If you’re heading out to a trail centre this weekend, or going for a spin for a few hours on your MTB, make sure you have these essential items in your bag.
1. Bag. This goes without saying! Something with about 15l capacity should be plenty for a day on the trails.
2. Water. Most bags come with hydration bladders, or alternatively carry a bottle or two of water. About 2 litres is good for a 3 or 4 hours of riding in average temperatures, but tailor to your needs.
3. Inner tube. If you get a puncture, repairing it on the trailside can be a right pain. It’s quicker and simpler to carry a spare tube. Ensure it’s the right size for your wheels; 26″, 27.5″ or 29″.
4. Tyre levers. Essential for getting your tyre off if you do have a puncture. We always bring at least three, in case one breaks, and we like the plastic ones rather than the metal ones.
5. Pump. Again, an essential item if you get a puncture. Trail centres may be geographically contained, but it can still be a long walk back to the car park.
6. Multi-tool. Whether you need to tighten a bolt or unscrew a chain, you can almost guarantee that the one time you need a muli-tool is the time you don’t have it with you. Make sure you pop one in your bag.
7. Food. It’s always worth bringing a few snacks out with you. Jelly babies are great for a mid-ride pick-me-up, flapjacks are another favourite, and of course there are hundreds of energy and protein bars on the market.
8. Waterproof jacket. It’s the UK. The chances of it raining are high. A lightweight rain jacket stashed in the bottom of your bag won’t take up much room, and you’ll be glad you brought it the first time you get caught in a downpour in the woods.
9. Buff. These are versatile wonder products that Team TWC never ride without. Whether you need a bit of extra warmth, want to keep the sun off your neck, or just need something to wipe the mud off your face, a buff is the way to go!
10. Mobile phone. This is particuarly important if you are planning on riding out on your own. Make sure it’s fully charged! Of course, lots of trail centres have signal black spots but we reckon it’s still important to carry a phone with you.