There are a few essential bits of kit that you simply won’t survive without. The good news is though, you can test the waters and see if you like the sport with very little financial commitment. All of the major trail centres will offer bike rental which will include the use of a helmet and that all important puncture repair kit should you find yourself a touch deflated.
On that note, make sure you have with you a pump, some tyre levers and the right sized inner tube. Although routes at trail centres usually don’t venture too far from the centre itself, it can still be a long walk back if you do get a flat!
If you do have a pair of padded shorts then we would recommend wearing them as they undoubtedly give you a more comfortable ride. Gloves are an essential item, they will provide you with better grip and therefore control of the bike, act as shock absorbers taking some of the pressure off your hands and lower arms and they will protect your hands should you take a fall. You should also throw a waterproof jacket into your bag along with a bottle of water and a small snack to reward yourself mid-ride.