Essentials for All-Day Mountain Bike Rides


Nothing beats an all-day outing on your bike, but the fun comes to an end if you’re not prepared for adverse conditions. Even if the weather is fine and your bike performs to perfection, you’ll need to make sure you’re carrying a few essentials. Here’s what you should pack for trips lasting up to about six hours.


Patch Kit and Spare Tube

If you get a flat, swapping out the entire tube is easier than patching it. You can fix your tube later in the comfort of home. The reason you need both a tube and a patch kit is that it’s not uncommon to have more than one flat per day.


Tire Pump

A portable pump is essential for any length ride. You can find pumps that are both powerful and light. You can also opt to carry a CO2 inflator, but a pump is less wasteful and more versatile.



Whether you’re going for an afternoon ride or an all-day trek, packing a rugged waterproof bluetooth speaker for sounds is always a good idea for any adventure.



Kits should include these basics.

  • Tire levers: Without these it’s really hard to change a flat.
  • Allen wrenches: These are essential for all kinds of fixes.
  • Multi-Tool: Your best friend if you need to make a repair.
  • Chain Breaker: They make quick work of bike chains.
  • Chain Links: You should always carry a few extras.


First Aid Kit

Your bike isn’t the only thing that might require fixing when you’re out on a ride. Carry a kit that’s designed for cycling.



Even if you plan to return before sunset, you need a light because it’s not uncommon to get delayed. Stow a handlebar light, headlamp, or flashlight in your pack.


Extra Clothing

Weather can change in an instant, especially if you’re in the mountains. Check the forecast, dress appropriately, and bring extra clothes in case conditions change. Here’s what you’ll need.

  • Jacket: Even in warm weather it’s a good idea to bring an extra long-sleeve jersey or jacket.
  • Socks: If you hit water, it’s nice to be able to pull on dry socks.
  • Gloves: An extra pair is insurance against crashes that rip your first pair open.
  • Sunglasses: Sunny or not, bring glasses to protect your eyes. Get a sports or cycling-specific pair. They’re lightweight, won’t bounce, and some come with interchangeable lenses.


Food and Drink

A hydration pack is the most convenient way to carry water. You can also tuck a bladder into another backpack. In addition, carry an empty bottle and some electrolyte mix so you can whip up a drink trailside. Some people prefer real food instead of energy bars or gels. It doesn’t matter what you bring as long as it’s portable, won’t spoil, and is easy to digest. Don’t skip eating because low blood sugar when you’re negotiating a tricky section of the trail can be dangerous.



Zip ties are useful for all sorts of bicycle repairs and duct tape patches up bikes, clothes, shoes, packs, and can even come in handy if you need to wrap a sprain. It’s also a good idea to bring ID, your smartphone or MP3 player, and headphones.

With luck you won’t have to crack open any of your emergency kits, but it’s always a good idea to carry them. If you don’t need them, someone else in your group probably will.


  1. Having a headlamp is so important, and it’s something that many people forget!

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