Mountain biking is an adventurous way to explore the great outdoors and get some exercise at the same time. In order to have a successful riding experience, it is important to have the proper equipment. Although beginners do not have to spend a lot, it is important not to skip any of the essentials that can keep you safe and moving forward. More experienced cyclists will appreciate the custom product options available today.
The Bike – Mountain Biking Essential
Do not head off road with a city touring bike. Choose one instead with rugged tires, a strong frame, disc brakes, and a suspension system specifically set up for mountain biking. Of course, it is equally important to get one that fits your body size and shape. Comfort matters when it comes to hitting the trail for your next adventure. Remember to check over everything carefully and replace worn parts before every ride.
A Helmet With a Visor
The most important piece of safety gear for mountain biking is the helmet. Never go on a ride anywhere without one. The three varieties commonly used are cross-country (XC) helmets that offer lightweight protection, trail helmets with more coverage and a visor to block out the flickering light filtering through the trees overhead, and a full-face variety that is recommended for extreme trails and downhill racing.
Mountain Biking Shoes, Shorts, and Gloves
If you only had out on the trails occasionally for a bit of exercise and excitement, you probably do not need to invest much in specialty clothing. However, you will feel much more comfortable and stay safer if you opt for a few dedicated pieces. Start with mountain bike shoes with cleats on the bottom that works specifically with the type of pedals your bike has. Avoid shoes that clip to them unless they have a very quick and easy release method. You are more likely to take a tumble or bounce off your bike on a rough trail, and you do not want to hurt your ankles or feet.
Biking shorts with a padded seat can help make the ride smoother. Some have a looser outer layer, but others act more like an undergarment designed to prevent chafing. You can wear these under a pair of ordinary shorts or pants for added protection. It is also a good idea to wear riding gloves to maintain maximum grip on the handlebars and prevent scrapes in case of a fall.
Tire and Bicycle Repair Kit
The contents of a bicycle repair kit you should bring on your next mountain biking trip depend largely on the type of bike you have. The basics include a multitool specifically created for bicycles, a patch kit, small handheld air pump, and an extra tube in case of a tire puncture or leak. Of course, if you use tubeless tires, you need a different type of repair kit that includes plugs and the necessary tool to create a proper space for them. Other options include chain oil or dry lube, and even a spare chain or quick link that can replace a broken one with ease.
While these mountain biking essentials can help you get back to your vehicle or civilization safely, they are not enough for full repairs so you can continue your adventure. If something does break on the bicycle, sometimes the best things to have a long include a friend to help you walk it out or some cash to reward a friendly passerby.
Biking Hydration Pack
Proper hydration is everything when it comes to any form of exercise. The next time you hit the trails with your mountain bike, opt for a biking hydration pack that makes carrying water simple. Stop fumbling with awkward bottles or losing them if your holder breaks. A lightweight and comfortable backpack can carry more liquid with evenly distributed weight. Best of all, you can drink on the go without losing control of your bike or taking your eyes off the trail. The best packs even have room for the other important items on this list.
Warm and Waterproof Layers
What may start out as a pleasantly warm afternoon can switch in a moment to rain showers or a chilly evening if you are delayed on the trail. It does not add much weight to your pack to bring an extra layer or two of clothing. This can be as simple as a rollup windbreaker or waterproof jacket you can bring out just in case. Preparing for the worst is the way you prevent discomfort and potential danger when you are out in the wilderness far away from your vehicle or town.
Sunscreen and a First Aid Kit
Apply sunscreen before you leave the house but bring along more to reapply during the ride if it will last longer than an hour or two. Even if much of the trail is under tree cover, some sunlight will still come through and can damage your skin. Also bring along a well-stocked first-aid kit to deal with any scrapes, cuts, or other injuries. Remember bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and tape. Soothing eyedrops are also a great idea even if you opt to wear sunglasses or other protective eye gear while mountain biking.
Charged Phone With GPS and Routing App
Everyone carries their smart phone with them everywhere these days, and you should not leave yours behind in the car when you hit the trail. Functioning GPS is an essential piece of mountain biking equipment these days. It can help you plan a great route to enjoy and keep you safe in case anything goes wrong. There are a variety of ride routing apps available today that help you track your path and how far you have gone for fitness or adventure reasons.
No matter where you go on your next mountain bike ride, do not forget to bring along your sense of fun and adventure. Together with the essential biking equipment listed here, it will help you enjoy every minute of your time off the beaten path.