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Matt Sklar | 02.16.2018

Mountain biking is amazing partly because it allows you to get way out into the beautiful backcountry. This also means you can find yourself high and dry with a grueling walk back to the rig if you’re not adequately prepared. Packing a couple of tools and having some basic trailside maintenance skills will go a long way in helping you be ready for anything out on the trails. Your mountain bike packing list will look a lot different for a backcountry epic than it will for a day at the local bike park, but regardless of the ride length, there are a handful of essentials that should come with you every time you hop on your mountain bike.

Bike technology has made bikes lighter and more fun, yet they are still complicated machines that can breakdown on the trail. Unless you have the tools to repair your bike yourself, you could be facing a long walk out, and that is certainly no fun at all. There are several pieces of gear, and tools, that are essential to have with you on every ride.

  1. Bike Helmet: Protecting your head is a no-brainer. A helmet is the first thing you should think about when leaving the house.
  2. Bike gloves are a good idea, too. For riders tackling more aggressive downhill riding might also want to add some more pads to their kit.
  3. Spare Tubes and a Patch Kit: Flat tires are the most common mechanical failure to encounter on a mountain bike ride. Even if your bike is set up with tubeless tires, it is a good idea to carry a tube on longer rides as a backup.
  4. Bike Pump or CO2 Inflator: To fix your flat tire, you need something to inflate your spare tube. This is why a small handheld bike pump or a CO2 inflator is the next must-have on our list.
  5. Tool kit: A basic tool kit should include tire levers, a bike-specific multi-tool, a few links of chain and a quicklink/masterlink (in case you break your chain), and zip-ties. Riders going on longer mountain bike rides might want to carry additional tools and spare parts like an extra derailleur hanger, as these guys are meant to bend and break to protect the derailleur itself. Pro tip: wrap a few inches of duct tape around your tire levers since, you know, it can fix pretty much everything.
  6. First-aid kit: Everyone takes a digger sooner or later; it's just the nature of the beast. That’s why having a small first-aid kit is a good idea, especially if you’ll be far away from the trailhead.
  7. Backpack, fanny pack, or frame bag: Once you’ve assembled your kit, you’ll need some way to carry it with you on your rides. The backpack is the tried-and-true method. We recommend a bike-specific pack as it will be low profile and built to distribute weight better for mountain biking. Some riders prefer a fanny pack style hip bag or a saddlebag due to their greater mobility.
  8. Snacks and hydration: Since hydration is so important, ensuring you have proper water storage is paramount. From regular hydration packs to fanny packs to on-frame bottle cages, there are a number of ways to carry that sweet life juice. Snacks are not only delicious, but they are essential to keep you riding at full speed all the way back to the parking lot. Nothing too fancy here, just something light and sugary for a nice energy boost. Some fan favorites around evo are Sour Patch Kids, apple slices, almond/peanut butter packets, or the trusty granola bar.


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We are evo -  a ski, snowboard, mountain bike, surf, wake, and skate retailer based in Seattle, Washington, USA, with stores located in Seattle, Portland, and Denver. We also offer trips to remote locations across the globe in search of world-class powder turns, epic waves, and legendary mountain biking through our evoTrip Adventure Travel Trips.

evo explores the collaboration between culture and sport by seamlessly joining art, music, streetwear, skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking and wakeboarding. Our aim is to bring all things relevant to the urban, action sports lifestyle into one creative space. Whether it is on the website, on the phone or in our stores, our aim is to make all who come into contact with evo feel welcome and excited about their experience.


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