It is important to be well-prepared when heading out for a mountain bike ride so you can fix most mechanicals. This article discusses essential tools and parts to take mountain biking to ensure you can repair the majority of trail-side mechanicals.
Multi-tool with a Chain Breaker
When purchasing a multi-tool, check that it is compatible with most bolts on your bike. The common sizes are 4mm, 5mm, and T25 torx. If your bike has thru axles, check that the multi-tool works on those as well. Flatting and being unable to take your wheels off could be an avoidable disaster. Ideally, get a multi-tool with a chain breaker and pack an extra quick link. Then if your chain breaks on the trail, you should be able to repair it.
I recommend packing two tire levers on mountain bike rides. This way, if you get a flat tire, it is easier to take your tire off and put a tube in. Also, a plastic tire lever is generally a better choice over a metal one to reduce the risk of damaging your rim.
Another one of my essential tools and parts to take mountain biking is a tube. Don’t forget to pack a tube and check that it is the correct size for your bike tires. Pack your tube in a bag, such as a sandwich bag. This will ensure no holes wear into the tube in your saddle bag or hydration pack. Unpack your tube and pump it up occasionally to check for any holes that may have worn into it.
My favorite tool is probably Stan’s Dart. I highly recommend packing a Stan’s Dart so you can quickly and easily plug any more minor punctures. However, for the dart to successfully seal the puncture, check the amount of sealant in your wheels about every three months. For more information on Stan’s Dart, click here.
High Volume Hand Pump and CO2
For mountain bike races, I always pack 2 CO2s. It is generally the faster way to put air into your tires. Don’t forget to pack the CO2 head! For mountain bike rides, in addition to the CO2s, I recommend packing a high-volume hand pump. Using a hand pump is easier to achieve a more exact tire pressure. Also, if you misuse your CO2s, you will have another way to inflate your tire.
Zip Ties and Tape
It is a good idea to pack some zip ties and tape on your mountain bike rides. If something breaks on your bike, you may be able to fix it with tape or zip ties temporarily. For example, your shifter could potentially fall off, and you can zip tie it back on. You may break a spoke that can be taped to another spoke to stay out of the way. Your shoe may even break, and this way, you can tape it onto your foot.
Investing in a few spare parts and tools can play a significant role in a smooth mountain bike ride adventure. You will be able to fix most common mechanicals and be back on the trail in no time!
Emily is a Sports Dietitian who is passionate about helping others improve their health and athletic performance through proper nutrition. She races cyclocross professionally. She lives in Roanoke, VA with her husband Kerry and their beagle Sherman.
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