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Cycling a century successfully is a big task for most of us mere mortals. One huge point of worry for many potential century cyclists is the equipment that use and what is best to help them complete their century in the most comfort possible. In this article I will discuss some of the key bits of kit you will need to ride a century. I'll assume that you already have your main piece of equipment (your bike) sorted.

As far as century training equipment goes your first concern should be to keep your century bike on the road. To do this you will need some basic repair equipment such as puncture repair kit, a couple of spare inner tubes, tyre levers and either a small air pump or co2 cartridges to re-inflate tires. If you get a tear in your tyre, as can often happen with a big puncture one great tip is to place a folded dollar bill inside the ty (covering the hole) between the tube and inside of the tyre. This will prevent further puncture in that area and should get you home.

Prioritise your safety

There are a few essentials that take up very little room but could prove very valuable if you do encounter the unexpected on your rides. Always carry some money (notes weigh less than coins!) And a credit card in your saddle bag. That way should you get stuck somewhere or have serious mechanical failure you can always get a bus or taxi either home or to a bike repair shop. A cell phone is another great piece of kit that can get you out of a pickle.

In addition it is always a good idea to ride with lights attached to your bike and carry spare batteries, just in case your ride extends into dusk / night time. Always factor in a change in weather on longer rides. If you have every hidden down a steep ascent in cold rain without a jacket and gloves you will never make the mistake of leaving them at home again, believe me I am talking from experience here.

Avoid carrying an unnecessary kit

Carrying too much century training equipment when riding is easy to do. Not only does it add weight and slow you down but it can also make finding what you need when you need it much harder. Use your training rides as practice and try to build a written list of what to take on every ride. By doing this your experiences will soon show you what is required and what is surplus to requirements.

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Source by James Wannop