Taking up mountain biking? Make sure you have this essential kit so you’ll always be prepared

Pedals, shoes and cleats

The idea of clamping yourself into the pedals while cycling over rough terrain may be daunting but it’s worth the effort as it makes your riding more efficient. You can also adjust the tightness of the pedals to make it easier to release your feet when you need to.

Shorts

Mountain bike saddles are more forgiving than those on road or hybrid bikes but it’s still worth investing in a couple of pairs of well padded cycling shorts to soften the impact of bumpy terrain on your rear.

Gloves

Other than your butt, the impact of shock absorption from the road or trail will be taken by your hands. Look for gloves that are well padded in the palm. Keep at least two pairs for different weather conditions. Fingerless for the summer and full gloves for the colder weather.

Cycling tops with pockets

If you need to refuel on the go, you want it to be easy. Cycling tops with plenty of accessible pockets make it simple to access gels or energy bars without losing your rhythm while riding on bumpy trails.

Fuel

Regardless of how long your ride, it’s always a good idea to have some fuel with you in the form of an energy gel, drink, banana or even a flapjack. You may not be riding far, but it’s never nice to run low on energy if, for example, it’s been a while since your last meal or snack. So always be prepared.

Helmet

A particularly important piece of kit for mountain biking, especially if you’re riding through woods and might encounter some low hanging branches!

Lights

Lights are crucial during autumn and winter riding, but they’re also a good idea at other times of the year if you’re riding off road, in woodlands or in remote areas. Remember, lights help others see you as well as aiding your vision. So it’s a good courtesy to your fellow outdoor pursuits fans to have them and switch them on.

Communications

It’s always a good idea to have your phone with you or, if you’re venturing to more remote areas with friends, you might want to invest in some walkie-talkies that don’t rely on always having access to a phone network.

Tools

Always have the basics with you. A multi-tool for any adjustments on the go and a puncture repair kit complete with spare inner tube. If you intend to tackle any particularly rough or flinty trails, it’s a good precaution to buy some lining to fit into your tyres ahead of your ride.