cyclists since 1972
400 Main St. Vacaville Ca. 95688 (707) 448-1911
|Mountain Bike Lounge|
400 Main ST.
Vacaville, Ca. 95688
910 Texas St.
Fairfield, Ca. 94533
Having 20 years of experience I feel like I have come to a pretty good understanding of what you need to pack with you on a mountain bike ride. Some of these things I had to learn the hard way. "If only I had a ...... I could ride out instead of walk," I have thought to myself a more than one occasion. Learn from my experiences with this list. Whether you are on a ride on your local trails out your front door or on an epic in Moab here is a very comprehensive list of things to think about packing with you.
1. Camelback (hydration backpack): Duh, this is how you carry your stuff. You will find me sometimes with out one but for longer, 3is hours or more long rides it's a necessity. Most suspension mountain bikes don't allow for multiple bottle holders. It's also easier to navigate rocky terrain and drink water from a pack like this rather than fumbling around with bottles. When shopping for a pack keep in mind how much water you will need. For me I look for packs with 100oz bladders. This will allow you to ride longer without fill ups. If you are on a shorter ride just fill it up less.
2. Pump wrapped with duct tape: Pump is a necessity to fix a flat tire. Co2's just don't cut it with the volume that most mountain bike tires need. The duct tape or gorilla tape is just a little trick I learned so I could pack duct tape without having to bring the whole role.
3. Tubes: I bring at least two this way I don't have to head back after one flat
4. Tools: Lots of companies produce multi tools with so many functions even McGuyver might get confused. Here are a few things to look for when shopping multi tools.
a. Allen wrenches - 2.0, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm should cover most bolts
b. Torque wrenches - T10 (bleed ports), T25 (rotor bolts) and T30 (some chain ring bolts)
c. Screwdriver: Phillips and flat head
d. Disc brake pad spreader
e. Knife - You know, for mountain lions and such
f. Chain tool - I usually skip the multi tools with chain tools and pack a full sized one. Most of the multi tool chain tools just suck. See Chain tool segment below...
g. Spoke wreches - 14 and 15 gauge
5. Rear derailleur hanger: This is probably THE most under rated part on a bicycle. These hangers are usually soft and are designed to break so that your rear derailleur doesn't. While they are not expensive they can be a headache to find the right one for your bike at a bike shop in a hurry. There are so many different ones that bike shops just can't keep them all in stock. I usually recommend that when you buy a bike you order the right hanger and throw it in your pack. I can save your ride and trip.
6. Chain tool and quick link: As I've said I usually skip the chain tool option on multi tools for a full sized one. Trailside chain doctoring is not the easiest task but even a novice mechanic can get through it with the aid of a real chain tool and quick link. Keep in mind you need to by the right sized link. Refering to the amount of speeds in the rear cassette, they come in 6,7,8 speed, 9 speed and 10 speed.
7. Shift Cable: Avoid having to ride in the the wrong gear when a shift cable snaps by packing one of these
8. Zip ties: these little buggers have gotten me out of lots of tricky fix situations
9. Cut piece of tee shirt: for wiping your glasses or cleaning Stan's sealant out of a cut tire before booting it or cleaning a cut on you it's a simple item to pack that can be super helpful.
10. Brake pads: I have worn down my brake pads to the metal on several rides. Making sure to pack spares for your brakes along with a brake pad spreading device will allow you to contiue your ride with the confidence of operational brakes.
11. Matches or a lighter: Last but certainly not least. If you should happen to find yourself lost and have to spend the night in the bush having the survival tool could be a lifesaver. Have you ever rubbed sticks together to start a fire? If you have then you know how much easier it would have been if you had a lighter and if you haven't you don't want to have to learn when you are lost and in the dark.
And that's all I have. This list is mostly for the epic rides and I don't suggest packing everything on it for a short ride. For the epics that we all hope we are on this should work. If you have any suggestions or something I missed shoot me an email. I'd love to hear your input - email@example.com