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. #1
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    Mountain Bike Ride Packing List

    Just a thought but...

    Has anybody thought about making a thread and having it be a sticky of the
    most common things to pack on a ride?
    I've only been looking on mtbr for a couple of weeks now and I have noticed that
    many ppl in the newb section ask what to carry on rides? While the information
    is extremely helpful (it helped me make out my pack for sure) I'm sure some
    of the people are getting tired of always posting the same information over
    and over again. Like I said just a thought

  2. #2
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    Good idea.

  3. #3
    neutiquam erro
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    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
    Last edited by Chris130; 06-20-2007 at 10:48 PM.
    [SIZE=2]Now is the time on Sprockets when we hammer.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=1]'05 Blur Classic (1x9) || '06 SIR9 (SS) || '06 Brompton P6L[/SIZE]

  4. #4
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    thats a great post chris. i really think that a sticky like this would be helpful to all newbs (myself included)

  5. #5
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    And when it comes to your multi-tool, make sure you have an allen key for EVERY allen bolt on the bike. Its always the one you dont have that you really need.

  6. #6
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    Good idea! Stuck.

  7. #7
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    A couple of safety pins, for temp repairs of torn Camelbak straps, broken zippers, etc.

  8. #8
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    is that not a lot of stuff to carry? thats like practically carrying a bike store with you
    2007 Specialized
    FSR XC COMP

  9. #9
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by macmac
    is that not a lot of stuff to carry? thats like practically carrying a bike store with you
    I have two sets of packing lists. One is the local ride ( ie, bearable hike bike out to car) and the other is the all day ride in the boonies kit. The list above is pretty extensive - you can divide bits of it between people if there is a group of you.

  10. #10
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    It's depends on the ride but this things will always be in my CB -
    1. Spare tubes
    2. Tire levers
    3. Pump (Topeak)
    4. Mini Tool (Topeak or Park-Tool)
    5. Chain Tool + Power Links (Park-Tool - Sram)
    6. Phone
    7. Water
    This my MUST take for any ride from 1 - 4 hours.

  11. #11
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    I carry the Topeak Alien II multitool, glueless patch kit, and FibreFix reusable foldable kevlar spoke in my small saddle bag; a mini-pump next to the watter bottle cage; and have some duck tape wrapped around the seatpost (just in case steel frame breaks I can fix it with tape ). (Actually, I really do have some versatile duck tape around the seatpost.)

    Luckily, since I use tire liners, I haven't had any flats.

    This may be useful to some people: From my experience, I've noticed that mountain bike tires (26 inches) are easier to remove on one side than the other. One side usually takes at least 2 tire levers to remove, while the other side can be removed with just my hands (by pressing the tire down and outwards) or just one lever. Again this is from my experience with the tires I've owned, so you may want to verify this on your own with your tires.

  12. #12
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    Great list...except I have a misunderstanding on the chain stuff. I have a SRAM PC 971 chain w/ Powerlink. Do I need to carry spare chain links AND powerlinks? Do I still need a chain tool even though I have powerlink?

  13. #13
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    I use SRAM chains too and carry a spare powerlink & chain tool. I've used both on rides numerous times.

  14. #14
    College Boy
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewie_52
    Great list...except I have a misunderstanding on the chain stuff. I have a SRAM PC 971 chain w/ Powerlink. Do I need to carry spare chain links AND powerlinks? Do I still need a chain tool even though I have powerlink?

    yes because normally you chain will break some where other than the power link so you have to removed the damage link and then replace it with a power link. Only way to remove a damage link is with a chain break.

    You can skip the the extra chain links for a ride and just ride with you chain shorten by a link. Generally it not going to be a big deal just you have to make sure you do not use big big gear combos (and if you where you are screwing up any how) I road out with a chain missing a link before and it really did not effect me at all since the gears I couldnt use I never should in my right mind any how.

    spare power link just makes putting your chain back on easier.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH
    I use SRAM chains too and carry a spare powerlink & chain tool. I've used both on rides numerous times.
    So, I would need would be spare powerlinks?...and not regular spare links?

  16. #16
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    I carry a short piece of chain too, but I've never had to use it. Usually when I've had to use the spare powerlink & chain break is when I've snapped a chain or twisted it.

    You use the chain break to remove the damaged section and then the powerlink to put it back together to get out. If you have to do this it is time to replace your chain for the next ride.

  17. #17
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    I ride with Craig H

    that way no matter what breaks, Craig has at least 1/2 bike in spare parts from which to beg a replacement.

    j/k, but I couldn't resist. Even when I do have the tools (like last Friday) Craig whips his repair tools out faster than the proverbial speeding bullet.

    Jim

  18. #18
    neutiquam erro
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    Concerning the spare chain links, I just throw in whatever I cut off from the original chain when I first put it on - usually about 4 or 5 links. If absolutely necessary, then I could replace a damaged section of chain with that & 2 PowerLinks and hopefully not "lose" any chain length. Of couse, as was mentioned earlier, another option is to simply cut out the trashed section of chain and use one PowerLink to reconnect the remaining chain - it will be shorter (so you would need to be very careful using your gears), but it should be good enough to get you home without walking!

    Cheers, Chris
    [SIZE=2]Now is the time on Sprockets when we hammer.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=1]'05 Blur Classic (1x9) || '06 SIR9 (SS) || '06 Brompton P6L[/SIZE]

  19. #19
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    Hmmm sounds like I need to get a neub pack going. I have one of the old Camel backs before they had pockets. Well my other one is a 3 day Patrol Pack, Camel Back Mother load. Slightly to large for biking. hehehe

  20. #20
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH
    I carry a short piece of chain too, but I've never had to use it. Usually when I've had to use the spare powerlink & chain break is when I've snapped a chain or twisted it.

    You use the chain break to remove the damaged section and then the powerlink to put it back together to get out. If you have to do this it is time to replace your chain for the next ride.
    So, master bike fixer, what would you do with this real life on the trail situation? We decided there was no real on-trail fix, but the guys were ready to dismantle the brakes on someone's second bike when we got back to the campground. I voted to go home.


  21. #21
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC.
    that way no matter what breaks, Craig has at least 1/2 bike in spare parts from which to beg a replacement.

    j/k, but I couldn't resist. Even when I do have the tools (like last Friday) Craig whips his repair tools out faster than the proverbial speeding bullet.

    Jim
    riding with people more skilled at bike mechanics that you are is a good thing.

  22. #22
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    At the Jasper gathering way back when I cracked the linkage plates on my old Sunn in the middle of a 20 mile loop.



    I was able to ride out from trail to the highway (~5 miles) and ride back to the trail head (~5 miles) by jaming a correctly sized stick between the seat statys and seat tube held in place by a couple of straps. I had to jam the front derailleur with a small wedge rock to keep it in gear as I had to remove the front derailleur cable.



    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.)

  23. #23
    wears helmet on bus
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    By the way all that stuff you've all listed though a really good idea to have, may be alot to carry on the trail. I don't even take that much stuff on patrols in combat. My idea is to distribute the stuff among your buds if your group stays close. Oh and two way radios come in handy if one of the guys way in front of you has the new tube and you have a flat

  24. #24
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    Other than the "things I've learned the hard way..." stuff, I carry all the other gear, plus four other items (all in my CamelBak): a small first-aid kit (day-hike level, with added poison ivy soap), a snake-bite kit (might work, might not, but I feel better having it on board, and it's tiny), a cell phone, and a GPS unit. I don't normally use the GPS on a trail, but if I got really, really lost, it'd be nice, or if (God forbid) I needed to call in emergency help or came across someone else who needed it, I could give a lat-long coordinate of my position.

    The whole package is pretty light, really. The GPS unit (Garmin eTrex) is the heaviest part -- maybe 300 grams?

  25. #25
    wears helmet on bus
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    I've got an etrex aswell, its a great little asset to have. Mine has literally saved my @ss.
    It got me out of some bad neighborhoods. I recommend saving a waypoint at the start of the trail and letting it track for the whole ride. That will enable you to find the fast or shortest way out or go back exactly the way you came. And as a bonus if you find a section of trail you like you can set a waypoint and get back to it easily.

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