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November 18, 2017
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  • chubbybunny

    You know what’s not pro?! Calling someone to pick you up because you have a flat tire…

    • I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to lend my pump to someone who’s managed to make a mess of their Co2 canisters.

      • roklando

        “carry a pump” should be up there with “you shall not kill”. I once waited for 30 minutes in 38C heat as someone went through 2 or 3 Co2 canisters…..”why don’t you just use my pump?” I kept asking….eventually he agreed.

        • Arfy

          I once had to wait 20min while a riding buddy tried to pump his tyre up to a decent pressure in freezing cold rain. It’s never taken me more than 10min to do a full tube change using CO2 (including checking the tyre for embedded sharp objects), if it takes you longer you’re doing it wrong.

          • reippuert

            its never taken me 10 minuttes to remove a tube find the hole(s) patch a it, re-insert it and pump up the tyre to 7 bar using a framepump, it really pisses me of seeing people leaving their unpatched tubes and used co2 canisters roadside.

            hell – in 10 minuttes i can even change a glued tubular….

            btw leaving nice tubulars roadside is ok – as long as i can see it and pick them up for recycling…

      • sket

        But they looked pro AF while messing without a pump in their pocket!

      • dsd74

        Frame pumps also make great “weapons”, especially the old Zefal ones (weapon as in using it to ward off an aggressive driver who didn’t want his BMW scratches or dented…).

        A saddle bag is definitely not pro/cool if it’s too big and swings with loose tools jingling in it; but a small tidy one can be smart-looking. I personally use a Backcountry Research strap, keeps things secure.

        • Georgina Peak

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    • Chris

      I’m not defending the rules. The no food one is just stupid, and the point I thought they jumped the shark and went off message as a fairly harmless jokesy site.
      But nowhere does it say not to take enough kit to fix your flat tyre. In fact, they explicitly state you should be carrying tools, tubes and spares. There’s a whole rule – “Rule 83: Be self sufficient”.

      Bag the rules – no computer? wtf? No food? wtf? Slam the stem? Nah, I like my fit.
      But get it right – don’t fight what they’re not saying.

  • Doing a bunch ride on a Saturday morning doesn’t make you ‘pro’ anyway. Ride whatever, wear whatever, who cares.

    • Pepito Sbazzeguti

      Thereabouts #1 and #2 are The Rules

      • Chris

        As I recall, they couldn’t fix a flat in Thereabouts 2.
        And that was with a support car.

  • roklando

    I need a new (100% carbon) saddlebag.

  • Chris

    Where did the idea that no saddle bag means no tools, tube or pump, come from?
    I carry all that stuff without a saddle bag and I’m happy.

  • Neil

    Agree, except for the sunnies inside straps comment. Setting yourself up for some eye damage in the event of a stack.

    • Hamish Moffatt

      I wouldn’t want to crash with my pump in my back pocket either…

      • VK

        I crashed heavily in a group and landed on my back and everywhere else three weeks ago. I had a pump in my back pocket and it flew out and landed maybe 30 meters away from me. What I am trying to say is, worrying about a pump or keys in your pocket is unfounded. That guy behind riding in his small ring with a spinning exposed 53T should be your bigger concern.

  • Jonathan.

    Gimme saddle bag, gimme frame pump, gimme oversize bidons, gimme pockets to stuff full of food. I don’t have a bloody team car, and damned if I’m gonna drag my wife and kids out to pick me up cos I got a second puncture, and if that means carrying stuff to get me out of a mechanical issue or a bad bonk then so be it.
    The Rules, pffffft.

  • phillipivan

    Well played Mr Thomas.

  • velocite

    “I don’t take anything, I just use his”. Geraint Thomas is a funny guy.

    • Søren Nejmann

      I have a friend who roll this way haha! Until everyone had a flat and there were no more tubes!

  • Joel

    When campy or colnago dish up a frame pump that will be the only criterion. Saddle bags are for mtb. The middle Jersey pocket or bidon bucket is for spares depending on preference.

    • RayG

      Funnily enough, there’s a bloke just joined our bunch recently who carries a small, full, saddlebag – stuffed inside a bidon bucket. Does my head in thinking about it.

    • Sean parker

      The middle jersey is for syringes, hubbard.

    • Sean parker

      And furthermore, colnago and campy don’t make frame pumps because silca do. and you cannot get cooler than a chrome silca frame pump.

      So you’ve just double-hubbarded yourself there, my friend.

    • Tom McCormack

      Saddle Bags aren’t for MTB. I use a backpack to carry tools, water and food because MTB rides take me far far away from civilization. You’ve gotta be self-sufficient. I use a med-sized saddle bag for by roadie which I get 2 tubes, 2 canisters and levers.

  • Geoff

    Don’t know about pro (looking pro depends only on riding like a pro, if you’re not you’re only fooling yourself even if you have the right socks) but here’s definitely an inverse relationship between saddle bag size and rider speed. I suspect it’s an aerodynamic thing

  • Mark Blackwell

    Couldn’t agree more Wade… and I had exactly the same reaction when I read those rules (ie. I was reading through, having a bit of a chuckle about how silly but true they all are… then read that I’m actually breaking a couple).

    On the frame means you never forget them, don’t have to carry them on your body, and you’ve more space for other things (or nothing at all). And as for CO2 canisters, gimme a pump any day, for a host of reasons.

    Slightly off topic, but the rules make no mention of whether or not to carry a wallet. I’m curious… I notice lots of cyclists carrying coffee money in an old patch kit box, is that a rule? Also, should I carry my phone in a zip lock bag, in something else, or nude?

    • Many have tried, but there’s no replacement for the trusty zip lock bag.

    • Scott McGrory

      You can pay $50+ for a branded plastic bag! Or do the smart (Pro) thing as Wade mentioned and use a zip-lock bag for 5c each.

      • jules

        name and shame Scotty :-)

      • Keir

        The zip lock bag is the true cyclists gift! I back it up with a pair of disposable surgical gloves and a couple of baby wipes in the zip lock bag so no grease on the gloves or bartape. Yes I know it rolls with my OCD perfectly.

    • Mattyp

      Free jersey bins at TdU are also the answer

    • Mark Blackwell

      Phew, glad to see that I’m following the rules, even from the privacy of my jersey pockets

    • Mark Blackwell

      Phew, glad to see that I’m following the rules, even from the privacy of my jersey pockets

  • Lee Turner

    I agree with rule 29 and 30.

    1 X tube & 1 X c02 canaster (with connector) some levers in a little case tucked neatly into your back pocket is all you need.

    • Hamish Moffatt

      Then you’re not riding far enough my friend.

      • Chris

        Yeh – I don’t know who this Lee Turner hubbard is, but he clearly has no idea about cycling.

        • Hamish Moffatt

          So, now I know. But I still these ‘rules’ are discouraging and not helpful to any of us.

        • Lee Turner

          You’ll know tomorrow when I put you to the sword Christopher.

          • Chris

            I can’t wait to hear what you do the Christopher you think I am. I’m from Melbourne, but live in Singapore, Lee.

            • Lee Turner

              I’m in Singapore.

              • Chris

                This is like a horror movie. “The calls are coming from inside the building!”

    • Peter

      I live in country NSW and on a ride I can find myself 50km from any town in no time at all. Not only do I need to carry all of these things, but I need to plan ahead for where I will fill my water bottles once, maybe twice during a ride. (Sometimes I need to drop a cache of water and food the day before).

      I guess if you’re in a city or in Victoria where the towns are closer together you can get by with carrying less, but in rural NSW you need to be well equipped or one day you’ll find yourself in the middle of nowhere without the right repair kit (and often no phone reception either).

      So the kit you bring depends on where you ride, I guess.

      • Keir

        Yeah you’ll need your photo identification as well.

      • Winky

        You’ll also need a first aid kit for the injuries caused by flying beer cans from bogan utes.

  • slartiblartfast

    Koen de Kort sounds more Aussie than the Aussies! Meanwhile Adam Phelan admits to “lacking in the saddle bag department” – we knew the feeling at your age mate, but don’t worry it doesn’t last.

  • Anon

    You can be self sufficient without a saddle bag and frame pump. Why sully the fine aesthetics of your favourite frame? You know they make jerseys with pockets right?

    • Nobody is saying you can’t, but for these ‘rules’ to imply that the evolution as a cyclist involves dropping the saddlebag and frame pump is plain wrong. And I’m sick of every rookie to the sport telling me otherwise! ;-)

      • Chris

        Especially if you’re selling saddle bags, huh?
        Each to their own, though.

        • Yes, this was all an elaborate scheme to sell our last saddle bag.

          • Chris

            I’m sure you’re going to be rolling in saddle bag millions :-)
            Out of interest, do you guys at CT have any contact with the guys at Velominati? Like, is this sort of thing a jest between established mates or are we seeing a move into North America and now attacking another cycling blog? And if so, who’d be the Jets and who’d be the Sharks?

            • I’ve met Frank once before and exchanged emails, but that’s about it. Nice guy. I’d happily take this to the rink (I’ll bring my Jets jersey!)

              • Chris

                I was thinking more a West Side Story style conflict, complete with Bob Fosse choreo. My god, think of the youtube hits.

          • jules

            I knew it.

          • Marty Renwick

            One can become expert in missing the point. The point of cycling is being mercurial, being free. Free as a bird, with a birds eye view. If caught up in pier pressure of this kind is simply creates something less than best practice. Best practice is total liberation.

            This is amusing https://www.facebook.com/gooodvideos/videos/1115930348431653/?pnref=story

    • Why sully the aesthetics of your back? Bulging pockets looks equally as “silly” IMHO and aren’t very practical when you sit down for your post ride coffee! If you stick a pump and a bag on your bike you never need to worry about forgetting them.

      • Richard Bruton

        and the risk of spilling tubes, cash and other valuable when you go looking for a bit of food! I have a small bag with 1 tube, a multitool and levers. pump is a small lezyne one that i can fit in my pocket and fill a tube with. I also use the pump to hit play and pause on my laptop from my turbo trainer, keeps the keyboard sweat free!

        • Winky

          Life is too short for turbo trainers…

      • Winky

        Yup. For rides of any distance (120km +), my food, phone and mini-pump take up all the reasonable room in my pockets without them looking stupid. Tiny saddlebag, tight up between the rails, with two tubes & levers is all I need.

    • ebbe

      Why sully the fine aesthetics of your favorite jersey? ;-)

  • TimM

    I have that exact Scicon saddle bag. Spent about $10. But I’ll happily spend x3 that for the CT version when it comes time to replace :D

    • TimM

      And speaking of training like a pro, the daily news digest story about Nettie Edmondson’s crash with the snapped Colnago forks, I noticed she’s training on $500 Campagnolo Zonda ALU clinchers.

      And she can still ride 10x harder than the “all the gear, no idea” Freds on $3K Carbon wheelsets.

      • Back in the day Robbie McEwen used to race and win on Zondas. They’re an awesome wheel.

      • Larry @CycleItalia

        “All the gear, no idea” pretty much sums it up. These folks should spend more time RIDING than worrying about whether this or that is “pro”. I thought pro meant you get paid to do it, everyone else is supposed to be out there having fun, otherwise why bother?

        • Spartacus

          Haha, not if ur riding for an Italian team though Larry – personal sponsors of pay to play are the norm ;)

          • Larry @CycleItalia

            You are right, pro cycling’s in a bad way at present….but not just in Italy. Think of the country that gave us Cadel Evans and Richie Porte – the best the one pro team from down there can do sponsor-wise is “Orica – Your Name Here”

  • I’m with the Spanish euro-pro on this one. Special spot for the pump and saddle bag.

    • Love the tone of voice… as if to say “yeah of course I just carry a saddlebag… why are you even asking this?”

  • Chiwode

    The Rules are hilarious, especially the link in number 4. Still always good for a laugh.

  • Sean parker

    20 or so years ago a kidney shaped saddle bag and frame pump were de rigeur for the three hour ride.. And now we are supposed to stuff pumps and tyre changing gear in jersey pockets?
    Where, then, does the windproof, the arm warmers, leg warmers, phone, muesli bars and bananas go? and what if you’re riding further than the cafe on a hot day? you really going to swap your bidon for a gear bucket?

    I even see mtb riders follow this philosophy… at least until their first off and they land on their pump. Try explaining that in ED… ‘yeah, doc, i thought it would be a good idea to carry a rigid instrument in my back pocket instead of the bike… because kidney lacerations are so pro…..’

    The bike is for holding these accoutrements. You don’t stuff your spare tyre and jack in your jeans when driving your car do you? No. because that would be ridiculous and unnecessary. But somehow not using your bike as transport for its own maintenance IS necessary?

    And anyway, I just don’t have room in my jersey for all that unnecessary shite when going for a long ride.

    besides who cares what the pros think?

    • Chris

      “You don’t stuff your spare tyre and jack in your jeans when driving your car do you? No. because that would be ridiculous and unnecessary.”
      What are you smoking thinking that this has anything to do with cycling?

      • Sean parker

        It has nothing to do with cycling, that’s the point of an analogy.

        • Chris

          My point is that your analogy compares something that’s easy with something that isn’t possible. They’re not even slightly equivalent.

          • Sean parker

            Ok, “Mr I take Everything Literally”. it was hyperbole. it was meant to be an outrageous comparison for rhetorical effect.

            i cannot believe you are taking any of this seriously…..

    • Because the people who care about “the rules” don’t go on long enough rides to need food and don’t ride in bad weather that necessitates extra clothing!!

  • OverIt

    The “Rules” are fun. :) And my bike certainly looks better for them. However…

    Having a crash your pump and other excess pocket tools puncture your lower back or spine is not. A small chance event maybe… making it zero chance is better.

  • spartacus

    FFS people this is very simple. Your goal is to be as light and sleek as possible while not getting caught stranded. So, it depends on what sort of ride you are doing. Here’s how it works:

    1. Race: One or two bottles in the cages (depending on race length, temp and feedzones). No spares, just race food and phone, $20 note and credit card in the pockets.

    2. Gran Fondo: Two water bottles in the cages. In a pocket put tube, mini patch kit, 2x cO2 canisters and valve thing (nice and snug in a pocket bag), along with food, phone, $ and card. Plenty of room to stash a gillet and/or arms if needed.

    3. Group Ride: One water bottle in cage, bidon bucket in the other with tube, mini patch kit, 2x cO2 canisters and valve thing. Food, phone, $ and card in the pockets. You don’t need to cart around an extra 610g of water – there are taps everywhere if you look. One exception: if its crazy hot or you are going somewhere where there are literally no taps, then two bottles and use a pocket bag for the tube, mini patch kit, 2x cO2 canisters and valve thing. If you are riding in a group where no one is going to stop and help if you get a third puncture, then find a new group.

    4. Solo ride: This is the only case where you literally are on your own if you can’t ring an emergency pick-up in the event of more than two flats. In that case, add in a saddle bag with an extra tube or two and a frame pump.

    To make this work, you need to be ready for all conditions so your not faffing about before a ride. Remember your goal is to be light and sleek but not stranded. Here’s what you need in close proximity to you bikes at home (N+1) so you can go with the correct option in literally 30 seconds.

    – 2 bottles
    – 1 bidon bucket with tube, mini patch kit, 2 x Co2 and valve thing
    – 1 pocket bag with tube, mini patch kit, 2 x Co2 and valve thing
    – 1 MICRO saddle bag with one or two tubes
    – Frame pump (either strap on, or already have a bidon cage installed on your bikes with a mounting bracket – get one that can’t be seek unless viewed from below).

    See – SIMPLE :)

    • Chris

      “FFS people this is very simple.”
      Followed by WALL OF TEXT.

      • Spartacus

        Ironic effect, Chris. Nevermind …

    • Sean parker

      FFS people this is even simpler: carry a frame pump and saddlebag at all times.

      Why remove them? to satisfy some pimply newbie to the sport who conflates fashion with mystique?

      • Chris

        “Why remove them?”
        My bike didn’t come with them. Nobody’s does.

        • Sean parker

          I think that yours does come with a toolbag….

          • Chris

            Geeze Sean – getting a bit personal?

            • Sean parker

              Tongue in cheek….

              • Chris


                • Tim Stevens

                  Uhhh, my bike didn’t come with Pedals either. Am I not supposed to add those at some point?

                  • Sean parker

                    Yes it does seem to be an analogy fail on Chris’s part…..

    • Hamish Moffatt

      More rules is just what we need!

    • Pete

      I read all that and all I can remember is “strap on”. I’m a fool and a Hubbard

  • Simon

    A cut off bidon in the holder containing two Co2 canisters, two tubes, levers and a small multitool is my preferred setup. Sometime my trusty full length Zefal on the frame if I’m touring. None of those miniature frame pumps for me they look like toys and spoil the aesthetic. I can’t abide seat bags on racing bikes either. Or lights in the daytime. I note these pros are all young guys and it’s their time now. Every generation does things differently and I’m almost old enough to be their grandfather. Just don’t get me started on sock length……

    • Winky

      Nope. Not for me. I need both bidons for water.

  • Dave

    Never carry anything at all in the jersey pockets, everything is in the panniers. I’m so pro hubbard.

    • Sean parker

      now ya talking. Ever shattered c grader’s will to live by passing them up a hill on a panniered bike?

  • Cam

    It’s pro to not look pro, only a pro can get away with it. At a recent crit I watched Jack Haig put his mudguard on after the race, he looked pro as hell.

    • Chris

      Rule one of looking pro – be a pro.

    • VK

      Where is the ‘like’ button?

      • Sam Young

        There’s the little arrow up and down just under the comment :P

      • Sean

        It’s the small arrow point up, it sits under my comments.

    • Sean

      Only choppers use mudguards, Jack obviously has a lot to learn.

  • kasual

    Hmmm… useful and beautiful frame pumps, or wasteful and unpredictable CO2 canisters. If it’s okay by ‘the rules’ to carry a mini pump, you might as well have a frame pump. The only portable pumps worth a damn are long enough to be somewhat annoying in a jersey pocket. And saddle bags are great, tools, cash, herbs and your phone off your back.

    I know anyone who has spent any real time riding thinks of the rules as a satire, but every time I heard them quoted by some rube, I cringe.

    • Sean parker

      “every time I heard them quoted by some rube, I cringe”


  • Fashion Police

    Instead use tubeless tyres.

    • Winky

      And a phone for when they are slashed and spray goop all over your bike and buddies.

  • Anon N+1

    The only rule that really counts is Rule 5. If someone criticises because your valve stems are not aligned or your stem not slammed (whatever that means) or your glasses not “properly” mounted on your face, apply Rule 5, suck it up, bite your tongue, keep your comments to yourself and wipe the goo of your fingers on your black shorts.

  • scottmanning

    When you are doing 6hr+ training rides, and your pockets a full of food – then, and only then do you use a saddle bag – that’s pro.

  • StanB

    I always thought the Velominati Rules were a pisstake to start with. Who are these guys anyway?! I blog, therefore I am. Gimme a break.
    Number 13 is the give away. Oh wow, you saw Cancellara do it.
    Back on topic. Nothing looks worse than an overstuffed pocket. Pumps & saddlebags ftw.
    Lights on a bike? That my friends is NOT pro.

    • Matthew Jenkinson

      Pretty sure even the pros use lights at half past bullshit oclock. Got to be able to see where you’re going.

  • StanB

    I always thought the Velominati Rules were a pisstake to start with. Who are these guys anyway?! I blog, therefore I am. Gimme a break.
    Number 13 is the give away. Oh wow, you saw Cancellara do it.
    Back on topic. Nothing looks worse than an overstuffed pocket. Pumps & saddlebags ftw.
    Lights on a bike? That my friends is NOT pro.

  • Chuck

    I have a little zippered wallet-like thing that holds a little paper money, id info, a very minimal multi tool, tire removal tool, a tightly rolled inner tube, and a CO2 charger. This fits easily in the back center pocket of my jersey and has everything I need in it. I think saddle bags are an abomination.

    • Sam

      Not the Rapha Classic jersey center pocket tho

  • Chris Fisher

    I am aware of someone who suffered a spinal injury in a crash which the surgeon attributed to having a frame pump in the jersey pocket. So much for looking pro.

    • velocite

      I believe that would have been a mini pump rather than a frame pump Chris.

      • Sean parker

        perhaps it was a track pump. now that would really hurt.

  • Deryck Walker

    Yes I know its a pisstake, but despite that, it is still used as a tool for condescension in the cycling fraternity, and im over it. When did it go from enjoying a ride to being about fashion and prentention? I say wear cheap kit from aldi with short socks, ride an old bike with a compact chainring, dont shave your legs, wear a stack hat, ride slow, dont use a garmin; FFS just enjoy the company, fresh air and the ride. (whoops I just ranted again)

    • Chris

      I agree you should do what you want. But you did just list a bunch of stuff people should be doing, ring and wearing.

      • Deryck Walker

        ok, good point.
        Revision, “do what works for you, f#ck the rules.”

        • Chris

          Agreed :-)

  • Sam

    Hubbard is such a derogatory and excluding word. Keep using it if you want to make new cyclists feel uncomfortable. If you would like to see more people riding, maybe just accept that we don’t all have to be the same or spend a fortune.

    • Mark

      Agree with you Sam. Just imagine if the vast majority of people rode a bike to commute or train, regardless of whether they were set up as a pseudo pro or a “hubbard”. Then we’d have broad acceptance of cyclists and safer roads for us all………

  • james stout

    I’m right there with team frame pump on this one. http://www.ridemedia.com.au/features/a-cyclists-aesthetic-style-guide-by-observation/

    “a pretty sizeable saddle bag, two large bottles and a frame fit pump. These things let me ride my bike. A lot. I’ve been scolded about these often but let me tell you when a cyclist looks least stylish: walking home with cycling shoes in hand, because his overpriced little CO2 canister and single tube wasn’t sufficient for a ride over 30km.

    If you actually use your bike for serious rides (I don’t mean “training” – athletes train, cyclists ride) you will appreciate the value of equipment that will get you around 200km with gravel and glass. This means a pump you can use as many times as you get flats, at least two tubes, a patch kit and a multi-tool with which you can actually fix most mechanicals. If you spend more time reading blogs than riding bikes, then put your inner tube in your pocket with your little gas cylinder. You will look extremely stylish as you raise a designer label-clad arm to hail a passing car for a ride home.”

  • Sam Young

    I had a nice little saddle bag until the strap holding it to the saddle broke, after which I put everything in it in my pocket, and realized that most of the time I don’t need a saddle bag.

  • Pepito Sbazzeguti

    Agree, totally agree. And add something.
    Here in Italy most of The Rules “ambassadors” I know are some fat-butted guys with long beards and moustaches who ride enough during summertime just to address L’Eroica in Autumn and do some nice selfies with Pros or ex-Pros… Cycling disaters.

  • Nathan

    I dont want to look like a pro.. all shaven and skinny and weak looking. No thanks

    • Spartacus

      LOL – “Nothing tastes as good as fast feels” (with apologies to Nico Roche and his model gf)

      • 900Aero

        Apologies to Kate Moss also needed, her quote originally. If you see her, ask her about that $20 from last time we had pizza. She never pays….

  • _kw

    IMHO the rules did not create the no saddle bag principle and – as many have pointed out – neither do they want you to not be self sufficient.

    While I rarely encounter flats (*knocks on wooden coffee table*), I do not like to clutter my bike with tons of stuff let alone top heavy stuff which changes the behavior of a light carbon road bike. I carry both a small pump and a CO2 canister plus inner tube, tools and mini patch kit in my pockets without any problem. When riding tubs in the summer, I carry emergency spray on top of the NoTubes liquid in the tubs instead of the inner tube. A cut off bidon is fine, too, if you are not on longer rides and need two bottles, hence I do not use it very often but rather in winter when I may need additional layers, do shorter rides and have less room to store stuff.

    Here’s an excerpt from a Podium Café review of The Rider by Tim Krabbé (http://www.podiumcafe.com/2010/12/18/1883646/the-rider-by-tim-krabbe) for you:

    “Take a story Krabbé tells of Jacques Anquetil. On a climb, Maître Jacques would take his bidon from its cage and place it in the pocket of his jersey. Eventually, a team-mate, Ab Geldermans, had to ask him why: “A rider, Anquetil said, is made up of two parts, a person and a bike. The bike, of course, is the instrument the person uses to go faster, but its weight also slows him down. That really counts when the going gets tough, and in climbing the thing is to make sure the bike is as light as possible. A good way to do that is: take the bidon out of its holder.”

    While it may not make a difference for the total mass you are pushing up the hill, it does make a difference _to me personally_ where you keep stuff on the bike when standing or seated.

    I ride with friends that carry old school full size frame pumps on their retro frames, kick ass on any climb and that’s cool, too. All down to personal preference.

    • Rodrigo Diaz

      It’s funny that you cite Renner by Krabbé, because the narrator clearly mentions seeing Anquetil climbing with the bottles on the bike after telling the excerpt you cite… in other words, debunking his own story and tearing down the mythologies. Which is exactly in character with the rest of the story. Did you read it? A well recommended book. (Also the Golden Egg. And his chess articles).

      • _kw

        I did read it and enjoyed it a lot. Probably my favorite cycling book. Even my girlfriend liked and she’s not a cyclist. I know he debunked it. Yet I still thought it was an interesting anecdote in the context. And it does not change how I feel about a saddle bag on my bike.

        I can only recommend the book to anyone.

  • dllm

    Saddle bag, frame pump, they are just wasting the invaluable post-ride ale replenishment time. You clean your bike post-ride. Time is spent on removing the things and then re-install. Just say no to those things.

    They belong to jersey pocket. Get some tube patches and mini pump. Check your tire pressure before every ride.

  • Dom

    The lack of respect for “The Rules’ in this comment section is a disgrace. If we reject the rules it wont be long before we’re overrun with waves of ‘cyclists’ (not that they deserve that title) thinking its okay to cruise around in baggy pro kits on unclean bikes with saddle bags big enough to carry a spare not for a road bike, but for a small car. Who knows some might even think its okay to push their bike up a climb, or not go out in the wet because maybe Rule #5 is not so important.

  • Sean Doyle

    First up……fuck the rules for the most part. The common sense ones are just that. The others are just pretentious shite. Having said that I do partake in some of the pretentious rules because……..well…….I am vain to a degree, like most of us……so?……shoot me. Ask Greg Henderson about saddle bags, pumps, food and water when out training regardless of whether you are riding solo or in a bunch and he will tell you in no uncertain terms that you are a wanker if you are not self sufficient. Being a little older I’ve certainly grown into ‘I don’t really care that much about how I look on the bike’ mindset. Which is not entirely true. I like my kit to be colour co-ordinated etc. and I do like my bike to be tidy BUT I will always carry a saddle bag, and a pump at a minimum. Two tubes and a patch kit and some times a small multi tool. I’m out training or riding to a race not in the last few km’s of a race or trying to be a freakin’ Peacock.

  • Great timing with this post. Just bought a new bike and I’ve been debating whether to put on a saddle. So much debate over such a small thing. :)
    I personally carry a pump in my jersey pocket. Not because of the rules, but because I hated cleaning the dirt and grit after a wet ride.

    Can we please not mess with the n+1 rule? We all agree that’s a valid rule, right?

    • Jackson

      You’ll want a saddle.

      • Chris

        Right. Just ‘cos the pro’s use saddles, you think everyone needs one? You wannabees…

    • Sean

      I’m pretty sure Dave is the only member here who rides regularly without a saddle on his bike, he’ll be happy to hear about another saddleless rider showing up here.

  • touristeroutier

    Ferdi was pissed off that someone told him he wasn’t PRO enough

  • SeanMelchionda

    In my 30 years of riding bikes I’ve found that flats happen so rarely that I carry one tube, one patch kit, a boot, and a cartridge. So for me… no need to carry a saddle bag. The funny thing is I’ve found that flats happen in doubles and triples over a period of days. I’ll get two or three in one week and then nothing for a year. Oh and I pretty much follow all of those rules except for the rule about the black shorts. The only black short I would ever wear are the Look / LaVieClaire Shorts from 1986. :-)

  • Harri

    just do what I do and never get a flat! ;)

  • Gt

    Nice click bait CyclingTips. Low on content? Let’s start the 4 millionth internet debate about “the rules”. This got old about 5 years ago.

    Just smile and wave boys….

    • Clickbate is when a cheesy headline is used and the article doesn’t deliver on its promise. Did we do that here? Also, what’s wrong with having a little fun once in a while?

    • Sam

      It worked didn’t it lol

  • Paolo

    I always thought, rules are made to be broken anyway.

  • Michael

    Jersey pockets only, that’s what they are for. How much food do you need for a training ride, three pocets full ?. If you’re a lttle piggy and one or two pockets of food are not enough, then tape a gel or energy bar somewhere discreetly on your bike. Rule number whatever, once you have passed the hubbard stage, you should never go back, never.

    • Sean parker

      that’s priceless, a saddlebag is forbidden but taping food to the bike is OK……

      do you even know how ridiculous that sounds?

  • Michael

    Forgot to ask. What are saddlebags and do they actually fit on road bikes ?. I will wait for a lifestyle to sell me the benefits first.

    • Sean parker

      The name is the clue. they fit under the saddle. some cyclists, usually those who go for extended rides in variable weather, use them because they need room in their jersey for other items.
      some cyclists, new to the sport, and swayed by opinions of other newbies, don’t see the purpose of something purposeful and decline to use them or acknowledge their existence.
      you’ll notice them by their pendulous swaying jersey pockets and the trail of tubes, canisters and mini pumps they leave behind them when they reach for a gel and inadvertently lose their tyre changing gear.

  • jules

    nothing. I carry nothing. when I puncture I just wave down other gullible cyclists who are usually all too happy to help out a brother. after we’re finished I ride off looking pro as hell with nothing in my pockets, no saddle bag, while they are left packing up. suckers.

    • Sean


  • Barry

    “..are considered gospel by most new cyclist….” I thought the rules were just a pi$$take (albeit with the odd piece of wisdom thrown in)

  • Superpilot

    Haha this is awesome. By all means use a saddle bag and a frame pump. We all know they are inherently practical. We all know many pros use them when training. We also all know they look shit.

    Break any of those rules you want. They are mainly for fashion anyway.

    The only rules, apart from law, that matter are your own. Not some conjecture on this (excellent) site, or any other!

  • Micky D

    Every time ‘The Rules’ are discussed on a forum like this I find the responses hilarious. Most people commenting seem to take ‘The Rules’ both seriously and/or literally. Does everyone totally miss the big piss take here? Of course some of ‘The Rules’ are not practical and some defy common sense but that is the point as they highlight cycling’s obsession with aesthetics, suffering and the hard men. Lighten up!

  • Phillip Mercer

    I feel the rules should always be taken with a pinch of salt however I do like some of the style tips to do with shorts sock color. One rule I do also like is people not wearing trade team kits unless you ride for them and national or world champ kits. There is a guy in our area who rides in a Tom Boonen all white world champ kit. I still chuckle whenever we go past. I had an opportunity to ride with Maurizio Fondriest and I noticed his Sidis had a little world champion flourish. It struck me that it was the first time I’d ridden in Brisbane and saw someone with rainbow stripes that they had earnt.


    A frame pump and saddle pack won’t hide the extra 8kg’s I’m carrying at the moment so ‘looking pro’ is still a stretched target.
    Knowing everything is on the bike you need apart from food is a good thing at 5:15am when the brain isn’t up yet and your stumbling about in the dark.
    Grab and go!

  • Connor

    Unless you’re doing serious k’s in serious heat and need 2 bidons, I’ve found using a tool keg in a cage a better (and more aesthetic) way of carrying the tools of need (except mini pump in rear pocket)…that said, each to their own…looking ‘suave’ doesn’t help me get up hills any faster…

    • Sean parker

      um. ‘serious ks in serious heat’

      I use a bidon every 30kms in moderate heat. I don’t know what you regard as ‘serious kms’ or ‘serious heat’ but 1 bidon does not get a training cyclist very far.

      But at least you get to discuss how ‘aesthetic’ your bike is when the drips are going in in the Emergency Department, I suppose.

  • Secundius

    As I recall, someone got caught cheating by disguising an Electric Motor that was Disguised to Look Like A PUMP

  • Sam

    The only rule I follow is to ride less with anyone who could quote rule # at me

  • Geoff

    With all this talk about frame pumps and pocket pumps, why has nobody mentioned the rarely seen and elusive handlebar pump? (Seen today on the commute home.)

  • david__g

    If I get a flat I just take the tire off with my fingers, wrap some bar tape around the hole and blow the tube back up with my mouth.

  • Christina

    Why spend $6k to $10k on a beautiful bike and then make it look ugly with saddle bag or pump stuck to the frame!

  • Damian

    I say use/bring whatever works for you, after all your the one who will be lugging it around. I think my only pet peeve is when someone has multiple C02’s in a saddle bag and they aren’t secured and I have to hear them clanking around the entire ride. I will say anyone who is carrying C02’s should buy a few extras and practice using them before they head out for the first time with them.

  • Matthew Jenkinson

    On the saddlebag thing – I regularly ride >100km on roads that can give you a double flat in no time. Hence I have a waterproof saddle bag (so I can do it in the rain if need be) that holds enough for two changes.

    In any case, you wouldn’t notice it for long if you rode faster than me, so buck up. If it annoys you it’s because you’re sitting behind me, mooching off my hard work.

  • Nick Gale

    I just use a 750ml bottle and a small saddle bag. two tubes in the bag, in the bottle I keep my pump, levers, multi tool, stick on and glue on patches, zip ties and electrical tape. I figure if it ain’t a tyre problem can always solve it with zip ties and electrical tape. Keys go in the bottle as well, phone in the pocket in a zip lock.

    I also ride with teashades which breaks one of the other rules but who cares.

  • Moe

    Okay CT. So first off Aero bike.


    I use a decent sized bottle on the down tube and use a ‘fake bottle’ on the seat tube hanger. This fake smaller bottle houses 1x CO2, CO2 tool, old drivers license, alcohol swabs, bandages, $20 note, tyre levers, 1x spare tube, nitrile gloves, medical details etc…

    I barely need most of the stuff, but I use the gloves and alcohol swabs to usually fix other people’s bikes or fix fallen chains. Things usually get greasy.

    The only thing I’ll keep in my pocket is a bank card, phone and food. I cannot stand the feeling of all that shit when you’re climbing, bouncing around like an extension of me.

    Long 80km + rides with no rest stops make me take the saddle bag out.

  • Conscience_of_a_conservative

    No frame pump? Explains why i’m constantly bailing out riders stuck on the road without one. Time not to be slave to stupid rules.


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