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Whether you’re heading for a 3-hour ride down the neighborhood trail or a weekend in the wilderness, you want to make sure you’re prepared.
Bikes are a piece of machinery. Sure, they don’t have a motor and engine like a vehicle, but bikes still have a lot of moving parts that can – and probably will – break on a ride.
Plus, you want to be comfortable the entire ride – not just the first 30 minutes.
Pack these items before leaving the house and you’re sure to have a great ride every time.
The last thing you want is to be stuck 10 miles from anywhere with a busted tire. Patch kits are small, inexpensive, and easy to use so you really have no reason not to pack one.
After you’ve patched your tire, you’ll need to reinflation it, so don’t bother carrying a patch kit without a tire pump. Certain varieties offer Co2 inflator cartridges but a good old fashioned mini pump will get the job done just fine.
Multi tools are an essential item for all riders. You’ll want something with a variety of screw drivers, Allen wrenches, spoke tools, pliers, and wire cutters. If you can stand the extra weight, find a multi tool with a chain breaker.
Some states require children and teenagers to wear bike helmets but there are no such laws for adults. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear one. Even if you aren’t riding near traffic, you could still hit rocks, branches, and other debris that could force you to take a tumble.
First aid kit
No one sets out on a ride expecting to have an accident, but it happens. When it does, you want to be prepared. First aid kits are inexpensive, lightweight, and small. If you cut yourself on a spoke while repairing your bike, you’ll be glad you brought it.
You face a lot of elements out there: rain, sun, wind, snow, sleet, and dust. Your eyes need some protection. Look for a good pair of sunglasses that won’t fall off while you’re riding as well as a pair of goggles for windy or rainy conditions.
At least two spare tubes
Yes, two flats can happen on one ride – especially if you’re out for hours on end. If you usually ride in groups, packing two spare tubes will prevent slowing the group down if one rider gets a flat and doesn’t have anything on them.
Mountain bike jerseys
Mountain bike jerseys are durable, breathable, and perfect for a variety of weather conditions. Pick up mountain bike jerseys in different sizes and styles so you have one for every ride no matter the weather.
Rain, dust, and puddles can wreak havoc on your bike chain making your job as a rider that much harder. This can all be avoided by carrying a little bottle of chain lube. Make sure to keep a small rag or old sock handy to wipe grime off the chain first.
You can’t always rely on phones for directions: your phone battery could unexpectedly die or you could ride out of your service area. Having an old-fashioned compass is crucial for staying safe and prepared. It doesn’t hurt to carry a map either.
Even if you don’t plan on riding at night, headlights can keep you safe during cloudy and foggy conditions or just on busy roads in general.
Saddle or handle bar bag
Backpacks can quickly get bulky or weigh you down. Get a saddle or handle bar bag to fit all your important items on this list. Don’t forget the water pouches!
Never leave for a ride without lip balm on a dry or windy day. Make sure it has SPF to protect your skin from the sun.
Men’s and women’s mountain bike clothing
Of course, you’ll need a variety of men’s and women’s mountain bike clothing to ensure your ride is as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Men and women mountain bike clothing:
- Padded mountain bike shorts
- Mountain bike jerseys
- Bib shorts
- Waist pack
- Wind jacket
- Bandana or hat
- Rain coat
Even if it’s cold out, the sun’s rays can still pose a threat. Make sure to cover every part of your skin that’s exposed to light – especially your face. Bonus: sunscreen helps keep your skin moisturized to protect from wind and chafing.