Friday Group Ride #286

Friday Group Ride #286

My wife and I share the grocery shopping duties, and each of us produces a very different result. She makes a list. She sticks to the list, and we eat what she buys. She likes to run out of things. Her shopping habits hint at the root level competence and efficiency that are hallmarks of her personality.

I prefer to express myself a bit with the grocery cart. I go off list, if I have a list at all. I have ideas, and I indulge them. I don’t like to run out of things. I like when the cabinets are full. It makes me feel like I have options, even if those options are strange and erratic, like my thoughts.

I was laying in a shelf full of pasta in various shapes the other day when I began thinking about the concept of the pantry, that permanent collection of foodstuffs that serves as the basis for your everyday cooking. We always have kosher salt, whole black peppercorns, all-purpose and bread flours, sugar, honey, olive oil, canola, sesame oil, vanilla extract, etc., etc.

I also have a bike pantry. There are 6 road tubes (23-25mm), 6 CX tubes (28-35mm), 4 650b tubes, 1 case of CO2 cartridges, 2 patchkits, 6 tire levers (various), T9 lube, Pedro’s Citrus Degreaser, Park Chainbrite, Pedro’s Chain Wax, 1 spool Lizard Skins DSP bar tape – black, 1 SRAM 11spd chain, 2 complete sets disc brake pads, 1 bottle of brake fluid, one tin of 3-in-1 oil, etc., etc.

I am behind on my Shimano specific supplies. I need some Stan’s sealant. I could use a few sets of replacement rim brake pads and a fresh set of cables (or two). At minimum, I like to have the stuff on hand to completely refresh a road bike and a mountain bike, when the mood or necessity arises. This seems reasonable to me, just like it used to make sense to keep motor oil, coolant, etc. on hand in the pre-Jiffy Lube era. It’s less expensive to maintain bikes than cars, but there is still a cost to it, and neglecting either one has its consequences.

This week’s Group Ride asks, what’s in  your bike pantry? Would you say you’re over or under prepared? Do you eschew all this and just let your LBS take care of basic parts and maintenance? How and how often do you refresh your pantry? Do you buy the little necessities at your LBS or on-line?

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15 comments

  1. Tom in Albany

    Several patched road tubes. Several road tubes in need of patching. Multiple patch kits. Lube (2 spray and one bottle). Spare 9-speed cassette (11-23). Rags. Two top-tube bags that don’t fit on my old-school road bike. One broken mini-pump. One working mini-pump. 3 tire levers.

  2. Ransom

    I’m incorrectly-prepared. I’ve got one big cardboard box that’s a pain to rifle through, containing a not-quite-certain hodge-podge of tubes which hopefully at any time contain the road or ‘cross tube I’m after, but will hide it in a maze of tubes I’m not after, which may or may not have been pertinent to me in recent history, or may just be in here along with so much other stuff that’s just on hand for our annual Bicycle Maintenance Day party where we invite a bunch of friends over and try to get as many as possible of them roadworthy, but mostly end up drinking beer. I’ve got saddles that didn’t work for me, spools of brake and shift housing and a bunch of cables, Manitou fork grease, Marzocchi oil, Betamax-format brake pads which have probably lost their vital volatiles and aromatics, and a motley assortment of brake levers, and shift levers whose detents I have to count to guess compatibility.

    I tend to hit the LBS for parts I’m actually about to use as I need them since it’s such a project to find anything in The Box. Here’s hoping as a part of the Great Garage Restructuring that my bike bits attain some level of organization, and that when you next ask this question in 2025 that I’m not joking about my leftover disc pads from the first Obama administration…

  3. Nik

    I am trying to organize my bike supplies by keeping them in clear plastic boxes that can be stacked.
    1 box with saddles
    1 box with grips and bar ends
    1 box with tubes
    1 box with disk brake pads and disk brake bleeding tools
    1 box with brake disks
    1 box with derailleur and brake cables, cable housing.
    1 box with chain rings, casettes, and chains
    Various other boxes that I can’t quite remember at the moment. It’s 10 boxes in total.
    I have 2 former kitchen cabinets in the garage that contain all the chemicals: grease, chain lube, anti-seize, degreaser, etc.
    On top of all this, my wife has her own shelf for her bike stuff. It’s mostly tubes, lights, sunscreen, etc.

  4. AG

    Pantry consist of: new tires for road and mtb, a couple road tubes, a few mtb tubes, basic lubes and grease, citrus chain cleaner, old toothbrushes, instructions for a 5 year old bike computer (that doesn’t work anymore, of course, but never throw away the instructions), two pair of used but not totally worn out brake pads (for emergencies), an old Cliff bar, and of course a bottle opener. I, too, have a bike box filled with the usual obsolete parts, but when I need a plastic fender for an 16″ princess bike, I got that covered. I guess I have enough supplies to keep the bikes running and to do basic repairs and adjustments. I will go to the LBS to replace spokes and change cables, though. The pantry gets refreshed anytime I run out of something and need to make a trip, so new tubes, lubes and cleaners. So far, no thongs, but you never really know what is in that box, do ya?

  5. Scott G.

    A bag full of Stronglight 49D cranks, lots useless rings for the same, I’m too slow for 53/42.
    Sheet of gasket paper for making Cyclo-Benelux shifter friction washers, useless.
    Lots of bike bags, Cateye light & computer bracket bits.
    AutoZone wrenches filled to fit Whitworth bolts, cheesy tools can be useful.
    Box of dime size Rema patches, what does one do with the giant patches that come
    in patch kits ?

  6. Pat O'Brien

    Tubes, chain lube, and tire levers are my weaknesses. I have at least 3 spare tubes always on hand for each of our 7 bikes. Luckily, some bikes share tube sizes. Chain lube is my next stashing weakness. DuMonde Tech Lite, with at least 3 bottles in reserve at all times. Next comes tire levers with are Quickstiks or Pedros with some for every bike plus a few spares in the tool box.

  7. Tony

    Oh, dear lord. I’ll make a pile of various bits. Cassette cogs, tubes, lubricants, tools … Then move on to create a new pile. Every once in while, I stuff one of these piles in a cardboard box, that goes into a plastic tote, that finds the back of a closet. And not a specific closet. On the patio, I keep a pile of clean and lube stuff in a bucket. Under the kitchen sink is a pile of lubes and greases in plastic bags. One bedroom has a pile of used and new tires and tubes in a bag. Among other boxes of cycling related items I have long since forgotten the contents. Another bedroom has several boxes in the closet which are a complete grab bag of who knows what. And there is one more closet with handlebars hanging where perhaps a shirt or two should, wheels sets, yes plural and plastic totes with what a store would consider a healthy stock of NIB components. In the event a frame should ever be in need. But, it’s mostly because looking at new gear in it’s natural box setting is a winter pastime. And let’s just not open the garage door. Oh, forgot about the storage locker.

    I don’t think having too much stuff is a problem.

  8. peter leach

    I’m a hoarder – well, that’s what my wife says. I tend to think of it as ‘being prepared’.
    My bike pantry includes: chain lube [Pro-Link], CT 17 degreaser, bearing grease, thread grease, tubes [I buy a pack at a time], tyres [I tend to replace both at the same time and keep the front one], bar tape [I buy multi-packs of tape, too], cassette cogs [well, about 5 cassettes worth], cassette floss, cleaning cloths / rags [and more cleaning cloths / rags].
    Not much, really.
    But wait, that doesn’t include the bike parts [frames, forks, whole / part groupsets, wheel sets, bars, seat posts etc that are an essential part of any cyclists life … 🙂

  9. DaSy

    I used to run a cycle repair business from my own workshop, but having just moved to a new area I have decided not to start it up again. I ran it from my home and had built it up over years from word of mouth, and knew everyone who came to me. In a new area, I don’t fancy unknown people turning up at my house and seeing thousands of pounds worth of bikes and kit hanging up, so I am going to come up with a new plan, shame really, as it is the one thing I am truly good at!

    Anyway, I therefore have a ridiculously well stocked bike pantry, with full commercial workshop tools, plus repair stock to mend every known bike, 100’s of metres of brake and gear cables etc, litres of all suspension oils, brake fluids, greases and many thousands of spokes etc. I have set it all up in my new garage, which seems a bit over the top considering it now looks after just my bikes.

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