Mountain Bike Ride Equipment Checklist

Heading out for a couple of hours in your local mountain bike park? What do you need to take to ensure you are covered if things go wrong on the trail. This handy checklist covers off the main tools and other items I would carry on a two to three hour ride that’s not taking me too far from civilization. On a short ride you don’t want to be weighed down with too much gear but at the same time you need the minimum to cover the potential for gear failure and inclement weather.


  • Bike shorts
  • Suitable cycling top made from quick drying breathable material – not a t-shirt
  • Ideally proper cycling socks
  • Cycling shoes
  • Gloves to reduce pressure on hands and save them in a crash

Depending on the season and the altitude you are riding in also consider carrying:

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Leg and arm warmers

Personal items

  • Riding glasses
  • Enough water and/or sports drink
  • An energy bar or two
  • Very basic first aid kit
  • Trail map if the signposting isn’t great
  • Cellphone – it may not work in all areas but worth carrying one
  • Sunscreen ideally containing insect repellant


You may want to carry an array of tools and spare parts to cover every possible situation but this is not practical or necessary on a short ride. If you have major gear failure the walk to the car isn’t going to be too far. So here is the bare minimum to have on board:

  • Pump
  • Multi-tool that includes a chain breaker and all the necessary allen keys
  • Spare tube with the right valve connection for your bike and pump
  • Tyre levers – the ones on the multi-tools I have used just don’t seem to cut it.
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Spare chain links if your chain needs these

As well as carrying the right equipment there are a few things that you can do before you start the ride including:

  • Having your bike serviced regularly
  • Check your tyre pressure
  • Check your frame for any obvious cracks
  • Check your wheels are true and no loose spokes
  • Ensure brakes and gears are okay

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