Mountain Biking Trail Essentials - The Best Accessories for Your Ride
Mountain biking is all about the freedom of the trail, with this freedom comes responsibility. As your mountain biking skills grow, your rides will take you further and to more remote places. Accessing these type of trails can offer some of the best riding experiences on the planet, but comes with risk. Disaster can strike on the trail when it's least expected; and the issues can vary from mechanical to medical. It's important to be prepared when trail riding whether you're riding your backyard trails or you're deep in the Canadian Rockies without cell reception. Here is a list of the best trail cycling gear and bike accessories to keep your ride going smoothly, even when it gets rough.
The multi tool is the swiss army knife of backcountry riding. Whether your headset is loose or you suffer a full blown mechanical failure, it's tough to fix anything without a solid set of allen wrenches at the minimum. Multi tools designed specifically for cycling offer a range of tools that handle a variety of issues from loose bolts to broken chains. We recommend a multi tool that features a chain breaker, as a snapped chain can turn a long day of riding into a hike back to the car. The Crank Brothers M19 Bike Multi-Tool is our pick for the best multi tool for mountain biking. It features 19 tools packed into a slim 89mm long, 175 gram, life saver of a tool.
Crank Brothers M19 -The ultimate trailside companion.
Chain Tool: 8/9/10/11/12 speed compatible
Hex Wrenches: 2, 2.5, 3, 4 ,5, 6, 8
Open Wrenches: 8mm & 10mm
Screwdrivers: Phillips #1, 2 & Flat #2
Spoke Wrenches: #0, 1, 2, 3
Torx: T-10 & T-25
Bike floor pump or mini frame pump? Why choose when you can have both! The Giant Control Mini brings the convenience of a bicycle floor pump and the portability of a hand pump together, in one one sleek package. The Mini Combo features a fold out foot pad and a rotational hose and T-handle. The integrated pressure gauge is a bonus as well for more accurate tire pressure reading. Inflating up to 120 PSI with a high/low switch this pump is very versatile. High volume mode makes airing up large mountain bike tires a breeze and the high pressure mode lets you top off strong or reseat a tire. Easily swap from Presta to Schrader valve with a built in adapter on the hose. It's all you could want from a mini bike pump, that's why we think it's the best. Giant is at the forefront of the cycling manufacturing industry, and we have carried the brand for over two decades! Visit the Giant homepage here!
- Rotatable 1.25” gauge
- Pinch-Free T-handle design
- High Pressure/High Volume switchable system
- Fold out foot pad for fast, stable inflation
- Roller System valve head eliminates twisting while threading onto valve
- 120 PSI Max
GUP co2 Kwiki Tire Sealant
Flat tires are no longer a headache with GÜP. The latex-based formula inflates your tire at the same time sealing punctures, all within seconds. This is the backcountry trail blazer's dream come true, and will fix all standard 1-2mm punctures and fill a 29" x 2.4" tire up to 29 PSI (pounds per square inch). The one time use canister can even build enough pressure to seat a tubeless tire back onto a rim and can be used with either presta or schrader valves. Next time you hit the trails don't forget a can of GÜP. They also sell a nifty holster that enables you to strap the bottle to your frame, seatpost, saddle rails etc.
Giant Control Bike Patch Kit
A patch kit weighs nearly nothing and can keep you rolling when flats strike. The Giant Control Bike Patch Kit features two tire levers, six glueless patches, four vulcanized/glue patches, tube of glue, sandpaper. Not every flat warrants tossing the tube for a new one, and a patch kit can save your tubes from puncture flats and save you money in the long run.
Spare Inner Tube
There's nothing that can replace a good old fashioned spare inner tube. Whether you are riding with tubes or tubeless, a spare tube can be your last line of defence when major tire damage occurs. If riding with tubes, a spare tube is crucial in case the integrity of one of your inner tubes is compromised to the point where the tube will not hold air and is unusable. If riding tubeless a tire can suffer a puncture too large for the sealant to effectively reseal the hold, this is when a tube can be placed inside the tubeless tire in order to achieve pressure and ride out of the trail. When choosing an inner tube make sure to verify the correct tire diameter and width in order to achieve a best fit. Common tire diameters are 700c, 26", 27.5", and 29". Widths can range from as low as 19mm to up to 3"+ with the fat tire trend. Your bicycle tires will list the diameter followed by the width in this fashion; 29 x 2.5". This would indicate your tire is 29" in diameter and 2.5" wide. You would then look for an inner tube that was labeled as 29" in diameter and with a width range that has 2.5" within it. Finally inner tubes come in either presta or schrader valve's. Determine which valve type you need by checking the curreny wheel/tire setup on your bike. Schraders are the shorter, plastic valves and the presta are the longer, skinny metal valves.
Hydration & Energy
Trail riding is a physical activity, and the demands of mountain biking can deplete your body of essential vitamins, nutrients, and the hydration levels it needs to perform. Combat fatigue and injury by staying hydrated, eating right, and implementing electrolytes and energy supplements into your mountain biking. We recommend carrying some type of energy food as well as adding electrolyte mix to your water as the best way to stay healthy and ride harder. The best electrolyte mix in our line up is the Anytime Hydration Mix by Skratch Labs. It comes in two flavors and the choice of bulk bag or individual packets. The packets are great for stashing in Jersey pockets or keeping in your saddle bag as backup. Not to mention Skratch Labs has their Anytime Mix verified non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, vegan and kosher.
We cannot always predict how the weather will turn, but we don't have to let it keep us from riding. A trail jacket is a must have for the winter riding season, as temperatures can drop and storms can roll in at a moments notice. It's important to keep your core warm when riding at a high performance level, and having a trail jacket will not only keep you warm but improve your riding. The Attack Wind Jacket from Fox offers a water resistant shell made of ultralight 50g Cordura Ripstop, featuring C6 DWR treatment to keep the water out. The jacket is also designed with a rider attack position cut, to allow the jacket to move with riders as the trail demands dynamic movement. High visibility, even in the black color with reflective logos provides added safety. Finally the jacket packs down into it's interior pocket and can fit in most jersey back pockets with easy, making it a no brainer to bring this along when the sky's look iffy.