We all know the scenario: you finish a long stressful day at work and all you can think of is shredding with your buddies on your favourite trail. But as soon as you shut your front door you start panicking: have I got all of the trail essentials with me? Here is a list of things you should never leave behind when riding your bike.

1. Motivation

After the long, dark and wet winter months you spent on the sofa eating mince pies and sipping craft-beer it’s not easy to spring up and jump right back into the saddle. But once you drop into your favourite trail after a hard climb the motivation comes right back and you know: hell yeah, it was worth it! And as a pleasant side-effect, your fitness starts improving too.

2. Protect yourself

It’s hard to believe that there are still people who ride mountain bikes without a helmet. Please be smart and never expose yourself to unnecessary risks and always wear a helmet. And if you realise you left your lid at home it’s always worth turning back to get it. The same goes for your riding-glasses. They protect your eyes from aggressive sunlight, flying pebbles, all sorts of debris and tree branches. Depending on the technical level of the tour it’s a good idea to carry a pair of light kneepads with you. They will protect your knees from impacts and even keep them warm on cold rides.

3. Hydration is everything

Water… the origin of all life. Even on short rides, it’s always a good idea to drink water from time to time. There’s nothing more annoying than ending up with a dry mouth just before hitting your favourite, well-deserved downhill run. Plus no one wants to be left without water before a hard climb.

4. Food

Eating is cheating – we’ve all heard this when talking about short rides. And still, we recommend carrying a small snack with you whenever you ride — either an energy-bar or a banana. We all know that even short post-work rides often become longer than expected. And all of a sudden you feel really hungry!

5. Smartphone

For most of us, riding bikes means switching off and leaving the stress from work behind while enjoying the freedom on our bike. Still, you should always carry a phone with you! It allows you to get in touch with friends and family to let them know about a mechanical problem or a crash, take amazing pictures and celebrate your latest Strava success during the post-ride pub session.

6. Change

Speaking of beers – carrying a little change in your pocket won’t hurt — unfortunately your local is still not giving out pints for free! And if you’ve chosen a bike ride over dinner you could do with the extra quid to buy a sausage roll at the pub or a sandwich at the petrol station before cycling all the way back home over the mountain.

7. Tool essentials

A mechanically sound bike is a basic requirement for a fun tour. Since you never know what surprises your day has in store you should always have a multi tool and a lock with you. Multi tools work miracles on the trail-side and can prevent a great adventure to end prematurely. In the case of punctures, a spare inner tube or a tubeless plug-kit are worth the extra weight. If you don’t like riding with a backpack or hip-bag you can attach an inner-tube directly onto your bike-frame using a strap or store it in a conventional saddle bag. You can also attach a pump to the bottle holder using an adapter. More sophisticated systems such as Specialized’s SWAT system and Syncros’ Taylor cage allow you to keep all of your essentials on your bike at all times as these storage-units are integrated into the bike frame.

8. First Aid kit

What could go wrong on a quick post-work ride? And that’s exactly when it happens! In order to use your spare time as effectively as possible, you rush from to meet your riding buddies. In front of you a car has finally managed to park-in after a million attempts and opens the door right in front of you. And that’s when it happens – bang… and you’re tumbling off your bike! That’s exactly when a first aid kit comes in handy.

9. Your riding buddies

Motivation, fun and even the post-ride beer taste even better when shared with good friends. Grab your cycling-buddies and go! Another positive side effect: if you have a mechanical problem you won’t be the only one getting your hands dirty and if you fall off your bike you’re in safe hands.

10. The right outfit

There’s nothing more annoying than coming home half frozen or completely soaked after a ride. Thanks to the huge selection of high-tech rain gear available on the market bad weather should no longer put you off. Always pack a jacket and a spare top. On transitions especially it can get quite cold and there is always a nasty rain-shower lurking around the corner. Even in summer, you should carry a thin jacket in your backpack so you don’t get cold on the downhill.

That’s enough for today — we’re going for a well-deserved evening spin! With our riding-buddies of course!

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