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In partnership with MyMedic
Cycling injuries are an unfortunate fact of life on two wheels. Whether it be falling off a bike and getting cuts, scrapes or a sprained ankle, or even chafed skin, cracked lips or sunburnt arms, there are plenty of common bicycle injuries. In fact, the only real *best* way to avoid injury while biking is to…not go cycling at all. And, that’s not really a great option, is it?
The best to deal with the injuries that will inevitably happen, and avoid becoming another ‘Cyclist Accident’ headline, is to always be prepared when you go out for a bike ride.
Funny thing is that I never really thought about taking a bike first aid kit out with me on a cycle. Snacks? Of course. Spare inner tube? Yup. Cell phone to log my route on Strava? Naturally.
But any sort of bike emergency kit was generally limited to a couple band aids stuffed into a pocket. All that changed when we went out for a family cycling trip one day. Not far into the ride, my wife and daughter took a tumble on a steep downhill. Soft skin and rough pavement surfaces are never a great combo, and there was plenty of blood and a few tears. As I cut the foot off a spare sock, in an effort to fashion a tubular knee bandage, I was left thinking that maybe I should have packed a more robust medical kit in my backpack that day.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, socks do not stretch enough to fit over knees.
MyMedic’s MedPack range includes handy pocket-sized packs covering a range of ailments including upset stomachs, headaches, blisters and cuts. Their bike-specific Cycle Medic pack caught my eye and I was keen to try it out and see how it performed.
The quick answer is that it’s a great first aid kit whether you’re on roads, MTB trip or quick grocery store expedition. Ultralight and yet packed with all the emergency essentials you’ll need.
Let’s dive in and take a look at the details.
What do MyMedic say
“your all-in-one First Aid solution”
“everything you need to remedy the most common cycling injuries”
“created to make First Aid simple for you”
What do I like
There’s a tricky balance with a portable first aid kit build. On the one hand, you need it to contain all the med kit supplies that are necessary for treating the most common injuries of a particular sport or activity. At the same time, however, you need it to be light enough and small enough that it will actually be taken out by people for that activity.
My view is that MyMedic have got that balance right with the Cycle Medic pack for day trips on the bike. For longer trips – bicycle touring or out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere bikepacking expeditions – then I’d recommend upgrading to one of their larger first aid kits, The Solo (Advanced version), which I’ve also been testing out.
There’s plenty to love about the Cycle Medic pack. The kit weighs in at only 1.3 oz or 37g. That’s light by anyone’s standards (a medium-sized apple by comparison weighs around 5.6 oz or 160g). In terms of dimensions, the kit packs into a space of around 3.5”x2.5”x1.75” (9x5x4.5cm). So, there’s plenty of room for one in your jersey or jacket pocket, no matter how many apples (or possibly candy bars) you’ve already got stuffed in there.
The MedPack bag itself is also worthy of a mention. When you receive it, it’s sealed shut to stop dirt or water getting in and ruining your medical supplies. Of course, the first time you use something from the kit, you’ll have to break that seal to get in. Thankfully My Medic have added a handy ziplock seal to the bag so that you can then re-seal it and keep the rest of your kit clean, dry and ready for action. It also allows easy restocking of first aid kits when you get back home.
Open up the bag and we find a lot, like an awful lot, of medical supplies. So many, in fact, that it’s virtually impossible to fit everything back inside the bag – as I know having taken everything out for photography!
The kit contains the following (see full details on each item here):
1x Gauze 2” (5cm)
1x Liquid skin
1x Tubular gauze (medium)
1x Tubular gauze (large)
1x Electrolyte tab
1x Sting & Bite relief
2x Fabric bandages 2”x4” (5x10cm)
1x Fabric bandage 1”x3” (2.5×7.5cm)
4x Ibuprofen 200mg
1x Chamois butter
1x Triple antibiotic
3x Steri strips
1x Lip balm
1x Antibacterial wipe
2x Superskin strips
Look through that list of emergency supplies and think about the most common cycling injuries. You’ll see that those two lists neatly dovetail together. In terms of my own cycling experiences, typical injuries include cuts and scrapes from falling off a bike – a range of bandages, plus antibacterial wipes and ibuprofen are useful allies here. There’s also a number of items that I would never consider putting in a first aid kit and yet are incredibly useful for bike rides. Sting & bite relief towelette – I’m a magnet for insects of all types. Sunscreen for the back of my neck on a hot summer’s day and lip balm for chapped skin on a cold wintery bike ride. Oh, and Chamois butt’r? Yeah, I always forget the lube until I’m 30 miles from home with inner thighs that are glowing a brighter and brighter red with every revolution of the pedals.
Whilst you could make your own first aid kit for cycling trips, there doesn’t seem to be much need when the Cycle Medic pack is available. And, actually, it’s likely to be much more cost-effective to get a MyMedic kit as you won’t need to buy a big box of each individual item and take a couple out to build your own kit.
What do I dislike
The Cycle Medic MedPack is fantastic and there’s really not much in the way of negatives to mention.
If I had to nitpick I’d say that a few extra small bandages would come in handy – I find that these are the items that I replace the most. Maybe some blister treatment would be useful too, as I seem to have the cycling shoes from hell. Though that might just be me.
A slightly more generous-sized bag would be handy because – as I mentioned – it’s hard to get everything back in the bag once you’ve taken it out. Though maybe I should just leave everything in till I actually need it.
If I were choosing a bicycle first aid kit for day trips, that comes in an easy-to-stow ultralight package and has all the essentials medical items I need for the most common minor cycling injuries, then MyMedic’s Cycle Medic MedPack is a hard one to beat.
Who is it for
The Cycle Medic MedPack is a great choice for short trips to the beach or grocery store, or longer day trips. Ideal to carry as an emergency kit for mountain biking, very useful for road bikers dealing with cuts and scrapes from coming into too-close contact with the asphalt. Going for an overnight trip and I’d suggest a larger pack, such as the Solo kit mentioned, but for shorter duration rides, then a compact, light and fully specced bicycle first air kit is almost as essential as the bike itself. Possibly more so.
Remember also that it’s not just injuries to yourself or a member of your own group that this kit can help with. It’s not uncommon to meet other injured cyclists or hikers on your travels. Maybe they’ve got their own bike first aid kit with them. But if not, armed with your My Medic MedPack you’ll be able to provide assistance.
It’s funny, I keep looking back over the list of contents of this cycling first aid kit, then looking at the ziplock bag in my hand, and trying to work out how the team at MyMedic have fitted so much good stuff into such a small space. Every item has its place in the kit. Some, like the bandages are more frequently needed, others, like the ibuprofen maybe less so. But, at some point, you’ll likely use everything in the pack.
And, when you’re using one of those tubular bandages on a scraped knee, just be grateful that you’re not having to cut up one of your best cycling socks instead.