Whether you consider it exercise to live a healthy lifestyle or a hobby you are passionate about, mountain biking offers enormous benefits. When you are first starting out, you most likely placed a great deal of emphasis on purchasing the bike, which can be a large investment. However, other things will be essential before heading out on the bike trails. These must-haves will not only ensure your adventure is fun and successful, but they will also keep you healthy and safe during your ride. Here are a few must-haves every mountain biker needs on the trails.
When you purchased your bike, you probably chose a helmet that was sufficient for regular biking. Before you venture out on rough terrain, you should invest in a helmet that is specifically designed for mountain biking. This specific helmet is necessary because mountain bikers are more prone to crashes.
Mountain bike helmets offer more coverage, which will protect your head and face more effectively. A half-shell helmet for mountain biking is lightweight, which can be beneficial when riding through challenging trails. The half-shell helmet should feature a visor, which will help block the sun, dirt, and mud from your eyes, which are common issues you will face on mountain trails.
If you want more coverage that can be helpful when riding up and down steep hills, a full-face helmet may be a better option. Full-face helmets cover the entire face and head. They offer chin support, as well, which prevents serious damage to the chin and mouth if you crash while riding downhill.
The type of helmet is not the only consideration you need to account for because size is also important. When sizing your helmet, measure the circumference of your head, beginning and ending at your eyebrows. Use a flexible measuring tape for the most accuracy.
Your helmet is not the only safety wear you will need when mountain biking. You should also invest in a good-quality pair of bike gloves. Gloves should have a thicker material, such as leather, across the palm. This will support the hand, preventing blisters and sores, while allowing you to grip the handlebars securely. The gloves should also be lightweight, which will make them more comfortable as your body overheats and sweats while out on the trails.
It is safe to say that accidents will arise when riding your bike across steep, muddy, or rocky terrain. Therefore, you should bring a simple maintenance kit while riding. This kit will help you repair your bike if damage occurs to your bike through an accident or normal wear and tear.
A small tool kit with screwdrivers and wrenches will help you adjust handlebars, your seat, or your pedals if necessary. Also, a miniature air pump and tire kit are also essential. This kit will help you add air to your tires when out in the middle of a mountain trail and repair or patch holes to help you finish your ride.
Mountain biking uses a great deal of energy, which can lead to dehydration if you do not drink adequate amounts of water while riding. It is important to note that the 8-glasses-a-day rule will not be sufficient for mountain biking.
In cool weather, experts recommend drinking 16 ounces of water each hour you are biking. This recommendation is based on a person that weighs around 150 pounds. If you weigh more, your body will need even more water. Also, if you are riding in warm or hot temperatures that causes you to sweat, you must increase your intake of water while riding to avoid dehydration.
Make sure to carry a water bottle with you, and refill it periodically if riding long trails. Use a water system designed for cycling. This system allows you to consume water via a hose while riding, reducing the number of times you need to stop and drink on the trail.
With proper planning, your mountain biking adventure can be fun and safe. This guide will help you find the best gear for your health and bike.