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28-03-2024 | Ella van der Veer

MTB for dummies part 3: essential accessories

MTBs differ significantly from road bikes. In Part 3, we delve into essential MTB accessories. These are not typically found in a road cyclist's gear, but are standard for mountain bikers. Don't miss out on part 1 and part 2.

Mountain Bike in Action

1. Fork pump and accurate floor pump

Proper suspension setup is crucial. You'll need a special hand pump for high pressures (over 20 bar). For the initial rides, bring this pump to experiment with different pressures, which significantly affects handling and comfort. Check YouTube for videos on making the right adjustments.

Specialized Fork PumpPhoto: a Specialized fork pump, used for the front fork and rear shock, if present. © Specialized.

An additional necessity is a floor pump with a fine-scale for tires. Road bike pumps often lack the precision needed for MTBing, where even small pressure differences matter.

2. Backpack with hydration system

Rare on road bikes, but common in MTB. In nature, water refill points are scarce, so carrying more is wise. Also, many MTBs can only fit one large water bottle due to the rear shock. Hence, a hydration system is ideal for ample fluid intake. Plus, drinking from a tube keeps your hands on the handlebars, which is safer on technical trails.

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3. Dropper post

A dropper post is an adjustable seatpost, crucial abroad though not as much in easier terrain. Lower it for technical sections or descents to create more room to move, quickly lowering your center of gravity and shifting behind your saddle. This enhances security and control in various conditions.

4. Portable pressure washer

Perfect for cleaning your bike in any parking lot after trail riding. It’s an effective way to clean your bike before loading it into a car or onto a carrier, especially useful post-muddy rides when dirt is easier to remove before drying.

Mountain Biker with Extra Protection
Photo: in the mountains, additional protection is crucial.

5. Additional protection

Protection is common in intense disciplines like enduro and downhill. Long-fingered gloves protect hands from falls and vegetation. MTB helmets with visors and extended rears offer advantages. The visor guards against the stroboscopic effect of sunlight through trees, maintaining clear trail vision. The extended rear provides extra neck protection, vital in MTB, especially during more technical descents abroad. Considering back, knee, or elbow protectors can also boost confidence in challenging terrains.

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