Mountain biking is a great sport for people who would like to build agility, strength, and endurance. However, just like any other outdoor sport, you need to have appropriate mountain bike gear and equipment to make your rides safer and comfortable. Unfortunately, the world of bike gear can be overwhelming especially for new bikers as there are plenty of accessories available. This makes it hard to separate the must-haves items from cool mountain bike accessories.
However, we have got your back. In this post we discuss must have mountain bike accessories to have in your next trip. Let’s get started…
We consider a quality bike helmet as the most important mountain bike gear you can have. Not only does a helmet protect your head during crashes but it also helps you to keep your head cool thanks to its well-spaced vents.
You can invest in two types of helmet: full-face helmets and half helmets. Full-face helmets provide protection for your whole face, including the chin area and mouth. These are great when you are cycling downhill or in challenging trails.
When you are cycling in your locality or around town, a half helmet will be ideal as chances of crashing are small.
Nowadays, you can even get a full-face convertible helmet that allows riders to remove the chin guard, thereby converting it to half helmet. The two most popular forms of concussion safety are the MIPS and WaveCel helmets. Check out the breakdown between the two in this Bontrager WaveCel helmet review.
2. Hydration Pack or Water Bottle
One of the biggest energy drains when cycling is getting dehydrated. That’s why we have included a hydration pack as a must-have mountain bike accessories.
Wearing a hydration pack when riding or fitting a water bottle on your mountain bike frame gives you easy access to water. There is no doubt a hydration pack is much safer to drink from while riding. Grabbing a water bottle below your top tube messes with your balance while riding. Check out this review of the best hydration packs for mountain biking.
The standard rule of thumb is to take at least three gulps every 20 minutes. Of course, this varies depending on how intense your ride is, but the bottom line here is, always carry a water bottle.
When purchasing a water bottle or hydration pack, always choose a size that’s a little bigger than your water needs. This means you will not have to fill it during your rides. You will regret having a small water bottle, especially when you are going for long-distance rides.
3. Eye Protection – Cool MTB Sunglasses
Eye protection helps to keep trail dirt, dust, and debris out of your eyes, and also help you to see clearly in shadows and bright sunlight. Looking good with these cool sunglasses will also keep your eyes safe, all for less than $30!
You can find a variety of great sunglasses for sports, but the best ones for mountain bikers are those with a frame that has an interchangeable lens system that offers a variety of lenses for different light conditions.
4. Mountain Bike Shoes
One of the three contact points your body will have with your bike are your feet. That’s why having quality mountain bike shoes is important as they help improve bike control and performance.
Make sure to go for shoes that are stiff, rugged, and hard-wearing to improve power transfer. The debate between clipless (which actually do clip-in to the pedal) and flats is ongoing. I prefer the efficiency advantage of clipless shoes and pedals.
5. Clipless Pedals – Cool When There Is Color
Clipless pedal systems allows one to lock your shoes into the pedal for efficient and secure pedalling. The good thing about it is that you can easily unclip it with just a twist of the foot.
When buying shoes, make sure they are compatible with the type of pedal system on your bike.
6. Full-Finger Cycling Gloves
A good pair of quality cycling gloves is important for safety and comfort. Not only will cycling gloves add to the comfort factor when riding your bike but will also protect your hands in case of a crash.
When choosing cycling gloves, don’t just choose the highly-rated ones in those best mountain bike accessories lists. Comfort should be your main priority. The webbing between the thumb and index finger needs to be lose enough to allow for easier gripping of the handlebar, but strong enough to prevent the material from scrunching.
7. Quality Riding Shorts
You should also consider investing in a pair of quality riding shorts. Riding shots are designed to be comfortable, and are also padded to give you more cushioning on your knees and backside.
There are a variety of biking shorts on the market- from loose-fitting ones to sporty bibs. The loose fitting shorts are made for mountain bikers, but I prefer the tighter style shorts with a pair of athletic shorts thrown over tip. The form fitting cycling shorts by Pearl iZUMi are perfect for staying in place and providing comfort on long rides. Check out this Escape Quest cycling shorts review for more info.
8. Multi-tool Set
When you out for a ride, whether on a dusty path or street road, the road is unpredictable for any cyclists. Even the fussiest of cyclists can find themselves in trouble due to a broken chain or loose bolt from vibration.
This is why you need to be prepared by having a multi-tool because it’s versatile with a collection of valuable tools such as Allen wrenches, adjustable wrench, hex wrenches, a chain tool, a flathead screwdriver and a Philips screwdriver.
The Hero Kit shown above is slim, lightweight and durable. All for a price under $20 (Check Current Price on Amazon) which beats most local bike shops.
Some multi-tools are bulky as they are designed to be kept at home but you can find lightweight ones that can fit in your saddlebag, backpack or pocket.
9. Bike Pumps
If you get a puncture when you’re on the road, you need a pump to inflate the tire after patching tube. That’s why it’s smart to pack a mini pump or hand pump in your backpack or mount it on the bike frame. Ensure to also have a track pump at home to pump your bike regularly (say weekly) to keep your pressure up to prevent punctures on the road.
10. Chain Lube
A clean bike with all the moving parts running smoother is a happy bike. Keep a small bottle of lube in your backpack especially if you will be riding over dirty roads or in the rain. Apart from moving smoothly, a good chain lube can boost the longevity and safety of your chain, which saves you extra costs in the long run.
There’s really no best chain lube because it all depends on your local climate, for example, wet vs dry climate, how much you ride and your personal preferences. Wet lube is ideal when riding in rainy conditions because it’s harder to wash off with water.
However, if you will be riding off-road in a dusty and dry climate, avoid wet as this will trap all the sand. Instead, go for a dry lube to keep your bike cleaner. On the flip side, it washes easily in wet weather. While not considered one of the cool mountain bike accessories, it is definitely a must have item.
11. Bike Lock
Another must have mountain bike accessories is a lock to keep your bike safe when you leave to order a coffee or buy water. Cable locks can do the job but only in low-crime areas. To make it hard for a thief, try U-locks or chain locks. While this may not be one of the cool mountain bike accessories, it is an essential one. Check out our tips on bike security with 11 ways to prevent bike theft.
12. Lights and Reflectors
You want drivers and motorists to spot you from far away. Having bike lights and reflectors is a great way to illuminate your bike to stay safe. Besides, local bike laws require cyclists to have tire spoke reflectors, pedal strips and LED rear lights. Don’t be afraid to add more light and reflection to be on the safer side.
Bottom Line on Cool Mountain Bike Accessories
The above list of must have mountain bike accessories are essential for your safety and longevity of your bicycle. We also included the cool mountain bike accessories for each category. With the above 10 items, you are off to a solid ride.
Do you have an item you always carry with you that you feel we have left out of this list? Share with us in the comment section below.