When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
- Mountain biking is great for fitness, socializing, and enjoying nature, but it can be costly to get into.
- Not all gear is necessary for beginners — but items like a helmet, water, and fuel are must-haves.
- These mountain bike accessories are crucial to stay safe on the trails, but some have low-cost swaps.
Mountain biking is a killer workout, both physically and mentally, a speedier way to score mountain views than on two feet, and a dopamine-dripping socially-distanced way to spend your time. However, there’s no way around it — mountain bike gear costs money.
And if you haven’t ridden much (or at all), it’s hard to know what mountain bike accessories you actually need.
You could certainly go out with just your bike, a water bottle, and any ole’ helmet, but having some sport-specific equipment with you is going to make your ride more enjoyable, safer, and, ultimately, better.
To help, I tested and rounded up some of the best beginner mountain biking gear to bring you a comprehensive checklist of how to start your kit. While most of the gear was tested over the course of several months, some of it I’ve had around for years, which speaks to not only its proficiency but it’s durability, as well.
Because we want to minimize that barrier of entry and help get as many people as possible into the funtown that is mountain biking, we’ve noted for each item how necessary it is when you’re starting and if there’s a viable swap you probably already have at home.
Before getting into the picks, it’s important to outline a few vital considerations to keep in mind before you hit the trail, including non-mountain-bike-specific gear to bring along and some tips on emergency preparedness.