Gear for Mountain Biking
Contributed By The Be Rad Team
Whether you are new to the sport of mountain biking or are progressing into another season on your mountain bike, we all enjoy a good Gear List! The Be Rad Team emptied the contents of their bike gear boxes and trail packs to provide you with a list of mountain biking tools, gear, nutrition, and more to help you be comfortable on the trails!
Please use this list as a general guideline for the mountain biking gear our Team has found to be of use over the years. We encourage you to check out your local bike shop, and get to know which brands you like!
While we can appreciate the aerodynamic performance of spandex, it can feel a bit...revealing. So, as recreational badasses and not racers, we usually opt for the baggies and simple jerseys!
Chamois + MTB Shorts
- You'll want to invest in a few pairs of cycling chamois - we are talking about padded shorts here, not to be confused with the goat-antelope native to the mountains in Europe! Jump in your chamois without your underwear or you'll risk the chafing! Some swear by the chamois butt'r, but we only recommend it for long days on the road bike. Throw a pair of "baggies" on top. These shorts are enforced fabric that won't get snagged up like spandex if you do take a spill, and could save some skin. For those cold days, we either add high "ski" socks or a layer of thermal pants.
- Brands we like: Pearl Izumi, Shredly, Fox, Sugoi, Chromag, Patagonia
- Choose a jersey that is comfortable and will wick away sweat. Living in the Maritimes, we will often start a ride with a long sleeve jersey, and end up stuffing that in our trail pack to opt for the short sleeve jersey we had on underneath. Colourful jerseys will help keep you visible on the trails. On cold days, we will add a thin down or "puff" jacket, or a softshell jacket.
- Brands we like: Chromag, Shredly, Fox, Sombrio
Buff or Fabric Mask
- This season, you'll likely need to prepare to have a mask on. While our fabric masks are being made, we've been using buffs to keep that exhale to ourselves.
- Brands we like: Trailwrap, Buff
- Ideally, pickup a pair of full-fingered gloves. Should you need to touch rock or dirt due to a fall, you'll be happy you protected that skin!
- Brands we like: Chromag, Dakine
- To help keep your ankles safe and happy, pick up some socks that go up over your ankle and roll them up high. The funkier the better! Tip: spray your socks with insect repellent.
- Brands we like: Sock Guyz, Darn Tough, Smart Wool
- Choose your footwear based on the type of pedals you're using. For clipless pedals, you'll need a pair of cleats. For flat pedals, you'll need a pair of "flats". You can definitely use your sneakers on flat pedals if you're not ready to invest in a pair of MTB-specific shoes. Just keep in mind that your sneakers might not grip onto the pedal spikes as well as a pair of "flats".
- Brands we like: RideConcepts, Shimano, Five Ten
- When we ride enduro trails at Keppoch or Sugarloaf Bike Park, we opt for the full knee and elbow pads. They can also be useful in technical terrain like Rockwood, White Rock, or MVP. Having armour might just help your mental game.
- Brands we like: GForm, RaceFace, Sweet Protection
- Get a helmet that fits you. They are not one size fits all. We recommend picking one up with Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) for their innovative approach to protecting your precious melon - look for the yellow dot. We would recommend a full face helmet for riding at Sugarloaf Bike Park or Keppoch Mountain.
- Brands we like: Giro, POC, Fox
- Whether for the dirt, wind, or sunlight, your eyes need protection too. Choose a pair that won't fall off your face when you move your head around, or you'll end up giving them away on the trails!
- Brands we like: Sam really likes the enhanced colours of the Oakley Prizm and Greg is definitely a polarized lens endorser. Lydia highly recommends Knockarounds!
Lots of options here. Really, any small pack will do, but you'll benefit from thinking about comfort on the trails. For longer rides, consider a backpack. For shorter rides a "hip", "butt" or "enduro" pack works well.
- Most of us will have this on us for taking pictures, or referring back to TrailForks, but we should also carry them for safety in case of an emergency. If you’re riding solo, be sure to let someone know your planned route and estimated return time before you start your ride.
Small First Aid Kit
- Your kit should have bandaids, wet towelettes, bandages, a tick remover, and any life-saving medication you might require. Please be mindful of your extraction plan - especially on longer rides and on trails that are new to you.
- A set of Allen (hex) keys, pliers, chain tool are a few of the basics to carry with you! We will usually throw in a few extra chain quick links with our tools too.
- Brands we like: Leatherman, Crankbrothers
- We recommend a dual valve mini pump to be compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves. This way, you can help another mountain biker out on the trails even if they have a different setup than you!
Patch kits / Spare tubes
- Many of us are now riding “tubeless”, but we will still ride with a tire lever, glueless patches, and extra tubes in case we can help someone in a pinch ;) on the trails. If you’re not sure of the tube size required for your tire, be sure to ask your local bike shop for help!
- If your bike frame has a cage, you can add a water bottle. If your trail pack is compatible with a hydration pack, we recommend getting a bladder ~2L to your pack.
- Lauren really enjoys the convenience of the Camelbak hydration pack.
- Clif Bloks, and Bars are always in our packs.
- MJ is really good at packing gummies for her riding buddies!
Bike Gear Box
Most of us will arrive to a trailhead by car, so you might as well bring the bike gear box with you! This is that bin you will have in your trunk all MTB season that holds all the useful stuff you won't carry on the trails, but could need pre- or post-ride.
Insect Repellent & Sunscreen
- If either of these is a spray, be sure to spray it on yourself far away from any bikes or cars as it can damage the finish! Makes you think about applying it to your skin...but still, highly recommended!
- Sam sprays her socks with insect repellent and tries to keep it off her skin.
- Always check for ticks after a ride.
Floor Tire Pump
- To achieve your desired tire pressure before each ride. The air temperature and terrain are all things for consideration when selecting the psi that will work best for you.
- To properly setup your suspension before each ride for the terrain you're riding in and your riding preference.
Trail Maintenance Tools
- In the Spring, pruners and handsaw are useful for cleaning up debris and helping out your local (volunteer) trail maintenance crew.
- You'll want to have your choice of flats or clipless pedals, especially on a roadtrip visiting several trails!
- Brands we like: Shimano, Chromag, Crankbrothers, Race Face
Bike Wash Spray
- This spray is great for getting that silt, sand, clay, and loam out of your disc brake rotors and pads, drivetrain, and everything else!
- We spray the entire bike with Muc-Off, let it set for about a minute and then rinse with water. Dry off with a rag being careful to leave your drivetrain to last. If your trailhead doesn’t have a bike wash station, take your bike home and break out the hose!
- After you have dried off your clean bike, apply chain lube to your chain as you turn the pedals to get the lube worked into the whole chain.
- One to dry off your frame, and another to clean up any grease or oil.
Change of clothes
- Have a pair of jeans, t-shirt, and hoodie ready in case you get wet, muddy, or would rather not sit at your favourite apres-ride patio wearing that chamois!
Now go ride your bike you rad MTBer!
Now go ride your bike you rad MTBer!