How to Start Mountain Biking: A Complete Guide to the Bike Gear You Need
One of the most fun ways to connect with nature through exercise is through mountain biking. There are varied ways to enjoy mountain biking without having to be in the mountains. The trails for biking vary from comfortable rides on roads to challenging technical singletracks. There’s a lot to expect before taking your first bike ride.
It is easy for a first timer to try mountain biking when they get a friend who is already a biker and learn from them. They can learn more by following them around on easy singletrack trails. You can use a rented bike with the necessary gears for this venture. You will learn faster when you have someone to take you through the trails and show you how it’s done.
When you feel you are ready to start mountain biking and have your own setup. You will need to purchase a bike and all the other accessories necessary for safety, convenience, comfort, and fun. This article will give you an outline of all the gear needed to get you started on mountain biking as a prospective mountain biker.
Mountain Bike – Selecting your first mountain bike is a difficult buying decision one has to make. It is best to set your own budget and work on it to determine what price range you can afford, considering the different features that come with various mountain bikes. Looking into these factors will help you determine what kind of mountain bike you want and how you’d want it to serve you.
Apparel and Protection - You will need repair supplies, protective gear and a considerable amount of apparel for you to be safe as you have fun out in the woods. You can own gear to start mountain biking, including the following breakdown:
Helmet - A helmet is a necessity when going on a mountain bike ride because it can be dangerous. The protection of your head, while you are mountain biking, is very important. The advances in technology have seen upgrades in head gears to reduce detrimental effects that come with rotational head impacts. Your helmet should fit fairly snugly and be level on your head. It is not supposed to obscure your vision. It should not cover the top of your ears, nor should it move excessively when you pull it back and forth. The chin straps need to be firm and secure.
Padded Shorts - A "chamois," also known as a padded bike short is a very vital component if you want to have good time and comfort when mountain biking. Whenever you feel self-conscious, you can always add a pair of gym shorts on top.
Chamois Butt’r – Is an anti-chafe cream that can help in preventing chaffing and saddle sores on longer rides. The cream adds lubrication to your chamois.
Gloves – Are ubiquitous full-finger gloves that help you have a better grip on the brake lever. The gloves also provide more protection in the event of an inevitable crash.
Sunglasses – While getting started, you can purchase a cheap pair of sunglasses from the department store. Later on, you can upgrade to other models that are mountain biking-specific.
T-Shirt - T-Shirt is good for mountain biking, but when wet they become clammy and cold.You can also upgrade to cycling tops that draw moisture out of your body. Remember to choose a top that will go with the weather.
Shoes – Any closed-toe athletic shoes are ideal for your first mountain biking. You can later upgrade to mountain bike specific shoes.
Socks – Socks are an option for you, and if you have to put on socks, it’s recommended not to use cotton socks but instead get those made of breathable materials that can absorb moisture. They will protect your feet from cold and blisters.
HydrationPack – It is important to stay hydrated when mountain biking. A hydration pack will be enough to help you drink while on the move.
Snacks – It is necessary to bring snacks on mountain bike rides like sandwiches, fruits, and many others.
Paper Map – Initially, you will need a map, whether you are with a friend or not. When biking, you follow different trails and ride on various terrains that may lead you deeper into the woods. Having a map will help you trace your way back without getting lost.
Rain Jacket – The rain jacket is not necessary for you on your first mountain biking adventure, but you will need it whenever temperatures drop or when there are unforeseen storms.
Repairs – You should be prepared to handle any emergency bike repairs such as flat tires, break chains on the trail. You will also need things like a mini pump, inner tube for the flat tire, tire levers, chain tool, quick link, duck tape, and zip ties.
By outlining the various types of gears that you need in order to embark on your mountain biking adventure, you have a clear picture of what is required for you to plunge into mountain biking with confidence. The list gives you a clue on what to shop for before embarking on your mountain biking endeavor. As a beginner, you can shop for affordable mountain bikes, gears, and accessories and upgrade afterwards as you grow to master the sport. You are now equipped with the basics that will get you started on your first mountain biking venture.