Essential kit for trail centre riding

What to wear and what to put in your pack

Trail centres are great places to ride, as they offer a guaranteed mountain bike buzz for riders of all abilities, no matter what the weather is doing.

If you're new to riding trail centres, you might need a few pieces of clothing or tools to help you get the most out of them.

Get kitted out in the right gear and you'll be able to handle whatever the trail throws at you.

What to wear

Jersey

Mountain bike jersey: mountain bike jersey
Mountain bike jersey: mountain bike jersey

You’ll need a wicking jersey and possibly a base layer too. A fitted but loose cut will be most comfy.

Shorts

Shorts: shorts
Shorts: shorts

Wear padded undershorts for comfort and tough overshorts for protection. Vented shorts keep you cool.

Knee pads

Knee pads: knee pads
Knee pads: knee pads

There are a range of pad options that offer extra protection without restricting pedalling.

Shoes

Mountain bike shoes: mountain bike shoes
Mountain bike shoes: mountain bike shoes

Look for shoes that give good support, protection around the toes and ankles and will keep the elements out.

Helmet

Helmet: helmet
Helmet: helmet

Always get the best helmet you can afford. Look for the best fit, good ventilation and a removable peak.

Glasses

Glasses: glasses
Glasses: glasses

A sensible addition to help stop you getting grit, mud or insects in your eyes when riding.

Gloves

Gloves: gloves
Gloves: gloves

Gloves protect your hands if you fall, keep them warm and improve your grip on the bars.

Waterproof jacket

Waterproof jacket: waterproof jacket
Waterproof jacket: waterproof jacket

A recommeded top layer for when it's wet out. Get a quality jacket that fits well and look after it. Never wash it with fabric softener or too much detergent, and reproof it every year.

Waterproof shorts

If the weather is bad, go for waterproof shorts and three-quarter lengths instead of your normal shorts. They'll make riding on even the foulest days far more enjoyable.

What to take with you

Riding pack

Take a riding pack and make sure you put some trail essentials in it:
Take a riding pack and make sure you put some trail essentials in it:

Take a sensible sized pack to carry your keys, wallet, and these essentials to help you keep rolling.

First aid kit

Take a basic first aid kit:
Take a basic first aid kit:

Make sure that you at least have the basics so you can patch yourself or a friend up. Plasters or bandages, antiseptic or disinfectant cream or wipes, and so on.

Tools

Take a multi-tool for trailside repairs:
Take a multi-tool for trailside repairs:

Don't over-burden yourself with tools, but do take a decent multi-tool with a Torx T25 driver and a chaintool. It’s also worth taking a plier-type multi-tool, a puncture repair kit, a SRAM Powerlink, a spoke key, tyre levers and some spare parts and useful items such as cable ties, insulating tape and M4 and M5 bolts.

Rubber/latex gloves

Latex gloves will make repairs less messy:
Latex gloves will make repairs less messy:

Rubber/latex gloves can be useful too, to stop your riding gloves getting soaked or covered in grease during trailside repairs.

Inner tube

A spare inner tube will always come in handy:
A spare inner tube will always come in handy:

If you get a flat, fitting a new tube will be quicker than mending the puncture. Make sure your spare has a Presta valve – it’ll fit both Presta and Schrader rim drillings.

Pump

A pump will enable you to reinflate your tyre after a puncture:
A pump will enable you to reinflate your tyre after a puncture:

Take a pump so you can reinflate your tyre after you get a puncture.

Spare layer and hat

Take a hat to keep your head warm if you get stuck in the cold:
Take a hat to keep your head warm if you get stuck in the cold:

Always carry a spare layer and a hat to stop you catching a chill if you get stuck out in the cold.

Energy gel/banana

Energy gels will give you a boost when you're tired. a banana will do the job too:
Energy gels will give you a boost when you're tired. a banana will do the job too:

When you get tired, you’ll be grateful for these. Both provide an energy boost.

Water

Take water, either in a bottle or a hydration pack:
Take water, either in a bottle or a hydration pack:

Either in a hydration pack or in a bottle attached to your bike with a bottle cage.

Phone

Make sure your phone is fully charged:
Make sure your phone is fully charged:

Make sure it’s charged, and keep it safe and dry.

Get-me-home lights

If there's a chance you'll be out after dark, stick some backup lights in your pack:
If there's a chance you'll be out after dark, stick some backup lights in your pack:

 If you’re not going to be back before dark, or think you’ll be cutting it fine, stick a set of basic trail lights in your pack.

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