Don’t Get Left in the Lurch: 5 Things You Need for Every Ride and More!
“Self-sufficient” is a must-have ethos in Mountain Biking today. Even as the technology of bikes progresses and things like “Tubeless” are apart of the everyday life of the rider, you still gotta be ready with the basic things you need for every ride.
It’s the simple things that make a rider more confident before or during a ride. Just knowing that you can take care of a flat fix, broken chain, or a dehydrated rider makes the ride that much more soothing on the soul.
Of course you need to build the skills before you can pay the bills. So, if you are new to the sport or a rider wanting a knowledge-refresher, then set up a “One-on-One” class with a Technician at Ascent Cycling today. Trust us, you will leave with the knowledge you need to tackle that on-trail repair.
5 Things You Need for Every Ride…the must always have
Non-negotiable must-haves to avoid that long TREK!
Tube: The correct size is always nice. In a pinch however, you can use a 26 inch tube, like some of our shop guys do. With a little elbow grease, you can get it to work in any size tire.
Tire-Levers: Carry two. You may only need one and that is fine. If you have two, you have a spare in case one breaks, or you have a built-in lifeline you can extend to a rider in need. And hey, they aren’t that big, so no worries about taking up space!
Inflation Device: Hand Pump or CO2, it’s all up to you and your comfort. Most of us at the shop like CO2. But, a few of us who may or may not be paranoid enough to wear our pants with a belt and suspenders do both (don’t laugh- Murphy is not fun). Pro Tip: If you are a CO2 only person, take two cartridges and thank us later.
Multi Tool: Even if this never gets used by you, an unlucky rider may thank you for it someday. There are a ton of options on the market and finding one that is best for you is a piece o’ cake, so ask one of the shop staff for a quick assist and Robert’s your mother’s brother.
Cell Phone: This one is almost a no-brainer these days. If you are trying to escape the world for a few hours and not wanting to be bothered on your ride, simply turn it off. The key is that you have it. You will be all too happy that you have it when you need it.
How About Those Things for Longer Rips
half-day and epics should have their non-negotiables as well
You will want to add a few things to the equation here to help avoid the long walk home (aka TREK). You may find yourself in that whole “packing things I have no idea how to use/ only makes my pack heavier” zone. But play along with a quick “What if?”; What if you’re the only one with it on the ride and “Bills” knows how to use it and “Flow” needs it? Boom. With your powers combined… HERO STATUS!
Chain Link, Pin or Master: SRAM makes some nifty (yes, nifty), little quick links called “Power Links” and they work in SRAM, Shimano and KMC chains. Almost always a must-have!
Chain Tool: Carrying a Power Link and not have a chain tool is like having tacos without a good cerveza to wash the goodness down. No es muy bien, mis amigos y amigas. Fear not, two-wheeled traveler, because the A.C. has your back. You can get a chain tool that is built into larger multi-tools, which, pretty awesome, or there is also a very cool chain tool out from Specialized that replaces your stem cap, keeping everything neat and tidy.
Tire Boot: Rip a side wall in your tire without a tire “boot” and you are back to TREK’ing. Park Tool and others make tire boots, but all one really needs is an empty gel wrapper or a folded piece of duct tape.
Zip-Ties: These can fix a huge numbers of things in a pinch. These and duct tape….you could build a new bike!
Duct Tape: Mentioned above. This adhesive dynamo can do all sorts of great temporary fixes in the field.
Derailleur Hanger: One that fits your bike. Wheels Manufacturing had done up a universal-type hangar back in the day that fit quite a few bikes, but with all the different axle standards that have come out in the last few years, it’s ideal to go with one you know will fit your whip.
Pump: If it is a longer half-day ride and puts you out in the backcountry, we recommend taking a pump. CO2 is lite, compact and quick. Murphy, however, is none of those things. Belt and suspenders, boys and girls.
Shop Advice: We toss a few salt tablets or Endurance Caps from Hammer in as well, never know if you or your partners in crime may get the old leg cramps and these are a sure gems to have along.
If the ride that has your name on it extends far from home and exceeds that 4-hour threshold, it’s time to add a couple more tools to your utility belt, Batman-style.
Rain Jacket: We in Colorado have a saying. Well, actually, we have quite a few of them, but the relevant one here is, “If you don’t like the current weather wait 30 minutes, ‘cause it’s gonna change.” Backcountry rain storms are straight harsh and not having a jacket can leave a rider in a bad space, both physically and mentally.
Lube: With stream crossings, dry dusty dirt and more, extra lube is always nice to have late into a long ride. Save your allowance and invest in some soon.
Extra Food: Toss in one or two extra packs of chomps or bars, because you never know what Murphy has in for you today.
Matches: Having heard a few really bad cases over these last few years, we have tossed this one on the list. Getting to spend the night outside is fun when it’s in the plans. It ends up being a little sucky when it becomes an unscheduled event.
Maps: Even though you may know the area well, it doesn’t necessarily mean you know a shortcut to getting back if things go south.
We hope that this list of “ideas” helps you confidently plan for a truly killer ride. We love to hear stories of trips, rides and things that end well. But, we like to see people fully prepared for the worst that Murphy can bring into their parade. Have a great ride and, as always,
Whoop Whoop Ding Ding!