BikingWhat's in Sue Haywood's Pack?

What’s in Sue Haywood’s Pack?

Sue Haywood is an east coast mountain bike icon. Her career was baptized in the mud bogs of Canaan Valley. A World Cup and Olympic-caliber racer traveling the world for many years, she is now a recreational pro racing everything from XC, 100 milers, enduros, downhill, and cyclocross. Her passion is teaching mountain bike skills, especially to women, putting on training camps and skills clinics.

I sat down with Haywood in Davis, W.Va., and asked her to dump out the contents of the bike pack she uses for long rides.

1. Ergon BX2 Mountain Bike Pack
“This German company does human engineering well with a good fit that distributes the backpack’s load for a smooth ride. The load sits off my back nicely and it is size adjustable as well.”

2. Camelbak Bladder
“I use a Camelbak bladder in either a 50 oz. or 70 oz. with a 16 oz. bottle on the bike.”

3. Topeak Mountain Morph Pump
“This is the best pump of the 20 or so that I’ve owned. It pumps up a tire easily and is reliable. It is a little longer than other pumps, which means you can’t fit it in a jersey pocket, but that’s what makes it so good, too.”

4. Kenda 29er Tube
“And if you want to cover all bases, you could carry a 27.5-inch tube that will easily fit a 26-inch and 29er. Pro tip: Keep your good tube in either a sock or a ziplock. If you leave it free inside your pack, it can easily get nicked.”

5. Pedros Tire Lever
“Best tire lever, strong and wide. I wrap mine with a load of electrical tape for other emergencies.”

6. Stan’s NoTubes Sealant
“NoTubes is a sponsor of mine and I always run tubeless wheels. I carry two sample bottles in my pack. If you nick or get a hole and lose a lot of Stan’s sealant, you can put more in. I always try to keep the bead on the tire first and air up, instead of going for the tube right away.”

7. Tubeless Tire Plugs
“Probably the best invention of the last two years for people who run tubeless. They are similar to car plugs. Sometimes if your Stan’s won’t seal a hole or you have a nick at the bead, use a plug to seal it. Plugs are sticky and they coagulate with the Stan’s sealant. I was running three plugs at a time a couple weeks ago with no problems.”

8. CrankBros Multi-Tool
“It has all the allen keys, plus it has T-25 that you’ll need on most bikes nowadays. It also has a chain tool that is easy to use. It’s heavy enough to use as a weapon, too!”

9. Patagonia Torrent Shell Jacket
“I love this jacket because it has pit zips, a hood, and a good fit for cycling. I can roll it up pretty small, too.”

10. Buff
“So lightweight and versatile! Neck gaiter, headband, glasses cleaner, napkin, padding.”


Spare Derailleur Hanger
“This little extra can make all the difference. If (and when) you kiss your derailleur on a rock, replacing the D-hanger with a fresh one will keep you rolling on.”

Zip Ties
“You never know, you might have to ziptie a stick to your broken carbon handlebar!”

Spare Chain Link
“It might be you or a friend that needs this. You might even consider carrying a 9 speed, 10 speed, and 11 speed nowadays.”

“It’s my camera and I take a lot of pictures! For protection, I use a Ziploc baggie.”

First Aid
“I have a kit for when I’m guiding and one if I’m on a joyride. I carry a sticky ace bandage wrap: compression does me good if I get a bruise or I’m bleeding. I carry and use Yunnan Baiyao, the best-known Chinese medicine to stop bleeding.” (

Cycling Cap
“A cap works good for three things…. keeps rain out of your eyes, keeps sun out of your eyes, and covers up helmet hair.”

Places to Go, Things to See: