How To Use the

Bikepacker’s Fix It Kit

Now that you have the Bikepacker’s Fix It Kit tucked into your bag, how can it help you when things to sideways? Here’s a rundown of all the items in the kit and some ideas for how they can help you.

Gear Aid Tenacious Tape

This clear tape can repair holes and tears in all kinds of gear: rain clothes, tents, sleeping bags, bikepacking bags, and more. I’ve even used it to patch an inflatable sleeping pad. For best results cut a shape with rounded edges to minimize peeling corners.

Frame Tape

Bikepacking bags and straps can abrade your frame over time, which is especially dangerous with carbon fiber. The frame tape included in the Fix It Kit is for touching up missed spots or those that are rubbing through. It’s a thin tape that’s easy to apply without heat or special tools, but it’s just for emergencies; you should pre-tape your frame at home first with a thicker tape (I like this one).

Recycled Tube

A few inches of old tube can prevent mounts (like for lights and navigation devices) from slipping or damaging your bike. It can also boot a tire in a pinch. Bonus: the tube segment in your kit was recycled from a local bike shop near my home.

Zip Ties

What can you NOT fix with zip ties? Repair a broken bag, mount, or rack; replace a missing rack bolt; zip tie your derailleur out of the way during an emergency singlespeed conversion, and much more.

Duct Tape

Another repair kit classic, the two meters of durable duct tape in this kit can be used to solve all sorts of problems. Patch a big rip in a stuff sack or tent, touch up peeling rim tape, even reinforce worn spots in your cardboard bike box while flying to or from your bikepacking trip.

Presta to Schrader Valve Adapter

If you run Presta valves, this handy gizmo lets you inflate your tires with a Schrader pump in case your pump fails. Schrader pumps are easier to find, especially in far-flung corners of the world. You can even use a gas station air compressor (useful for seating a tubeless bead) but proceed slowly and carefully, especially with smaller tires, or risk blowing the tire off the rim.

Alcohol Wipes

Squealing disc brakes driving you nuts? Your pads or rotors might be contaminated. Use these alcohol wipes to clean your rotors, being careful not to touch the rotors with your bare hands. Next step: sand your pads (see below).

Sandpaper

Disc brake pads can be contaminated by oil on the road or glazed from overheating. Sand them gently with this paper (and wipe down your rotors with the included alcohol pads, then send them lightly too) to restore grippiness and cure that infernal squealing. Make sure you don’t touch the pads with your skin while working!

Threadlocker 243

Sometimes rough road or trail can vibrate bolts right out of your bike. This is especially common with cargo cage and bottle cage bolts, and sometimes rack bolts. To prevent it, keep an eye on your bolts and dab a small drop of this removable threadlocker on the threads before screwing them in. For this particular vial of threadlocker I suggest applying from the end with the shorter twist cap to reduce leakage.

Spare Bottle Cage Bolts (and Washers)

If your bolts rattled loose before you remembered to put threadlocker on them, here are two spares. These are stainless steel 14mm M5 bolts which should fit most bottle bosses, and they’re sturdy enough for cargo cages. If they’re too long, use the included washers as spacers. Threadlocker has been pre-applied generously, perhaps too generously (sorry!), so you may need to back them in and out a time or two to loosen the excess.

Aquatabs

You’re probably carrying a water filter or purifier on your bikepacking trip, but these emergency tablets can come in handy if your filter fails. They can also serve as a second layer of defense in case you need to drink some really nasty water and are worried about waterborne viruses, which many filters aren’t effective against (learn more).

LED Light

Though you probably have a couple sources of light already, electronic failures and battery issues do happen. This tiny LED light ensures you always have at least one source of emergency lighting in your bikepacking kit.

Woman in bivy sack drinking coffee on bikepacking trip

Bonus: Lifesaver Candy and Relaxing Tea

My #1 rule of stressful bike and gear repairs: sit down and eat a snack before starting. The included Lifesaver candy offers a dose of sugar and moment of calm before diving into your fix. If you’re more of a tea person, sip some soothing Chamomile while plotting your problem-solving approach. From me to you: you’ve got this!

What’s NOT Included?

To keep this kit simple and widely applicable, I’ve left out some important items you may already have (multitool, tire repair supplies, etc) and spare parts that depend on your bike and components. For more about what to carry in a complete tools and spares kit, see Building Your Bikepacking Repair Kit.

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