Must Have Accessories

Must Have Mountain Biking Accessories

The bike itself may be the biggest purchase, but having the right accessories and components can make a world of difference. Here we look at some of the more common (and essential) accessories.

Helmet – Number One Priority

Whether you're doing basic road biking or serious downhill stuff, the importance of a proper helmet cannot be overstated. At the least, a good helmet can save you from an ugly scratch, but when it comes down to it, a bike helmet can mean the difference between life and death.

Add in the fact that modern bike helmets are incredibly safe and stylish and there's simply no reason to ride without one. Shop around for the color and style you prefer, but this is one aspect you should not scrimp on.

Hydration

Serious biking means a serious workout, and in any kind of exercise, keeping properly hydrated is incredibly important. Any cheap water bottle will do the trick, and for a few bucks you can find an easily-installed bottle bracket to keep your bottle with you at all times. If you plan on doing serious riding, however, we recommend a backpack system, such as the Camelbak. It will keep your hands free at all times and make hydration a seamless affair.

Mountain Bike Shoes

The type of shoes that work best will ultimately depend on the type of pedals your bike has. If you have clip-less pedals, which most mountain bikes do, we recommend specific mountain bike shoes. They come with special cleats, designed around your pedals, and are both sturdy and comfortable. Your feet, like everything else, are going to take a bit of a beating, so having the right shoes is a huge help.

Mountain Bike Shorts

Let's face it: if you're riding rough terrain, nothing takes a bigger beating than your butt. While a proper seat is a great comfort here, some quality mountain bike shorts can really help relieve the stress. You can of course go for those tight-fitting Lycra shorts (you know the ones), but recently fashion has caught up and now you can find well-padded, comfortable riding shorts in a wide variety of styles.

Mountain Bike Gloves

You need your hands to be comfortable and available at all times. Between gear shifting, braking, and the inevitable death-grip of a sticky situation, your hands see a lot of wear and tear. A decent pair of mountain bike gloves can help alleviate that pain. And when you take a spill, as everyone does from time to time, you'll really want those gloves to take hit the dirt, not your bare hands.

Eye Protection

If you're riding at high speeds, especially downhill, then you really should have some kind of eye protection. Even a little piece of dust or dirt can mean losing vision at a crucial moment, and that can spell disaster. Even the wind alone can take its toll. For sunny days a decent pair of sunglasses is fine, or you can find specialized mountain bike eye protection.

Emergency Preparedness

Mountain biking is about fun and adventure, and most of the time that's exactly what it is. But accidents do happen, and it's a smart idea to have a few tools around just in case. Just a few things, such as a multi-tool (made especially for bikes, preferably), a patch kit and tire lever for flat tires, an extra tube, and a mini-pump are all super-handy to have around in a pinch.

Conclusion

The moral of the story is, it's not just about having the best bike, it's about doing everything you can to make that bike even better.  For more information, check out bike tool reviews.