Don't get carried away carrying
Firstly, I want to admit that I have usually been one to bring too much gear. I mean, I’m a total gear nerd, I love gear, so of course I’d love to bring all the fun stuff with me. But with age comes experience, and over the years I’ve learned that even though there’s tons of stuff that might come in handy while out and about, usually it doesn’t. And often, even if said thing would have been handy, I can still do without it, at least for a little while longer. And although having the right tools available at any given time is convenient, I’ve also started to appreciate the convenience of bringing less gear.
What I wear for all rides
I’m obviously not going biking without my bike, so that’s a given. And I usually don’t ride naked either. Let’s start with the basics, from top to bottom:
- Helmet – either half lid or full face
- Glasses or goggles – I usually prefer glasses with a relatively light contrast-enhancing tint
- skibotn Wool 3/4 T-Shirt – a lightweight wool shirt works equally well in the summer as it does in the winter!
- Back protector – because I usually don’t ride with a backpack any longer
- Elbow pads – I’ve kept thinking I don’t need elbow guards, but I was really happy I did last time I rode, because I crashed hard, twice
- skibotn flex1 Gloves – grippy, breathable
- fjørå flex1 Heavy Duty Shorts – durable, stretchy
- wool Boxer – because wool rocks
- Knee pads – see point 4 above
- fjørå Light Weight Merino Socks – again, because wool rocks
- Clipless shoes – if I ain’t stuck, I suck
What I bring for all rides
As a true gear nerd, I take some pride in my set up. I want my gear to be easy to bring and easy to use, but also be out of the way when I don’t need it, which, to be honest, is most of the time. So over the last season I’ve slowly perfected my regular riding kit. I’ve managed to condense all my regular riding gear to fit into a small bag mounted on the bike frame.
- Mini pump
- Multi tool with quick links
- Couple of brake disc wipes
- Tubeless puncture repair
- Tire pressure gage
- Couple of antiseptic wipes
- Couple of medium sized bandages
- Spare GoPro battery
- Water bottle (in a frame mounted cage)
What I bring for longer rides
Sometimes I might actually feel the need to bring more than just the basics. For example, if I’m going on a slightly longer ride, or going to partake in an enduro race, I might need a few extra tools and some more snacks. In this case I’ll upgrade my riding kit with a bitihorn 6L Hip Pack. It can fit more than you might think, and it cinches down tight so it won’t bounce around when the riding gets rowdy.
- More snacks
- Water filter – to top off my bottle directly from lakes or rivers
- CO2 cartridge and regulator
- Tire lever
- fjørå dri1 Jacket – lightweight, waterproof, packs down small
- First aid kit
- Rear derailleur hanger
- Tubeless fluid
- Power bank to charge my phone
- Spare inner tube – mounted to the frame using an elastic ski strap. I ride using tire inserts, and probably won’t ever need a spare tube, but my friend might (because last time he did, and had forgotten to bring one himself).
What I bring for epic rides
And every now and then, I might even revert to my set-up of ancient past, riding with a backpack. For full day excursions up in the mountains you’ll want to bring some extra clothes and some proper food, so for days like these I’ll upgrade my riding kit with a skibotn 15L Pack with an integrated D30 Removable Back Protector.
And again, it can fit more than you might think, so here’s a pro tip: use some of that space for extra snacks to share with your friends or a hangry spouse. You can thank me later.
- More clothes
- More food
- More water
- Wind sack
Go forth and get carried away
Whatever your setup, remember to enjoy the ride! Don’t worry too much about the gear. Instead, just chill out and have fun with your friends and that hangry spouse of yours. But remember, you’re not the only one to use the trails, so please ride sensibly. Slow down when passing others, greet them with a friendly smile, and share some of those extra snacks you brought. That Strava KOM can wait for another day. Trail biking is a rapidly growing sport, so for both others and yourself to be able to enjoy it for years to come, take care of the trails you ride. Oh, and take care of yourself too, so bring an extra snack. Thank me later.
See you out there!
Hugs from your friendly neighborhood Gear Bear,
Hardware Designer, Norrøna HQ.