Best Mountain Biking 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. 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. If you’re worried about finding the right accessories for your next adventure, don’t be. We’ve gathered together the best on the market today and put them into this list. Please enjoy!
- Team Obsidian
- CNHidee Headlight
- Easy to use
- Very durable
- Edo Sunglasses
- Easily adjusted
- UV protection
10 Best Mountain Biking Accessories
As expected, this helmet provides a snug overall fit, but still allows for a 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 allow for maximum airflow, this is one of the most comfortable helmets we’ve seen in a long time.
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.
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.
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.
- Comfortable to wear
- Great protection
- Can be adjusted horizontally or vertically for a custom fit
- Chin straps not adjustable
This headlight lamp features a ultra bright LED front lamp that easily brightens the trail and features three separate levels – high, medium and low. It can provide 200 lumens of brightness and has a beam length of up to 150 feet.
Ease of Use
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 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 show you the way.
The bracket for this head lamp 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 adjustablity does leave something to be desired.
In addition to providing a great and adjustable light source, this headlight lamp for your mountain bike also features an IP65 waterproof rating, tool free installation, and can also be used easily as a flashlight for your car or hiking backpack.
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.
- Easy to use
- Very durable
- Full rotation and brightness control
- Rechargeable battery
- USB charging
- Bracket could be more adjustable
Edo Polarized Sunglasses
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.
The frame of these sunglasses are made from a polymer material called TR90, that is highly impact resistant and doesn’t have chemical residues from the manufacturing process. The lenses consist of polycarbonate material that has a UV 400 mirror flash coating for great overall protection from the sun’s glare.
Overall these glasses are quite comfortable, and feature a design that has pinhole ventilation and non-slip grip for a overall comfortable hold and feel while riding.
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 impact and scratch resistant, so there’s no worry about damage being done by an errant pebble or dust. While we wouldn’t necessary rely on it for unbeatable eye protection, the safety grade polycarbonate lenses 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 EDO. The lenses can be easily changed, and the non-slip frame with great ventilation is a major plus. The only real drawback that we saw was that the frames could have been a bit more ergonomically designed for a better fit.
- Great UV and glare protection
- Lenses can be easily adjusted
- Lightweight yet strong frame
- Frame not as comfortable as expected
SiFree Dirt Gloves
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.
These gloves are made from tightly knitted cotton material that allows for great insulation and breatheability even on the coldest riding days. The silica grip gel bumps on the palm and inside of the fingers offer superior gripping ability as well.
These are full-fingered gloves that feature a cushioned area in the hands that allow for a great responsiveness while in use. No matter how you grip the handle bars of your mountain bike, you’ll be able to comfortably feel everything you need to without any problems.
Ease of Care
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 and the cold while riding, However, if you need gloves that can protect you from moisture or rain, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.
These gloves from Sifree provide great overall protection and good grip when cycling through many different trails and obstacles. The cotton 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.
- Easy to clean
- Good overall grip
- Only comes in large
- Not as thick as we would like.
Sporty Gorilla Pump
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 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.
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.
Because of it’s lightweight aluminum construction and compact overall dimensions, this tool can easily withstand the rigors of trail life.
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.
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.
- Easy to use
- Small and lightweight
- May have trouble connecting with the valve
- Only offers a “quick fix”.
Prostar Mini Bike Pump
This bicycle pump can work with both Presta and Schrader type valves, so chances are it will be able to handle your bicycle tire without too much of an issue.
This particular bike pump measures just over 8 inches in length, and weighs under 0.5 pounds. It can be easily mounted to your mountain bike frame, and still leave more than enough room for a water bottle as well.
This pump is made from lightweight yet strong CNC 6063 aluminum alloy, and features a built in pump that is easy to use and durable.
This pump from Prostar is one the easiest to transport and keep with you as you ride. However, it can become difficult to use, especially when your hands are tired from riding.
This pump can provide approximately 9 bars of pressure and pumping action, so filling a deflated tire in a few moments won’t be a problem at all.
While the pump itself can get a bit tiresome to use, especially on colder days, all around this is a great little pump to have as a mountain bike accessory.
- Easy to store and transport
- Durable construction
- Provides great pressure
- Can get harder to use if you are fatigued.
This particular 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 from high grade metal construction and features a comfortable rubberized grip for easy use. It is durable and lightweight. It should be noted that there were reports of the tool wearing out more quickly then expected, but overall complaints were minor.
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.
Ease of Use
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.
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.
If you’re looking for a tool that allows you to quick 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.
- 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
Pro Bike Tool
If there is a bolt that needs tightening, or a screw that needs adjustment on your bike, chances are one of the eight included tools 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.
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 screw drivers used by most mountain bike manufacturers.
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.
Overall this tool is fairly easy to use, and when it comes to tightening or loosing 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 a powerful torquing action, for most instances, this is more than what you need.
- Relatively durable
- Lightweight and compact
- Contains many of the common tools needed
- Squared up design not suitable for stronger torque
Fox Racing Knee Pad
These knee pads are soft, and feature an articulated and perforated chassis made from flexible neoprene. 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 is place, and the knee area does have extra padding for comfort and protection.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Padding and extra protection around the knee area
- Easy to put on and take off
- Can run a bit small
- Not adjustable
Alpinestars Paragon Elbow
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.
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 of your mountain bike.
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.
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.
If you want to protect your elbows and arms from 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.
- Easy to use
- Great overall protection
- Not adjustable
- Not comfortable to wear in the beginning
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
Since there were quite a few different items that we thought would be the best mountain bike accessories, our criteria was somewhat varied. However, there were a number of general principles that we considered when filtering out the best in the market today.
The first principle of course, was the idea of overall protection. In each example listed above, whether it is a helmet, knee pad, or a pair of gloves, the ability to keep you or your mountain bike safe and in good working order is essential.
The next criteria 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.
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. 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.
And finally, we also took a close look at how easily the item was to use. Some items, such as the knee pads or helmet didn’t really require much thought in this area, but others, like the bicycle tools did require a closer look and more consideration. After all, a tool can be extremely well made, but still useless if it’s not easy to handle and operate while out in the field.
More to think about when choosing your next mountain bike accessories
What type of terrain will you be traveling over?
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 more sandy, 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.
Will this accessory fit my mountain bike?
It may seem harsh to say, but not all mountain bike accessories were created equal. Some accessories, especially those that are designed to make the ride a little bit more comfortable, or that can directly affect the performance of the bike are usually model and mountain bike specific. So before you make a purchase, be sure to determine if the item will actually fit your mountain bike, as well as your riding style. The best way to do this is to talk to your local bike shop, and consult your mountain bike’s owner manual for specifics on the bike itself. Once you have that information, you’ll be better able to make an informed decision.
Q: Are there specific mountain bike accessories for different styles of mountain biking?
While there certainly are accessories on the market today that are 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. 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 the 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.
Whether you’re a beginner on the trail or an old hand at racing down the mountain slope, you’ll soon discover that having the right equipment by your side can make all the difference when it comes to mountain biking. Whether you need a simple tire repair, or protection from the inevitable spill over some rocks, having the best mountain bike accessories can go a long way in making your next ride an unforgettable one.