Mountain biking is one of the many exciting methods of hitting the trail and experiencing the outdoors that one can take advantage of. Not only that, but cruising along sloping trails as they wind along mountain ridges or through evergreen forests is great exercise. One can’t just head out with nothing but a bike and a smile, however, as mountain biking requires a little more. Today, I’ve outlined a list of accessories that no cyclist should leave home without.

This first item may be an obvious one, but it’s the most important accessory: a helmet. Really, helmets should be worn no matter where you bike, but on the trail, where terrain is unforgiving, a helmet is a necessity. Serious bike-related head injuries are just too common for anyone to not wear one, so do yourself a favor and wear one the next time you head out.

Your hands will take a beating on a bike, so investing in a quality pair of gloves is a good idea. Beginner cyclists tend to grip the handlebars tightly, which can be rough on their hands. Also, should you fall off your bike, your hands are usually the first thing to contact the ground, so a padded pair of cycling gloves will keep them safe. You can find both full-fingered and cutoff gloves, but keep in mind that full fingered gloves offer more protection.

Bike seats aren’t exactly cushioned recliners, and can become uncomfortable during your first few trips out. For this reason, a nice pair of padded biking shorts will be your butt’s best friend. The durable material will withstand branches and thorns, and the padding in the rear will make each bump a little more bearable.

Protection for your eyes is important on bike rides, as wayward objects such as bugs, rocks, or branch tips can cause all sorts of trouble. Sunglasses or clear glasses will help keep debris out, as well as wind that can cause tears that blur vision. Remember to purchase a sturdy pair with non-breakable lenses.

Hydration is a crucial part of any physical activity, and mountain biking is no different. It’s surprisingly easy to become dehydrated in the outdoors, so taking measures to counter this is a good idea. You can employ a water bottle holder on the bike frame itself or wear a hydration pack to stay hydrated on the trail.

Lastly, I always recommend bringing along a tool kit when biking. Often, a simple tire leak or loose screw can leave one stranded and such occurrences can easily be remedied with a tool or repair. You can purchase full emergency kits that come in pouches that attach to the frame of your bike. Make sure you have a multi-tool, patch kit, extra tire tube, portable pump, and a set of Alan wrenches.

The products listed above will go a long way towards keeping you comfortable, but more importantly, keeping you safe the next time you hit the trail with your mountain bike. Do yourself a favor and pick them up if you haven’t already done so and you’ll find your bike rides will be more enjoyable from here on out. 

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