Mountain bike season is already here, and we’re all beyond excited to tackle the unbeaten track! The trails are versatile due to the temperate spring weather, and you can find a mixture of mud, rain, sun, and dirt along the well-prepared tracks.
You don’t get trail conditions so good during any other season of the year, so it’s best to make the most of it. But by failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.
That’s why we’ve compiled a guide of the most essential items you need to bring on your mountain bike journey that are trending in 2022.
1. Keep yourself hydrated with a hydration pack
The weather during spring in the UK is usually calm with lots of sunlight, but not as hot as summer. However, this year, we’re expecting heat waves and a warmer than usual spring with temperatures rising up to 24°C in a few weeks and up to 29°C later in the season.
That means that you’ll need to keep yourself hydrated now more than ever. Water bottles are great but the ones you take on a journey can only hold up to 1L of water. Hydration packs, on the other hand, can hold over 50L, depending on the type. That makes them perfect for both short and long-distance journeys.
Hydration packs have increased in popularity by 59% since the beginning of this year, according to Google Trends. The best thing about them is their versatility, So you can get one for your torso or go for a backpack-style one, depending on your preferences. Not only that, but most hydration packs have space for you to hold your keys and wallet so that you can ride completely hands-free.
2. Summer cycling gloves
During spring both extreme heat and light rain, which are a high possibility this year, can make your hands slippery. While many riders like the freedom of riding gloveless, it can also be dangerous, as you can easily lose control of the handlebars and injure yourself, especially down the rainy tracks.
That’s why, lightweight gloves can provide you with both comfort and protection, and many cyclists are starting to turn to this option. In fact, Google Trends search interest for “summer cycling gloves” is currently on the rise.
3. Cycling bib shorts for optimal performance
Cycling shorts are perhaps the most essential item of cycling clothing, However, if you’re sporting a pair that are not right for you, you can experience a lot of discomfort, which will definitely take the joy out of your ride.
There are two types of cycling shorts: bib shorts and waist shorts. If you invest in a good pair of each, you will have a comfortable and enjoyable ride. Nevertheless, bib shorts are favoured amongst cyclists because they prevent waistband compression and gabs between your jersey and shorts, which can both be extremely uncomfortable.
In fact, search interest in cycling bib shorts has increased by 250% since the end of February and the beginning of March this year.
When choosing a pair of cycling bib shorts, go for a quick-drying and moisture-wicking material, which is also incredibly stretchy for an enhanced cycling experience. Also, look for a high-quality, high-tech pad, which will reduce the risk of saddle sores, as well as any other extras that will make your ride more enjoyable, such as a radio pocket.
4. Cleats over flat pedals
When it comes to riding a bike, pedals are critical for your performance.
For beginners, flat pedals are ideal because you don’t have to think about them, and you can easily use them by pushing down on the plastic platforms.
But for keen cyclists, flat pedals are a thing of the past. The floating feeling of flat pedals can hinder their performance, especially when climbing up and down a hill.
For them, cleats or clipless pedals are the best option, according to Google Trends data. Search interest for “cleat shoes” has increased by 136% since September last year. These pedals use a cleat and pedal body that attach to each other and provide you with more control and ease of movement.
There is a host of cleats you can choose from depending on your riding purpose and terrain. It’s best to experiment with a few options to see which works best for you.
As the weather is gorgeous outside, we know you’re beyond tempted to tackle the unbeaten track. So pack up all the essentials and explore the hidden gems trails for an unforgettable day out in the woods!