Whether you are heading out for a quick ride, or taking a week long adventure, there are many must have mountain bike accessories. We are going to take an in-depth look at which accessories are important for every ride. We will also cover those items you need for longer rides, and the top convenience accessories.
All of the items on these three lists are important, but may not be necessary for your ride. The biggest piece of advice I can offer when it comes to which mountain biking accessories you need, versus which can stay home, is to plan ahead based on your ride. You won’t need 2.5 liters of water for a 1 hour flat or downhill ride. You also may not need to bring a shock pump for your suspension if you are riding in a high traffic urban area. (It should be adjusted before you get to the trail, then it is an accessory that can stay in the car or at home.)
Know what type of ride you are taking and where you are doing it, then pack your accessories accordingly.
What Mountain Bike Accessories Do You Need: Must Have On Every Ride
This is the list of essential accessories that you cannot leave home without, regardless of ride length and location. I would recommend these mountain bike accessories on every ride.
The first is a multi-tool. There have been very few rides that a multi-tool doesn’t come in handy. If not for yourself, but your fellow cyclists and mountain bikers. Hopefully your mountain bike is equipped with a dropper post, but if not a multi-tool is a must have for saddle height adjustments. Its also a must have item when making other adjustments to your bike.
The second must have accessory is nutrition and hydration. You may not need 2.5 liters for a one hour ride, but you will need some fluids to prevent dehydration. I usually pack 1 liter of water for every hour I intend on riding. I also pack an extra bottle or two in my vehicle at the trail head just in case of emergencies. Recently I was on a ride where another mountain biker was suffering from dehydration a mile out on the trail. Offering up my water was no big deal knowing I had more in the car.
For nutrition you will want something with carbs and protein. I like to pack different flavors from the Pure Protein Variety Pack. (Check current price on Amazon.)
Finally, the most debatable item on this list, if you enjoy losing a debate, is cycling shorts. Being uncomfortable is the easiest way to ruin your ride and cycling shorts solve that problem. If you are looking for an awesome, yet affordable set of cycling shorts then check out this Escape Quest cycling shorts review.
What Do Mountain Bikers Carry In Their Backpacks: Ride Continuation
Many mountain bikers carry a backpack while riding. More specifically they carry hydration packs. The Camelback and Osprey are two of the most popular hydration packs on the market. The Osprey Raptor (Check Price on Amazon) is awesome for mountain bikers because it has a pocket on the bottom for your tools.
Hydration packs are great because in addition to water you can pack other tools. That brings me to the next big accessory items. In addition to a multi-tool I would highly recommend spare tubes. I know many mountain bikers that bring extra sealant and I have never understood why. If you get a gash in your tire, sealant will not fix that, but throwing in a tube will. If your tires are setup tubeless you should already have sealant inside the wheel anyway. Additional tools are a handheld and portable tire pump. Most tire pumps are not compatible with shock pumps so keep that in mind when preparing and packing.
Depending on the type of trail you are riding, some of the tools can stay in the car if needed. A bike park or circular trail system that takes you by the trailhead is a great example of a situation when several tools can remain in the vehicle.
What Mountain Bike Accessories Make It More Comfortable: Comfort List
Cycling shorts are a must have item for comfort, so I am bringing them up again. Additional accessories to improve ride comfort are ergonomic grips. The grips give your hand a better resting position which will decrease wrist pain and numbness.
If cycling shorts alone aren’t enough to protect those soft tissue areas then a new saddle may be needed. Check out this information on how to make a bike seat more comfortable if you are having comfort issues. If you decide not to opt for the Osprey or CamelBack hydration packs, a standard backpack will work. Just make sure it has plenty of ventilation on the back so you don’t get hot and sweaty while riding.
Another tip to avoiding back sweat is wearing a cycling jersey. They are made to keep you cool and wick moisture away. Nobody wants to ride while soaked in sweat from a cotton t-shirt. Apparel paired with proper accessories allows you to ride all day in comfort.
I also feel compelled to bring up hydration again. Being thirsty out on the trail with no water is one of the worst feelings a mountain biker can experience. According to the National Institution of Health you can climb roughly 5.8% faster when properly hydrated versus someone suffering mild dehydration. The study was completed over a 5 km ride, or just over 3 miles. That is an enormous difference in speed for such a short ride distance.
Get a CamelBak or an Osprey so you don’t have to worry about it. They are great outside of mountain biking too. We use ours camping, hiking and even on trips to amusement parks.