by CATRIONA JOHNSTON
When you first start out with mountain biking, it can be a bit overwhelming when you walk into a bike store to buy your first mountain bike and see all of the available accessories you'll need when you first start riding.
There are several mountain biking accessories and related products that you can purchase. Although the sales staff will try to sell you anything they can, the real question for those on a budget isn't what's cool, but what accessories you need to make your rides more safe and enjoyable. By starting with these accessories, you'll be just fine when you hit the trails.
The bike helmet is the most important mountain biking accessory that you can buy. No one should ever be on a bike without a helmet. There have been many people who have experienced serious head injury, when it could have prevented by wearing a helmet. All mountain bike helmets are comfortable and stylish and everyone who rides on the trails wears one.
Mountain bike gloves
No matter what season you ride in, your hands can take a beating. Beginners will normally keep a death grip on the handle bars, which can be very brutal for their hands. When you crash, your hands will be the first thing to hit the ground - and everyone crashes at some point. Mountain bike gloves are a must have accessory, as they will take the beating for you.
Mountain bike shorts
After the first few mountain bike rides you take, you'll notice that your rear end will be quite uncomfortable.
Even though your body will adjust, bike shorts are great to have as they will help keep it at a bare minimum. You can get shorts that are very comfortable, making them a great addition to your mountain bike ride.
Mountain bike shoes
Depending on the type of pedals you have and the type of riding you do, you'll want to pick your mountain bike shoes accordingly. If your bike has clipless type pedals, you'll want to get shoes to accept the special cleat for your pedals.
Good mountain bike shoes are durable, comfortable, and also a stiff sole for better efficiency when pedaling. Also, you should make sure to get the right shoe for the terrain you'll be riding in as well.
If you get something in your eye, you can run off the trail in a matter of seconds. Sunglasses or clear lensed glasses can help keep your eyes safe from debris, as well as protect them from the wind, but you can also buy prescription safety glasses for cycling if you need glasses with prescription. When you buy your glasses, make sure they are non-breakable and adhere to the relevant safety standards - the minimum you should be looking for is EN166F if you are in Europe or the UK.
Bringing a water bottle or hydration backpack with you is always a great idea. It's very easy to get dehydrated so you should always bring water with you and drink it on the trail to ensure that your body stays properly hydrated at all times.
Trail repair kit
It's easy to get stuck in the woods or on the trail if you don't bring the proper repair kit for your bike. To be on the safe side, bring a multi-tool designed for bike repair, tire levers, and a patch kit for fixing flat tires.