All right guys. So, you have decided to enter in a mountain bike event. There is a swag of different events and styles of events to choose from. But a bit preparation can make a huge difference to completing the event and it being one of the best experiences of your life or having a breakdown or something goes wrong before or after just because you didn’t have a better gear with you at the time.
Most events are probably found away from your home. The event I was at recently was a few hours drive from my home here, so I had to take all my gear with me. So you can take a huge amount of stuff. You can take a few essentials and you can get through most problems on the day or before or after the event.
I just want to run through with you the gear that I took on the recent event that I was on.
Firstly, and obviously, your bike. Your bike has to be well maintained and ready to go. See you can make sure… let’s genuine tires, your tire pressure, gear change, your drive chain, all making sure it is all working well and changing nicely and smoothly.
Checking your leakages. If you have got a juice extension bike, making sure your pressure is fine in your shock.
Check your pedals, make sure your pedals are all clipping in and clipping out well. Obviously, your seat height is all fine.
Checking your breaks and obviously your forks and make sure everything is tuned up and ready to ride. Because when you are at in valley particularly one on the days that I was on the ride at the weekend, it was a 60 km loop. There are checkpoints all the way and a series of volunteers along the way. So if you have a breakdown, you are not too far away from getting some sort of support. But to breakdown after all the preparation, your training, everything you have done to get there just because you didn’t have your bike well-maintained before you got there, it will be an absolute disaster. You will be kicking yourself. You will be so, so disappointed. So obviously first and foremost your bike.
Next up I have gone through and this is generally the gear that I have taken on the ride that I have just been.
So what I have done here today is trying to break up the gear that I have taken away on the weekend into roughly two groups, the gear that I have taken with me, obviously, in the car to help before or after and then the gear that I have used or taken with me on the bike. So let’s run through from the top.
Track pump. Really important. Help you ties up before the ride between days.
A bucket with some motion gear to wash your bike. As you can see the event that we were just on had a few quite deep mud [unclear 2:58] and things. So because it was a 2-day event, I was able to wash my bike over night, do all the chain, get everything cleaned up and then getting all lubed up again and ready for the second day. Again just helps your bike keep on rolling and to ensure like the best of the efforts you are going to get there to make sure your bike keep going all the way through the way.
[unclear 3:25] a few tools. Just in case you have a few breakdowns so you can make a few repairs over night.
Chain lube. There is a [unclear 3:33] of new shocks.
A big bottle with some water. One of the areas that we were at over the weekend didn’t have a lot of water around, and so I thought taking a big bottle water, you can use that for obviously a whole range of things to get yourself a bit of wash down, if it is a really muddy dirty ride, give your bike a bit of wash down, all sorts of things. Even have a drink if you need to.
A small ice tea. I take a food with me to take before or after. I take all of these water and frozen water and obviously the hydration that I use on the bike and before and after the event as well.
Chane of clothes. Full change of clothes to wear before the ride and after the ride. On a particularly days, which we were away, it was about 3 degrees when we got out of the car to register for the event. So making sure you are obviously warm fully before the start of the ride.
Long pants and long tops got a spare jacket and also a towel – all these things before and also after. As I said, you can go for a ride, get back to the car, your body is really warmed up everything is fine but you can be covered in mud and [unclear 4:49], you have had an absolute of all, but you have got to get the car drive home, so sometimes we don’t change clothes to get change before you head back home.
So moving on from there, I am going on to the gear that I have taken with me on the bike. Now from the top of the list obviously a helmet. Glasses and a second pair of glasses in case you lose them or break them. Obviously, I will go for a yellow and amber lens. The area that we were riding in, obviously a lot of shaded places as well as open sunlight. So the amber lens just helps to smooth out the variation in the color and in the shadow on the trails just to see those holes, lobs, rocks whatever it is. Sounds great.
Heart rate monitor and computer really important. Obviously, you need some great dialer when you are at in the trial. You want to get heart rate and calories that you burn that sort of thing. But also when you come back I can use that information on the computer download it in my training program and just get a bit of idea of what I was actually doing in different times of the race and what my body was doing.
Shoes. Make sure your shoes are all working well. Everything walk and obviously you clear it nice and tight. Go through your clothes. Obviously, you need your gloves. Socks, shorts, cycling shorts, jersey, and also through an informal top just in case it was going to be really cold on the ride. It wasn’t that cold but I did throw some arm warmers which I was pleased I did. In the morning when you start before your body is all warmed, sometimes it is good to have those on. And obviously just wearing arm warmers quite easy just to [unclear 6:39] off. Throw them in your back pocket and keep on riding.
Compare to having a full firm top on which could mean you have to stop, get off your bike, take your backpack or your gear off, take it off, it is just a waste of time. So just a good thing to have there.
Moving on. My backpack. You know a lot of the elite riders won’t be using backpacks. Obviously, they are on the trail for a lot less time than what I am. But having not ridden one of these events before and not raced in an event for a long, long time, I wanted to make sure that I had plenty of gear with me. So, I have got backpack there. I have got my hydration system in the backpack. This carries about 2 liters of water. And I also took a second bottle with me with water, so another layer there. So in this particular event, as I mentioned, had a loop I ran 60 kilometers. They mentioned there will be a series of points where you could refill your water along the way, but I mentioned that was important that you take enough water just in case that you ran out. So I was carrying 3 liters of water with me on the day. Weather temperature and conditions were absolutely perfect. It was a clear sky, around about 20 low 20s degrees. It was just magic. So I ended up not using any of my backup water. Just using my main supply but that was there just in case. Obviously for myself or with anyone else that need some waters in the trials.
So backpack there, spare parts, I carry two spare tubes. I am running tubeless tyre on this bike, and they are absolutely fantastic but in the case of big hole or a tear in your tire something that you certainly never happen, got a tube and also I carry the second tube if you punch the tire, pop the tube in, [unclear 8:42] and you are back on the trials.
Moly tool, 5 pounds tire levels and couple of extra bit of pieces there. All in the backpack carry with me just in case. As I said the weather was really so I haven’t taken any rain gear or anything like that. If there had been forecast wet weather I might take a spare jacket or something else on the bike just to keep a bit of rain or a bit of [unclear 9:11].
And then getting on the hydration nutrition. You got something that in the past I haven’t focused too much on but this time around it was really congesting along the ride out there down the trial for the long period of time. I wanted to make sure that I had a good source of hydration and nutrition. This time I have gone with the Hammer range. I have gone with Perpetuem for a drink before and after the event. And also gone with Hammer Bar, Hammer gels during the event and also electrolytes in my drink while I am on the bike to keep drinking all the way through. So all those products together with water on the bike, I feel absolutely fantastic. I have periods in the past where I have to burn through my energy source. I become tired a bit fatigue just hasn’t filled myself. With these products, I didn’t feel that all at the end of the second day of riding I was going to get a bit tired but that, of course, the fitness I had and so I was really pleased with those products.
So in summary guys, that’s basically what I have taken with me before the event. This was a 4-day event in total, I just completed in a last 2 days of the 4-day event. So my first day was 60 km ride, the second day was 40 km ride. This is the gear that I have taken and all proved really well. And also to carry all that gear in just to be a plastic tub. I bundle all this gear into the tap, if it is wet if it is dry, bundle in there that’s all in one place if you want to get home to clean up wash up [unclear 11:09].
All right, guys. I hope that helps. I have given an overview of the gear that I use when I go for mountain biking event away from home. I will put a checklist together and use that refer toward or ad toward whatever you think let us know what you think. Have a great day guys.
So keep in touch and see you out on the trails.
About The Author
Rod Bucton, mountain bike fanatic from Mid North Coast, New South Wales Australia… helping middle aged men improve their lives with exercise, good nutrition and good health and while you’re at it follow Rod on Facebook or Instagram.
Like any sport, bicycling involves risk of injury and damage. By choosing to ride a bicycle, you assume the responsibility for that risk, so you need to know — and to practice — the rules of safe and responsible riding and of proper use and maintenance. Proper use and maintenance of your bicycle reduces risk of injury.