10 things you shouldn’t mountain bike without, plus a few of my favorites

Here are 10 essential items every mountain biker should carry on a ride. I also included 8 non-essential favorites for longer rides.

Now to be fair, the complete list of things that I carry varies on where I’m riding, and how long I will be out for. But the 10 products listed below are always in my pack. I also included some additional items you may want to consider if you are planning an epic trip. These 8 items are non-essential, but remain in my pack, or rotate in and out, depending on circumstances.

Note: The list below may include some Amazon affiliate links. It won’t cost you anything extra to use that link, but it helps me to continue making these reviews.


1) Pedro’s Tire Levers
No matter where you go you should always have a set of good tire levers. I carry two with me at all times because some tires are really hard remove and install. It’s also handy in case one of them breaks. Personally I love these Pedro levers because the plastic is light but really durable. They even snap together making them easy to throw in the pack.

https://amzn.to/3C1e4mi (Affiliate Link)

2) Tubolito Tube
This tubolito tube which is ridiculously light, compact, and yet still strong. They’re more expensive than a standard tube but for me the benefits outweigh the cost.

https://amzn.to/3S5pniS (Affiliate Link)

3) Stans Dart Tire Plugs
My preference is for the Stans Dart over the traditional sticky bacon strips, but the point is, tire plugs are my first go too. In most cases these have saved me from having to go through the trouble of installing a tube.

https://amzn.to/3DENVe9 (Affiliate Link)

4) Lezyne Mini Frame Pump
They come in a variety of sizes and they’re really well made. However I can’t give them my 100% endorsement because, while the flexible tube is really handy it also has a tendency to remove your valve core if it’s not tightened down, which is extremely annoying.

https://amzn.to/3BW2lVY (Affiliate Link)

5) Crankbrothers M19 Multi-tool
It’s important to carry a multi-tool with you to tackle simple trail side repairs. I would also highly consider one that has a chain breaker on it. If you are not concerned with weight I would recommend the Crank Brothers M19. It has almost everything you would need for simple bike adjustments.

https://amzn.to/3S4PztI (Affiliate Link)

6) Quick Link
Be sure you get the correct quick link for your chain. For instance I ride a Shimano 11 speed so I carry a quick link for that specific chain. Search Google for your chain type and brand

7) Derailleur Hanger
I have bent or broken a lot of hangers over the years and these are specific to your bike. So the chance that a shop would have one in stock is rare. Search Google for derailleur hangers for your bike

8) Assorted Zip Ties
Zip ties are really handy and come in several sizes. They’ve saved me in many situations.

https://amzn.to/3xJBUAp (Affiliate Link)

9) Zip Lock Bag
Having a water proof bag to throw your valuables in, like keys, money or even your phone, if the weather turns can save you in a pinch. They fold down to nothing so I always make sure I have one with me. Check your kitchen 😉

10) First Aid Kit
Obviously these are super important if you get into a crash, but I found there are additional benefits. Things like tweezers and safety pins can be helpful in a lot of situations. For example I was riding with a buddy and one of his straps ripped on his pack and we used the safety pin to hold it together.

https://amzn.to/3dz3Xf0 (Affiliate Link)


1) Valve Core
I debated putting this in my essentials list because it actually never leaves my pack, but honestly I never really use it. And in the event you damage it you could just replace it with a tube.

https://amzn.to/3S1LPcp (Affiliate Link)

2) Leatherman Pliers
The Leatherman multi-tool is definitely a luxury item, but it’s come in handy so many times that it stays my pack. I like the quality and compact design but it is on the heaver side. In addition to pliers it has a scissors, wire cutters and saw, just to name a few.

https://amzn.to/3BUdAgz (Leatherman Store Affiliate Link)

3) Park Tool Patch kit
Patch kits are small and can get you out of a bind it you already flatted your tubeless and you end up running tubes. I always make sure to take a kit like this with me especially on longer rides.

https://amzn.to/3dFbnNA (Affiliate Link)

4) Zeiss Lens Wipes
If you ride with googles or sun glasses, these lens wipes are really handy at cleaning them off. They are so thin that I just throw a bunch into my pack. They are especially great at removing that fine dust you get when you are at the downhill park.

https://amzn.to/3SrYWDP (Affiliate Link)

5) Cottonelle Travel Wipes
Travel wipes are really handy because well “sh*t happens”. I never want to be caught out, messing around with leaves or whatever else you might consider as an adequate wiping tool.

https://amzn.to/3f9Pqa0 (Affiliate Link)

6) Travel Packs of Butt’r Chamois Cream
I always apply this at the start of all my rides. But if I am on a longer ride, or if it is ridiculously hot out, having a spare to re-apply during a ride comes in handy.

https://amzn.to/3dFbKaW (Affiliate Link)

7) Buggins Natural Insect Repellent – Vanilla Mint Rose
It’s made of natural ingredients and does a great job with keeping those pesky gnats away in the spring and summer months. Even though I apply this before the ride if I get sweaty enough it eventually wears off so bringing some with me to re-apply during a ride has been awesome.

https://amzn.to/3S5rgfh (Affiliate Link)

8) Fiskars Saw and Clippers
A portable saw and clippers are items that only come out with me if I know I will be riding on trails that tend to get over grown, or if I ride after a bad storm. Doing a little trail maintenance is a nice way to give back to the trails I love so much. And since they don’t weigh a lot or take up too much space carrying them around is not much of a penalty.

https://amzn.to/3BsLto8 (Fiskars Store Affiliate Link)


Stan’s Dart Video:

LyteShow Electrolyte Drops
https://amzn.to/3qXZTIg (Affiliate Link)

GU Energy Gel – Espresso
https://amzn.to/3UGyXdR (Affiliate Link)

If you like what you see, or have some feedback/questions feel free to contact me. If you enjoyed the content and you want to see more check out my other pages on Trail Sage.

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Featured Bike: Ibis Mojo 3
Footage notes: Most shots were taken at Mt Penn in Reading PA, and Blue Marsh in Bernville PA #MTB #MountainBike #MTBGear

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