What to bring on a mountain bike ride. Whether you are going on a short ride on the local trails or heading out miles from civilization, all mountain bikers need to carry a bare minimum of supplies. It is important to keep both your body and your bike in top form and these supplies help you to do that. Nothing is more frustrating than being stranded on a trail and having to walk back to the trail head or worse being too far out to get back without a vehicle.
Another added benefit is that you’ll be able to assist a stranded biker if needed. Saddle bag or pack: This is a crucial piece of equipment as it is where you will store your supplies. Small bags fit under the saddle and can hold a few supplies, enough for a short ride or a ride that isn’t too far out in the wilderness. Note that for long rides or far away rides you’ll want to consider a small biking back pack to carry even more, but the saddle bag works for most riders. Multi tool: These compact items contain a variety of small tools useful for making adjustments and repairs on the trails. The most basic ones contain 3 to 5 tools while fully loaded ones may contain up to 27 tools.
A good multi tool should contain at a minimum: philips head, flat head, hex wrench, and allen wrenches (multiple sizes). One that also has a chain tool and tire pry tool is even better. Tire repair kit: While most mountain bike tires are designed to take a beating, a flat tire is inevitable from time to time. A basic tire repair kit will have at least two one inch patches with adhesive and contain a small piece of sand paper. In addition a tire pry tool is a good addition to any tire repair kit, some come with this tool which makes removing the tire easier. Mini bike pump: If you do get a flat tire you’ll need to pump up the tire again after you patch it. A mini bike pump allows you to do this. In addition it allows you to make adjustments to your tire pressure anytime. Spare tire tube: While this isn’t a requirement for short rides, it may be good to carry one. In the event that you get a pinch flat or a large tear in a tire tube, a patch kit will be useless. Hydration: Always carry a full water bottle attached to a secure bottle cage. For longer rides consider bringing two full bottles or a CamelPak style hydration system.
Snacks: This is often overlooked but after climbing rocky steep hills your muscles will be depleted and you’ll need some energy. Small items such as workout gel nutrient packs, granola bars, or peanut butter crackers are great options that fit in a small saddle pack. First aid: You should carry a bare minimum of bandaids, gauze, and closure adhesives (help keep a gash or wound from stretching). Antibiotic cream or antiseptic is also recommended. In addition to these items you should always carry a cell phone, a form of ID, and a few dollars. Always ride safely and wear a helmet. Consider additional protective gear if you are doing downhill or extreme riding.