If you haven’t got a cycling holiday packing list, packing for a cycling trip can be a nightmare.

If you’re anything like us, you leave it until the last minute, then rush around in a panic trying to remember what to pack for a cycling holiday, often forgetting something fairly fundamental in the process…

We hope this cycling holiday checklist will make your life easier!

We’ve limited it to things we always take with us. So we know will be useful for your average self-supported road cyclist doing day rides from somewhere relatively close to a bike shop, for around a week.

This packing list for your holiday will of course require tailoring to the likely weather you’ll encounter, so remember to check the forecast before you go!

We resisted the temptation to include everything you might ever possibly need. While it’s nice to be comprehensive, if you took all that kit, you’d resemble a mobile bike repair shop. The reality is that, if you’re like us, if you have anything other than a minor mechanical issue then  you’re just going to end up heading to your nearest bike shop for help…

So read on for your cycling holiday essentials to include on your holiday packing checklist!

This article includes details of products and/or services that we have used ourselves or which we would consider using. Some are paid features or include affiliate links where if you click on a link and make a booking or buy something, we may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please read our disclosure policy for further information.

Bike related things to do before you go

  1. Service your bike (or have it serviced) – or book bike hire (our articles on bike hire and e-bike hire might be useful!)
  2. Pre-book a bike space on your flight (if necessary)
  3. Make sure your transfers will have room for a bike box (if necessary)
  4. Check the weather so you can tailor your packing list (we love the WeatherPro app and there are free versions available)
  5. Check your travel insurance is up to date and covers road cycling (our guide to picking cycling travel insurance should help!)
  6. Print this list so you know what to pack for your cycling trip – and of course leave yourself enough time to pack!

This list of 20 things you’ll need to do before travelling, will remind you of the non-bike related things you’ll need to remember.

Cycling holiday packing list

Consider all this when you pack for a bike tour.

Bike gear

If bringing your own bike:

  1. Bike
  2. Bike box or bag (consider hiring a bike box/bag if you don’t own one – more details here and below)
  3. Helmet
  4. Sunglasses
  5. Bike shoes with cleats
  6. Front and rear light with fresh (or spare) batteries
  7. 2 large (750ml) water bottles (plus 2 bottle cages!)
  8. Spare cycling shoe cleats and fixing bolts
  9. Cable ties
  10. Bike lock (optional – but highly recommended)
  11. Saddle bag items:
  • Pump (compressed gas canisters are likely to be confiscated if you’re flying)
  • 3 or 4 inner tubes (and valve extenders if you ride deep section rims)
  • 2 plastic tyre levers (we love these)
  • Multi tool (bike specific – we use this Topeak one)
  • Pedal spanner/allen key for your pedal
  • Any torx keys or bike specific tools you need
  • Chain lube (we always use this)

If hiring a bike:

    1. Before finalising your holiday check list, find out if the place you’re hiring from will supply bottle cages and a saddle bag (i.e. the items listed at 10 above)
    2. Items 2-9 above
    3. Pedals and, if you’re fussy about it, your own saddle
    4. Your bike measurements (to ensure a good fit on your hire bike)

 

Spares and tools (optional)

A lot of equipment now requires spare parts and tools that are specific to a model, year or type.  This can make finding spares in local shops a bit of a hit and miss. If there aren’t many bike shops near where you’re staying, you forgot to service your bike before or you just want to play it safe, consider bringing adding following to your cycling trip packing list as well:

  1. Brake pads (2 spare sets or more)
  2. Chain powerlink (we like this)
  3. Spare shift and brake cables
  4. Chain
  5. Chain splitter
  6. Spare tyre

Clothing

Essentials

  1. 3 bib shorts or padded shorts
  2. 3 short sleeve jerseys
  3. 1 long sleeve jersey
  4. 3 socks
  5. 3 moisture-wicking base layers
  6. Cycling gilet
  7. Arm warmers
  8. Leg warmers
  9. Overshoes
  10. Water/windproof cycling jacket for jersey pocket
  11. Short fingered gloves/mitts
  12. Long fingered gloves
  13. Cap/buff

 

Note: We generally take three (or more) of everything so we have enough to wear, wash and dry. This assumes you’ll have access to clothes washing facilities while you’re away. If not, you’ll need to think about hand washing or launderettes – or you’ll add more clothing to your holiday essentials list!

Extra clothing for cycling in mountains/if there’s any chance of mixed weather

  1. Tights
  2. Leg warmers (a second pair)
  3. Overshoes (a second pair)
  4. Long-sleeved jersey(s) (additional ones)
  5. Wind and rain proof jacket
  6. Long sleeved base layer(s)
  7. Short sleeved base layer(s)
  8. Warm mid-layer(s)
  9. Cycling glasses (i.e. clear lenses)
stolen goat cycling climbers jersey from behindStolen Goat kit is beautifully made, we recommend it to all our friends.
Two black Gul neoprene glovesSuffer from cold hands? Don’t forget your gloves!
Black and white funky stolen goat cycling socks for summerWe love these socks! 

Casual wear

Whatever off-bike clothes you want! We would suggest including these on any bike trip packing list:

    1. Evening / Training / Casual Shoes
    2. Flip Flops
    3. Jacket
    4. Recovery tights
    5. Beanie or hat
    6. Swim kit
    7. Towel (depends on whether your accommodation supplies this)
Ultimate Packing List
Ultimate Packing List
free!

Get a PDF of this Ultimate Packing List

Sign up to our email newsletter and, as a free bonus, we'll email you a pdf of this Ultimate Packing List

We will use this to send you the pdf, updates and newsletters. You can unsubscribe at any time. Our privacy policy explains more.

Electronics

  1. Some of these may not be necessary for you, but most items probably should be included on a packing list for any holiday:
  2. Phone and charger
  3. Camera and charger
  4. Bike camera and charger
  5. Bike computer and charger plus USB cable
  6. Laptop or tablet and charger
  7. Heart rate monitor
  8. Plug socket adaptors
  9. Small flashlight or headtorch

Personal items

  1. Stash of your favourite energy bars (we like these – 20% off with code EPIC-20, more details at the end of this article)
  2. Energy gels or equivalent (optional – we like these – 20% off with code EPIC-20)
  3. Energy drink powder (we like this – 20% off with code EPIC-20)
  4. Recovery drink powder (we like this – 20% off with code EPIC-20)
  5. Hydration tablets
  6. Suncream (we like this)
  7. First aid kit (painkillers, disinfectant, insect repellent, plasters or band aids, antihistamine cream)
  8. Personal medication (particularly prescription items)
  9. Wash kit (tooth brush, tooth paste, body wash, shampoo and conditioner)
  10. Earplugs (better safe than sorry if you suffer night-time noise!)
  11. Waterproof phone pouch for jersey pocket (optional)
  12. Plastic bags for storing things
  13. Compression bags (useful for getting more into your bag and to separate clean and dirty clothes) (we like these)
  14. Holiday reading (books or magazines)
  15. Toilet paper (depends on accommodation) and tissues
  16. Hand sanitiser gel (for these post-Covid times!)

Documents

  1. Maps
  2. Cash
  3. Credit card
  4. ATM/debit card. Tell your bank before you leave where you’re planning to go. If your card is used in certain countries, the issuer could cancel it because they might assume it’s fraud.
  5. Passport or European ID card as required (with picture)
  6. Visa
  7. Proof of travel and (if relevant) health insurance
  8. UK Global Health Insurance Card (UK GHIC) or UK European Health Insurance Card (UK EHIC)
  9. Car hire paperwork – or if you’re taking your own car, car insurance and breakdown insurance paperwork
  10. Details of where you’re staying
  11. Flight details and boarding card
  12. Ball-point pen

A final thought…

Things for your jersey pocket: what to take on a road bike ride

If you’re taking your bike abroad, you’ll probably already know this. But it’s worth remembering that you’ll need to be able to comfortably carry the following items with you when you head out for the day:

  1. Water Bottles (750ml x 2)
  2. Bars/gels (number depends on length of ride and your plans for refuelling – as above, we like these and code EPIC-20 gets you 20% off)
  3. Jacket or cycling gilet
  4. Leg and/or arm warmers
  5. Bike specific multi tool
  6. 2 inner tubes
  7. Pump/gas canisters
  8. Tyre levers
  9. Suncream and basic first aid kit (we don’t always take this, but we really should…)
  10. Phone, debit/credit card, cash, ID (ideally in a waterproof pouch)
  11. Anything else when working out what to take on a cycling holiday? You’ll also want to remember your sunglasses and, if you have them, your heart rate monitor, bike computer and bike camera.

Did we miss anything?!

Surely not, it’s a pretty comprehensive cycling equipment list?! We hope it does help to make packing less stressful for you.

While you’re here – don’t miss our cycle gear reviews which include candid opinions on the pros and cons of the kit we use ourselves. Also our article on cycling nutrition for long rides should be useful and has more information on the cycling food we like for the bike – as mentioned above.

And if you’re planning a trip away, don’t miss our trip planning 101 and our guides to some of the world’s best cycling destinations – they include super helpful route information and practical stuff like where to stay and bike hire.

Ultimate Packing List
Ultimate Packing List
free!

Get a PDF of this Ultimate Packing List

Sign up to our email newsletter and, as a free bonus, we'll email you a pdf of this Ultimate Packing List

We will use this to send you the pdf, updates and newsletters. You can unsubscribe at any time. Our privacy policy explains more.

 

Please support Epic Road Rides

A huge amount of time and effort goes into the article you’ve just read, all with the aim of helping you!

If you found what you’ve read useful, I’d really appreciate it if you dropped something in the tip jar here.

It’s a way you can say thank you and help us carry on creating top quality content with no annoying ads and no pay wall.

Leave us a tip here!

Got a question for Clare?

Fill out this form and we will send it to Clare. We aim to get you an answer within 24 hours wherever possible!

We will use this info to send the enquiry to Clare and/or their team. Our privacy policy explains more and here’s a reminder of our disclosure policy and terms and conditions.







Clare Dewey

Clare Dewey is a cyclist with a passion for travel. She set up epicroadrides.com in 2018 to help make it easy for cyclists to explore the world by bike. Today her mission is still inspiring cyclists to discover new places on two wheels – and doing what she can to make sure they have the best possible time while they’re there. Clare has visited 50+ destinations around the world, many of them by bike.

The contents of this website are provided for general information purposes only. It is not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on it. You should carry out your own due diligence and take professional advice. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our website is accurate, complete or up to date. If you use any information or content on this website, download from, or otherwise obtain content or services through our website, it is entirely at your own discretion and risk. Epic Road Rides Ltd disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the information and content on this website. Find out more here.