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. #601
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    I'm going to have to get a camelback and start packing. Great info! Good stuff for someone new to mtbiking!!

  2. #602
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    Good info!!! Tks

  3. #603
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    Good post. Great for newbies that need some help

  4. #604
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    I like the lists, thanks guys!

  5. #605
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    thanks for the info...exactly what i was looking for...

  6. #606
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    Looking forward to going out on my first trail ride soon and finally got all my essential gear together thanks to this thread. Great info here, thanks!

  7. #607
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    Among the usual things, I carry a DIY cable lock just in case I must leave my bike. It is 10 feet of the lightest rigging wire West Marine sells, with swedged loops (from West) on either end. I have a tiny lock. The whole thing ways 4 ounces. It won't stop anyone who wants my bike and has a wire cutter, but may stop a crime of opportunity. I can go into a convenience store for a minute or tow with a degree of safety.

  8. #608
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce in SoCal View Post
    Among the usual things, I carry a DIY cable lock just in case I must leave my bike. It is 10 feet of the lightest rigging wire West Marine sells, with swedged loops (from West) on either end. I have a tiny lock. The whole thing ways 4 ounces. It won't stop anyone who wants my bike and has a wire cutter, but may stop a crime of opportunity. I can go into a convenience store for a minute or tow with a degree of safety.
    That's a great idea!
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son...

  9. #609
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    This is a work in progress, subject to change:

    Handlebar Bag
    Sleeping bag
    Tent + Ground cover
    Sleeping Pad
    Gortex Jacket

    Panniers
    Pull-overs
    Rain Gear
    Food
    Gloves
    Helmet liner
    Under-armor gear
    Ditty bag w/ misc stuff
    Camp Equipment
    Food
    Camera Tripod
    GoPro Guerillapod

    Frame Bag
    Repair kit (tools / parts)
    First Aid kit
    Spare batteries
    Tire pump
    Luggage lock

    On Body / In Camelbak
    Hydration bladder
    Water Sanitation stuff
    Maps
    Bandannas
    Shemagh
    Leatherman
    Credit Card / Cash
    TP / wet wipes
    Hat
    Helmet

    Gas Tank
    Camera
    Cell Phone
    Ipod
    Recharger

    Feed Bag 1
    Food snacks / Garbage

    Mounted On Handlebars
    Cue sheet
    Map
    Headlight
    GoPro Mount
    GPS mount

  10. #610
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    Wouldn't it be easier to pull a small trailer instead? haha

  11. #611
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    I also carry latex gloves. They can be used in first aid or when touching the chain.

  12. #612
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    After today's ride in the desert, I'm going to add a collapsible umbrella to make instant shade. I'll probably cut some or all of the handle off to save weight.

  13. #613
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    Quote Originally Posted by 79ford View Post
    Wouldn't it be easier to pull a small trailer instead? haha
    Na, almost all of the stuff that I have on my list is fairly small. The bulky stuff (which is fairly light) is either on the handlebars or on the rack. The heavier things (tools, maintenance parts) are centered on the bike and are fairly small.

    Its not a minimalist build, nor is it a maximalist / comfort build; but somewhere in between.

    Added a Key-Bak Retractable Reel Keychain to the list as well to secure the camelbak bite-valve / tube to the pack.

  14. #614
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce in SoCal View Post
    I also carry latex gloves. They can be used in first aid or when touching the chain.
    Good idea, me too buy the good ones, don't skimp on gloves.
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son...

  15. #615
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    One website's opinion: Trail Tech: What To Pack For Long Mountain Bike Rides - BikeRadar

    Mechanical stuff only. Good for an all or multi-day ride. Maybe a little overkill for most of even my longer rides around here. No mention of food and water.

  16. #616
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    I ride by myself a lot. I purchased a "Spot" device for back country snowmobiling and now carry it biking. This device has a 911 button that when activated will allow emergency personnel to locate you via gps. Also a button to alert friends that you are o.k. but need assistance. May not be necessary for most riders, but is incredible peace of mind.

  17. #617
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregon2wheels View Post
    One website's opinion: Trail Tech: What To Pack For Long Mountain Bike Rides - BikeRadar

    Mechanical stuff only. Good for an all or multi-day ride. Maybe a little overkill for most of even my longer rides around here. No mention of food and water.
    Third paragraph, "In addition to nutrition, hydration and identification, here are 20 items to bring on your next backcountry mountain bike ride." but they don't go into any detail on food which would be good. Great ideas for hardware, I hadn't thought about a chainring bolt.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1moremile View Post
    I ride by myself a lot. I purchased a "Spot" device for back country snowmobiling and now carry it biking. This device has a 911 button that when activated will allow emergency personnel to locate you via gps. Also a button to alert friends that you are o.k. but need assistance. May not be necessary for most riders, but is incredible peace of mind.
    That's good idea too!
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son...

  18. #618
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    In my opinion, one or two spare cellphone batteries(full charged), waterproof clothing, headlight, enough water for drink are essential.

  19. #619
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    Personally on shorter rides, I keep my gear to a minimum.
    Water, tire levers, tube, pump, and a multi tool with a chain breaker. Maybe food depending on the length. Longer rides, I generally pack on a case by case basis.

    Here is a video with some pretty in depth commentary (link starts at how to pack for a mountain ride section) How to Pack for a Ride - YouTube

  20. #620
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    After Saturday's crash, I'll add something to my packing list: spare shorts. It makes getting home after the EMTs cut yours off much easier.

  21. #621
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce in SoCal View Post
    After Saturday's crash, I'll add something to my packing list: spare shorts. It makes getting home after the EMTs cut yours off much easier.
    Oh crap. What happened?

  22. #622
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregon2wheels View Post
    Oh crap. What happened?
    You can see my ride profile on Strava at Bike Ride Profile | Morning Ride near California, USA | Times and Records | Strava may notice that for a bit, I'm doing better than 140 mph. That reflects being aboard a helicopter after leaving the single track at a very inopportune moment. The ER staff removed everything I was wearing with the help of a surgical scissors. The hospital called my wife, who rushed over but did not bring anything for me to wear. Once I'm heeled, I'll carry at least extra clothes.

  23. #623
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce in SoCal View Post
    You can see my ride profile on Strava at Bike Ride Profile | Morning Ride near California, USA | Times and Records | Strava may notice that for a bit, I'm doing better than 140 mph.
    Damn EMTs and their scissors (my favorites are Clauss titanium bonded shears).



    Looks like you made it most of the way. That's what you get for bushwhacking off trail. Seriously, I hope you didn't get too hurt.

  24. #624
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    Thanks for this. Glad I'm not the only one that carries a gun.

  25. #625
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    Thanks! It seems like you thought of everything. I would also recommend an Osprey hydration pack- it's just like a Camelbak, but less expensive and the water tube mouthpiece is magnetized! It is great for on-the-go drinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris130 View Post
    That is a great idea.

    Here's my $0.02.

    Things to absolutely buy before riding:
    -- Good, quality helmet (non-negotiable)
    -- Some way to carry water (bottle or camelbak).

    Things that are definitely recommended before riding:
    -- Bike shorts
    -- A CamelBak-type product to carry both water and gear
    -- Spare tubes
    -- Tire levers (2)
    -- A quality mini-pump (don't skimp with a cheap one, trust me)
    -- Tube patch kit
    -- Good, quality minitool (Topeak Alien II, Crank Bros, or Park Tool offer nice ones)
    -- Gloves

    Other things that I've learned the hard way to keep in my hydro pack:
    -- Energy gel or some other form of anti-bonk
    -- Handi wipes and/or a little bottle of purell - makes cleaning hands easy for repairs or first aid
    -- Those small alcohol pads that you get with other stuff - good to clean tubes for patches and are nice for first aid
    -- Some form of basic ID w/ pertinent medical info
    -- Cell phone (reception capabilities permitting)
    -- Spare chain links, PowerLinks (2), & a good chain-breaker tool (if not on minitool)
    -- A spare rear derailleur hanger
    -- A comprehensive first aid kit (such as a hiker kit from REI, etc)
    -- Zip-ties in assorted sizes
    -- A coupla feet of duct tape (just fold it around itself for a nice compact package)
    -- Bug juice
    -- Shock pump (optional)
    -- Small but powerful flashlight (you never know!)
    -- Pliers - I keep a small, cheapie Leatherman knockoff in my pack. It works for the few occassions I need it.
    -- Spoke wrench (if not on minitool)
    -- Some cash
    -- Some form of a sharp blade.

    I'm sure others will have great ideas; I'm undoubtedly forgetting something...

    Cheers, Chris

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