Must-Have Mountain Biking Gear for Beginners

Mountain Biking for Beginners: Must-Have Gear - Thunder Mountain Bikes

Hopefully, you caught the mountain bike bug over the past year or two and are ready to further your adventures. Before you grab your new mountain bike and hit the trails, there are a few mountain bike accessories you’ll want on hand so that you’re ready for any situation. We’ve put together a list of must-have mountain biking beginners gear. 

In addition to the gear, if you haven’t yet landed on a mountain bike to purchase, we recommend renting a mountain bike. Here in Sedona, Arizona, all of the Sedona bike shops have mountain bike rentals on hand. This provides an excellent opportunity to try out a few models and see the differences for yourself. Even for new riders that don’t feel they need a particular bike, trying out a full-suspension mountain bike is a game-changer. It’s safer to ride in rougher terrain and makes the learning curve much quicker.  

Keep It Simple: Mountain Bike Rides Under an Hour 

Bike 

As mentioned above, a full-suspension mountain bike is a way to go. Thunder Mountain Bikes is not only the bike rental Sedona place to go; it’s also the place to go for a good deal on a demoed mountain bike. A few beginner full-suspension models to look into are the Trek Fuel EX7, Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt, and for women’s mountain biking gear - the Liv Intrigue. 

Helmet 

Always wear a helmet, even if it’s just a simple mountain bike ride in under an hour. For mountain biking helmets, aim to get a helmet with good head coverage, a visor, and MIPS safety technology.

MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System and is designed to reduce rotational forces caused by angled impacts to the head, significantly reducing the severity of a potential injury. The starting point for a good MIPS helmet is the Giro Fixture, starting at $64.99. For a step up in protection with thicker dual-density foams, check out the Fox Speedframe MIPS

Mountain Bike Rides Lasting 1 to 3 Hours

Hydration & Nutrition

The longer your adventure goes, the more critical hydration and nutrition become. For rides around 3 hours, having snacks and electrolytes helps keep your energy levels up. There’s nothing worse than feeling dehydrated and tired with miles to go! The simplest solution is to add Nuun tablets to your water bottle to keep your electrolyte levels up. These tablets dissolve in the water, providing great taste and tons of electrolytes. For snacks, we love Kate’s Bars for their incredible flavors and high-density bars. And for small sugar snacks to keep you motivated, Clif Bloks are easy to bring along. 

Eye Protection

Protecting your eyes is another must-have. You’re not only protecting your eyes from sun glare and UV rays but potential debris and objects at head level.

If possible, spring for a pair of higher-end sunglasses. We love the sunglass offerings from Smith Optics and Julbo Eyewear. These offer polarized lenses for better clarity, more oversized frames for easy viewing, anti-fog treatment, and in some cases - reactive lenses that change to the light. 

Repair Items

Hopefully, you won’t need trailside mountain bike repairs, but if it happens, you’ll be glad you have a way to fix the issue. The most common trailside fix is a flat tire or a loose bolt.

Pack these accessories for your basic repair kit: multi-tool, mini pump, spare tube, patch kit, tire levers, and c02 cartridges.

To carry all these items with you, along with a water bottle, we recommend getting a hip pack from Osprey. These are super comfortable and keep the sweat off your back. Check out the Savu and Seral models. 

Mountain Bike Clothing For All Day Adventures

There’s a lot of tech features that go into mountain bike clothing, much more than meets the eye. While cold weather mountain biking gear is essential for warmth, standard bike gear makes everyday rides more comfortable and safer no matter the weather.

Mountain Bike Shorts With Padded Liner

Mountain bike shorts are cut differently than traditional shorts. This specific fit helps the short not get snagged on the seat while riding downhill.

We love these great-looking Club Ride shorts, with the comfy and breathable Club Ride Gunslinger liner sold separately. For a value deal, check out these Zoic Ether shorts, which come with the liner included. For women’s versions, check out the Club Ride Savvy and Zoic Navaeh.

Longer Fingered Gloves

Longer fingered gloves offer hand protection from debris and crashes while also providing more handlebar and brake lever grip.

An excellent value glove that offers knuckle protection and grip is the Fox Dirt Paw

Mountain Bike Shoes

While you can wear almost any shoe to go biking, good bike shoes will make a huge difference. For Sedona, Arizona mountain biking, you need a grip on the steep red rocks in case of any mishaps.

We love Five Ten Freerider Pro and Crankbrothers Stamp shoes.

For a deep dive into the advantages of mountain bike shoes, check out our article HERE

Lightweight Windbreaker Jacket

For when temperatures start to dip, we highly recommend always packing a lightweight windbreaker jacket.

One of our favorites is the Patagonia Houdini jacket, which compresses into a small ball to fit in your pack. 

Mountain Bike Accessories For All Day Adventures

First Aid

Having essential first aid tools can keep a minor injury from getting more serious. You’ll want various bandages, long stretch compression bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze, and tweezers. These will be vital if needing to mobilize a body part, slow down bleeding, or pick out debris (like cactus needles). 

Personal Items

While mountain biking gets you outside and off your phone, bringing your cell phone is still the number one personal item to bring. Having the ability to call for help, or pull up GPS, makes this a must-have on all adventures. 

Conclusion

Mountain biking is all about the good times, and part of keeping that going is being comfortable and safe. Hopefully, these must-have mountain biking gear suggestions help you keep the good times rolling! If your local bike shop doesn’t have some essential items available, check out the links above to Thunder Mountain Bikes to purchase online.