Mountain biking requires the right equipment to participate and stay safe while on the mountain. In order to participate, riders should have the correct equipment to ensure that rider's performance is maximized. Specific bikes that specialize in performance on rough mountain terrain should be used. Things that should be considered while choosing mountain biking equipment are the type of mountain you will be riding on and the climate of that location.
There are a multitude of different options in terms of equipment that could be brought onto the trails. Some of these items are dependent on what type of biker you are and how much experience you have. Other items could be crucial to ensuring that your experience on the trails is a safe one.
Bringing a backpack is essential for mountain biking trips. A backpack is a great way to hold and store all of the items that could be needed during the trip. It is useful to try and bring a lightweight backpack that will not slow the rider down, but still has enough space to hold everything you may need.
Mountain bikes are great because they can handle almost any type of terrain. Mountain bikes have hydraulic disc brakes, meaning that a rider can use less pressure to stop the bike more quickly and effectively than usual. This becomes vital when mountain biking in a dangerous location. Bikes can be purchased for prices as low as $500, and can be as expensive as $10,000. More expensive bikes are able to respond very well to a riders' aggressive riding style that puts a lot more stress and reliance on the bike.
Clipless Pedals are only needed if the rider is wearing clipless shoes. Clipless pedals will allow the rider's shoes to lock into the pedals. This will make pedaling much more efficient for a biker who chooses not to use clips.
Having a first-aid kit out on the mountain could be a life-saver! Mountain biking can be a dangerous activity that could potentially leave you injured, so having a first-aid kit is crucial. Most bikers wouldn't like to cut their day short to leave the mountain in order to get a pain reliever. It's much easier, and safer, to just bring those items along with you on the mountain.
When riding a mountain bike, the damage that could be done to one's hands is brutal. Mountain biking gloves do an excellent job of keeping the rider's hands safe. Rider's hands absorb trail shock as well as take falls and should be covered to prevent any severe injuries. Bikers wear full finger gloves for the best protection and coverage. Full finger gloves also have a great grip on the brakes in case of a quick stop.
There are many different types of helmets that are associated with mountain biking. Helmets are tested yearly to see what types of materials work best. They are broken down into four main categories: trail, downhill, hybrid, and budget.
Trail helmets are an all-around helmet that have a lot of different qualities. They can be used for long climbs or for a fast descent down a mountain. Ventilation is something that trail helmets put a lot of emphasis on, to ensure that the rider's head remains comfortable throughout the ride.
Downhill helmets specialize in big, fast drops down a hill or mountain. These helmets have full-face protection to make sure a rider stays safe, even after a fall. They also have an extended chin guard that increases airflow.
Hybrid helmets take some qualities from broth trail and downhill helmets. They have a secure fit, along with good ability on descents. Hybrids are lightweight with good ventilation.
Budget helmets are helmets that cost under $150. However, these helmets still come with good benefits. They include MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) and dial-fit systems. Since they are cheaper than the other options, budget helmets do lack comfortability.
When biking, having to stop the bike and reach into your backpack for a drink is time-consuming. Instead of that, having a hydration pack ready at all times allows a rider to drink their favorite beverage without having to stop their bike. Riders with a hydration pack don't have to worry about letting go of their handlebars to get a quick sip!
Having high powered LED lights attached to the bike makes it much easier to see the trails at night, making a mountain biker's experience much safer and allowing them to bike later into the day.
Having a multi-tool on the trails is essential for any biker to have on hand. Multi-tools are able to make emergency repairs and fixes out on the trail. They will usually have about 16 to 22 different pieces of equipment. The most important tool that comes with the multi-tool is the chain splitter. If a chain has been snapped or broken, it can be fixed right on the trail, so the biker won't have to worry about ending their day short to fix their bike. The price range on a multi-tool can easily exceed $100.
A GPS device can be extremely helpful for mountain bikers, especially those that are new or are biking in a new area If a biker ever goes off the trail, a navigation device is very important to make sure that you don't get lost. A GPS can easily be attached to the bike itself. These can also be used in a competitive setting. A lot of navigation systems can be programmed to monitor a bikers progress when racing.
While biking, a rider should expect to fall at least once. A good way to protect a rider's limbs is with knee and elbow pads. Protection for those body parts have drastically improved over time, and newer pads use technology that make the padding feel lightweight. Comfortability is of the utmost importance when choosing which padding to utilize, but remember that your safety is the most important factor. Other than your hands, your knees are the easiest part of your body to injure with a fall. Elbow pads aren't as commonly worn as knee pads, but they offer the same level of protection.
When mountain biking, there is a possibility that your bike's tires might be deflated. A bike's tires can also easily get deflated on the trails by a rock. A pump on-hand will be very helpful in solving that problem right away.
There are two main types of mountain biking shoes: shoes that use cleats and shoes that are flat on the sole of the shoe. Mountain biking shoes with cleats aren't necessarily better than flat shoes. That depends on the opinion of the rider. Riders will take performance and comfortability into the thought process of picking out a pair of mountain biking shoes.
Also called "clipless" shoes, these types of shoes excel at providing riders with more control and increasing pedaling efficiency. Clipless shoes come in either a cross-country or trail style. Cross-country shoes are lighter weight, while trail style shoes are built to hold up longer against rugged terrain. Trail shoes are also thicker along the sides to protect toes and heels from rocks.
Flats are skate-style shoes that come with a sticky, rubber sole that has better grip on the pedals. The increased grip allows for a much more fluid ride, especially on longer rides. These shoes are much more comfortable when walking, though you won't be doing much of that while mountain biking!
Sunglasses are a lightweight, and an easy item that should be brought out on a mountain biking adventure. They protect your eyes from UV rays, as well as stones or other debris that could potentially hurt your eyes. There are specific sporty fitting sunglasses that are perfect for mountain biking. These types of sunglasses have a tight fit, so they won't fall off on the rough trails. A visor could also work for eye protection, but that choice is up to the preference of the biker.
Windbreakers are another lightweight and easy item to bring out on the trails. Weather on mountains can change relatively quickly, so having some form of protection against the wind and rain helps improve your experiences.