There’s no better feeling than riding a new bike, whether you just picked it up from your local shop or had it delivered to your front door. Sure, it can be
sad to retire your old trusty steed, but as soon as you head
out to the trails on your new ride, you’ll wonder why you
didn’t upgrade sooner. The exact same thing can be said
about accessories. A new helmet, riding shorts, tools and a
few other items can have just as big an impact on your ride
as getting a new bike. To make sure you get the most out of
your riding experience, we have compiled a list of the top 10
accessories you should never leave the shop, or your online
shopping cart, without.
Buy these before your maiden voyage
ACCESSORIES YOU SHOULDN’T
LEAVE THE SHOP WITHOUT
The most important accessory you should buy along
with a new bike is a helmet. This seems like common
sense, but we are often surprised at the number of
riders who refuse to wear helmets, especially kids. A
helmet is your first line of defense should you crash.
Mountain bike helmets can vary in price, from $50
to a few hundred dollars. You might think that a more
expensive helmet will provide more safety, but, while
that can be true, it isn’t always the case. First, make
sure the helmet is designed for your style of riding.
Do you race cross-country, ride downhill or trail ride?
Then, pick out the features you want your helmet to
have. An adjustable visor, ample ventilation and additional safety systems are all popular features for mid-to high-quality helmets. Once you’ve found a helmet
that fits your style, offers the features you’re looking
for and has a comfortable fit, then you are truly ready
to go shred the trails.
2. SHORTS AND CHAMOIS
A good pair of riding shorts with a chamois is
important for maximizing riding comfort. Taste in
mountain bike clothing varies among individuals,
and there isn’t a particular style that is more
comfortable than others; however, it is important
to choose the right clothing features for your type
of riding. Cross-country riders will want to find
form-fitting shorts with larger vents to keep them
cool. Trail or enduro riders need shorts with a
more durable fabric that offers extra protection
and may need to give up some breathability.
Regardless of which shorts you purchase, you’ll
want to make sure they come with a nice-quality
chamois. If your preferred shorts don’t come with
a chamois, you’ll need to purchase one separately
to wear underneath.
4. SHOES AND PEDALS
Buying a new bike will likely require you to make a quick decision about the type of pedals you
want, as it’s rare for a new bike to come with pedals included. Many MBA test riders have used
the same pair of pedals for years, transferring them from bike to bike. But, shoes often need
replacing after a season or so. If you’re looking to get a pair of clip-in pedals, it’s hard to beat
Shimano’s XT SPDs. As for shoes, you should purchase a pair that is compatible with mountain
bike cleats, meaning there are four screw holes, as opposed to three, and fits your style of riding.
Ask yourself which would be more beneficial—a lightweight and stiff shoe, a comfortable shoe
that fits like a casual shoe, or a combination of the two? Flat-pedal riders should find a pedal that
is sized well and has adjustable pins. Then they should purchase a cycling-specific shoe, since it
will offer more protection and have a stiffer sole than a tennis shoe.
Being prepared doesn’t stop with having a spare tube and a pump. Riders
can also face mechanical issues that require the use of a multi-tool. There are
many options when it comes to multi-tools,
but whichever one you choose, it needs to
supply all of the tools you need for your
bike. If you have components with
torque bolts, make sure you have
the appropriate wrenches. Trust us,
there’s nothing worse than pulling
out a multi-tool only to find you don’t
have the right tool for the job.