Two riders on mountain bikes on trail

Additional Gear to Consider When Buying A New Mountain Bike

Once you've settled in and are ready to pull the trigger on purchasing the perfect mountain bike for your needs, budget, skill level, and local trails, you'll want to think through what additional gear and parts you may need to get the most out of your soon to be new rig.  We've got over 30,000 skus to select from, and we know that can be overwhelming.  So we've broken down some options for you to consider in order of importance ranging from "Must Have," to "Nice to Have," to "If the Budget Permits."  Let's dive in.  

"Must Have" Gear with Your New Mountain Bike

1. Pedals

While some entry level bikes come with pedals included, the majority of higher end bikes do not.  Very few, if any, of the bikes on our site come with pedals.  You'll want to look for the perfect set of pedals for your riding style, whether it's flat pedals, clipless pedals, or carbon, composite, or aluminum pedals, so you can start pedaling as soon as you receive your bike.  After all, you won't get very far on a new bike no matter how nice it is if you don't have pedals.

2. Helmets

Coming in at a close number two is a helmet.  Safety should always come first prior to heading out on a trail. A properly fitting helmet is essential for protecting your head in case of falls or collisions. It's the most critical piece of gear you should never ride without.  There are a variety of helmet options for you to choose from.  Riders typically choose full faced helmets or more full coverage helmets for rougher more agressive terrain found in downhill and enduro riding, while trail and cross country riders often look for half shell or more breathable helmets.  Ultimately a helmet is a personal decision that each rider should choose based on his or her experience and riding style.

3. Flat Repair Kits, Multi Tools, and Saddle Bags

No one wants to be stranded out on the trail having to push the bike back to the due to a flat or some other maintenance problem.  While flat repair kits, multi-tools, and saddle bags may sound like 3 different items, they all work together to make a unit.  A good flat repair kit can be expected to inclue spare inner tubes, tire levers, and a pump or CO2 inflator.  Often times you can find a saddle bag that includes a starter kit of everything you'll need get yourself out of a bind while out on a trail.  Alternatively, you can find the saddle bag of your liking and select the multi-tool, pump and tube separately.

4. Water Bottle or Hydration Pack

Staying hydrated is crucial when out riding, especially on longer rides. Make sure your bike is equipped with a water bottle cage and a water bottle, or consider investing in a hydration pack or belt.  For really long rides you might even choose to carry both a water bottle and a hydration pack.  

"Nice to Have" Gear with Your New Mountain Bike

5. Protective Gear

Depending on the intensity of your rides, additional protective gear like knee pads and elbow pads, as well as body armor, can provide extra confidence and security on challenging trails.  Some might also consider extra protection "must have" gear rather than "nice to have" gear.  Whether or not you choose to ride with additional protective gear beyond a helmet is largely going to depend on your skill level and terrain.  That said, many riders prefer to use at least knee pads even on mild terrain, and even the most experienced riders often where knee pads, elbow pads, and even body armor on highly technical trails.

6. Bike Floor Pumps

While a compact tire pump is great for on-the-go fixes, having a larger floor pump at home makes it easy to maintain optimal tire pressure before each ride as tires can often lose a little air between rides.  While there are a number of factors that go into the optimal tire pressure such as the weather, terrain, and tires you ride, 24 PSI in the front and 28 PSI in the rear can be a good starting point.

7. MTB Shorts or Pants

While it's certainly possible to hit the trails in some gym shorts or even a pair of jeans, investing in a pair of mountain bike specific shorts or pants (and possibly even padded ones) can significantly improve comfort, especially on longer rides. We offer a wide range of MTB bottoms that offer both comfort and moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool, dry and comfortable.  

8. Maintenance Supplies

It's a good idea to stock up on essential maintenance supplies like chain lube, bike cleaners and degreasers to keep your ride running smoothly and looking sharp.  It's generally recommended to clean and lube your chain at least once a month if you ride frequently.  See our blog post on how to clean your bike chain if you're not familiar with the process.  

"If Budget Permits" Gear with Your New Mountain Bike

9. Bike Rack

Depending on your proximity to the trailheads that you intend to ride, some sort of bike transportation mechanism may be essential assuming you can't fit your bike inside your car or truck.  That's where bike racks and tailgate pads come into play.  There are a variety of bike racks available for efficient transport of your bike including hitch racks (typically the preferred option here at Jenson), trunk racks, and roof racks.  Meanwhile, tailgate pads are a great option for transporting your bikes with a truck and avoiding damage to both the bike and the truck.

10. Bike Lights

For those dusk or dawn rides or unexpected delays, having reliable lights can make a huge difference in visibility and safety. Choose both a rear light to ensure you're visible to others and a front light so you can navigate the trails ahead safely in low-light conditions.

11. GPS and Fitness Trackers

Getting lost in the wilderness might sound adventurous, but it's not always fun. Carrying a GPS device can give you the needed confidence to both stay on course and explore new trails with confidence.  

Well, that's a wrap.  There's no shortage of ways to make your riding more fun and efficient, and everyone's needs are a little different.  So the way you prioritize your purchases might be a little different than what we've laid out here.  That said, the majority of us here at Jenson have been riding for most of our lives and think this is a pretty solid starting point.  Hope it helps to get you out there riding and exploring!

As always, please reach out to one of our Gear Advisor Pros with any questions, and Keep Pedaling!

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