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So you’ve bought a new mountain bike and you’re ready to shred. That’s awesome! But before you hop on your bike and head out, you should prepare yourself (a little at least). You’ll be faced with Mother Nature and the worst she’ll have to throw at you.. probably at the worst possible time. This can be the difference between a comfortable and enjoyable ride (in spite of any ‘circumstances’), or in some cases far more serious. The knowledge that you’ve got everything you need inspires confidence to explore new places and push harder lines. With that said, here are the most essential items to take with you to the trails.
As all mountain bikers will know, riding (especially in summer) will be synonymous with sweating buckets, things can get a little intense at times but thanks to this backpack, you can push yourself to the limits without having to worry about it. If you’re looking to go on a quick ride after a long day, the Osprey Viper 3 Hydration Pack will not only carry your water and protect your back (to some degree at least), but is also big enough to fit all the tools you might need without going overboard.
It offers the suspension that is designed to help you be fast and light as you roll through the trails. Furthermore, its weight is spread across a ventilated mesh back panel, with a foam frame sheet, ensuring you have comfort and stability. It also has purpose built mtb features like the innovative LidLock helmet attachment system and the LT 2.5-litre reservoir, among others. It’s the best pack we’ve found for the money and our confident choice that will last you for years.
You will need a pump at some point for certain, whether you’re tubed or tubless or have ‘puncture proof’ tyres (we’ve heard that one before), there will come a time when you’re in desperate need of one. Probably at your furthest possible point from home – just as it’s started raining. Our first choice would have to be the Topeak Mountain Morph Pump. It’s large volume and reliable valves make it like having a small, unconventional track pump in your bag. The high-volume barrel will fill your fat tires incredibly fast while inflation is a snap, thanks to the fold-out foot pad and the flexible hose. This also can make all the difference when trying to snap tubeless tyres back onto the rim with the sudden increase of pressure required. For such an essential piece of kit that you probably won’t ever be replacing (unless you leave it somewhere) – getting the Topeak or an equivalent should be a primary consideration.
For lifelong workshop tools, Park Tool is the standard choice for the vast majority of bike shops and serious riders. This company sets the industry standard and the PFP8 Floor Pump definitely maintains it. You can smoothly fit Dunlop, Presta and Schrader valves, without even thinking about switching any internal parts. A simple composite head makes sure of that. Also, with an incredibly stable steel base and huge foot pads, you can pump your tires in absolute comfort.
Additional Items to Bring Along
Other bits we’d recommend
Inner tubes / tubeless fluid (£2 is a small price for not having to walk home)
Allen keys (for when your bars get bent at the wrong angle after a crash)
Tyre Levers (to take the tyres off when you need to stick a new inner in there)
Pedro’s Bench in a Box tools – Pedro’s worked a miracle and stuffed every tool of a home workshop into a single box. You have a hangable T-handled set of hex keys with more goodies than you could think of. This includes a T25 Torx key along with long 6,8 and 10mm ones, assorted Y tools and so much more. Keeping this small box in the car (with a few bits from it in your bag) would be optimal.
(Ideally Fox) Gloves – Almost as important as a helmet, in any crash your hands will usually be the first point of contact with the ground and often the worst affected in a crash. Gloves such as those made by fox also include ‘sticky’ grips that will give you a better grip on your brake levers and interwoven metallic fibres in the fingers to allow you to use your phone with them on.
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Essential Gear to Bring with you on every Mountain Bike Ride
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Thoughts From Our Contributers
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The most important things to take mountain biking with me are:
Water – depending on the length of the ride I will take water bottles (preferred) or on longer rides I wear my camel back.
Tool kit – I had a really good idea to put my tools in an old water bottle and carry it in the 2nd water bottle cage! I figured that someone else had that idea, and a product to go with it, so I searched amazon and sure enough, here is the little gem I bought! Keeps my tools off my back.
Food – I keep it simple and throw beef jerky and almonds in my riding shorts pocket.
Spare tube and air – It only takes one ride getting a flat to prompt you to take these two items! both are in my tool bottle because I carry C02 cartridges for inflating the spare tube.
Comfortable gear – everyone is different, so find the gear that you love. My favorite shorts to date are Troy Lee Designs. I wear a cross country jersey because I like the pockets in the back for misc things. Full finger gloves are essential!
Contributor: Nick Glassett
Organization: Origin Leadership Group
Less is more when riding. The more you ride the less you will take with
What I Take With Me On My Rides
1. A backpack with a hydration system and lots of pockets. For long rides
you need a good backpack that allows you bring all the goodies that make
the ride Fun and safe. My fave is POC alone vpd air. It has the extra
benefit of having a built in back protector.
2. You never know when you you’ll get a flat, specially if you are riding
enduro. So never leave home without a Spare tube, a pump or air cartridge
(I carry both) and tire levers.
3. A multitool is also a must. From a loose seat lost to fixing twisted
handle bars after a fall, a good multitool can save your ride. I’ve had
many, but my favorite is the Silka. It’s the Swiss Army knife of tools.
4. Once you have the mechanical covered you need to have snacks. Having
snacks regularly will replenish your energy and will keep you from bunking.
This is a personal choice: gels, chews, bars, granola, they all work. I
personally prefer chews because they taste good and get digested quickly.
Clif shot blocks are my fave.
5. Depending on where you are riding and the time of year, a spare layer
can be clutch. Weather can change fast in the trail, the right layer can
make riding more comfortable. POC resistance enduro is comfy and has great
6. The right sunglasses are key in the trail. They not only help with the
sun, but also protect you eyes from branches and bugs. I found the Oakley
Half jackets with Prizm lenses work best. You can see the trail well and
they dong fog.
Contributor: Jacob Perez
Organization: Peirmont Bike