Be Ready for a Flat! (And Citra-Wipes Review!)

That's right, folks, after a year and a half (roughly) of commuting, I had my first flat. Luckily, I have the tools and materials to fix it quickly!

And that brings me to today's tip: have the following tools with you at all times while riding:
  1. At least 1 spare tube.
  2. Tire levers
  3. Air pump
  4. A multi-tool
  5. Citra-Wipes!
I have a saddle bag that fits under my seat and it holds everything but the pump (which is attached to my frame, so no worries there).

I'd recommend practicing removing the wheel and such a couple times when you're not under the gun so that things go more smoothly when the actual event happens. And practice it on both the front and back wheels! Taking off the back wheel is a little more complicated than doing it on the front wheel, though it's not really that big a deal. If I'd practiced I might have remembered to re-string the chain before latching the wheel back into place and saved a couple more minutes.

Now, for the Citra-Wipes. These are seriously a miracle item. They clean anything with a little bit of elbow grease and some patience - and much more quickly and completely than soap and water. And the best part is that you can clean up IMMEDIATELY before getting back on your bike, so you don't have to get your grips all dirty before getting to your destination and being able to wash your hands.

I highly recommend these little packets - keep a couple in your saddle bag with everything else and have a supply at home to re-stock it after your trip. You'll be glad you did when you get to work and don't have to keep your hands off everything while trying to get to a place to wash your hands!

People, not speed.


  1. A pair of latex (or non-latex, if you must) surgical gloves can also keep your fingers clean when you've got to fiddle with your chain mid-ride: just use 'em and toss 'em. And they're cheap.

  2. Jamie, Where do you get those ?

  3. I'd prefer to use the wipes, personally, from an environmental standpoint. But yeah, if you could find some more ecologically-friendly gloves that would be great, too.

    Scott- I haven't actually seen them anywhere in town yet, but I haven't really been looking yet either. The link I included is the online store, I'd be grateful to anyone else who could chime in on a place to get these in town.

  4. Gloves: you can get them at any drug store or in bulk at Costco (or, I assume, BJ's or Sam's Club).

  5. I keep old socks in my bag for wrenching.


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