Mountain Biking Gear Chris & Mac Use

Grey Otter Outventures Mountain Biking

A discussion of the equipment and apparel Chris & Mac use for mountain biking and links to manufacturers and retailers offering the gear.

Chris & Mac

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The gear used for day hiking is an important component to having a pleasurable and safe mountain bike ride.  As with most things, people have differing opinions as to what is the “best” gear.  Often times, “best” is the result of trade-offs between function, look, and, of course, price.  That said, there are stand-outs in the equipment and apparel world.

When Mac and I select the gear we use, we generally try to find equipment and apparel that is most suited for the activity we are doing, in this case mountain biking.  We provide you with this listing here because we believe you can benefit from the gear decisions we have made.

Of course, new gear comes to market all the time, so we change gear as improvements are made by the industry.  The following is a listing of the gear we currently use when day mountain biking.

Please Note:  Grey Otter Outventures, Inc. is an affiliate of some of the brands mentioned in this section and may receive a small commission from purchases made from these brands at no extra cost to you.

Backpacks:  A good ride pack is hard to beat and Camelbak makes excellent mountain biking backpacks with top notch water reservoirs.  For general riding, Chris uses the stealthy CamelBak Lobo 6L Backpack (mens).  It’s small, but has a 3 liter reservoir and room for the essentials.  For long backcountry rides, where extra equipment and clothing are necessary, Chris uses the higher volume CamelBak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack – a favorite of many mountain bikers.  In general, Mac uses the Camelbak Magic 5L Backpack (womens).  It’s minimalist, but has a 2 liter reservoir and room to carry the essentials needed to tackle the trails.
 
Helmets:  Helmets are a critical piece of safety gear for mountain biking, but they should also be comfortable and look good.  For us, Giro helmets are our go to.  Chris uses the Giro Montaro MIPS Helmet (mens) and Mac uses the  Giro Montara MIPS Helmet (womens).  Check them out, you won’t be disappointed.
 
Bottle for Hydration Mix:  In addition to water, both Chris and Mac carry a separate bottle with a hydration packet added to replace electrolytes lost through sweat.  Hands down, we believe the best bottles for this are made by Platypus.  For this purpose, we carry the Platypus 0.5 litre size, but they come in a variety of sizes.  They weigh virtually nothing and are amazingly durable.
 
Mini Bike Pump:  For general mountain biking, we carry CO2 inflators in case of a flat.  But for big backcountry rides, where redundancy can be important to get back to the trailhead, Chris carries a spare inner tube (even though he rides tubeless, tire walls can rip!) and the Blackburn Mammoth Any Valve Mini Pump.  It’s very compact, has a flip out handle, and inflates a mountain bike tire in no time.
 
CO2 Inflators:  On all rides, Chris and Mac carry the Lezyne Control Drive CO2 inflator and 25 gram CO2 cartridges.  The inflator is about the size of a quarter and lets you control the amount of flow from the CO2 cartridge.
 
Multi-Tool:  It is very important to be able to fix problems that occur on the trail.  Bikes are mechanical and mountain biking is rugged.  Having a good multi-tool and knowing how to use it for basic trail side repairs will prevent long walks back to the trailhead.  Chris carries the Park MTC-40 Composite Multitool, while Mac carries the Park Tool IB-3.  As with all Park Tool products, the multi-tools are well equipped, well built, and easy to use.
 
Tubeless Tire Sealant:  There are a number of tire sealants on the market for tubeless mountain bike tires, but we find the best, no fuss-no muss tire sealant to be Stan’s No Tubes Tire Sealant.
 
Chain Lube:  We know, there are a lot of opinions about chain lubes.  Having tried many, many lubes, we really believe that Rock N Roll Extreme Lube is the best lube for mountain biking.  We’ve used it for many years in all kinds of conditions, including mud fests, and it has performed every time.  The lube cleans and lubes the chain at the same time – and mud and dirt doesn’t stick to your chain.  Can’t get much better than that!
 
Headsweats:  We always wear headbands to soak up the sweat when riding so it doesn’t drip in our eyes.  Chris prefers to wear a cycling cap with a built-in sweat band under his helmet, while Mac prefers to use a standard sweat band.  Regardless of your preference, its hard to beat Headsweats‘ sweat catching products.
 
Frame Protectors: Frame protection is important, particularly if you ride a carbon frame mountain bike.    Rocks hitting the frame and falls can make a mess of your beautiful bike.  For basic protection at a reasonable price, its hard to beat All Mountain Style Frame Protection XL.
 
Pack Cover (In Case of Rain):  When it looks like rain, it’s a good idea to keep a pack cover in your backpack because most backpacks are not waterproof.  We like the CamelBak Unisex Adult Pack Rain Cover.  They are very light weight and come in a variety of sizes to fit most mountain bike packs.

SAFETY DISCLAIMER:  The activities discussed in this website are outdoor activities and, as such, have inherent risks to which participants are exposed.  It is not the intent of this website, nor is it possible due to the variability of weather, terrain, equipment, and experience, to detail all of those risks.  The information contained in this site is informational, but not instructive nor exhaustive.  It is the sole responsibility of the user to ensure he/she is in good health, fully prepared, and fully informed as to dangers before undertaking any of the activities discussed in this website and the user does so at his/her own risk.  The user understands that by using this website he/she acknowledges and accepts all risks associated with use of information from this website and participation in any particular activity addressed herein.  Please see “Terms of Use” for additional information.

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