On your bike, get set, go! But before you set off on your mountain bike adventure, you need to make sure that you're well prepared. After all, the right accessories are just as essential as a bike you can rely on. If not more so! So we've put together a handy list of all the accessories you need to take with you on your next mountain bike ride...
- Helmets at the ready! Safety comes first, so a suitable bike helmet is an absolute must. You'll want optimal ventilation as you head uphill and guaranteed protection as you come back down. As you know, the main purpose of a helmet is to prevent head injuries in the case of falls or collisions. Your helmet needs to be the perfect fit if it's going to do its job properly. Helmets should fit tightly without exerting any pressure, covering the back of your head fully and extending down over the top of your forehead. Helmets should come with two closure systems to ensure the fit is spot on. The dial adjusts the circumference and the chin strap keeps the helmet in place on your head.
- Gloves and googles protect delicate parts of the body. With gloves on, your hands won't slip on the brakes and they'll be protected if you have a minor accident. Well-fitting goggles protect against UV rays and act as a barrier against anything else that could fly into your eyes.
- Proper footwear is essential for safe pedaling, pushing and carrying. Cycling shoes with stiff soles also help transfer the cyclist's energy to the bike effectively.
- Don't make any compromises when it comes to cycling apparel. Functional materials tick all the boxes. And they put a great big smile on a child's face before they set off on their next adventure. Don't forget to always take a change of clothes with you. You never know when the weather's going to change – especially up in the mountains.
- When you take the kids on a mountain bike adventure, you can bet that there'll be some bumps and grazes along the way. Although you can't avoid every minor accident, you can make sure you have the right safety equipment to keep your child as well protected as possible. Appropriate padding for the elbows, knees and shins is an absolute must. Does your little one enjoy shredding the downhills in bike parks? If so, they'll also need a back protector, a full-face helmet, neck brace and crash pants to keep the spine, chin, lips, teeth and nose safe from harm. When sourcing all this protective equipment, ensure that everything fits nicely and is easy to put on and take off. Nothing should slip and slide or feel too tight. Ideally, ask your child to try it all on and take it for a spin outside.
- You could always pop a first-aid kit and repair kit for minor patch-ups in your saddle bag or rucksack too.
- Snacks are an important part of any bike ride – no matter how short! There's always room for a cereal bar, which could be a lifesaver if you find you're in need of a quick energy boost.
- Get your hands on a rucksack so you have somewhere to put all your supplies. Make sure it's lightweight and comfy to wear – you'll barely notice it if it sits close to your body. When you pack, check that your rucksack and body have roughly the same centre of gravity. Just pop your coat and change of clothes right at the bottom, followed by the heavier items (your water bottle and so on) in the middle and the lighter things (think cereal bars) around everything else.