Travelling with your bike can be troublesome – bits go missing at an astonishing rate and anything thing that can go wrong with your bike probably will. Chances are, where you’re going you’ll be able to get to a well-equipped bike shop, but there are always a few spare bits of kit you should always take from home.
If you can only take one spare item, it needs to be a hanger. You can repair a tube on the side of the trail with tape, or a dropper post with cable ties, but if your hanger goes, there’s almost nothing you can do, and you’ve got a long walk out. Hangers are unnecessarily unique; two of the same model bikes from the same brand will have different hangers if they are more than a few years apart. Due to this degree of variation, there is only a minute chance any LBS will have your exact hanger, and missing rides over such a small part is a great way to ruin a riding trip to a distant country.
These are especially important if you’re planning on doing any multi-day rides. A long day of descending in muddy conditions will wear your brake pads to nothing, and the last thing you want is to start a day-long ride with the realisation that your brakes packed it in last night.
Ever heard the saying, ‘if you can’t fix it with duct tape, you haven’t used enough?’ For mountain bikes, replace duct tape with zip ties, and you’ve got a biblical truth. From keeping baggage in place to fixing a dropper post to holding a tyre onto a cracked rim, if you’ve got enough zip ties and a splash of creativity you can fix almost anything short of a cracked frame. Even then you could still give it a red hot crack.
First aid kit
Every mountain biker should take a first aid course, as the skills and techniques you learn there could genuinely save a life. More importantly, every mountain biker should have a first aid kit on them at all times. For advice on exactly what to put in your kit, check out our article on first aid kits for riders.
Spare SD cards
Yes, not only are these cheap, but they are universally accessible. However, you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll run out of storage at a time when you won’t be able to find another one. Throw one or two spares in your bag before you go.
Anything we’ve missed? Perhaps you found yourself in a tricky spot without an essential item during a riding trip and you could pass on your wisdom. Let us know in the comments below!