Are you starting to feel established in your mountain biking routine? Have you figured out what equipment works for you and what you like to have around? Once you have your essentials, it can be fun to have some non-essentials, too. Here are a few things that can make days out on the trails even more fun!
1. A Dropper Seatpost
Do you get sick of changing your seat height all the time? When you have to get off, make the adjustment, then get back on again, it can be frustrating and time-consuming, even though you know it’s a good idea to ride high when you’re climbing and low when you’re descending. A dropper seatpost allows you to control your seat’s height from your handlebars. When you don’t have to get off and on all the time, your rides will go quicker and smoother and you’ll have a lot more fun. You might also avoid squelching around in the mud and getting your shoes wet, which is just an added bonus.
2. A Speaker System
Do you get sick of hearing yourself huffing and puffing when you ride? A simple bike-mounted, water-resistant, Bluetooth speaker could change that fast. There are a lot of different options that you can attach to your frame or your handlebars. The speaker will connect by Bluetooth to your phone and play whatever tunes you suggest. You can even play podcasts if that’s what you prefer to ride to. And you can share it all with your fellow riders, too. Remember not to interfere with anyone else’s day by blasting your music too loudly. When you come up on others, turn it down until you pass.
3. A Water Resistant Bag
Sure, you have a saddle bag or panniers, but how do they do with water? Even if you don’t keep your important stuff in there, knowing that the bag is waterproof means you won’t end up with a mess on your hands. It also means that you can store things like your key fob, cell phone, and more in the bag and not have to worry about getting it wet. Keep everything handy and safe at the same time with a waterproof bike bag.
4. A Personal Camera
If you love your adventures and wish you could relive them, then a GoPro or other personal camera might be perfect for you. You can mount it on your helmet or your handlebars and watch your rides over and over again. You can also share them with your friends or upload them online for commentary and comments from more experienced riders. Wondering how someone else would have handled a situation you encountered on a ride? Get the answers you’ve been looking for with a personal camera.
5. Night Lights
Do you like to ride at night? Invest in a decent set of night lights so you don’t hit a tree along the say. Sure, there are headlamps out there for $30, but they probably aren’t bright enough to keep you from getting into trouble. Look for a set that will mount on your bars and that includes a headlamp if you like to ride that way. The more light you have, the better your night rides will go (and the fewer tumbles you’ll take into the dark!).
6. A Bike Compass
Some bike computers come with a compass, but many do not. Others will tell you which direction you’re going without actually showing the compass needle. This is by no means essential, but it’s a lot of fun to have an arrow that you can see. With some versions, you can upload your course ahead of time and the compass will tell you where to go next. This is especially useful if you’re riding in a park with a warren of trails available.
7. A Six-Pack Bike Bag
You probably won’t want to bring this along on your adventure, but it’s great for the days when you’re taking it easy or just going for a spin with some friends. These cooler bags attach to your bike and hold an entire 6-pack inside of them. It’s a great way to get your beer from here to there. Heading to a park after you ride? Keep this in your car and put it on your bike. Leave the care where it is and roll up with the party in tow. Sure, it’s not necessary, but it sure is a lot of fun.
Mountain biking is a blast with or without these accessories, but every one of them will make your experience even better. If you have most of your kit put together already, consider adding these as your finishing touches!