Road cyclist in the mountains

Packing list: road cycling tour

Table of contents

Going on a road cycling tour is incredible because you can cover long distances in a single day that you would otherwise only reach by train or car. Of course, if you want to be fast, you’ll need to keep the weight of your gear to a minimum, but you can’t forget to bring some basic essentials with you. We’ve created a list to help you pack for your road cycling tour.

Bike clothing

Scenario I: good weather

Optional additions for cooler temperatures with some rain showers

Scenario II: continuous rain


Bike equipment

Other equipment

Please note that this isn’t the ultimate packing list for all your road cycling tours. Each trip can vary greatly from one another and people have different needs. However, this list does include all the basic equipment required for your ride. It’s best to make a note after your tour of what worked and what didn’t, then you’ll have a more personalized list for next time.

The clearer you are about your expectations, the better prepared you’ll be. During a tour, the goal isn’t to have a large backpack with all of your gear, but rather just to have the essentials with you. An experienced road cyclist will very likely decide against a backpack when possible. But, the decision whether to bring a backpack or not is up to you. Here’s a list of questions to help with your decision.

The day before your departure, you should briefly go through the planned tour in your head. What will the weather be like? Will there be a heatwave, mixed weather or continuous rain? Will you be riding at higher altitudes and are expecting cold winds?

Will you be riding in the dark and therefore need a light? If you know you’ll be passing through many tunnels, then a light is a must.

Do you know the route inside out, do you want to travel primarily on country roads with good signage or will you pass through an unfamiliar big city? What orientation equipment will you use to find your way around? You can use a smartphone or a cycle computer with navigation features instead of using a bulky map.

Food is another important thing to think about. If you won’t be riding by any petrol stations, hotels or supermarkets over longer periods of time, then make sure you have enough food and water. Whenever you have the chance, you should fill up your bottle.

You should also know your limits. Of course, you can wear short clothes in the pouring rain, but does that really sound pleasant to you? Are you really willing to be less comfortable just so you can travel light?

The evening before your tour, you should test out all your gear, check your set-up and see if your stuff really does fit in your jersey pockets. If they don’t all fit, then you’ll either need to go through your equipment again and re-evaluate or use a backpack. Once you’re done with that, pump up the tyres again, check the gears and brakes, and oil the chain. It’s also worth taking a look at the condition of the tyres. If they’re completely worn out or already have small cuts, now is your last chance to change them. New tyres are less prone to punctures than used ones.

Have fun planning your tour, packing and preparing, and enjoy the ride!

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Alpinetrek-Expert Tom

Alpinetrek-Expert Tom

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