Sooner or later you will get a flat or suffer a mechanical problem while on a ride. Having a multi-tool and a
few spares will get you through these times with the
least amount of hassle. Your kit needs to contain a spare
tube, multi-tool, patch kit and an inflation device
(either a mini-pump or C02 inflator will do the trick). If
you wear a hydration pack, it will all fit in there. If not,
get yourself a seat pack that attaches under and behind
Having padding in the shorts (called a chamois)
makes a big difference in comfort. Most mountain bikers opt for “baggy” shorts (loose-fitting shorts with a
chamois inside), but there is nothing wrong with road-ie-style Lycra shorts. Understand that good cycling
shorts are cut to work best on the bike. Trying it on in
the bike shop and walking around will feel weird. Get
on a bike to determine if the shorts you are trying on
The best thing you can do to maintain your bike is to
keep the chain properly lubed. The environment in
which you ride will dictate the type of lube to buy. For
dusty and dry dirt, go with a wax or “dry” Teflon lube.
In sloppy, wet, muddy conditions, a “wet” lube will suit
your needs best.
Before you hit the trails, be sure to check your tire pressure. A floor pump with a gauge will do the trick. Over-or under-inflated tires will affect the ride quality of your
bike. Having your tires at the proper pressure will reduce
your risk of pinch flats and give you optimal traction out
on the trails.