How To

Beginner on the Bike? This Checklist’s for You

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If you’re looking to get a bit more serious about your mountain biking, there’s a whole other world of information to dive into. There’s the ins and outs of all the technical aspects of the bike itself, how to actually ride the bike and then there’s the gear.

It’s not like swimming where you just need to make sure you’ve got your speedos and goggles. The mountain biker’s checklist can go on forever will all the options out there. That’s why it can get pretty confusing.

Luckily for you, we’ve written this beginner’s essentials checklist for heading out on the bike.

Safety

First and foremost, you should always think about items which are going to keep you safe on the trail.

  • First aid kit
  • Water – CamelBak offers easy to carry hydration packs which hold a good amount of liquid for a day out
  • Helmet – this is an absolute essential
  • Phone – people can get lost, fall off their bike or spot someone else in trouble. You never know when you’ll need to get in touch with the emergency service
  • ID card – this is in case you get into some serious trouble and need to be picked up by the hospital
  • Gloves – as well as helping you grip; these can save the skin on your hands in a fall
  • Eye protection – if you’re cycling in a team, bits of dirt and pebbles can get flicked up by tires in front of you

Nutrition

As well as staying hydrated, keeping well-fuelled is crucial to stopping yourself from burning out. This is what you should pack to make sure you don’t hit the wall.

  • Energy gels – super handy to pack, these are full of fast acting carbohydrates
  • Flapjack – these a packed with carbs for a quick release of energy, plus slower burning fats
  • Dried fruit – again, easy to store away and great for energy on the go
  • Money – bringing money is always a good idea as there can be pit stops along the way for refuelling

Repair List

bike-repair

Bike malfunctions happen to everyone on the trail, no matter how complex the ride is.

  • Spare tubes
  • Pump (preferably compact)
  • Patch kit
  • Pressure gauge
  • Lubricant (for chain)
  • Spare chain links
  • CO2 inflator – handy for quickly inflating spare tubes
  • Multi-purpose tools
  • Tape – seriously, this can fix everything (almost)
  • Tire lever

Clothing

Dressing for the right conditions can be the difference between a pleasant ride or your ride from hell.

  • Padded short – long rides quickly become uncomfortable
  • Waterproofing – think top and bottoms
  • Wind jacket
  • Bandana/face mask
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Breathable gloves
  • Cycling socks
  • Eye protection
  • Helmet

Handy Extras

As well as the essentials above, these extra items can come in perfectly handy in a variety of situations.

  • Sun cream
  • Toilet paper/wipes – not just for the toilet, but also wiping scrapes and wounds
  • Maps or a phone with GPS
  • Camera – handy for good memories but if you get lost, this can remind you where you’ve come from
  • Insect repellent
  • Small towel

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