Mountain biking is an excellent hobby for a lot of reasons: it’s fun, relaxing, takes you interesting places, and can be competitive (if you want it to be).
But mountain biking can also be dangerous – especially for novice bikers who might not carry the essential gear.
From downhill mountain bike gear to mountain bike protective gear, it’s important to thoroughly prepare before you head out on any ride.
That’s what this MTB gear checklist is for: helping you prepare so you can enjoy the ride.
Must-Have Pieces of Mountain Bike Gear to Ensure Safety and Efficiency
Some pieces of MTB gear get their own category to free up space on the list.
Remember that your needs depend on what kind of rides you’re taking. A cyclist passing through towns and cities has different needs than their rural counterpart.
Take an objective look at your rides and then load up.
1. Fox Clothing Downhill Mountain Bike Gear
Downhill gear offers added protection during your rides. Foxhead offers excellent options for keeping you safe and comfortable.
In general, you’ll need
- A full-face helmet
- Vision protection
- Proper footwear
- A snug and low-profile backpack
- Body armor for shins, elbows, and vulnerable areas
The Fox racing logo isn’t 100 percent necessary, but Foxhead does make great downhill gear.
2. Mountain Bike Protective Gear
Most people either under or over pack when it comes to protective gear. As usual, keep your rides and the weather in mind.
Here are a few essentials to get you started.
- Lip balm
- Snug-fitting clothing including shoes
- Cash (in emergencies)
- A phone
- Rain jacket
- A real map
- Hand sanitizer
3. Mountain Bike Gear Shifter
If you’re riding downhill, you may want to consider packing an extra gear shifter. You’ll want to swap the old one out at the first sign of degradation.
A gear shifter that doesn’t function properly can be dangerous during downhill rides.
4. Patch Kit
Patch kits are light and small so there’s really no reason you shouldn’t carry a few in your backpack.
Even if you don’t end up needing it, you might be able to help someone else out on a ride.
5. Multi-Purpose Tool
You can’t go wrong with a multi-purpose tool like a Swiss Army Knife. These reduce the need for carrying a bunch of extra tools like knives and screwdrivers.
This item will really come in handy should you need to fix your chain or anything else along your ride. (Plus, they’re great for first aid, too.)
6. Master Chain Link
Novice bikers may not realize that chains often break on rides. In this scenario, you’ll really want a master chain link in your backpack.
Think of them like a spare tire for your chain: they won’t hold up for a long period of time, but they will allow you to make it home without walking your bike.
7. Chain Lubricant
The type of chain lubricant you should buy depends on your climate.
If you’re peddling through streams or wet conditions, look for something “solid” like a wax option. If you’re in dry or dusty conditions you might want something more “wet.”
Either way, this is an essential item to carry with you – along with a small rag for applications.
8. Extra Tire Tubes
Mountain bike tires are generally pretty durable but things happen and it’s not uncommon to find yourself replacing a tube on the trail.
When it happens, you’ll want some extra tubes. And once again: you might be able to save someone’s day if you carry a spare.
Zip-ties are light weight and super versatile which makes them a crucial item to carry on your rides.
Keep chords or wires snuggly wrapped around your frame, attach extra bottles to your bike, or use in place of a broken shoelace – the possibilities are endless0. Headlight
Daylight isn’t always a guarantee – even during the daytime hours. Clouds may roll in and wooded trails can get dark.
It’s easy to get distracted and lose track of time on your hikes. In fact, that’s one of the best parts of riding. But during the winter months, this could mean peddling home in the pitch-black night.
When this happens, you’ll be glad to have a bright headlight on the front of your bike.
Tips for Selecting the Best MTB Gear
As mentioned above, you’ll want to take a hard look at your rides.
Are you traveling through dusty back roads or urban areas? Those in cities should invest in some good mirrors.
Is your climate hot and dry or humid? How will this impact the quality of your chain and gears?
Making mistakes is inevitable: you’re bound to forget some essential MTB gear and overpack others – it happens.
Now get out there and enjoy the ride!