Best Mountain Bike Accessories
Whether you’d rather be racing downhill on your favorite trail , or exploring the backcountry on a cross-country trek, mountain biking is a sport that allows you to truly explore the world around you in a much different way than hiking. And like most sports of this nature, having the best mountain biking accessories at your side is a great way to make the great rides even better. It’s important to make sure you have a great helmet and durable tires when it comes to any type of terrain. After reading through our list, you will be ready to take on any pathway.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
Comfortable to wear
Can be adjusted horizontally or vertically for a custom fit
- Team Obsidian Helmet
- Samlite Mini Bike Pump
- Unigear Hydration Pack
- Pro Bike Tool
- BLITZU Gator 320 Bike Headlight
- Fox Racing Knee Pad
- Fox Racing Reflex Gloves
- POC Crave Sunglasses
- Oumers Universal
- Alpinestars Paragon Elbow
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Expert Interviews & Opinions
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Mountain Bike Accessories
1. Team Obsidian Helmet
Comfortable to wear
Can be adjusted horizontally or vertically for a custom fit
Chin straps not adjustable
When it comes to riding, especially on mountain trails, safety needs to be your first concern, and protecting your head should be at the top of the list. If you’re in the market for a helmet, one of the best we’ve found is this example from Team Obsidian.Read more
As expected, this helmet provides a snug overall fit, but still allows for comfortable wear. Depending on the size choice, it will fit heads with a circumference between 54 and 62 centimeters, which is the average range for the adult head.
Created from lightweight molded EPS plastic material that features superb ventilation, this helmet is tough enough to withstand most impacts, but light enough to be worn without a second thought.
Since the weight of the helmet is minimal and the number of vents allows for maximum airflow, this is one of the most comfortable helmets we’ve seen in a long time.
Of course, when it comes to mountain bike accessories, safety is the top concern, and helmets are no exception. Thankfully, this helmet performs beautifully in that department. Created using a reinforced ABS skeleton and EPS foam, the ability of this helmet to absorb impact is excellent.
This helmet features an easy to use adjustable dial for a more customized fit around your head, allowing for both horizontal and vertical adjustment. We do note that we would have liked to see better adjustment choices on the chin strap.
After seeing how lightweight the helmet is, some people had doubts about the durability. But after using the helmet and adjusting it to the correct size, there is no doubt this is a durable product. If that wasn’t enough, this helmet also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Wearing a helmet is essential for mountain bike riding, and having a quality one is just as important. This example from Team Obsidian provides an adjustable, lightweight and comfortable option that keeps your head safe and secure from an impact.
2. Samlite Mini Bike Pump
Easy to use
Small and lightweight
May have trouble connecting with the valve
Only offers a “quick fix”
There will come a time, in your riding life, where having a tool in your mountain bike accessories that can repair a flat easily will become a godsend. Trust us on this one. If you’re worried that this day will find you unprepared, consider getting this tool from Samlite. It’s easy to use, compact, and oh, so handy.Read more
Most people found this pump and tire repair kit to be fairly easy to use with the included adapters and patches. While it’s not suitable for a complete tire rupture, for those times when the errant nail or rock does your tire in, it’s a great alternative to carrying around a classic bicycle pump and run-flat material.
This tool is made out of lightweight aluminum metal. In most cases this pump performs very well, offering up to 110 PSI of powerful pumping when you need it most. There were some reports of trouble attaching to the Schrader valve of the bike but overall there weren’t too many complaints. This tool is relatively lightweight, weighing under 0.5 pounds, and is small enough to fit in most pockets. It can also be strapped to the bike itself if desired.
While this pump and tire repair kit are designed for use on the trail, they can easily be used to fix leaking balls, other small vehicle tires, or other items that need small repairs and inflation.
Because of its lightweight aluminum construction and compact overall dimensions, this tool can easily withstand the rigors of trail life.
Having a compact bicycle tire pump and repair kit that can travel with you easily is a good idea. While this particular example won’t solve every problem out there, it’s lightweight and easy to use nature will help you solve quite a few flats during your travels.
3. Unigear Hydration Pack
Comfortable to wear
Some have had issues with the included hose
Too long for short torsos
Hydration is the key to everything. This hydration pack from Unigear is made to travel with you comfortably. It can hold 2.5-liters of liquid and features a bite cover on the house to keep the mouthpiece clean on any trail. This pack also has two additional pockets that are great for your phone and wallet.Read more
This hydration pack is only available in one size but it is adjustable to fit a chest size of 27” up to 50”. The shoulder and chest straps are both adjustable to create a comfortable fit. Tightening the pack correctly is important to keep the pack from bouncing around while riding on difficult trails. The measurements of the pack are 19” x 10” x 1.5”, and it weighs only 1.3-pounds.
This hydration pack packs a lot of durabilities into a small package. The backpack is made from 900 Denier rip-stop polyester with PVC lining. The included bladder holds 2.5-liters and has a conveniently wide lid that allows you to fill the bladder with ice as well. Some reviewers have mentioned an odd taste when using the bladder for the first time. In order to avoid this, simply soak the bladder in soapy water overnight and rinse well the next day. This should take care of any odd factory flavoring.
A feature that bikers love about this pack is the bite cover. We all know how dirty and dusty the trails can be, and this cover protects the mouthpiece so you can enjoy your water without unwanted textures.
There are no rules on how and where you can use this pack. It would be a great companion when hiking, exercising, or touring a new city. Even better, this pack also includes two front pockets. The bottom pocket securely closes and includes mesh pockets to securely hold your phone and wallet.
The shoulders of the pack are decently padded. Additionally, the back area features mesh to keep you from overheating. This is a great hydration pack that could be used for any activity.
As seen in the materials section, this pack is made from strong rip-stop materials. There have been reports of issues with the bladder and the hose, but those can be easily replaced. As an added bonus, Unigear also offers a 60-day no questions asked guarantee.
4. Pro Bike Tool
Lightweight and compact
Contains many of the common tools needed
Squared up design not suitable for stronger torque
If you want a tool that is a bit more versatile than the bike chain repair tool above, you’ll want to keep this one from Pro Bike Tool on your list. Designed to have most everything you need to make sure your mountain bike is in top shape, it’s one tool that you won’t want to leave home without.Read more
This tool measures just under 4 inches in length and has a width of about 0.3 inches, so it can be easily fit into a trail bag or even your back pocket. Plus it weighs under 4 ounces, so the added weight won’t slow you down much at all.
This tool is made from high-grade, durable SUS420 stainless steel that is cold forged to help prevent weak points in the construction and maintain overall strength and durability. This miniature repair kit features eight different tools including the most common Allen wrenches, star-shaped hex tools and Phillips screwdrivers used by most mountain bike manufacturers.
If there is a bolt that needs tightening or a screw that needs an adjustment on your bike, chances are one of the eight included tools that will be able to help get the job done. The tools themselves are lightweight and elongated, making it easy to get them to the place needed.
Overall this tool is fairly easy to use, and when it comes to tightening or loosening problem bolts or screws it can be a lifesaver. However, it is not a great tool if excessive strength is needed to turn the bolt or screw. The overall design allows for a few weak points to develop, especially around the joint areas of some of the tools.
If you’re looking for a tool that can easily allow you to tighten or loosen bolts and screws on your bike for on the trail repairs, this is a great one to have. While the overall design doesn’t lend itself to powerful torquing action, for most instances, this is more than what you need.
5. BLITZU Gator 320 Bike Headlight
Easy to use
Full rotation and brightness control
Bracket could be more adjustable
If you enjoy riding at night, or even during the early morning hours on the trail, you’ll want to have a good headlight lamp to help you see where you are going. This entry from BLITZU is a fantastic one that is easy to use and can withstand most of the obstacles encountered on the trail.Read more
The bracket for this headlamp fits handlebars up to 40 millimeters in diameter, so it can easily be adjusted to fit most standard models. While we did find the lamp itself to be a great find, the bracket’s level of adjustability does leave something to be desired.
This headlight features a rechargeable 650mA battery that can be fully charged within 2 hours using a simple USB cord. So you won’t have to worry about waiting for your light to charge to show you the way.
This headlight can be easily installed without tools, and can easily be removed with a simple touch of a button. As for operation, the light itself can be rotated easily 360 degrees, and turning it on and off is a simple matter of pressing a button.
This headlight lamp features an ultra-bright LED front lamp that easily brightens the trail and features three separate levels – high, medium and low. It can provide 320 lumens of brightness and has a beam length of up to 150 feet.
In addition to providing a great and adjustable light source, this headlight lamp for your mountain bike also features a free Tail Light, 4 modes: High, Medium, Low, and Flashing, and a 360 Degree Swivel.
This waterproof product is built to last. It is durable and adjustable and comes with a one year warranty. There is also a great 24-hour customer service line available as well.
If you’re looking for a headlight lamp for your mountain bike that provides great illumination, convenient use, and versatility, it’s hard to pass up this particular choice.
6. Fox Racing Knee Pad
Lightweight and comfortable
Padding and extra protection around the knee area
Easy to put on and take off
Can run a bit small
When it comes to riding a tough trail, protection of more than just your head and hands can be important. Having knee pads that offer great overall protection and still provide a good deal of comfort and flexibility is essential. One of our favorite brands that help to accomplish these goals is provided by Fox Racing.Read more
They come in sizes ranging from small to extra-large, so finding a size suitable for your needs shouldn’t be hard. It should be noted, however, that the pads do run a bit small, so be sure to order a size larger. The knee pads offer a moderate amount of protection from abrasions and overall knee joint fatigue. The silicone grip area inside the top hem helps to keep everything in place, and the knee area does have extra padding for comfort and protection.
These knee pads are soft and feature an articulated and perforated chassis made from flexible neoprene. If you’re worried about long-term comfort from your knee pad as you ride the trail, set those worries aside. These pads are some of the most comfortable knee pads that we’ve come across, even after being on the trail for a number of hours. While they do run a bit small, the neoprene material adjusts to your leg shape over time for a more comfortable and flexible fit.
Because of their design, these knee pads can’t really be adjusted beyond slipping them over your legs and allowing the chassis to adjust to a more secure fit. If you know that the overall fit wouldn’t be a good one for you, you might want to consider other options.
While these pads won’t necessarily provide the ultimate protection from falls or impact injuries, the strategic use of padding and stability enhancers will help to mitigate the chance of injury a great deal. These certainly are not designed for knees with stability issues, but for normal knees on a normal trail, they offer good overall protection.
If you’re looking for a pair of knee pads that are lightweight, comfortable and offer moderate overall protection this choice from Fox Head is a great one. While they do run a bit small, overall they provide great long-lasting protection and comfort while on the trail
7. Fox Racing Reflex Gloves
Easy to clean
Good overall grip
Not ideal for very cold temperatures
Could use slightly more padding
Not touchscreen compatible
If you think about it, your hands are an essential part of the riding equation. Not only do they help you steer and break over treacherous terrains, but they also help to make sure you and the bike remain as one, shifting gears as you go. Therefore, it is a good idea to wear gloves to help keep them protected and maximize your grip. One of the best choices we’ve found so far is the Reflex gloves from Fox Racing, designed for both dirt bike and mountain bike use.Read more
These gloves offer a bit of adjustment through the wrist area where it can be adjusted to fit most normal sized hands and wrists. However, if your hands are slightly larger or smaller than the typical adult, you might have some trouble getting a truly comfortable fit. Reviewers agree that these gloves tend to run slightly small.
These gloves are made from a blend of nylon, polyester, and neoprene. These materials are tightly woven to ensure a great fit. On the palms of the hands, there are gel inserts for comfort. The fingertips feature a silicone grip. There is an extra grip on the index and middle finger for help when breaking.
The Reflex gloves are specifically designed for mountain biking. These are full-fingered gloves that feature a cushioned area in the hands that allow for great responsiveness while in use. No matter how you grip the handlebars of your mountain bike, you’ll be able to comfortably feel everything you need to without any problems. As for other sports, reviewers claim these work well and provide enough grip for exercise and weightlifting.
Another great feature of these gloves is that they are completely machine washable. So when you’re done riding for the day simply throw them into the washer on your next cycle and wash them as you normally would. If you’re looking for protection from scrapes, debris, and an uncomfortable ride, these will be great. However, if you need gloves that can protect you from moisture, rain, or freezing temperatures, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.
These gloves from Fox Racing provide great overall protection and a good grip when cycling through many different trails and obstacles. The material is easy to care for, and while we would have liked to see them a bit thicker and more sizes overall, they do offer adequate protection for most people.
8. POC Crave Sunglasses
Great UV and glare protection
Lenses can be easily adjusted
Lightweight yet strong frame
Can fog up in cold weather
Only attaches to Tectal Race helmets
One of the great things about mountain biking is that you get to enjoy a wide range of outdoor settings, and see some wonderful landscapes. However, in order for you to truly see well while your riding, providing adequate protection for your eyes is a must. One of our favorites to do just that is the POC Crave sunglasses.Read more
These sunglasses will easily fit most adult women and men. They wrap easily around the head, although we would have liked to see a more curved fit on the frame to allow for better fit while riding through rough terrain. Overall these glasses are quite comfortable, and feature a non-slip grip for an overall comfortable hold and feel while riding.
The lenses of these sunglasses are Ripel treated, which helps to repel dirt and fog. This treatment also helps to turn water into small pearls that will quickly roll off the lenses. The uranium frame features a matte finish and interchangeable lenses. The only complaint we have seen about these is the fact that they can become foggy in extremely cold weather. Other than that, they provide great overall protection from the sun’s glare.
The lenses on these glasses are easily switched out so that you can use the lens you need for the environment that you’re riding. Whether you’re dealing with direct sunlight, twilight, or a shady forest, you’ll be good to go.
In addition to providing great UV protection, these glasses are also compatible with Tectal Race helmets and feature a snap-in hinge construction to keep the glasses and your eyes safer in the event of a fall. While we wouldn’t necessarily rely on these sunglasses for unbeatable eye protection, the durable PC lenses, made by Carl Zeiss, do provide a fairly adequate shield.
If you’re looking for a pair of sunglasses to use while cycling through the mountain trails, it’s hard to go wrong with this selection from POC. The lenses can be easily changed, and the non-slip frame with the ability to lock it in place is a major plus. The only real drawback that we saw was that the frames could have been designed a bit better for cold weather.
9. Oumers Universal
Suitable for multiple chains and speeds
Compact and easy to carry
Use is not very intuitive; can be hard for a beginner
Not as durable as we would like
If you do any serious riding on your mountain bike, chances are things will break while you’re on the trail. Having a tool to help you solve a few of those problems is a great asset. One of the best we’ve found so far is the Oumers Universal Bike Chain Tool.Read more
This particular mountain bike accessory can easily fit in your pocket, or in a small backpack as you ride. There is no reason why this tool can’t be taken with you as an essential part of your riding ensemble. This tool is designed to help you quickly and easily remove and install chain pins, which can be a common activity on the mountain trail in some cases. This tool is specifically designed to fit the majority of changes and bike speeds on the market today.
This tool is made with high-grade metal construction and features a comfortable rubberized grip for easy use. It is durable and lightweight.
While this tool claims to be universal, it is only universal in the sense that it can remove and repair most bicycle chains that are encountered on the market today. While this is certainly an asset, you might need other tools to help keep your ride operating smoothly. While the overall use of this tool is fairly straightforward once you get the hang of it, the lack of detail instructions for a beginner is a bit problematic. The best course of action is to have a bicycle shop show you how to correctly use the tool prior to the first use.
The metal that this tool is made out of seems to be strong. However, it should be noted that there were reports of the tool wearing out more quickly than expected, but overall complaints were minor.
If you’re looking for a tool that allows you to quickly repair or replace a broken chain, this tool from Oumers is a great overall choice. While its use may not be easy for a beginner, it does work well enough with a little practice.
10. Alpinestars Paragon Elbow
Easy to use
Great overall protection
Not comfortable to wear in the beginning
Believe it or not, your arms and elbows can take a serious beating when it comes to mountain biking, especially if you enjoy downhill or enduro riding. If you want some great protection for that area of your body, you’ll want to consider some great elbow guards, like these from Alpinestars.Read more
These elbow guards come in a wide range of sizes from extra-extra small to extra-extra large, so finding ones that fit shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The guards are extremely lightweight and feature an easy slip-on design that is pre-shaped for easier handling and a closer, more secure fit. Chances are you’ll be able to slip these particular elbow guards on without too much of a hassle in a few moments.
This product is made of polyester, polyurethane, and spandex. The spandex helps to provide a great fit that won’t slide out of place. While these guards do offer great protection, they do leave something to be desired in the comfort department overall. Most riders found them to be a bit too restrictive on the movement overall and stated that it took a great deal of time to get used to.
Generally speaking, these elbow pads can’t be adjusted beyond their intended sizes. Therefore if you find that you don’t fit into one of their intended ranges adequately, a search for a more adjustable elbow guard may be in order.
The jury is out on this one. Many people sing the praises of this elbow pad, while others disagree and complain that the material is not strong enough. These guards provide extra padding around the elbow joint itself, and a breathable mesh lining to allow moisture and sweat to move away.
They are also CE certified to level 1, which means that they are designed, and verified to help protect you from serious trail burn injuries or impacts when you fall off your mountain bike.
If you want to protect your elbows and arms from a serious impact injury, and you don’t mind a bit of breaking in discomfort, these elbow pads from Alpinestars may be the way to go. Designed for protection and ease of use, these elbow pads can easily keep your elbows safe while on the trail.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Since there were quite a few different items that we thought would be the best mountain bike accessories, our criteria were somewhat varied. However, there were a number of general principles that we considered when filtering out the best in the market today.
The first is the overall fit. For products such as knee braces or sunglasses, we discussed the sizing options and how the reviewers have reacted to the fit. This is a very important area to focus on because the product will not perform to its full potential if it is too loose or too tight.
For bike tools, such as a pump or a universal bike tool, we discussed the compatibility of this tool with different bikes and how you can use it.
Of course, in order to determine if the item will meet the high standards that you’ll need, we also looked at the materials used to make the products on this list. For braces, we focused on the materials that made up the product and how well they wick away sweat and their breathability.
For sunglasses, we focused on the lenses. For bike tools, we discussed which materials the tool itself was made from. We looked at the overall quality of the material, whether or not it was proven to be an asset, and whether or not the workmanship promoted longevity and durability in the product itself. For the most part, we found these products to fit the bill without too much trouble.
The next criterion that we considered was how well the item worked, or it’s functionality. Did the headlight lamp actually have the brightness needed, and did the polarized sunglasses actually do the job of making sure visibility was top-notch? Often finding the best mountain bike accessories means finding out which ones will work for you, and in the environment that you ride in. For example, if you really don’t do too much night riding, a headlight lamp may be unnecessary. However, a quality helmet is almost a universal need, no matter where or when you decide to cycle.
Many of these products can be used by different people and with different bikes. As long as the product can be adjusted to your needs, you'll be swell.
Ahh, our old friend durability. No one wants to throw their money away and knowing that you're investing in something that will last is important. For each of our products, we investigated their overall design, materials used, and versatility to come up with the durability of the product.
Depending on what type of materials a bike tool is made from, it could last you anywhere from one use to one-hundred uses. The durability of sunglasses and body braces are important as well. We researched how well they avoid abrasions and stains. To make sure you are making a sound investment, we have researched the durability of each product and given you an honest opinion of how long we predict the product to last you.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Know how long your trek will be. This will help you to not over or under pack. Having enough food and water supplies is important and can make or break an outing. It is also advisable to tell someone where you plan to ride and when you will be home. This way, if something unfortunate happens, they can come to your aid.
Eating a great healthy meal before your adventure and keep you going for longer. It is never a good idea to go out on an empty stomach. Eating a breakfast or lunch that is high in protein and carbohydrates will give you the energy to go further than ever.
Staying hydrated while biking is equally, if not more, as important as staying hydrated while biking. When it's really hot outside and you feel like you just can't get enough liquids, an electrolyte tablet may be a good option for you. These tablets replenish the same mineral and nutrients that you lose through sweating and help you to retain the fluids that you are consuming. This is also a great idea for those of us who are bored with the taste of water and want to add flavor without unhealthy sugars and additives.
Other Factors to Consider
Mountain biking is a sport that can have a wide range of terrains to cover. Indeed, not every trail leads you through a treacherous mountain pass, nor does every one lead you through a meadow in the foothills. Some places are strewn with rocks, while others feature a sandier, yet harder to navigate ground surface.
By taking the terrain that you are traveling through into consideration, you can better choose the accessories that you need. For example, if you’re going to be traveling over terrain that has a great deal of debris or small rocks, you’ll probably want to consider getting quality knee and shin protectors. Also, if the trail is often muddy, you’ll definitely want to think about having a quality bike multi-tool on hand to deal with the various mishaps and accidents that might happen along the way.
When biking, especially mountain biking, you know that each item you bring adds to your overall weight on the bike. While all these bright and shiny accessories are very useful and sometimes necessary, be careful to not get carried away. Biking as a minimalist is better than biking with a trailer of accessories that you might not even use. On your next trip, take note of which items you wish you had. This will give you a clear line of thinking of what you really need and what you can do without when it comes time to purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are there specific mountain bike accessories for different styles of mountain biking?
There certainly are accessories on the market today that is specifically designed for all-mountain or cross-country cycling, or another specific type of mountain cycling. For the most part, most of the best accessories can be used in a wide range of settings and cycling types. Whether or not you choose a specific type of shin guard or gloves, for example, is really a personal choice.
q: How do I know if an accessory is the right one for me?
Simply put, the best way to know if a mountain bike accessory is a good choice for you is to use it and talk to those who have used it as well. If you looked at the product once and thought it might be useful, but didn't buy, did you regret it on your next adventure? Mountain biking is one of those sports that is truly hands-on and experimental, so finding the right fit, and the right compatibility with your accessories may take a little bit of trial and error.
q: How do I know how much stuff I need to bring?
The actual number of accessories that you take with you while mountain biking depends on a few different factors. The first, of course, is the concern for safety on the trail. At a minimum, you should take with you what you’ll need to safely get back to a populated area if something happens to your bike. So if the trail you’re riding on is a bit remote, be prepared to take more things, like repair kits, first aid kits, and water, etc. The second thing to consider is the duration of your ride. A longer ride will mean that there is more of a chance of mishaps occurring, so additional accessories may be in order.
q: How do I know if I have the right size helmet?
Getting the proper fit for your helmet is perhaps one of the most important things you can do to ride safely, both on the mountain trail and in the urban setting. Thankfully with the current helmet designs, finding one with a proper fit is easier than ever.
The first step is to measure your head. While many helmets are adjustable, they can come in different size ranges, so knowing how big your head is will aid in narrowing down what you need. Simply take a tape measure and wrap it around your head just above your ears. Make sure the tape is flat and level. It should cross your forehead about where your eyebrows are located. Once you have that information, consult the sizing chart of the helmet brand that you want to buy and choose accordingly.
The next thing to consider, of course, is the comfort of the helmet. If you’re wearing the helmet correctly, it should fit low, level and comfortably snug against your head. It shouldn’t flop around, or cause you to have a headache while riding. The chin strap should be snug against your chin, and you shouldn’t be able to put a finger through space between. As a general rule, the point of the v-straps should be just below your earlobes.
Keep in mind though, that you’ll probably have to adjust your helmet from time to time while on the trail. While the helmet should be snug enough to prevent movement more than an inch on your head, sweat, hair movement, and vibrations on the trail can all loosen straps and cause the need for readjustment.
q: Do I really need all this stuff to ride a mountain bike?
The answer to that question depends on exactly what you want to get out of the experience. While some things, such as a helmet, or protective glasses are considered essential for safety reasons, many of these accessories are designed to enhance the experience, not detract from it. So if you’re worried about carrying too many things, keep in mind that you only need what you’re truly comfortable using, and everything listed here has been shown to help make your riding experience a more enjoyable one.
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