What are handy things to have on a mountain bike ride?

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What are handy things to have on a mountain bike ride?

Besides taking the required hydration, nutrition and clothing with you, here is a list of things that I have learned to be helpful on mountain bike rides (especially if you're out for more than just a couple of hours).

  • Spare derailleur hanger
    • Knowing how to replace this piece is super important, in addition to having it with you! Next time you're in your local bike shop, ask the mechanic if they'll give you a run down of replacing it. More likely than not they'll be happy to help you out (I know I like to teach fellow customers these things. It's not a fun day when you're stranded in the woods!).
    • You're derailleur hanger is supposed to bend or break in the hopes that it will prevent your rear derailleur from busting.
    • *This is a part that is specific to your bike. Make sure you get the correct one from your local bike shop (they'll be able to give you the right one).*
  • Missing Link & Chain Tool
    • A Missing Link (or Power Link, depending on brand) will help you if you break your chain. It allows you to put your chain back together.
    • You'll have to use your chain tool, if you have to pull this piece out, so you can attach it to the inner plates of each end of the chain.
  • Multitool (I like the version that comes with a chain tool)
    • Try to have a multitool that has the size allen and/or torx wrenches that you need to work on most parts of your bike, such as your brake mount bolts, derailleur mount bolts, cable anchor bolts, etc.
  • Small medical kit or some bandages
  • Zip tie - so many uses, good for holding things together
  • Tire plugs and extra valve (if running tubeless)
  • Spare tube (regardless of if you are tubeless or not), and tire lever
  • Mini Pump and/or CO2
    • I'm partial to always having a pump with me (even in races), because for whatever reason, I've never had the best luck with CO2. Not that CO2 doesn't work, but I've been in enough instances to know that more often than not, a pump will not fail me. 
    • Another handy thing I've learned is to tape a bunch of electrical tape around your mini pump - if you rip your tire (and are lacking a tire boot), you can tape around the tire once putting a new tube in.

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