Mountain Biking Essentials

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Mountain Biking Essentials

  • Improve your Cycling Experience
Mountain Biking Essentials

Do you fancy the idea of cycling, in general but dread the thought of riding on plain roads time and time again? If you answered yes, then it is likely that an MTB is your calling. An MTB allows one the flexibility of conquering flat trails as well as getting an adrenaline rush from bicycle trails and paths. However, if you are new to the world of mountain biking, there may be several overwhelming questions that can get you confused given the variety of options available in the market - different bicycles, accessories, apparel etc. We get you, every cyclist has been there at some point in life. The purpose of this article is to assist you with the essentials when it comes to mountain biking. Read on to find out what they are.

While buying a bicycle might seem like an obvious first point, when it comes to MTBs there are quite a few questions that come to one’s mind while buying their first. Some of them address the ideal wheel size, the suspension and the components. For starters, one’s budget does matter when it comes to buying an MTB.  Given their technicality, MTBs are quite heavy on the pocket. However, the market today hosts a range of MTBs starting at very affordable rates, and these entry-level MTBs can be used on rough rugged city roads, and mild flat trails. While starting out, though, most people will be best served by a simple, high-quality, alloy bicycle with a mid-length 75-100mm suspension fork to take the edge off the rough terrain and wide tires that increase stability, traction, and compliance by virtue of their girth and the lower pressures that it allows. Check out our range of MTBs here. 

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'Better safe than sorry.’ We believe in this proverb, and you should too, especially while aspiring to tackle rugged trails and paths. It is essential to identify the extent of trail riding you are planning on getting into and buying a helmet accordingly. Many extensive downhill riders are best off with full-face helmets. However, especially with mountain biking, a high-quality helmet that may cost more than an entry level basic helmet, goes a long way when it comes to your safety. To summarize, the key is to get something that fits snugly and won’t wobble around while you’re riding (or crashing). If you can’t make your helmet snug, then it won’t protect your head. Also try and get something that is well-ventilated, so you don’t have streams of sweat pouring into your eyes. Check out our range of helmets here. 

PUMP AND SPARE TUBES

Get a pump that can switch between Presta and Schrader valves, and is small enough to fit in a hydration pack/ carry-on bag, but big enough to not require all your energy pumps to fill up a tube. Carry at least one spare tube with you on every ride (make sure you get the right size tube!). A pump and spare tube can save you a long walk back to the trailhead. Check out our range of pumps here, and tubes here.

LIGHTS    

Light up your path! Lights are yet another essential when it comes to mountain biking, especially when you plan to ride out on long distance rides, early morning or towards the evening. A powerful front light will be helpful to light up your path if you go on intensive trails with heavy overgrowth and tree cover. Check out our range of lights here. 

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HYDRATE!   

Stay hydrated, and ride happy. Water is yet another essential when it comes to any kind of physical activity, and cycling can work up quite a sweat. To avoid cutting your ride short because of cramps or discomfort, having water that is easily accessible is of prime importance. You can do this by getting a bottle cage attached to the frame of your bicycle, and an easy-to-use water bottle that fits in the cage. Alternatively, a hydration pack goes a long way while on trails. Staying hydrated while on the go has never been easier! Check out our range of hydration options here.      

APPAREL    

The most important piece of clothing that you will own once you buy an MTB will be your cycling shorts. Mountain bikers encounter a fair amount of shock and vibrations transferred to the saddle, especially while riding on rugged paths and intensive trails. A well-padded pair of cycling shorts will go a long way in protecting you sit bones while riding on rugged trails with uneven surfaces. Your body will thank you for it, trust us! Additionally, a well-designed cycling jersey that fits snug yet, comfortably, won't restrict, bunch, rub or flap around in the wind as much as a tee-shirt would. Shop for cycling shorts here and jerseys here. 

A few other accessories that are essential while you start out would have to include :

  • A lightweight, compact saddle bag to hold your personal belongings while on a ride. Shop saddle bags here. 
  • A multi-tool kit.
  • A tent/ sleeping bag and gear while on a longer haul.
  • A first aid kit, to be kept easily accessible.
  • A spare tube/ puncture kit, if you are riding a long-distance ride.
  • Spares that could get damaged while on a trail, such as extra spokes, derailleur hangers, chain links, and nuts and bolts.  

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Conclusion

To conclude, trail riding can be extremely fun and adrenaline pumping however, it is important to be prepared to tackle any technical or physical adversity that could be encountered while on a trail. This write up should serve as an ideal guide on the most basic essentials to get you started out in the world of mountain biking.

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