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What should you pack for a cycling holiday? The ultimate list!

If you are planning to go on a bike tour, whether it’s by yourself or with a company, you need to pack accordingly. After all, adding cycling to your holidays requires a few extra gear to add to your swimming shorts! Here are some reccomendations and an ultimate list to pack for your next cycling holidays, whether you go by yourself or in an organized tour!


Recomended cycling atire on the bike:

To ensure your comfort on the bike, it is important to wear the appropriate clothing.

Padded shorts or cycling specific shorts are highly recommended, as they help prevent chafing and soreness after a long day in the saddle. Also encouraged is the use of a cycling jersey or a breathable synthetic shirt - this will help wick moisture away from your skin and prevent you from becoming chilled or overheated. You should avoid cotton fabricswhile exercising – it’s very absorbent and prevents wicking and it insulate poorly when wet.

Gloves provide much-needed padding for your hands and will prevent them from getting sore and tired as the day(s) goes on.  Cycling shoes with cleats and special pedals should only be used if you have been riding with them on a regular basis and are comfortable using them on long cycling days.

Layering your clothes is highly recommended as the best way to stay warm and keep cool, as weather is bound to change on a multi-day bike tour. To keep you protected from the elements and feeling cool on a hot day, remember to pack carry rain gear ( as light as possible) and start with a breathable synthetic shirt to layer under a vest, windbreaker, or fleece jacket – depending on the weather at the destination you’ll be riding in.

Choose a cycling kit with Hi-Visibility colors, as ocasionally you might be riding by areas with higher traffic intensity. If possible, add some reflective piece of equipment, whether in your jacket, bike or helmet – yes, that’s crucial too 🙂

Also, we do reccomend bringing your own saddle for the tour – even if you are renting a bike locally for your cycling holiday. If you are riding for several days in a row, it’s essential to keep you comfortable on a bike you are not accostumed to ride in. Even though it’s not exactly cycling gear, you’ll thank us later 🙂


Off the bike:

Keep it casual and light - this can be defined as anything you might wear at the country club – we recommend this “code” just to make sure you feel comfortable in differerent venues along your holidays. Khaki pants, dress pants, shirts, etc - Keep it casualversatile ( as you might want to go for a walk, hike) and pack as light as you can – it all ads up, especially if you are carrying your own luggage on the bike. This, of course, depends on your destination and the type of hotels, restaurants and experiences you’ll be attending. If you are going bicycle touring by yourself and are going to carry your gear, remember that your clothes and gear generally have to fit in 2x20L panniers. If you are travelling with a company that’ll provide luggage transfers, you can carry more stuff with you, but we do reccomend to limiting it to 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on per person, as even vans are limited, and if you are riding with other guests, it might get packed inside!


The ultimate bike tour packing list:

Overall, our ultimate list would look something like this:


Luggage recommendation

> 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on per person ( if you are going on an organized tour with luggage transfers)


General clothing

> hat

> bathing suit

> sweater/jacket for cool evenings

> Walking shorts

> comfortable walking shoes/sandals > evening wear

> Sunscreen

> Sunglasses


Cycling clothes & gear

> cycling shorts

> cycling jersey or synthetic top

> cycling socks

> cycling shoes and pedals (either clipless with your own pedals or firm-soled shoes suitable for cycling)

> cycling gloves

> cycling glasses

> helmet

> saddle– if you prefer your own – we reccomend so!

> wind jacket ( Hi-visibility)

> fleece jacket or warm vest/jacket > rain jacket and pants ( Hi-visibility)

> full-finger, wind-resistant gloves > shoe covers–toe or full foot ( Hi-visibility)

> arm and leg warmers

> water bottle

> buff

> Chamois cream

If you are going out on your own:

> Small first aid kit (if you are not given one when renting your bike)

> Bikes spares – inner tubes, tire levers, portable pump, puncture repair kit, tool set

> Maps

> GPS tracks, whether for your GPS device or smartphone app

> Bike lights
> Handlebar mount for phone/GPS navigation

> Speed and distance gadget (optional)


Never Forget:

> required medications and their prescriptions

> airline tickets

> your tour itinerary


Travelling Internationaly?

> passport/Visa

> international power adapter > power converter

We hope this list helps you plan better for your next cycling holidays! If there's anything missing, we'd love to have your contribution to the list - mail us at ridewithus @ with your recommendations.


Post written by Pedro Rocha, bicycle guide at Live Love Ride. Visit our dedicated website for Bike Tours in Portugal orBike Tours in Spain to plan your next cycling holidays.

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