All This, and a Mountain Bike
By Morgan Fluhrer, Southern Regional Sales Manager, Endura
Cycling Apparel (and former bike mechanic for several Upstate shops)
I love mountain biking Ė itís what I grew up with. It keeps me
healthy as a diabetic, and itís what introduced me to my girlfriend Ė now wife.
Itís also what taught me to be a great mechanic. How?
Necessity. Ever been stuck in the woods with a broken derailleur hanger? Ever
broken a suspension fork, a seatpost or even tacoíed a wheel? Iíve done all of
these, and from my experiences Iíve learned
what to carry with me on a mountain bike ride.
I get this question a lot and, aside from carrying a roll of
duct tape Ė which actually fixes pretty much anything, Iíll tell you some basic
things to take with you on a bike ride so that you can have a more enjoyable
First off, bring some food with you Ė and Iím not talking
about shrimp cocktail.
Next, get a hydration pack. Get one with a bladder that
holds at least 70 ounces. Itís more than just a big water bottle strapped to
your back Ė itís a way to carry all of your awesome stuff. Yeah, you could use
a seatbag, but thatís for road bikes. Conversely, hydration packs are only for
off-road use. Never use a hydration pack on a road bike, itís against the
rules, and itís also an entirely different article topic. Hydration packs give
you all the water you need without having to fuss with a waterbottle, and you
can put your food, tools, spare tube, etc, in all the pockets and zipped
Buy a good multitool. Donít be afraid to drop some cash
here, since this will be the tool that gets you through the hard times: Broken
chains, stripped bolts, bent chainrings and the like. Buy one with a Torx
wrench for your (or your friendís) disc brake rotor bolts, and definitely buy
one with a chain tool and all the Allen wrenches youíll need (3, 4 and 5mm are
most common), plus screwdrivers. Two really good tool makers are Park and
Lezyne. If possible, buy a mini-crescent wrench. They come with some Park
tools. Sure itís cool, and you can poke fun at your friends with small hands
with it, but it works great for bending random things back into shape after an
Always carry a spare inner tube, some tire levers, a patch
kit and a Co2 inflator or pump with you. You can even get a Co2 inflator
combined with a pump so youíll never be stranded. Why Co2? Itís fast. That way
you can get back to riding awesome singletrack, instead of sitting on the
side of the trail watching other riders whiz by as you work up a forearm cramp
while using your minipump.
For random small parts and such, grab a ziploc bag and stuff
it with these things: Spare chainring bolts that fit your bike, an extra pair
of brake pads, and some zip ties, aka Ďhigh falutiní duct tape. Also carry some
spare chain links with you, or a quick-link (available at your local shop), so
that you can fix a chain if you need to. I like to carry a spare derailleur
cable. It can also be used in a pinch as a brake cable, provided youíre not
using hydraulic disc brakes. Side note: you should all be using hydraulic disc
It never hurts to take a small, two-ounce bottle of chain
lube with you. Not only for you or your friends, but also for that guy who you
can hear with the squeaky chain from about two miles away.
Thatís about it. Donít forget to take your camera with you
Oh yeah, and donít forget the duct tape.