So you’ve bought a mountain bike and can’t wait to ride those trails? I know how exciting it feels, but if you don’t have some essential items on you, things can go south before you even start to pedal!
In this article, I’ve researched and tested dozens of tools and gadgets to present you with the 10 best mountain bike accessories to make your ride safer, more rewarding, and more enjoyable. Keep reading to find out the essentials of mountain biking.
10 Best Mountain Bike Accessories
Here is a list of some of the most essential accessories you would need when mountain biking!
BELL Super DH MIPS Helmet — Best Mountain Bike Helmet
Your first priority when you’re out mountain biking should be protecting your head. Wearing a helmet is proven to drastically reduce the chances of sustaining a head, face, or neck injury in accident scenarios.
Older models of helmets may have been too heavy and bulky to be comfortable on the trail, but modern helmet versions are designed to be more lightweight, well-ventilated, better looking, and safer than ever before. You have no reason to ditch it.
Helmets for mountain biking are generally available in 3 styles:
- XC (cross country) — lightweight, sleek, no visor, similar to helmets for gravel and road cycling.
- Trail — equipped with a visor, better coverage, more protection, relatively heavier.
- Full-face — includes a chin bar, offers the most protection, heavier than XC or trail helmets.
Also, you may notice that some newer models of mountain biking helmets feature MIPS technology. Short for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, this extra interior layer decreases rotational impact upon crashing to minimize harmful brain trauma.
My recommendation for the best mountain bike helmet is the BELL Super DH MIPS Helmet. Sold in 3 sizes, this helmet has a polycarbonate shell lined with EPS foam to absorb impacts.
It’s equipped with MIPS technology for added protection and a removable chin bar for better adaptability. It also has a sweat guide pad to prevent moisture from reaching your eyes.
What’s more, this helmet is full-head ventilated and features a visor system that can hold both glasses and goggles. There’s even a built-in camera mount.
Wisdom Leaves Jersey and VAYAGER Shorts — Best Mountain Bike Jersey and Shorts
Clothing is an important aspect to consider when it comes to mountain bike accessories. Wearing just any top and bottom won’t cut it with this sport, you need a jersey and shorts that are specifically engineered to support your mountain biking experience.
Compared to tight cycling jerseys, mountain bike jerseys will be more loose-fitting. They’re made out of quick-drying and breathable materials, usually available in long-sleeve, short-sleeve, and 3/4 sleeve options.
My recommendation here is the Wisdom Leaves Jersey. Its long-sleeve design will shield your skin from sun rays while providing an additional layer of protection during accidents.
This mountain bike jersey is 100 percent polyester, durable, lightweight, and soft. It’s also breathable, moisture-wicking, and available in many colors/patterns.
Similar to jerseys, mountain bike shorts are often made out of synthetic fabrics to make them quick-drying, breathable, and protective. They provide an efficient mobility-trim fit balance to prevent the shorts from sticking to the saddle while riding.
Additionally, mountain bike shorts are designed to be higher in the back than regular shorts to keep your lower back and butt concealed in the riding position.
My recommendation here is the VAYAGER Shorts. It’s 92 percent polyester and 8 percent elastane with a drawstring closure for a more personalized fit.
These shorts are quick-drying, lightweight, and very breathable. Also, they absorb shocks thanks to the inner layer of thick sponge padding.
Additionally, these mountain bike shorts feature 6 pockets for extra storage, complete with reflective strips to improve visibility and safety in low-light settings.
Cool Change Full Finger Bike Gloves — Best Mountain Bike Gloves
What’s the first thing you do when you’re about to fall? You probably outstretch your hands. You’re not alone in this though; most people are instinctively compelled to extend their hands upon falling in an attempt to break the fall.
In fact, the most common reason for hand and wrist injuries is falling. As such, your hands are one of the most vulnerable body parts during a crash, so protecting them is a must.
While any sort of protective glove can work, gloves designed specifically for mountain biking will feature synthetic or thin leather palms to provide good dexterity and feel without losing protection.
Mountain bike gloves will also give you a more stable grip with better control, especially if your hands tend to sweat and slip. Their backside will be breathable, often featuring a moisture-absorbent patch at the thumb to help you wipe away sweat.
Additionally, downhill trail riding gloves will include extra padding on the back for knuckle protection against trees, branches, and rocks.
My recommendation for the best mountain bike gloves is the full-fingered model by Cool Change. Not only will they keep you from skinning your palms upon crashing, but they’re also moisture-wicking, stretchy, and breathable to deliver maximum comfort in any weather.
The gloves are made out of wear-resistant and anti-slip microfiber. They also feature shock-absorbing padding and sweat cloth on the thumbs. Not to mention, you won’t have issues using any touchscreen device while wearing them.
X-Tiger Polarized Sports Sunglasses — Best Mountain Bike Sunglasses
You may not think of buying eyewear for mountain biking, but it’s so beneficial to wear a pair of functional and reliable sunglasses while riding that you shouldn’t overlook it.
In addition to shielding your eyes from harmful sun rays, sunglasses designed specifically for mountain biking also provide protection against impacts during high-speed rides and keep debris from getting into your eyes. This is especially important if you’re riding through forest terrain.
Mountain bike-specific eyewear is generally a combination of both sunglasses and goggles. They’re built to conform to the contours of your head and fit when coupled with a helmet.
Additionally, a lot of brands offer premium options that feature polarization or photochromic lenses. The former reduces glare whereas the latter improves visibility and clarity in low-light conditions.
My recommendation for the best mountain bike sunglasses is the X-Tiger Polarized Sports Sunglasses. Available in 10 colors, these sunglasses are very lightweight and made to deliver superior elasticity, clarity, stability, and impact resistance.
They’re also resistant to harmful UVA and UVB rays, which decreases the load on your for a more comfortable vision. The TR90 frame is stress-resistant and can easily take a beating.
These mountain bike sunglasses come with 2 Revo lenses, 1 transparent lens, and 1 polarized lens. You also get 1 straight temple and 1 curved temple.
Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker — Best Mountain Bike Speakers
Listening to your favorite music while riding can transform your experience from fun to exciting, improve your overall performance, and yield better results from your time on the trail.
While you can use your phone and some earbuds for that purpose, it’s better to use a speaker to save yourself the hassle of tangled cables and earbuds falling out, as well as stay aware of your surroundings.
If you’re opting for a mountain bike speaker, great audio quality isn’t the only aspect that matters. You’ll need to consider other features as well including:
- Wired vs wireless operation — Bluetooth speakers are a good way to keep wires from getting in your way. However, having wired connectivity options can come in handy if the battery dies on the go.
- Battery life — speakers with a longer battery life don’t require frequent charging.
- Durability — sturdy construction is key in mountain bike speakers to overcome harsh weather elements and road conditions.
- Built-in microphone — this allows you to receive or make calls without having to use your hand for holding the phone to your ear.
My recommendation for the best mountain bike speakers is the Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker. It delivers a balanced sound, reliable connectivity for up to 30 feet, and an impressive battery life of 6 hours.
It’s equipped with a built-in mic and has an ultra-portable design. It also features a tear-resistant strap for quick mounting onto your bike.
Kenda Inner Bike Tubes — Best Mountain Bike Spare Tube
A spare tube can be a lifesaver in the face of a flat tire. This gadget is affordable and essential, so you should include one in your gear bag if you’re riding a tube tire.
Using an inner tube can save you from having to carry or push your mountain bike all the way back home or to the nearest repair shop. All you need to do is grab that fallen tire, take the old tube out, put the new tube in, and you’re good to continue your adventure.
When it comes to mountain bikes, I think the Kenda Inner Bike Tubes are your best bet. Although they look similar to just about every other bike tube on the market (they all do!), their performance is notably superior across multiple departments.
Not to mention, Kenda as a brand is well-known for manufacturing bike-related products of excellent quality. After all, they’ve been in the game for over 50 years!
Here, I’m talking about the company’s original version of bike tubes. They’re thick and durable thanks to the butyl rubber construction that withstands harsh terrain conditions and weather elements, which mountain bikes are often exposed to.
These tubes are a breeze to install and usually fit nicely on most tires. The following are their specs:
- Tire size — 26 inches x 1.90 up to 2.125 inches
- Valve type — Schrader, 32 mm
- Weight — 13.8 ounces (2 tubes)
Garmin Edge 530 Cycling/Bike Computer — Best Mountain Bike Computer
If you’re looking to upgrade your mountain biking experience, a cycling/bike computer can really take things to the next level. These devices are a huge step-up from ride-recording apps on your smartphone for several reasons including:
- Bike computers are built to endure most weather elements and conditions, unlike smartphones that require a lot more shielding out there.
- Cycling computers are designed to attach neatly onto your bike’s cockpit where they’re out of your way and safe.
- Bike computers have a battery life that’ll easily outlast any smartphone.
- Not only do these bike computers keep track of basic ride parameters such as speed, time, and distance, but they’re also compatible with sensors and other Bluetooth gadgets such as power meters and heart rate monitors.
Not to mention, these computers feature a GPS function that enables you to review the details of your ride later on and monitor factors like total distance and cumulative elevation gain. It even provides you with a map of the route you covered.
Nowadays, a lot of bike computers allow you to upload a certain route that you want to travel to the device so you can easily follow it while riding. Some advanced models also support real-time tracking and mapping.
For the best mountain bike computer, my vote goes to the Garmin Edge 530 Cycling/Bike Computer. This handy device is equipped with GPS mapping and touchscreen capability.
It can deliver you insights regarding your VO2 max, hydration, recovery, nutrition, training balance, as well as altitude and heat acclimation. Pairing it with Garmin-compatible sensors can provide you with even more information.
This computer also tracks mountain bike dynamics such as jump distance, jump count, hang time, descent smoothness, and ride difficulty rating. Additionally, it includes safety features such as bike alarm, group tracking/messaging, as well as Varia rearview lights and radar compatibility.
What’s more, this bike computer has the Garmin Cycle Map preloaded for smooth and reliable navigation. It comes with a “popularity routing” feature to help you cover the same routes as local riders.
The battery life of the Edge 350 lasts up to 20 hours when GPS is engaged.
PRO BIKE TOOL Bike Pump — Best Mountain Bike Pump
When you’re out on the trail with your trusty mountain bike, the last thing you want to encounter is a flat tire. Unfortunately, the chances of this happening aren’t insignificant due to all the rocks, sticks, bumps, stumps, and twigs you’re bound to ride over.
If your tires are tubeless, then you’ll be stranded without a pump and you may have no other choice but to carry or push your mountain bike back home or to the nearest repair shop. You can avoid such frustration by simply packing a portable pump.
Bike tire pumps are available in a variety of sizes. While you can just opt for the smallest one that crosses your path, this may not be a good idea because it can take a really long time to fill up your tire.
You also don’t want to get the biggest model out there. Yes, it’ll be a lot faster to pump up your tire, but it’ll also be much heavier to carry. I recommend going for a mid-size pump so it’s not too big that it’s a hassle to carry but still large enough to pump air quickly.
Here, I think the best mountain bike pump is the PRO BIKE TOOL Bike Pump. Its features include:
- High pumping power for quick and accurate Inflation with 100 psi (6.9 bar) pressure.
- An oversized piston that helps the pump achieve riding pressure with 30 percent fewer pushes compared to common mini-pumps.
- Flexible hose design to accommodate various valve placements.
- Built-in pressure gauge.
- Easy switching from Schrader to Presta valve.
- Includes a bike mount with an extra strap for convenient security.
Vont ‘Scope’ Bike Light — Best Mountain Bike Flashlight
A bike flashlight is a staple item in mountain biking. Not only does it allow you to keep riding into the night and in low-light conditions, but it also makes you detectable by other riders.
My recommendation here is the Vont ‘Scope’ Bike Light. This ultra-bright bike flashlight illuminates your trail with the power of 120 lumens at the front and 15 lumens at the back.
It’s built to last with military-grade material. It can handle tough road conditions and weather elements such as high drops, running over by a truck, or being underwater.
CamelBak Classic Light Bike Hydration Pack — Best Mountain Bike Hydration Pack
Last but not least, you need to stay hydrated while on the trail. Hydration packs are a superior choice to water bottles that you have to stop and hold to drink from.
My recommendation for the best mountain bike hydration pack is the CamelBak Classic Light Bike Hydration Pack. It’s durable, lightweight, and provides efficient ventilation for maximum comfort.
It can hold up to 70 ounces of water and feature a zippered pocket to store some of your essentials. You can fill it up with water for average rides, but if you’re planning to ride longer than usual, consider adding electrolytes to make up for the loss of vital salts and minerals as you sweat.
There you have it, the 10 best mountain bike accessories to accompany you on your next ride. Of course, there are other items to consider such as a multi-tool and a first-aid kit, so be sure to customize your gear selection according to your unique needs and budget.