10 Essential Mountain Bike Accessories If You Own A MTB

Santa Cruz mountain bike at a trailhead in Bend Oregon Photo by Jaime Pirozzi - Local Freshies®

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We’ve done a deep dive on what we carry on our full day mountain biking adventures, but this list of accessories represents the absolute basics of mountain bike accessories for any mountain bike owner. In the words of Joe Friday from the classic TV show Dragnet, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

Starting Out?

Looking to hop into the world of mountain biking rubber side down? Whether you’re seeking beginner tips, gear recommendations, or simply thirsting to discover new trails—from the stunning shores of Tahoe to the tacky flowy goodness of Hood River’s Post Canyon—we’ve got it all on our Mountain Biking Homepage.

On You


Smith Wildcat
Photo by: Local Freshies®

You’re going off road which means obstacles, and if you do fall, keep that investment of your brain intact. Simply put, this is one piece of equipment that you shouldn’t be frugal on. The simple rule is if you’re going lift-accessed, wear a full-face helmet (like motocross). For normal pedaling like cross-country or enduro, the Giro Fixture helmet is a great option. It has a visor to block out the sun and MIPS protection. Standing for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, this is the gold standard in helmets and is something you should ALWAYS look for when buying one.


DAKINE Syncline Gel Cycling Gloves - Men's
Image appears courtesy: REI

This is NOT optional and is one of the must have mountain bike accessories. At a minimum, they’ll help avoid blisters or calluses. And when you do eventually fall, those hands will hit the ground. Granite rocks, thorny bushes, tree stumps, and a bevy of other surfaces will be there. Look for a pair of gloves that are like a mullet. Mesh party on the back of your hands to keep them cool. Leather palms for business to make sure you don’t skin your digits. DO NOT buy cut-off gloves. We’ve heard horror stories of people losing fingernails due to this.


eyeglass case for Smith MTB sunglasses
Photo by: Local Freshies®

Just like riding without gloves is a bad idea, it’s also true for glasses. The next time you’re on your favorite singletrack take a look around. You’ll find dead tree branches, rocks, and a host of other items that could cause some serious damage if you fell on them with your eyeball or if your tire kicked up a piece of debris. Heck, it wasn’t until we saw our friend smash his face did we realize the importance of shatter proof glasses. Fortunately, even if you want to be frugal and drop only $10, you can still be safe.

To get a rundown of the best MTB glasses for all price ranges and what to look for in a good pair, peer into our in-depth guide found here: U Might Wear Ur Sunglasses At Night But These Are The Best MTB Glasses


As you start ratcheting up the mileage on your bike, one of the things you may start to notice is that your sit bones become tender or even painful. If your bike feels uncomfortable then another option to make you bum happier is to pick up a pair of chamois. Unless you’ve been in the biking scene, it’s the “dirty” secret on how to make mountain biking more enjoyable. Pronounced “shammy”, it’s underwear that has built in padding to make that long ride more enjoyable. Let’s just say your cheeks will thank you.

On The Bike Or Backpack

Water bottle

Mountain biker riding in Lake Tahoe Meadow with Smith Attack MTB sunglasses
Mountain biking is fun – Photo by: Local Freshies®

Unless you’re a camel, you’re going to get thirsty even on the shortest rides. Having a water bottle is non-negotiable since the biggest energy drain and therefore affecting performance is getting dehydrated. Or better yet, get a backpack with water storage such as the Camelbak M.U.L.E. hydration pack.

Mini-Pump (or CO2)

It’s not if but when. If you ride hard enough, you will get a flat. On that occasion, you’ll want to have a mini-pump which can be attached onto the bike frame. Or if you’re running a tubeless tire, instead of a pump you can carry a CO2 cartridge along with a small 3 oz bottle of tire sealant to fix the flat.

Spare Tube

This is your first line of defense if you puncture a tire. Inner tubes are as cheap as a cup of coffee, so why bother with a patch kit? Simply remove the tire, replace the tube, and you’re ready to roll!

Bike Multitool

Crank Brothers M-19 multi tool
Image appears courtesy: Crank Brothers

If you haven’t noticed, many of the nuts and bolts on a bike aren’t your typical ones you can tighten with a screwdriver. You could carry both a standard multi-tool like the Gerber and a bike-specific one, but if you want to streamline your gear, opt for a bike multi-tool that includes all the essentials in one: hex keys, screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, and even a tire lever.

In The Garage

Floor Pump

mountain bike pump and tire behind it
Check your tire pressure before EVERY ride – Photo by: Local Freshies®

No matter what, we ALWAYS check the tire pressure before a ride as part of our pre-ride checklist. It’s much easier to use a floor pump than the one attached to your bike. If you’re unsure what you should be running your tires at, read our article: Never Fold Under Pressure For Mountain Bike Tires Finding The Right PSI.

Chain Lube

Rock N Roll Gold Chain Lubricant 16 oz bottle
The second item on the check list is your bike chain, and it’s arguably the most crucial part on your entire bike. You need to make sure that it continues to run smoothly, and to do so, a bit of love and maintenance is required.

We’ve gone down the rabbit hole of chain lubes, considering factors like durability, ease of application, cleanliness, longevity, and protective qualities. Our top pick, tailored to our climate and terrain, is the Rock n’ Roll Gold. To dive deeper into our findings, check out our article: “My Profound Realization Of Bike Chain Lube… It’s Not All The Same.

Nice But Not Needed

Outside of what to carry on your ride, there are a couple of other mtb accessories that can help up your game or at least make it more enjoyable. These make for great mountain bike accessories gifts for the mountain biker in your life.

Timber Bell

Spending time on trails is about having fun but when you have to pass hikers, riders, equestrians or even animals, it can quickly turn into a mood spoiler. In fact, we’ve had a few nerve-wracking encounters, like stumbling upon a black bear, startling both them and us. One of the coolest mountain bike accessories we’ve found is this handy bell that rings with movement, eliminating the need to yell “On your left” constantly.

Mountain Bike Shoes

Ride Concepts Tallac mtb shoe
Image appears courtesy: Ride Concepts

You may think a shoe is a shoe … is a shoe, but I personally found that isn’t the case. A pair that are designed for the sport are game changing. They lock you into the pedal even in the muddiest conditions. Just a few years ago, the only ones on the market for flat pedals were the FIVE TEN’s. All other models were geared towards clipless pedals. Now, there is a whole assortment of flat pedal shoes to pick from.

Flat Pedals

Along with what you rock on your feet, another item that you can easily upgrade (and affordably) are your flat pedals. The standard pedals mountain bikes come with are just that — standard. As soon as we bought our OneUp Components pedals, it was love at first bike. We felt locked into them along with our Ride Concept shoes. The list of pedals on the market is a bit overwhelming, so to help you in the process of finding ones you’ll like, we’ve created this guide: Good Vibes And The Best MTB Flat Pedals To Get You Anywhere.

Mountain Bike Shorts

You don’t NEED to get mountain bike shorts but certain features that are in them will help you when you’re out on trail rides. For starters, look for ones that are made of a tough material like lycra and longer than normal. Many times that singletrack has overgrown branches, tree stumps, or you may even skid out on some gravel. Having that extra bit of protection is worth it when you crash (and you will crash at some point). At the same time, you want them to be breathable for those climbs because you’ll be working up a sweat. Last but not least, many already come with chamois so you get two for the price of one.

One thought on “10 Essential Mountain Bike Accessories If You Own A MTB

  1. What a great read. I never realized how important the correct gear is for mountain biking. Localfreshies Gal sure gave us all alot of in-depth information with great suggestions on the gear to have. Thank you for helping to keep us all safe.

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