hybrid bike essentials

Essential bike trekking equipment

So you've got your trekking bike, but are you actually ready to hit the road? 

Whatever kind of ride you're going on, you'll find all our tips for being properly kitted out right here!

Bike trekking is a great way to get a breath of fresh air, enjoy the great outdoors and squeeze in a bit of exercise no matter the time of year. And you don't even need tonnes of equipment to do it. Sure, it's best to have the right sort of bike, comfortable clothing, a decent pair of shoes and a cycling helmet. But which equipment do you *actually* need for bike trekking? The Decathlon team shares their tips and a kit list so that you can make sure you've got all the essentials for enjoying this amazing sport. 

What equipment do you need for bike touring?

If you want a safe, comfortable, enjoyable ride, one thing's for sure: it's important to kit yourself out properly.
From bike locks to helmets, lights, repair kits, pannier racks, bottle cages, bags, smartphone holders, first-aid kits, and even the right type of bike to get, discover everything you need to know ahead of your first ride!

All about trekking bags

Regardless of whether you need the bare minimum kit for short, fun rides near home, or you're doing a race, a tour, a cycling holiday or a big cycling adventure, it's worth exploring in detail the different types of bags you can fix to your bike. 

The essentials for hybrid bike trekking

Handlebar bags

Handlebar bags come in different sizes and can be used to store all sorts of things: a phone, keys, snacks, a camera, and your route plan.

Your belongings will always be in easy reach with these two handlebar bags:
- the 300 handlebar bag (2.5 litres)
- the 500 handlebar bag (6 litres), which is also perfect for going to the shops

The essentials for hybrid bike trekking

FRAME BAGS

To carry valuables and important items such as your phone, keys, repair kit and battery pack, a frame bag might be your best bet.

We have three different models:
- the black 500 double frame bag (1 litre)  
- the black 520 double frame bag (2 litres)
- the 300 frame bag (1.5 litres)

The essentials for hybrid bike trekking

Saddle bags

The black 500 M 0.6-litre saddle bag is designed for carrying all of your emergency repair kit and other lightweight belongings. It's sure to be a faithful travelling companion!




Rear pannier bags

Rear pannier bags can be really useful during bike tours and treks for carrying your picnic or bits of equipment (inflatable mattress, tent, wash kit, etc.). Different bag volumes are available to suit different needs, as well as waterproof and non-waterproof models.

For example:
- the 14-litre IPX6 watertight touring bag
- the 24-litre IPX6 watertight touring bag

Want to go further afield? Have you considered taking a bikepacking approach? Bikepacking is rapidly gaining in popularity as it's the perfect way to travel light on multi-day rides.

The essentials for hybrid bike trekking
The essentials for hybrid bike trekking

The pannier rack

If you want to use pannier bags, you're going to need a pannier rack! There are several things to check when researching your options: what's the maximum load that the rack can take (bags + their contents)? Which size and which fixings are compatible with your bike? How will you be using your pannier rack?

There's also the question of whether you want a front and/or rear pannier rack. Depending on your needs and whether you're riding for business or pleasure, you can install either a single-platform rack or one designed for heavier loads.

Helmet

Helmet

Whatever kind of ride you're going on, wearing a helmet is a must – regardless of your age! Wear a helmet whose size matches your head circumference, that's well fitted and that has all the right straps. This will prevent your head from absorbing the full force of an impact if you happen to come off your bike. Helmets can reduce the risk of head and brain injuries by up to 85%.

Just remember that your helmet should be replaced every 3 to 5 years, depending on how much you use it. And if you do have a fall, replace your helmet straight away! In some countries, bike helmets are compulsory for kids, even if they're in a child seat rather than riding their own bike. If they don't wear one, the cyclist or parent/guardian could be landed with a fine.

The essentials for hybrid bike trekking

First-aid kit

Every time you set off, make sure you have a full first aid kit with you containing all the items you might need for your particular ride. Because let's face it, you won't need the same medical kit on a short ride close to home as you would on a world tour.

The point of the first aid kit is to be able to patch yourself up after a fall or help out another cyclist who's in difficulty.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. A good first-aid kit should be watertight and at the very least contain a pair of gloves, a pair of scissors, some disinfectant, several compresses and dressings, some plasters, a nylon bandage, a survival blanket, and a small bin bag or freezer bag. If you're travelling further afield, add to that some sanitiser gel, saline solution, tweezers, arnica, mosquito repellent and/or bite cream, sun cream to prevent sunburn, painkillers and anti-inflammatories, sickness and diarrhoea tablets, a tick hook, biafine cream, and a whistle to attract attention if you get lost. Finally, check your first-aid kit's contents regularly.

The essentials for hybrid bike trekking

Smartphone holder

There are various different brackets that you can use to mount your phone on your bike so that you can keep an eye on it as you ride (while remaining vigilant, of course!).
Most people choose to fix their phone to the handlebar.
To help you choose the bracket that's best for your type of cycling, take a look at our article on how to choose your smartphone holder.

Lights

When it comes to bike lights, there's no question: both front and back lights are absolutely essential for keeping you visible, especially early in the morning and at nightfall.
In France, the highway code requires cyclists riding at night to have a white or yellow front light, a red rear light, a white front reflector, a red rear reflector, reflectors on the pedals, and side reflectors. Remember too that a reflective jacket will make you more visible. To help you out, our teams have developed several battery- and dynamo-powered LED lights sets.

NB:
    - battery-powered lights can be charged via a USB cable
    - a dynamo is a magnetic generator that turns your pedal power into electricity, which can then be used to operate your bike's lights.

The essentials for hybrid bike trekking

Bottle cage

No matter how long you're heading out for, you should keep drinking throughout your ride. We therefore highly recommend fitting one or more bottle cages to your bike.
They can go on your bike's down tube and/or seat post. The choice is all yours!

Puncture repair kit

To make roadside repairs that much easier, it's worth carrying a puncture repair kit with you.
There are several different types available. They contain everything you'll need (inner tube, self-adhesive patches, tyre levers, tyre sealant, etc.) and can be fixed straight to your bike or packed inside one of your other bags.

Bike lock

Did you know that 400,000 bikes are stolen in France every year? So make sure to lock your bike up whenever you stop off, even if you're just nipping into a shop.
Bike locks come in various shapes and sizes, from cable locks to chain locks, D-locks, folding locks and wheel locks. It's your choice as to the most suitable one, based on whether you're commuting, touring, competing, etc.
To find out more, read our article on picking the right bike lock.

The essentials for hybrid bike trekking
RIVERSIDE 500

Before you set off, it's important to make sure you have the right bike, as this is the main thing that will dictate how comfortable you are on the roads and trails. Once you've found the perfect bike for you, think about the equipment you'll need in order to ride it safely and comfortably. And don't forget to dress appropriately for the season and the weather forecast too (cycling shorts, rain jacket, warm mid layer, etc.).

Enjoy your ride!

The essentials for hybrid bike trekking

CAROLINE SEGONI

"Ever since I first rode a bike, I've been hooked on cycling. Be it solo, with family or with friends, I simply love exploring the forests of Picardy, the mountain bike trails of the Chaîne des Puys and France's many dedicated cycling routes. It's so much fun cruising along the trails and discovering the local architecture, culture, art and cuisine. It's a passion I share through my blog, Graines De Baroudeurs, and in my travelogue, Notre Tour à 7 Roues, which tells the story of the 8-month cycling tour of France I did with my kids.

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