Are you new to mountain biking? After acquiring a bike, the next thing you will want to do is to explore the mountain trails with your new bike. Mountain biking is what it is, you need to be prepared for any eventualities.
Mountain biking is a sporting activity and you can get carried away and find yourself in remote places that have no services. To make it easier to cope on any trail, you need various accessories, in this article, we cover nine essential items you need in order to tackle most if not all mountain biking trails.
Also Read: How To Measure A Mountain Bike Frame
9 Beginners Gear Check-List
When mountain biking, a helmet is very essential because accidents do happen and the helmet will protect your head from major and minor injuries including a possible brain injury. There are different brands of helmets with varied designs and costings.
Important Features in a Helmet
Please don’t just buy any helmet but shop for mountain bike helmets.
A Helmet with Good Ventilation Features
Mountain bike helmets are designed to protect the back of your head. They need to have good ventilation properties. If it is not well ventilated then you won’t be comfortable wearing it because it will cause you to sweat. Therefore buy a brand that has high energy absorption values.
A Well Fitting Helmet
Another consideration is the size of the helmet and its fitting. You need one that will stay secure on your head so that your mind is focused on biking and not on trying to keep your helmet on.
If you are buying from a local store, then get help with getting the right size. If on the other hand, you are buying the helmet online, then you could try using the manufacturer’s online virtual fittings services, if they have one.
Impact Resistant Helmet
Also, when shopping for helmets you may want to buy one that features a MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection). MIPS helmets provide extra protection than regular helmets.
Remember to also choose your favorite color or a color that matches the colors of your mountain bike. Helmets range in prices from $50 up to about $300.
2. Hydration Gear
Biking is a sport and therefore you will get dehydrated, you will get more dehydrated when it is sunny. Because you will often be on trails that are not familiar to you, it is better to be on the safe side and carry enough water because you can underestimate the time you will get back. You need to carry water and other fluids to replenish the electrolytes you are losing.
A water bottle can fit on your mountain bike frame using a water bottle cage. Then you can carry a hydration pack (designed like a backpack) on your back where you can use a hose and water bladder conveniently to drink.
Gloves will give you grip, work as a safety gear and they also protect your hands from the elements. The best one for mountain biking is the full-fingered type. Another important feature of gloves is padding, which helps in preventing hand fatigue and also prevent blisters, scratches, and wounds in case of a fall. Lastly, find breathable gloves for your comfort.
4. Special Mountain Biking Clothing and Shoes
You may spend hours and hours on the biking trail which require you to be comfortable. You need to acquire stiff shoes that can support pedaling. In this regard, you need a pair of cycling shoes. And if you happen to have clipless pedals on your bike then you need to get clipless shoes.
Also, regular pants will inconvenience you when cycling and compromise on your comfort, and you can also develop saddle sores. Therefore, acquire a pair of riding shorts that are tight or padded.
Because of the wind, you need to wear also insulation layers that are breathable and also warm. In addition, because the weather is unpredictable, pack a lightweight rain jacket that can double up as a wind jacket.
5. Mountain Bike Repair Kit
Common bike repair issues when cycling is flat tires and broken chains. Bumps, stream crossings, steep and long trails usually increase the chances of broken chains and flat tires. Always carry a tool kit when cycling. And when on the trail with other bikers, in case they get repair issues on their bikes observe how they fix their bikes to learn how to do it when yours will break down.
Your repair kit needs to have a lightweight chain lube( small pack), mini pump, at least two spare inner tubes, tire levers, patch kits, and a multi-tool kit containing different sizes of Allen wrenches, Philips screwdrivers and flathead screwdrivers.
You can buy a multi-tool with a built-in chain tool. Besides that, you need a chain breaker or master link if you don’t have a chain tool. A master link is for fixing or replacing broken links.
6. Protective Glasses
Protective glasses can protect your eyes from sticks that you can encounter on a forest trail, they also protect your eyes from strong winds.
7. Bike Lights
Even the best plans get disrupted, therefore as much as you may not have planned to get back at night, you can get derailed and have to cycle after the sun sets. Get a good set of bike lights as a precaution measure. You need to see your trail well when it is dark and you also need to be visible while you are on the trail and to pedestrians, vehicles and other cyclists.
Consequently, you need reliable front and rear lights. For front lights, high-output lights (not safety lights) are advisable because they are brighter. In addition, you can carry a reliable headlamp.
8. First Aid Kit
Being on the road is risky. In this regard, you need to have a first aid kit with basic essentials that include band-aids, bandages, pain killers, antiseptic cream, and tweezers.
The following items, though they cannot be termed as gear will also come in handy, namely, energy bars, sunscreen, sunglasses, fluids(with electrolytes) and lip balm.
9. A Riding Buddy
A riding buddy is obviously not gear but will make a difference in your biking experience. You will encourage each other in your mountain biking adventures and undertake challenging trails that you may shy of from doing alone.
They will also serve as accountability partners. What’s more, you will watch yourselves mature from being beginners to being seasoned mountain bikers. Try and get a biking buddy from your local area.