Essential guide to mountain biking and how to plan the perfect ride

December 06, 2017
Essential guide to mountain biking and how to plan the perfect ride

Heading out for a ride? We’ve got the essential guide to ensure you’ve got all you need to get out and stay out! Plus we include a quick guide for a choosing the right bike for you and a FREE printable checklist.


First up, get your bike ready with mud guards, you’ll definitely want one for the rear tyre, regardless of the weather a muddy bum is never fun! Also make sure your bike is lit up, front and rear lights should not be missed. Some optional extras to consider are a water bottle holder - ideally you’ll pack two bottles, one plain water and one with electrolytes to keep you replenished. A waterproof phone holder attached to the front frame - keeps your phone safe and makes it easier to track or follow your route. Saddlebags are great for carrying essential tools.


If you’re riding off the beaten track, you need to ensure you have all the right equipment at your disposal to get yourself out of any trouble. You’ll need a pump (if you purchase a gas pump make sure you know how to use it first). Inner tubes - whenever or wherever you go always carry these, it saves the fuss of a repair kit and a quick change can get you on your way again. A multi-tool including tyre levers will save a lot of time and hassle. Finally, a mini first aid kit inclusive of hand wipes (if you’re changing the inner tube or fixing the chain).

Now that’s the bike covered let’s think about you. A bike helmet should always be at the top of your list. Never leave home without it, it could save your life!  Make sure your phone is fully charged and pack a charge bar for back up, if you have one. Download a tracking app, you can get some detailed stats about your effort and most save your route, Strava is a good one! Top tip: Did you know you can mark a waypoint on google maps with ease, this can get you out of all sorts of mischief. Let’s say you’re entering a forest, before you do, mark your waypoint and then ride away. When you’re ready to head home just open maps and you have a point of reference to navigate your way back!


Essential guide to mountain biking and how to plan the perfect ride

Make sure you dress appropriately, especially if you're game for a long ride! For mountain biking and rougher terrain a decent pair of trainers with a firm sole are a great option. Flat and firm will give you more control should you hit a rocky corner. You might want to consider elbow and knee pads if you’re going extreme. Over the ankle socks will give you more protection and double up as trouser tucks. Gloves add comfort, enhance grip and protect you from that windchill, for colder months opt for a full coverage glove! An all weather cycling jacket should be on your essentials list. A good jacket is breathable, lightweight, wind and waterproof. Most cycling jackets are extra long at the back and keep you drier for longer. Sunglasses can really improve your ride, we recommend picking up a sports pair, some have interchangeable lenses for gloomy days.


Finally for your backpack, don’t forget that 2nd bottle of water, electrolyte tablets and some food (energy bars are perfect)! You might want some loose change too - just incase you need a pit stop for a warm drink or some extra food.


As promised, if you’re yet to purchase a bike or looking for an upgrade check out our quick guide for choosing your ride. Formby Cycles, a leading UK cycle store have a huge range and currently holding a mountain bike sale*. Bonus! Whichever you choose, invest in a great versatile bike and the road is your oyster.


Type:
Terrain:
For the:
We say:
Road bike
Smooth road
Confident commuter
If you're commuting and live in a urban area with good roads this is your bike
Hybrid/ Cyclocross
Light mixed terrain
Commuter
Can handle mixed terrain but you wouldn’t want to stray from the path
Mountain Bike
Uphill and varied terrain
All-weather Adventurer
Best choice for varied conditions. It can handle all terrains and won’t stop you exploring.


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