Packing for races

I’m putting together my packing list for race weekends this year (I’m in collegiate, so we have two races a weekend). Anyone have a list they’d like to share? Here’s mine so far:

Bike Stuff
Bike computer

Recovery Drink
Instant Oatmeal
Instant Coffee
Any off-the-bike snacks, etc

Torque wrench
Floor pump
Pressure gauge
Extra tire
Extra chain
Electrical tape
Nitrile Gloves
Allen Keys
Disc truing
Saddlebag (has multitool, tubes, etc)
Disc brake wedges

Bike kit
Off the bike clothing

Lens cleaner
Baby wipes
Homework, books
Aux cable
Exercise band
Travel detergent and clothesline, or clothing hangers

Did I miss anything? The not-so-obvious thing I included on my list is baby wipes, since we sit around a lot after races waiting for our teammates to finish.


You may have it covered under “bike kit”, but don’t forget arm warmers, leg / knee warmers, skull cap, toe warmers / booties, long finger gloves, jacket, etc.


I condensed those for the forum post, but I hadn’t had long finger gloves on my list. Thanks!

I take a little kit to clean and patch road rash :scream:

What else? Hair product etc for perfect podium shots?


I’d add: take spare batteries with you (e. g. CR2032s if your power meter or other sensors need them). My 4iiii power meter “surprised me” at my first race (ever) last year, when it dropped from 72 % to 0 % over night. Fortunately, a team mate had a spare with him.

I also always take a big Anker battery pack with me, which allows me to charge two devices at once, be it a cycling computer or a team mate’s cell phone.

If you have Shimano Di2, make sure you have your (proprietary) charging cable with you.


Maybe even two pairs, in case one breaks.

Depending on the weather where you are, I’d take a warm coat for after the race - easy to get cold when you’re tired.

I’d take a tube or two, even if you’re tubeless. And if you’re tubeless, take tyre plugs. If you have space for spares, gear/brake cables are easy to carry, and maybe a spoke? Depends how easy it is for you to fix your bike, how easy it is to get to a shop, and if you’d want to save at least your second race, if you have a mechanical in the first.

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Yep - I’ve been to a couple of UK time trials last year when people clearly needed a sign saying “Shoes, yes shoes…have you got them? are you sure?” attached to their kit bag :grin:

In my biking bag, I always store my arm and leg warmers, a warm top, and spare socks.

Put a $20 bill in your bag. Leave it there so it is always there in case you have a Oh Crud moment.


If you’re sitting around a lot, I vote for a camp chair and/or picnic blanket.


first aid kit

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first aid kit

great addition!

Great idea. I remember a lot of painful sitting hours last year trying to find a comfortable place on a rock to wait.

I’ll offer a minimalist approach and add some things I typically take:

  • If you keep up on maintenance you really could leave the grease at home.
  • Floor pump should have tire pressure gauge on it.
  • Having an extra chain, you’ll need a chain tool.
  • Ditch the Allen Keys and use the torque wrench bits. Or take only the three you’ll need.
  • Tire levers can spread pistons.
  • Consider when you’d actually need a screwdriver.
  • Consider an RTIC insulated gallon water jug. Having cold water at your leisure is AMAZING during hectic race days.
  • Baby wipes are amazing and so is an old tee shirt or microfiber towel. If your bike gets soaked during the drive, have some lube and a towel handy to re-lube your chain.
  • Disc truing should really only be needed after a crash so you probably won’t need to keep riding. Have some Tegaderm on board. Rolls are sold on Amazon.
  • Extra socks. Wet socks suck to drive in after the race.
  • Easy to slip on shoes, or slip on sandals for walking around in kit
  • Sunscreen for sure
  • Good, quality pins! You can never have enough. That or 3M spray glue.
  • Trash bag for wet clothes
  • Extra bottle because someone always forgets a damn bottle.
  • Zip ties

That’s about all I can think of right now.

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  • Race licence (I leave mine in my bag)
  • ID
    entry money if going day of
  • A spare derailleur hanger can be a life saver.
  • Do you have spare wheels? If so add to list
  • I’d add a trainer just so you think about it. Some races have no good warm up options.
  • I bring some basic first aid stuff (that could be a community team thing too). Somewhere between going to the hospital and just walking it off, its nice to be able to keep the blood off the car seats.

This is more how to pack vs what to pack - Get some packing cubes and/or zip locks and sub-organize your stuff so you don’t have to paw through all your stuff to find a specific thing or two. e.g. food bag, electronics bag, tool bag, standard kit (jersey, bibs, socks) bag, cold/rain stuff, etc.


Most important! a collection of high quality safety pins - just save the good ones from past races in a zip lock or Altoids tin and leave in your race bag. Saves walks of shame back to registration and its also a great way to make friends.


This is a fantastic list, thank you.

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I haven’t merged every suggestion above, but I have made a first draft of a Google Sheet complete with check boxes, with at least most of a planning and packing list.

Follow the instructions at the top right to make your own copy for use and any editing you’s like.

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