The number of items to take can quickly start looking like a shopping list that will be fairly heavy to carry once on the bike.
To help you make the right choices, here is a checklist of items to make sure you have before setting out on a mountain bike ride.
- Gear for your Bike
Even if your MTB is new, or well maintained, there still remains a risk that something could break, given the terrain you’ll be riding on. Rocks, thorns or roots could easily cause a flat tyre or break the chain.
To make sure you get home safely, it’s best to have the essentials to repair these. The essentials include:
This will allow you to pump up your tyres and finish your ride peacefully. Also, tyres that are pumped to the correct pressure level deliver a more comfortable ride, as they will carry you over the obstacles on your route more easily.
Flat tyres are a frequent occurrence in mountain biking, and are often caused by the inner tube becoming pinched in the tyre. The fastest way to repair a flat is to change the inner tube; thus the need to always have a spare one on hand.
Typically made up of tyre levers, a tube patch, glue, and sandpaper, this kit allows you to repair your inner tube. With the exception of the tyre levers, which are necessary to change the inner tube, the other items are optional if you take along a spare inner tube.
This allows you to adjust your bike if needed during your ride. Lightweight and multi-purpose, it’s the ideal tool to have on hand to adjust anything that may have come a bit loose or out of proper alignment.
- Gear for the Rider
Enjoying your ride to the full and staying safe, rest on three essential conditions: comfort, safety, and hydration/nutrition.
For long bike rides, a pair of padded cycling shorts will keep you more comfortable. The various densities of foam will help prevent pain resulting from friction between your inner thigh and the saddle.
Gloves provide better absorption of shocks and vibrations. Additionally, as your hands sweat due to the body’s exertion, they have a tendency to slip a bit on the handlebar grips. Gloves help you to maintain an effective grasp on your MTB’s handlebar.
A helmet is your first line of defence in case of impact. Before each ride, take the time to make sure your helmet is properly adjusted to your head.
In addition to their polarizing qualities, glasses are especially useful and important when doing MTB as they protect against projectiles (rocks, mud, insects, etc.) which may come up to your face as you ride.
In the same vein, gloves protect you from branches that could otherwise scratch your hands.
Before setting out, notify a friend or loved one of how long you’ll be gone for, and make sure that your mobile phone is properly charged. This will allow you to easily find someone to help you or take you home in case of a breakdown or accident.
- Hydration and Nutrition
In order for your body to generate the necessary amount of energy for your ride, it is vital that you drink and eat regularly :
A water bottle is handy as it’s lightweight and can be mounted on the bike using a bottle cage. However, if you are setting out on a long ride, a bottle doesn’t allow you to take much water with you. In that case, a hydration backpack has the advantage of holding a lot more water (1 to 3 litres), and can also be used to carry the rest of the items on your checklist.
Cereal bars and energy gels are good sources of energy that don’t take up much room in your backpack.
You’re now ready for your MTB ride! Tell us about your own experiences and anything that has made an impression on you!