I've tried under seat bags, throwing things in my back jersey pockets, and wearing a hip pack, wearing a camelback, and I hate them all for one reason or another. What I want is a high-tech, but light system to carry one superlight tube, 1-2 air cartridges, a minitool, etc.
I see NORBA guys velcroing giant air tanks to their seat posts, I've seen them strap a tube to the stem, you name it.
Run Tubeless. Strap a Co2 to the seatpost. I ride with a camelback for rides and prerides. But for races its the Co2 some tire levers and some Gu. If the race is longer I will carry the camel back 1/2 filled with water.
Depends. If I'm running Stans and for racing only(no flats since 03)...Shorter XC races, I rarely ever carry anything. But, this is also dependent on how far the walk back to the pits is, and the setup I'm racing. ATM, my "full" setup when racing longer deals like a 12-24 hour, big loop XC races, would be a BigAir strapped to the post. Then a lite tube in a jersey pocket(rubberband around it while holding a tire lever too) along with a small multi tool(I use the very small Bare Bones Performance model), and a small tube patch box with a couple patches, 1 ti 6mm x 15mm bolt, 1 Powerlink. Small chainbreaker. All except the tube is carried in a soft sunglasses pouch slide in the same pocket(middle) with the tube. Gu's in another pocket. Waterbottles always unless its a longer race like maybe the Firewater 50, Pisgah Death March, etc. Then I'll use a CB. As hot as they are..
I used to carry tools but I never needed them. But my races are usually 3 or 4 laps of about 10km. The longest you'd have to walk is 5 km but there are usually shortcuts around ll the singletrack that breaks off.
My mechanicals this year so far are bent derailleur (not the hanger or cage, the parolellograms!), loose cassette, chain wedged iin between the spokes and casette (I pulled really hard but didn't want to break my thin spokes, and rolling my tire of the rim while running stans, but that likely happened because I wasn't riding my stans rims (the hub blew).
All my mechanicals are ones that basic tools wouldn't fix. 1 needed a new derailleur, 2 a cassette tool and a wrench and the last wouldn't have happened with the propper equipment.
i have also tried all sorts of options and i find the best of the worst to be the under saddle bag.
a camel back is hot, heavy and pounds the back on rougher courses. ok for epic rides and training, but not racing.
i have a team mate who had a tube that was zip tied under his saddle, it came loose/out on a fast DH and fell into his rear wheel, locking it up and he crashed at 50+ km/h. he was banged up bad (broken helmet etc). so i tend to want to keep stuff in a bag. never mind carrying the tube under your stem - yikes.
for racing in normal 2 hr XC races...
i use a small specialized saddle bag - 1 light weight tube, CO2, adhesive patches, small chain break tool, 2 allen keys and 1 chain pin. gels under the front of my shorts for easy access (on my thighs). also water bottles as needed/lap.
for a shorter week night race series we have, i carry nothing but a water bottle. they are so fast paced, if your have a mech, you are done (40-60 minute races)! the entire loop is only 4 miles, so no biggie on the walk.
Big Air to the seat post and a performance lunar lite tube under the stem and a specialized Miro tool( this is so small i don't even know if they make it any more), if the race is longer and no water support I run the smallest camel bak 50 oz/1.5 liter and has one small packet tube tool & CO2 , ATM this is my set up it ride above your jersey pockets if you need to use them preety slick deal !
If your race bike has a QR for the seatpost, you can stick a rubber plug in the bottom of your post (wine corks work well for many sizes of posts) to hold small items like a few allen keys, skinny wrenches, or a simple inflator and co2 cartridge.
I carry an inflator, a spare tube, a multi tool and a Powerlink in a big mouth water bottle. I dunno how light that is. This works for me during short races in cool weather, like 24 hour races (teams, one lap at a time), when I'm not wearing a Camelbak.
Thanks to everyone so far. I just ordered a Cage Rocket. For regular training rides, I'm going to use the cage rocket, with my usual Lunar Lite tube, multitool, patches, etc. That will eliminate my waist pack I've been clinging to for years...for race day, I'm still not sure as I like to use 2 water bottles.
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