Mountain biking definitely requires a steep initial investment – after all, some high-end bikes can cost more than a nice car, but once you’re dialed in, riding is free! That being said, there are a couple of mountain bike accessories to go along with your bike that you won’t want to go without. These items will let you live up to your full shredding potential, safely and comfortably.
Mountain biking is awesome because you can pedal deep into the wilderness because you can cover so much more ground than hiking. This also means that you can get stuck many miles from the trailhead if you’re not properly prepared. A small repair kit, and the knowledge to use it, is something that should come with you on every ride. In your kit, you should have the tools to fix a flat tire – tire levers, a spare tube, and a pump or CO2 inflator, a multi-tool, some zip ties, and maybe spare parts like a derailleur hanger if you’re really getting far out.
Mountain biking can be dangerous, so you need to protect yourself. While any certified bike helmet will help you out if you crash, we recommend a mountain bike specific helmet. These brain buckets have greater coverage around the back of the head and ears, offering greater protection. Keep an eye out for advanced features like MIPS, too. This helps to protect from different kinds of forces that you might experience in a mountain bike crash.
While your trainers or running shoes might feel okay, there is no substitute for dedicated mountain bike shoes – even if you’re riding flat pedals. These shoes offer a stiffer sole to transfer more of your power to the pedals, but more importantly, they give you better grip on the pedals. Everyone has slipped a pedal and nailed their shin – it’s no fun. Five Ten shoes have become somewhat of a standard for mountain bikers, check them out for a good starting point.
Riding long miles on a bike can be a pain in the butt – literally. That’s why a proper pair of bike shorts is essential for any rider’s kit. You can wear any athletic shirt while riding, but the durable and pedal friendly design of mountain bike shorts paired with a padded chamois liner will help you to focus on the fun part – riding, not how uncomfortable you are in the saddle.
Especially for beginner mountain bikers, and those who don’t ride as often, your hands are often the first body part to get fatigued, especially if you’re doing any technical descending. Gloves help give you a slip-free connection to your handlebars, and will help reduce fatigue and tiredness over the long haul. Mtb gloves are usually light, but still protective in case you fall.
So you have your gloves, your repair kit, and of course your all-important snacks and water, now you need a way to carry it all. Backpacks are tried and true, with plenty of room to carry all of your gear plus an extra layer or jacket. More recently, mountain bikers have been donning their rumpshakers, that’s right – the fanny pack is back. These hip bags let you take that sweaty monkey off your back and lower the weight to a more comfortable and less restrictive position.
Now that you have these basic accessories it’s time to get out there and ride! Happy trails.
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