Get the Most Out of Your Ride: Essential Mountain Bike Accessories
Mountain biking is a thrilling and adventurous activity that takes you off-road to explore nature and challenge your physical abilities. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, having the right accessories can enhance your performance, comfort, and safety. In this article, we’ll discuss the essential mountain bike accessories that you should consider investing in to get the most out of your ride.
A helmet is the most important accessory for any mountain biker, as it protects your head from impact injuries in case of a crash. A good helmet should fit snugly, cover your forehead, temples, and the back of your head, and have a sturdy construction.
Look for helmets that meet safety standards such as CPSC, ASTM, or Snell, and have features like ventilation, adjustable visor, and removable padding. For more information about helmets, read our posts about helmets tips and list of best mountain bike helmets.
Mountain biking can be rough on your hands, as you grip the handlebars, brake levers, and shifters for long periods. Gloves provide extra grip, cushioning, and protection to your palms and fingers, and prevent blisters, calluses, and cuts.
Choose gloves that fit your hand size and riding style, and have features like breathable fabric, silicone fingertips, and touch-screen compatibility. If you would like know about our gloves suggestions for the colder months of the year, check out this post about mountain bike gloves.
Proper footwear is essential for efficient pedaling, comfortable walking, and secure footing on technical terrain.
Mountain biking exposes you to various hazards such as sun glare, dust, mud, rocks, and branches, which can harm your eyes and impair your vision.
Protective eyewear such as sunglasses or goggles can shield your eyes from UV rays, debris, and wind, and enhance your visibility in different light conditions. Look for eyewear that fits your face shape, has anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings, and provides clear and distortion-free vision.
Water Bottle and Cage
Hydration is crucial for maintaining your stamina, focus, and health during a long ride. A water bottle and cage allow you to carry enough water or sports drink with you, without adding much weight or bulk. Look for bottles that are easy to clean and refill, have high flow valves or straws, and fit securely in your cage without rattling or falling out.
If you need more water, storage, or convenience, a hydration pack can be a great alternative to a water bottle. A hydration pack is a backpack or waistpack that comes with a bladder or reservoir and a drinking tube, which allow you to sip water hands-free while riding. Hydration packs also have compartments for storing tools, snacks, clothing, or electronics, and often have features like breathable back panels, adjustable straps, and reflective details.
A multi-tool is a compact and versatile tool that can help you fix minor mechanical issues on the trail, such as adjusting your brakes or derailleurs, tightening bolts or screws, or removing your pedals or chain.
A good multi-tool should have a variety of allen keys, screwdrivers, and chain tools, and fit easily in your pocket or saddlebag. Look for durable and lightweight materials, such as aluminum or titanium, and consider the size and weight of the tool depending on your needs and preferences.
A pump is another essential tool for any mountain biker, as it allows you to inflate your tires to the right pressure and avoid flats or pinch flats. There are different types of pumps, such as floor pumps, mini pumps, or CO2 inflators, and each has its pros and cons.
Floor pumps are more powerful and stable, but less portable, while mini pumps are smaller and lighter, but require more effort and time. CO2 inflators are the fastest and easiest, but also the most expensive and wasteful.
Even with the best tires and tubes, flats can still happen on the trail, due to sharp rocks, thorns, or debris. Having a spare tube can save you time and hassle, and allow you to replace your damaged tube quickly and easily. Make sure you carry a tube that fits your tire size and valve type, and know how to change a tube before you hit the trail.
Tire levers are small and handy tools that help you remove your tire from the rim and insert your tube, without damaging your tire or tube. They come in pairs and are made of plastic, metal, or composite materials. Look for tire levers that are durable, ergonomic, and have a smooth and wide edge that won’t pinch or cut your tube.
Your bike chain is a vital component of your drivetrain, and it needs proper lubrication to function smoothly, quietly, and efficiently. Chain lube is a liquid or wax that you apply to your chain to reduce friction, prevent rust, and extend its lifespan.
There are different types of chain lube, such as wet, dry, or ceramic, and each is suitable for different conditions and preferences. Wet lube is thicker and lasts longer, but attracts more dirt and dust, while dry lube is thinner and cleaner, but needs more frequent reapplication.
A GPS computer is a high-tech accessory that can enhance your riding experience by providing you with accurate and detailed data about your speed, distance, elevation, heart rate, and navigation.
GPS computers come in different sizes and shapes, and have features like color screens, touchscreens, Bluetooth connectivity, and mapping software. Look for GPS computers that have a long battery life, user-friendly interfaces, and reliable sensors.
If you ride in low-light conditions, such as early morning, late evening, or night, having lights on your bike can increase your visibility and safety. Lights come in different types, such as front lights, rear lights, or helmet lights, and have features like brightness levels, flash modes, and battery life. Look for lights that are easy to mount and remove, waterproof, and have a wide and even beam pattern.
In conclusion, having the right mountain bike accessories can make a huge difference in your riding performance, comfort, and safety.
Whether you’re a casual rider or a hardcore racer, investing in quality accessories such as a helmet, gloves, shoes, protective eyewear, water bottle and cage, hydration pack, multi-tool, pump, spare tubes, tire levers, chain lube, GPS computer, and lights can enhance your overall riding experience and help you achieve your goals.
So don’t hesitate to check out your local bike shop or online retailers and find the accessories that suit your needs and style.
Do I really need a helmet for mountain biking?
Yes, wearing a helmet is essential for protecting your head from impact injuries in case of a crash. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and a good helmet can save your life.
What type of gloves should I choose for mountain biking?
The type of gloves you choose depends on your hand size and riding style. Look for gloves that provide extra grip, cushioning, and protection to your palms and fingers, and have features like breathable fabric, silicone fingertips, and touch-screen compatibility.
Can I use regular shoes for mountain biking?
While you can use regular shoes for mountain biking, it’s not recommended, as they may not provide enough grip, support, or protection for your feet and ankles.
How often should I apply chain lube?
The frequency of applying chain lube depends on your riding conditions and preferences. Wet lube lasts longer but attracts more dirt and dust, while dry lube is thinner and cleaner but needs more frequent reapplication. Generally, you should apply chain lube after every ride or every 100 miles, whichever comes first.
What’s the difference between a GPS computer and a smartphone app?
While both a GPS computer and a smartphone app can track your riding data and provide navigation, a GPS computer is more accurate, reliable, and durable, and has features such as long battery life, user-friendly interfaces, and reliable sensors. A smartphone app, on the other hand, may drain your battery, lose signal, or get damaged by weather or crashes.