. I did drain both bottles and 2 Camelback bladders on a 6+ hour ride in 102F temps in Moab one time, and was glad for the pack.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How do you carry your tools for XC riding?-keystone.jpg  


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    I am old school and have been running an under seat pack since the late 80's. My seat pack contains a multi-tool, tire lever, patch kit, 1 or 2 tubes, CO2 gun w/ spare cartridges, spare chain links, couple of bucks, and some zip ties. Sure it rattles some on the descents, but that is not enough of a deterrent to me. Never a worry about grabbing the wrong pack, as the seat pack is always on the bike.

    I run two large bottles and have a pump attached to clips under the down tube bottle cage. If needed, arm warmers, small jacket, phone, wallet, car keys, energy food all go in my jersey pockets. Most of my MTB rides are in the 1-3.5 hour range and rarely go over 30-35 miles, so no need for a bunch of extra stuff along.

    I can throw the bike around just fine with this setup and prefer it to having a pack on my back. There is virtually no difference in handling and I feel fresher at the end of the day with the bike carrying the extra weight instead of my back. The endurance events I have raced have been well supported and I did not feel the need to ride with a pack.

    If I am going out for an extended ride (3-4+ hours) in areas where water is not as easily accessible, there is a chance of getting stranded, or chance of quickly changing weather, I'll take one of my packs for the extra water and clothing carry capacity. I did drain both bottles and 2 Camelback bladders on a 6+ hour ride in 102F temps in Moab one time, and was glad for the pack.
    +1 bazillion. I'm totally w/ sgltrak on this point. I keep my standard kit in a saddle pack (same size as he's showing here) and I just toss a bottle onto the bike for my typical 1-2 hour ride. Way easier/more comfortable than screwing around with a water pack for a short ride.
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  5. #5
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    Are there any performance reasons for carrying weight on the bike vs. on your back? For longer rides a backpack may be unavoidable, but for shorter rides I'm wondering if its just personal preference to put the weight on the bike or on your back, or if there is some accepted performance reason either way.

  6. #6
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    Just preference. I prefer bottles and a seat bag with tools for typical riding, it keeps the weight off my back. For racing, I occasionally use my Camelbak as a secondary hydration supply just so I don't have to worry about getting passed or crashing when trying to grab a bottle; if I do run a bottle, I usually use it for some electrolyte suplement (gatorade, nuun, gu brew...). In my opinion, its just what works best for you.

  7. #7
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    I hear arguments both ways, so it is probably just personal preference. The arguments for having the bike free of any additional weight include superior handling and ease of maneuverability. However, on the rides where I can avoid the pack, I find I stay cooler without the pack, and I am less fatigued at the end of the ride. I also find that if I don't have a pack on, I can get to food in my jersey pockets easier and eat while moving rather than having to stop every time I need to fuel. My bike doesn't seem to handle differently with my tool bag on there. For me, the advantages to having the tools on the bike outweigh carrying them on my back.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post
    Are there any performance reasons for carrying weight on the bike vs. on your back? For longer rides a backpack may be unavoidable, but for shorter rides I'm wondering if its just personal preference to put the weight on the bike or on your back, or if there is some accepted performance reason either way.
    My two cents...there's probably no universal answer to this question. My saddle bag weighs 1.5 lbs pounds fully loaded with anything/everything I can stuff into it, but it is tucked under the center of mass of my entire body (my fat @ss). So it's basically inconsequential. If one were doing all sorts of aerial stuff--big air jumps and tail whips and things, then maybe this weight would be noticeable and undesirable. But you did ask specifically about XC riding, so I think its fair to assume that you are planning on keeping the rubber on the ground most of the time. In that case, I think that water and the repair kit on the bike is perfectly fine.

    Incidentally, the packs themselves are not light. I have two hydration packs (both made by Platypus), a large and an XL. Empty, they weigh 1.5 and 2.0 pounds respectively. So if you are looking to eek out every last second on your climbs, you need to take that into consideration.

    From a pure mechanical theory standpoint, unsprung weight is bad (vs. suspended weight) so there are going to be some theoretical advantages to carrying that weight in your pack vs. on the hard tail bike. But I suspect that for most of us, any differences in performance would be far less noticeable than the differences in your comfort level and enjoyment when you are carrying the weight where it feels better to you. I'm a "on the bike" guy...but I'm also an old-school roadie and I hate carrying the weight on my back. My friends who got into riding more recently, and bought all of the extra gear that they see in the shops and magazines, like riding with packs because that's pretty much all they've ever done.

    So I guess I'm saying that it all comes down to personal preference--any performance differences are going to be inconsequential compared to being comfortable on the bike.
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  9. #9
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    I have a wingnut pack and I stuff everything in there. the pack does not move around and there is no pressure on my sholders. The weight of the pack is situated over your hips and really does give you better controle of the trail, best pack ever! You would not believe how light it feels loaded down. Plus it's made out of sail cloth, it weighs 17OZ and it's 100% water proof! You can also access the sidewing pockets without taking off the pack (thats where I keep my food). If weight is a huge issue get the 13OZ wing nut pack!
    100OZ bladder ive put a 70OZ in there with the 100 also for really long rides along with all this stuff
    2 tubes
    crank bros multi tool kit
    tire levers
    2 co2
    genuine innovations inflater w/ pump
    cell phone
    keys
    wallet
    food
    jacket or vest depending on time of year

    I used to pack that stuff in cut in half water bottle on my bike and water in my camel bak muel. Then I got tired of my hands falling alseep due to the pressure the camel bak straps put on my sholders.

  10. #10
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    camelbak for me. Every ride I carry my cellphone, keys, rag, 8mm allan wrench and a small bottle of bug repellant incase I have to drag the bike out. No need to get eaten alive!

    But both trails I frequent, the longest walk I'd possibly have would be no more than 3 miles. Thanks to cut outs or whatever you call em, were you can exit incase of emergency or whatever.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post
    ....it seems like all the hard-core (fast) guys out on the trail do not (not talking about racing either). ... Thanks
    I can say from experience most those guys bum tools and pumps off passing riders. Sort of sucks when i am on a time constraint and have to cut my ride short to help them out.

    I carry my extras in a camelback, seat bags went out of fashion but if you own more than one bike it becomes a pita to switch it between bikes.

  12. #12
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    well i always had camelbak

    so it was big enough to put in spare tube pump and tire levers

  13. #13
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    Every hard core guy I know owns a water pack. In the summer here in NM everyone has a water pack. Personally i wear mine year round.

    I will say that the nice thing about crank brothers tool sets is that you can do pretty much anything on the trail except take off the head set and bb cups.

    Weather you are "hard core" or a weekend warrior always carry at least a tube and multi tool, i carry crank brothers multi cuz its compact and has everything from a chain breaker to an 8mm.

    Oh and don't give out your spare tube to anyone on the trail under any circumstance, that will be the only time you flat out and have to stuff your tire with grass to get back home. Ask me how I know.

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    I stopped using water bottles and seat pack +10 years ago. Now i carry everything in my camelback.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post
    ...Many have a tube somehow fastened to their seatpost. Is it taped on and how?...
    Tied on with a section of old inner tube.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 426h View Post
    I stopped using water bottles and seat pack +10 years ago. Now i carry everything in my camelback.
    +1 I put everything in my backpack. It might be OCD but I want my bike to be naked of everything except dirt.

  18. #18
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    Can of big air on the seat post. Get a Velcro stapnfor the tube. I have a SS, so I don't carry any tools. One or two water bottles depending on the temp. 3hours plus I carry a wing nut bag with the same and tools.

    Good luck

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by .40AET View Post
    Can of big air on the seat post. Get a Velcro stapnfor the tube. I have a SS, so I don't carry any tools. One or two water bottles depending on the temp. 3hours plus I carry a wing nut bag with the same and tools.

    Good luck
    Thanks for answering my question. I guess any old velcro strap will do? I've seen some people strap it on with what looks like electrical tape. Do you attach the big air and extra tube with just the velco strap?

  20. #20
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    I'm too cheap for either so I use a good ol back pack with a bladder from kmart $8.00. I'm also too cheap to buy bike tools so I keep channel locks, 2 screw drivers and 5 screw driver type Allen keys. Also keep zip ties a rag and 4 foot section of rope. Also a razor knife. Weight makes you strong, hahaha.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post
    Thanks for answering my question. I guess any old velcro strap will do? I've seen some people strap it on with what looks like electrical tape. Do you attach the big air and extra tube with just the velco strap?
    The can of Big Air comew with a velcro strap, so you're good to go there. The extra tube gets one or two velcro straps to hold it to the seat post. The new cans of Big Air have a nifty X system for holding it on to the post and the can.

    Good luck

  22. #22
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    Hey Boz,


    An easy answer to your question here:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/tooltime/bag-....html#poststop

    I only carry a pack when the ride necessitates it. I can usually get away with rides under three hours with bottles on the frame, tube/CO2/tire lever strapped to the frame, and tools in one of these (tucked in a jersey pocket):

    Tülbag-Storage

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