Mountain Bike, Summer’s here, and with all the fine weather we’ve been having, it’s the perfect time to get started with mountain biking. Below you’ll find a quick rundown of all the things you need to get out on the mountains…
1. Mountain Bike
First, get a good bike. It’s understandably essential to mountain biking that you have a bike. You have to be careful to pick the right bike for you, as they can be complicated machines if you pick one that doesn’t agree with you. Be sure you have something adjusted to your height and weight. Our recommendation for male beginners is the Barracuda Men’s Phoenix Dual Suspension Mountain Bike.
It has an 18″ full-suspension steel frame with fully adjustable rear shock units and front suspension forks that can take all the punishment you throw at it at this point. Its 18-speed indexed gears are made by Shimano and will help you conquer any terrain, while the mechanical front disc brakes and rear V-brake are powerful enough to stop you as you’re coming down again. The Barracuda also has a padded saddle which you’ll really appreciate on some of those tougher peaks.
Female riders can’t go far wrong with the Barracuda Women’s Mystique Mountain Bike.
Its 18” alloy hard-tail frame is a lightweight alternative to the male equivalent above, and its 21-speed gear system mean you’ll be able to alternate your pace and better manage those mountains. Alloyed V-brakes at the back and front also give bike the same impressive stopping power as the men’s bike, so you can ride harder and safer.
2. Premium off-road tires
For a mountain biking, you need decent off-road tires. Without them, you’ll be doing more hiking than biking this summer. Both of the bikes we’ve suggested above come with tires, but if you can afford it, it might be worth shelling out more for the best. Remember, your tires are the only thing between you and the mountain. We recommend a pair of these Continental’s Trail King 2.2-inch
wide tires. These tires are big and grippy, which is exactly what you want from a pair of tires. They’re great in all areas, providing really impressive traction and reliability thanks to their weight; they’re also pretty quick downhill.
3. Mini bike-pump
The next thing you’ll need is a decent bike-pump— you don’t want to be stuck on the mountain without one. You may not know him yet, but without a decent high-powered pump you’ll soon get to know him very well. The best pump on the market is the Topeak’s Mountain Morph.
With a weight of 250g, it may not win any prizes for being the lightest product, but it’s easily the best and can put out up to 160psi – just what you need. It has a standard folding foot-pump system for easy use.
4. Digital tire pressure gauge
You’ve got the tires and you’ve got the pump, but how much pressure do you have in your tires? A pressure gauge is handy to have around and won’t take up too much space. The right tire pressure means you’re less likely to puncture and more likely to keep your traction when others would be skidding off the trail. The TEKTON 5941 Digital Tire Gauge
is a reliable option. It has a lighted nozzle and display, which makes it perfect for low-light conditions, and its digital display gets information to you clearly and quickly. The handle has been cleverly designed to fit your hand and features a super-soft grip that keeps the simple push-trigger in easy access.
5. Multi-tool with a chain breaker
This is an important tool for all riders; it’s worth investing here. Many riders will opt for a lightweight model that doesn’t come with a chain breaker and a few extra links, and may end up learning the hard way. There are a lot of options out there for you, but arguably the best multi-tool is the I-Beam Mini Fold-Up with Chain Tool from Park Tool.
You’ll need to buy extra links separately, though. This multi-tool comes with eight variations of hex wrench that will suit any bike, a straight blade screwdriver, a flashlight, and your very own trusty chain tool. It’s an important piece of equipment.
Mountain biking is a great sport, but it can be dangerous at times. No one ever means to fall, but inevitably we all do – lots. You can avoid unnecessary risks with a helmet; these should fit snuggly and shouldn’t obscure your vision. You can find many handy guides to picking the right helmet here: http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/how-to-choose-a-bike-helmet-40626/. It’s best to try on any helmet before you buy it so that there won’t be any surprises when you get out into the mountains. With that said, one of the best all-round helmets for your buck is this Giro Feature Mountain Bike Helmet.
It’s got an In Form System that should improve fitting for you and ensure it’s comfortable for those longer rides. Its twelve air vents will help keep you cool when it matters.