What mountain biking gear you need to get including 20 things you’ll need to be ready, comfy, and safe to ride your mountain bike. So you’re excited and ready to ride your mountain bike. Whether it’s your first mountain bike ride, or your 1000th, getting the gear your need will make your ride more safe, comfortable, and fun! Prepping for a ride takes time and the more you prep in advance, the easier it is to get ready to hit the trail. Note: Best for recreational or social ride vs competitions (that’s another list!)
Mountain Biking Checklist
- Mountain bike with seat dropper, full suspension, disc breaks, 27 or 29-inch wheels, tubeless tires, water bottle cage (optional if you prefer wearing a hydration pack on your back or waste like a Camelbak). My bike: Santa Cruz Tallboy CC
- Helmet with MIPS for head safety, regular or choose a full-face if you’re into faster downhill riding. My helmet:
- Short-sleeved riding jersey like the Pearl Izumi Women’s Sugar Jersey that you can get at Sports Basement with pockets for holding your water bottles, food, and phone. Get long-sleeved riding shirts/Jersey-like Merino wool long-sleeved layers for colder, wetter, darker temps. If it looks and feels great, and isn’t too hot as you start your ride, you’re good. Pro-tip: Bring an extra 7shirt that’s dry if it’s raining or you’re just sweating a ton!
- Riding vest, windbreaker, or jacket for colder days or evening rides. Insulation again the cold is good. Rain-proof.
- Riding shorts with shams like the Fox Women’s Flexair Shorts. Or winter riding pants in colder weather for 55 degrees or cooler, otherwise you could probably ditch the winter pants.
- Long winter pants for colder days like Specialized riding pants which I got at the Trail House in Santa Rosa. preferably with lots of big pockets that aren’t designed for a baby mouse. You can store your food and phone are usually in these big pockets, especially the latest specialized MTB riding pants. Maybe show the latest specialized in a beautiful ivory color long-sleeved shirt and pants that are really.
- Riding gloves. Fox, Fast House and many others makes some great gloves that are durable, comfy and keep your hands safe and warm.
- Mountain biking shoes either flats or clipped in shoes. Flats shoes are not attached to the peddles, while clips are attached. Personally, I prefer Adidas 5 women’s mountain biking flats, even though I may be sacrificing from peddle power and exerting more energy, especially if I am tired, but I love the comfort of being able to put my feet down more easily and quickly in flats.
- Trail Snacks. Gu energy gels, Clif bars like Cool Mint, Clif Protein Builder bars or Block Chews, Lara bars that come in delicious flavors like blueberry, banana break, apple and more can all be bought at most sporting good stores, bike shops, or on Amazon. Save money and buy cheaply in bulk especially if you’re consuming 60 snacks per month like me! Depending on how many calories you burn during a ride and how long your ride is going to be calculate how many snacks you’ll need. Typically 200 too 1400 calories per hour is good to eat packed with nutrients and proteins and quick sugars to keep you going.
- Riding backpack or Fanny pack like a Camelbak Rogue with lightweight design and a built-in water bladder that makes it easy to drink from the tube without stopping your ride and can hold up to 3 litters of water. You will want 1 litter of water per hour while riding. It’s convenient for bringing along your phone, food, universal tool, small bike pump, bandages, phone, sweat rag, extra shirt and other items.
- Riding glasses and/or goggles. lots to choose from just make sure you can see in changing light conditions, cold, rain and wind. Bring a wipe to keep clean and clear.
- Mountain biking socks. You’ll want to get mountain biking socks that are high enough to protect your shins from impacts like pedal strikes and other impacts while keeping you warm on colder days or evening rides. Merino wool hiking socks at REI or Sports Basement are also great when wearing flat mountain biking shoes, especially in colder weather and will keep your feet dry and snug. Buying multiple pairs is smart and helpful if you are riding a few days in a row to avoid doing lots of laundry, and avoiding stinky socks!
- Headphones or earbuds for listening to music or taking calls on the go.
- Bike computer such as a Wahoo or Garmin. I prefer the Garmin and tested the GPS on both simulultanesouly for one week to compare the GPS accuracy and records indicated the Wahoo won.
- Hot hand warmer packets if it’s really cold to warm up quickly.
- Headlamp and bike lamp combo like the NiteRider Lumina Micro 900 if you run out of sunlight on these short winter days.
- Big and Small Bike Pump just in case you get flat like the Leznye Floor Pump or the Top Peak small bike pump kit with Universal Tool small bike pump that you can attach to your bike or put in your bike pack.
- GoPro (optional) camera such as the new GoPro Hero 11 Black to capture all your epic adventures!
- Cozy changeout clothes like a sweat shirt, sweatpants, and flipflops that are easy to change into.
- Bike box like a durable plastic milk crate size bin or basket with handles to make it easy to transport and organize all your gear from your house to your ride site if you’re driving to your ride location. Keep a plastic bag with your changeout clothes and extra shoes like flip flops so you’re not cold and wet after your ride. This may be the most important item on this list, especially if you’re meeting up for a post-ride beer at the Trail House if you’re a native or just visiting our awesome Sonoma County bike community!
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