Mountain biking is a fun way to get outside and get some exercise, but it often isn’t as simple as hopping in the saddle and setting off. It’s important to make sure that you have all the kit, accessories, and tools you need to keep safe and make the most of your time on the trails. That’s why we’re here to break down 10 must have mountain bike accessories to optimise your ride.
1. Tools and maintenance
First things first – maintenance. Whether it’s repairs or general upkeep, you’re going to want the right tools to keep it your mountain bike in top condition, especially if you’re hitting the trails on a regular basis. The first thing you’ll need is a repair stand, an easy-to-use cycle stand to help you carry out whatever work you need to, from routine maintenance to repairs and upgrades. We recommend the Halfords Repair Stand – with a sturdy frame and four adjustable legs, you’ll have your bike ready to ride in no time. It’s also a great tool for cleaning your bike after a muddy ride, letting you turn the wheels and reach all the awkward spots.
To help you carry out these repairs and maintenance, you’ll be wanting some quality tools. The Halfords 30pc Bike Tool Kit is a great start, with plenty of wrenches, hex keys, and everything in between to help you keep your bike in working order. A great tool to have in your arsenal when you’re out and about, the Halfords 21 Function Multi Tool can be a lifesaver when you’re in the middle of nowhere and run into a problem.
Once your bike is fully serviced and ready to ride, you’ll be wanting to get it squeaky clean before you take it out. Not only will it look the part but keeping everything clean and tidy will help to keep your bike in working order too.
The Halfords Cleaning Kit contains everything you need to remove even the toughest dirt from your bike, and leave it stunningly clean and running smoothly. The Halfords Extreme Bike Cleaner is perfect for penetrating and removing grime, dust, mud and oil, while the Halfords Degreaser‘s quick-drying formula quickly and easily removes grease from your chains, gears and moving parts. To finish, some Halfords Spray Lube will keep everything moving smoothly and easily – it’s ideal for chains, cables, sprockets and gear mechanisms.
You’ll also get a cleaning sponge to agitate especially grimy areas, a cloth to remove excess water, and 2 Halfords cleaning brushes to get into all the awkward nooks and crannies.
Now that your bike is looking fresh and clean, it’s time to apply some lube to your chain. This will keep everything working smoothly and prevent any excess friction or seizing. You’ll need to decide between dry lubricant and wet lubricant – they each do different things, so it’s important to factor in your average ride. Dry lube is more lightweight, and generally for bikes that get less gruelling treatment, so we’d recommend the Muc-Off Dry Lube Bike Lube if you’re riding in dry and dusty conditions.
If you’re hitting the trails in the rain and mud – and let’s be honest, that’s quite likely in Britain – then you’ll probably want wet lube. It’s longer lasting, and more easily withstands harsh conditions. The Muc-Off Wet Lube Bike Lubricant is a great choice – not only will it give you silky smooth gear shifts, but it’s also biodegradable.
For the optimum riding experience all year round, it’s worth having both a wet and dry lube to hand. Since they best serve your mountain bike in different ways, you can switch between the two as and when you need to.
4. Style accessories
To complete your biking look, you’ll be wanting some cycling accessories to keep you riding in style and comfort. The Boardman MTB Cycle Shoes have a durable rubber outsole to give you ultimate traction on the pedals, without compromising on comfort or flexibility when you’re walking. They also have a reinforced toe box to keep your feet protected against any rough terrain you might bump into as you’re riding.
The Boardman MTB Gloves are the perfect companion, offering dexterity and airflow through stretch mesh fabric, without sacrificing protection. Foam padded cushioning gives you ultimate comfort on the handlebars, while keeping your hands safe from any rugged terrain. The index finger and thumb are also touch screen compatible, so you’ll have no trouble checking your phone or navigating with your cycle computer.
5. Upgrade your saddle
If you’re embarking on some long-haul rides, upgrading your saddle might save you from any aches and pains – swapping out your standard saddle for one that’s designed for off-road use could offer you greater support and an experience engineered specifically for MTB riding.
The Selle Italia X3 XP Saddle is perfect for messy off-road riding, with a full shell design to limit any dirt and mud spraying up. The X3 is cushioned with gel and extra padding to dampen vibrations, meaning you won’t have to worry about feeling every little bump. This cushioning is then covered with a technical microfiber cover material that provides extreme strength and durability without adding any excess weight to your bike.
Another great off-road choice is the Selle Italia XR Flow Saddle, thanks to the FEC alloy rails which provide a solid hold to your seat post and make pedalling across rough terrain a breeze. The XR also features gel padding and a Flow centra cut-out, designed to relieve pressure and increase comfort – this makes it a great upgrade for your mountain bike if you’re off on all-day adventures.
6. Upgrade your pedals
You’ve upgraded the saddle, why not switch out your pedals too? Further customise your riding experience with some specialised pedals to help you get the most out of your mountain bike.
The DMR V6 Nylon MTB Pedals are made of a tough Nylon construction, meaning you can rely on them to endure ride after ride. With the same concave footprint that DMR Pedals are renowned for, the V6 pedals have a large contact platform and aggressive moulded pins to guarantee you an excellent grip in any conditions, and on any terrain. They’re also available in blue and orange as well as black, so you can tailor your bike to suit your personal off-road style.
The Boardman Performance Flat Pedal is another great adaption to a mountain bike – they’re made of lightweight aluminium, and the flat shape offers increased grip and stability when you’re in the saddle. The Boardman pedals feature 16 studs to maximise grip, which can be easily removed with an Allen key and replaced when they wear down, so you never have to feel like you’re losing traction. The studs are also two different lengths to give a varied depth on the pedal, enhancing the grip on your shoes and keeping you slip-free.
If you’re riding in the Winter (or a British summer!) then you’ll probably want some mudguards. Not only will they help to keep you clean as you ride, but they’ll also work to deflect grit away from any moving components.
The Halfords Front & Rear Mudguard Set is a great option to give you as much protection as possible – with both a front and rear mudguard included, they’ll work to keep you and your bike cleaner from all angles. The rear guard has a quick release strap and adjustable arm to get you quickly and easily set up, while the front guard comes with three spacers to fit different size steerer tubes, ensuring the perfect fit on your bike.
If you’re leaning towards a front mudguard, then the Mucky Nutz MugGuard is a perfect choice. While the forward lip catches dirt and minimises spray, the sharp trailing edge works to cut clogging mud away from the tyre, keeping you muck-free and your tyres functional. Six fastenings secure the guard firmly in place, so you won’t have to worry about any wobbling, even on the rockiest of trails.
Even better, the MugGuard is made from recycled polypropylene and can be recycled again at the end of its life, so you can feel good knowing that while you’re protecting yourself and your bike, you’re protecting the planet too.
Even the most experienced cyclist will pick up a puncture at some point, and there’s nothing worse than realising you haven’t got the equipment to fix it. A hand pump is a great tool to have at your disposal to deal with any hiccups, and they’re compact enough to fit into a bag for easy transport when you’re on the go.
The Halfords Dual Action Bike Pump is a great choice for any bike, featuring an auto-adjust valve to automatically fit either a Schrader or Presta valve, so you don’t have to worry about manual adjustment. The pump is also really efficient thanks to the dual stroke action – this means that air is pumped on both the out and instroke, halving the amount of time and effort needed to fill your tyres. That way, you’re conserving energy that can be better spent during your ride!
We’d also recommend picking up a floor pump to keep at home, such as the Topeak Joe Blow Sport Iii. Floor pumps can inflate your tyres quicker, and often have more accurate gauges to better measure the pressure of your tyres.
You’ll also want a shock pump – our favourite being the Halfords Suspension Shock Pump – to cater specifically to MTBs. Instead of for your tyres, this pump adjusts the air pressure in air sprung suspension systems, helping you maintain the air pressure in the suspension forks on your mountain bike.
Helmet style and design can play a big role in your safety and comfort while out on the trails, so choosing a helmet designed specifically for mountain bikers is a must.
The Halfords Transfer Helmet features lightweight yet durable in-mould construction with deep rear coverage, to give you maximum protection without weighing you down. If you’re out on a longer and more gruelling ride, sweat wicking padding will help keep you fresh and comfortable, while the visor keeps the weather at bay – whether it’s sun or rain!
If you’re an image-conscious rider who wants protection that doesn’t compromise on style, the matte black Lazer Coyote Helmet is the perfect choice. It features a dropped profile that provides additional coverage to the rear and sides of your head, while the integrated visor gives you protection from low hanging branches and other potential obstacles on your ride. Plus, if you’re out on an all-day summer adventure, you won’t have to worry about overheating – the Coyote’s 21 vents help to increase airflow and keep your head cool and comfortable.
10. Nutrition and hydration
Last but certainly not least, you’ll need to make sure you’re hydrated and full of energy. After all, there’s not much point gathering all the essential mountain bike gear if you haven’t got enough energy to complete your ride. That’s why it’s important to give your body the nutrients and fuel it needs to get you in the saddle and off-road.
For easy hydration while you’re on the move, as well as some extra storage, a hydration pack is the perfect solution. The Camelbak Hydrobak Light is an expertly designed, lightweight pack with a 1.5L reservoir to keep your fluids topped up all day. There’s also an extra litre of capacity for any cargo you have, so you can store your multi tool, snacks and gels, and any other ride essentials. The pack is made from lightweight materials and is designed specifically to fit snugly against your back, thanks to the adjustable harness, chest strap, and back panel with body mapping technology. This keeps the pack flush against your body in the perfect position as you ride, even over bumpy terrain, so you’ll hardly notice you’ve got it on.
For hand-held hydration, the Camelbak Podium Dirt Chill Black Water Bottle is a great choice. The double-wall construction keeps your drink cold for twice as long, so it’s perfect for extended rides under the summer sun. If you’re hitting some particularly muddy terrain, the integrated mud cap will make sure that none of the dirt makes its way into the nozzle, while the self-sealing jet valve eliminates any potential spills or leaks.
Now that hydration’s sorted, you’ll be wanting a burst of energy to get you through your gruelling ride. The SIS GO Energy Bake Bar Lemon is a tasty and convenient way to keep your carbohydrates up, perfect to eat either before or during your ride. If you don’t fancy anything solid, the SIS GO Isotonic Energy Gel is an quick way to give yourself an energy boost in a handy gel pouch.
Now that you’ve got all the MTB essentials, head out to your favourite trail or track and put them to good use! You want mountain biking essentials, you want Halfords.