Mountain Bike Tips: Tools and Gear you Need for the Trail


The first few times I went mountain biking, I could have used some basic mountain bike tips on what I needed to take with me to be prepared. The following mountain bike tips have made my mountain bike rides much more enjoyable and have also come in handy when I have had trail mishaps or emergencies.


Hydration
Bicycle Tools
Cash and ID
Cycling Food
First Aid Kit
Head and Eye Protection
Warm Clothing
Sunscreen


Hydration

bike-hydration-backpack



It is important to stay hydrated when mountain biking. I carry a hydration backpack, which has a bladder with a tube connected to it. This works better for me than carrying a water bottle because it is easier to get to. I just pop the tube in my mouth when I want water rather than having to reach for a water bottle, drink while riding with one hand, and put the water bottle back.

A hydration backpack is also nice because I can carry all my essential gear in it. You can also get a bicycle seat bag to carry necessary gear and take some weight off your back.

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Bicycle Tools

I always bring some basic bicycle tools along for emergencies. Before knowing what tools were necessary to bring on the trail, I had to figure out how to use the tools and what their purpose was.

I have a multi-tool that has various sizes of allen wrenches and screwdrivers (both types). This really cuts down on the weight and inconvenience of bringing along a bunch of separate tools. Open ended wrenches (8mm and 10mm), a spoke wrench, a chain tool, and shock pump are good bicycle tools to have along too.

I always carry a spare tube, a tube repair kit, and tire levers. I have a tire pump that attaches to my bike frame and also carry a CO2 cartridge inflator. This has been a mountain bike tip that I always remember because the one time I don't have one of these items with me will be the time I need it...guaranteed!

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Cash and ID

It's a good idea to bring an ID and a little cash. You never know when you may need it. Also, did you know that you can use a dollar bill to temporarily patch a sidewall cut in your tire?

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Cycling Food

Mountain biking burns a lot of calories. I always try to eat a good meal before riding and wait an hour or two after eating before hitting the trail. It is also important to bring some food along when riding. I always carry energy bars, gel shots, fruit (dried or fresh) and other lightweight snacks.

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First Aid Kit

I always bring along a first aid kit with basic essentials like bandages, medicine packets (such as ibuprofen, antibiotic ointment, and corticosteroid cream), and antibacterial wipes. I'm tough and don't ever need that stuff ;), but you never know if a buddy will need it on the trail.

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Head and Eye Protection

bicycle-helmet-sunglasses




I always wear a helmet, even if I am going on a short, easy ride. Cycling glasses are important because they protect eyes from flying trail debris, bugs, and the sun. I have a pair of sunglasses with interchangeable lenses for different levels of sunlight. That way, I can pop in the clear lenses when it is really overcast or getting dark and still protect my eyes.

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Warm Clothing

A very important mountain bike tip that I have learned is to be prepared for changes in weather, especially in areas of high altitude. I have often run into cold or rainy conditions after beginning a ride in sunny hot weather, so now I always bring lightweight rain gear and extra layers of clothing. I like using cycling leg warmers and arm warmers because they are lightweight and easy to keep stashed in a pocket of my hydration backpack.

I keep an extra pair of cycling socks in my hydration backpack in case my feet get wet and also an extra pair of full-finger mountain bike gloves. It's a good idea to bring along a cycling cap since our head loses heat quicker than any part of our body in cold weather.

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Sunscreen

I fry in the sun, so sunscreen is not something I want to forget. I keep an big tube of sunscreen in my car and also a small one in my hydration backpack. Without sunscreen, I have gotten some nasty sunburns, even on overcast days. One area that I used to always forget to put sunscreen on was the back of my calves.

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