1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #26
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    Key essential: Toilet paper. When the roll in your bathroom has a day or two left on it, steal it. toss it in a plastic sandwich bag, press flat. Yup, its an essential. If you are in a place where TP paper litter is a problem, bring matches to burn the paper when you are through.


    Other things on my list not previously mentioned.
    --15mm wrench for SS axles (mine is cut down box wrench purchased from local pawn shop for $1.00) Ghetto Jetro Tule.
    --Map of trail area. (In case you really have mechanical breakdowns, and you need to find the best way to walk back home / to your car.)

  2. #27
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    Like others I have a local loadout and a deep wilderness load.

    Local is:
    Helmet
    Small Camel Bak
    Cell Phone
    Cash
    Drivers Lincense
    Blue Cross Medical Insurance card!

    Wilderness load is:
    Large Camel Bak-pack
    Helmet
    Gloves
    1 spare tube
    1 patch kit
    2 CO2 bottles
    2 tire spoons
    Multi Bike tool
    Small Swiss Army knife (smallest basic one with blade, tweezers, and scissors)
    Small First Aid kit with advil, tylenol, disinfectant wipes, guaze, band aids etc..
    Granola bars, 1 per estimated day of possible "being lost" not for trail consumption
    1 extra full bladder for camel-bak if this is going to be an all day thing.
    1 keychain size LED flashlight
    Light jacket if WX is expected
    1 small tube of Loc-Tite-- most *****en way to quick fix loose hardware--- Consider crazy glue in the first aid kit to use in leiu of stiches, loc-tite is hardware only.
    Cell phone
    Drivers License
    Medical Insurance card
    Cash


    Now for the arguement of "Oh my gosh thats so much weight"--- My bike is over 35lbs, a back pack isn't going to make a difference, and if you do it enough you don't even feel it.

  3. #28
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    One more VERY important thing... PLAN AHEAD PEOPLE!

    In my cell phone I have the phone numbers stored for the local forrest ranger district. Handy in case you find a down rider, large wildlife, or other very important trail matter like a hillbilly shooting a gun at Bikers!

  4. #29
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    quick.. somebody help.... what's the number for 911? (I couldn't resist.)

    Okay you're right. Having the ranger's phone number is a really good idea.

  5. #30
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by zipzit
    Key essential: Toilet paper. When the roll in your bathroom has a day or two left on it, steal it. toss it in a plastic sandwich bag, press flat. Yup, its an essential. If you are in a place where TP paper litter is a problem, bring matches to burn the paper when you are through.
    How about NOT burning it and packing it out? Zip locks are good for that. Many areas are under fire restrictions and one stray spark...... Leave No Trace principles, which apply to bikers too, are a great guideline.

  6. #31
    Zach Kowalchuk
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    on my first trail ride i carried water, a sweater, a spare tube, a pump and a utility knife

  7. #32
    Big John
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    How about one of those small size dirty magazines in case you wreck and are stranded with nothing to do for hours?

  8. #33
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    You never know who is watching...

  9. #34
    Surly OG
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    Water Pack :
    contents

    pumps - tire and shock
    multi tool w/ chain tool + Power link
    Duct tape - doubles as field expedient bandage.
    old Toe strap
    12 ft. para cord - splinting, survival accessory.
    Toilet Paper / paper towels - Mountain money
    a shell jacket
    Lighter - for the nugz yo.
    folding lock blade - pig sticker for defence.
    Cell Phone, ID + I.C.E info in case you are found unconcious.

    Always have a gear bag in the car:
    with a fresh change of clothes for after ride.
    Antibacterial wet wipes are great to have = perfect for GI showers and first aid wound cleaning.
    a "road rash" First aid kit - nice to have after a blood letting ride, which for begginers, Scrapes and abrasion and bruising seems common.
    Arnica salve - reduces bruising
    Earn your turns. )'(

  10. #35
    Big John
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark71
    You never know who is watching...
    Hey, exhibitionism isn't all that bad. Besides, for every exhibitionist out there, there is at least one voyeur...

  11. #36
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    Brake Lever

    I was looking at the broken brake lever (apparently from spanking a tree) and it brought back memories of when I did exactly the same thing. A buddy told me to not tighten down the brake lever clamps onto the bar so much. GREAT IDEA

    I'm not talking about having them loose enough that they flop all over the place, but instead leave them loose enough so that when a tree gets in you way they simply rotate around your bars instead of snapping off. I have never had a lever move under normal use, but they do move when you hit things. This has saved me a few times after arguing with large immovables objects.

  12. #37
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    Great Sticky Post
    Trek 4300 to destroy as fast as I can.

  13. #38
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    This is what I carry with me:



    Camelbak (4 Litres capacity including bottle)
    Helmet
    Shoes
    Wallet
    Phone
    Keys
    Multi Tool
    Leatherman Tool
    Chain Tool
    9 Spd Chain
    Tube
    Patch Kit
    Derailleur Hanger
    Spoke Wrench
    Tire Levers (big ones)
    Shock Pump
    Tire Pump
    Folding Knife (worn on waist)
    Simple First Aid Kit / Whistle/Compass/Thermometer Combo
    Gloves

    I have a frame pack I put my food & camera in. I usually also have a microfiber cloth which is handy for wiping glasses, sweat or whatever.

  14. #39
    He who rides red eyed....
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    Oh snap Mtn Biker Dan I thought I a was all alone in this forum as far as nugz go.....you made me laugh.....oh yeah and good idea too.....
    "I will rock your face off"

    2006 Mongoose Wing Comp Pro Series

  15. #40
    just like a speeder-bike
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    I think these've probably been mentioned, but just in case here's a few ideas that I think aren't as common:

    zip ties
    first aid kit
    duct tape
    lighter (in case I'm stuck out overnight -- never used it so far!)

  16. #41
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    I see alot of people recommending cell phones (which I agree with), but due to the fact they are so freaking delicate, any recommendations on a padded case? And thanks for this sticky, really helpful good info!

  17. #42
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    My hubby has a great list with a good explanations of why you need each item. We each have an under-seat bag that holds it all (including a cellphone) and keeps it all pretty well protected and it's packed tight enough not to rattle around. Another option would be to put it in your hydration bag (if you wear one with a big enough pocket).

    http://one9.us/blog/archives/11

  18. #43
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    Thanks. I just realized that I have bubble wrap here at work and can wrap my cell in that, and it will fit nicely in my under-seat bag. I'm looking at that Alien II as well..

  19. #44
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    I just put mine in a zip lock bag, and then carry it in one of the top pocket of the pack. (My flip style cell already has a leather case belt clip thing to protect it.)
    I haven't killed a cell yet and I've been riding with them for about 7 years now.

    Great user name BTW!

  20. #45
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    Thanks for all the info from everyone. I am a newb, but a very excited newb. I was just wondering this the other day. All I purchased the first day was a bike and a helmet. but those were pretty good buys.
    A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
    Ernest Hemingway

  21. #46
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    These are all good lists, but I would like to add, When selecting the Items for your kit, try to get them in fluorescent colors. This makes them easy to find/see when it gets dark, or when dropped into leaves and bushes, or when your packing things up after the mishap. Due to odd days off I ride solo alot, on rugged, remote trails. space blanket, knife With 5"+ blade oh yea and a rescue whistle.(you can hear a whistle farther than a voice!)

    REMEMBER: The person you should rely on most for your rescue is YOU!

    (edit add-on) Self-reliance is a key element in any outdoor endevor, and as someone stated," a well maintained bike can lessen or eliminate the need for you to carry alot of stuff." For the most part this is true, but accidents do happen, and you may not be the person who benefits from your bag of tricks. I've always enjoyed the fact that we (mountain bikers) look out for each other.
    next time you see someone off the side of the trail, and you say, "You got everything you need?" you'll get something back, something money can't buy, "trail-cred".
    Last edited by Shelbak73; 12-15-2007 at 07:18 AM.

  22. #47
    brainwashed jingoist
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    Quote Originally Posted by zipzit
    If you are in a place where TP paper litter is a problem, bring matches to burn the paper when you are through.
    I wouldn't toast my marsh mellows over that camp fire!!!!!!!!!!!!


    TP literally saved my ass once!!!! I just roll it around itself and put it in a small ziploc bag sans the cardboard roll. Added weight is not a worry. I burry my donations once done.
    Love is the answer - but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty interesting questions.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH

    For a broken brake lever I think I would have removed the broken lever blade and looked around to see if I could find a stick that could be wittled (sp?) away to substitute to at least get some front braking.

    On the bike I've used for off road touring I installed Avid mechanical brakes specifically because if I brake a lever or damage a cable finding parts for a mechanical lever or v-brake at a small town bike shop should be a lot easier than finding specific parts for hydraulic disk brakes. (My 2 other main bikes have hydraulic brakes though.)

    Yes! I carry one brake cable and one shifter cable when I go on the trails. Everyone makes fun of my for doing so because it is rare to brake one but I am waiting for the day when one of them do! I work at a bike shop and have had 3 people last summer say they ripped a line with their hydros.

    As for the extra hanger and chain breaker, that is a very good idea! My friend broke ripped her rear der. clean off. We did not have an extra hanger but I did have a chain breaker! Just shortened the chain and made it a single speed!

  24. #49
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    Tons of gear

    Man, I use to take all kinds of stuff on the trail with me back when I was 24 years old and had just started riding... I was a rolling bike shop and first aid kit. I did this for about 2 years.

    Here I am 42 years old and you know what I found out... a good dialed in bike, good technic, and good riding skills will eliminated the need for me to carry most everything except the following.

    When I ride local trails (15 to 20 miles a loop) I carry water and the keys to my jeep and a whistle... that's it. Rarely do I ever have bike failure and in the last 10 years I've only had to push the bike out once.

    On Longer Mountain Epics, I carry a spare tube, a pump, compass, whistle, bee sting kit, food bars and gel, plenty of water and chain tool, zip ties, a spoke wrench and a park tool multi allen wrench tool. Rarely do I ever find I need to use any of them either.

    You could prepare for the worst... but I would recommend inspecting your bike before and after every ride... then adjust it, dial it in as need so that when you're back on the trail it's hooked up and no issues exist. Continue to carry your list of goods and see what you don't use anymore and leave them in the vehicle at the trail head....

    Keep weeding out the gear your taking until your carrying only what you really need. I think you'll find you don't need most of that stuff on the trail except on rare occasions, but not carrying is going to make the ride more pleasurable, because you won't be carrying a load pack each ride.

    That's my 2 cents worth.
    Enter to Win a Vassago Frame and support the fight against childhood cancer

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  25. #50
    A little south of sanity
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    good thread! I use a cammel back, and cary my crank bros multi tool ( bought that because it has all of the hex key wrenches I'd need for just about anything on my bike, plus chain breaker, tire spoons and such). I also carry my Cell phone, one or 2 Energy bars, and spare tube. I never used to cary a spare tube, untill i got a flat on a trail in Tahoe and had to walk the bike for 2 miles back to my friends truck to change it. there is not really one kit for everyone, but theese are some great ideas on which we should all base our packs off of.

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