5 ways to make sure everyone knows you're a mountain biker

The most popular status symbols in mountain biking

Top 5 - mountain biking status symbols

You got the latest bike, your kit coordinates from helmet to socks, you’ve spent hours tuning your suspension to suit the conditions, and you’ve got backpacks to suit everything from a 2 hour trail ride to a multi-day Alpine epic. But you’re not a REAL mountain biker until you’ve at least partially ticked off this list of ultimate accessories.

Okay, this list is just a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but if we're honest with ourselves, we'd quite like to have at least some of the following...

1. The van

#Vanlife is the ultimate goal of the true mountain biker. Well, it is for those who don’t have to worry about kids, bills, mortgages and real-life.

But if you can’t do it full time you can at least give the impression that you do with the right instagram pics - door open, sunset, bike in shot, cup in hand - and of course the right vehicle.

The classic VW is the ultimate choice, ideally with a bespoke makeover to turn it into the ultimate camper complete with bike storage in the back, places to hang your helmets, integrated bike wash - the works.

2. Or a pickup truck

Of course, if you live in a country where it doesn’t rain 300 days of the year and don’t need an indoor space to get changed, then you want the cooler of the 2 vehicular options - a pickup truck.

How better to show off your gucci new bike to everyone else at the trail hub when you turn up?

Slap a tailgate pad or filthy blanket over the back to protect your bike, and add a few decals of your favourite brands to the side of your truck, cos if you aren’t sponsored you should be, right?

3. Trail dog

Trail dogs - companionship, friendship, and a great boost to your Instagram likes
Trail dogs - companionship, friendship, and a great boost to your Instagram likes

As well as being an adventure companion, a traildog will also help you boost your Instagram and YouTube following.

Hell, you can even give your new best friend their own accounts. Who knows, you may get some handy dog sponsorship deals that’ll help manage the food and vets bills.

Once you’ve got your trail dog, you’ll need to consult with a vet about training them to run with you - ideally with a GoPro - so check out our how-to guide via the link in the description.

4. Action camera (or 2, or 3, or 4...)

Please feel free to use the action camera of your choice
Please feel free to use the action camera of your choice

Speaking of which: if you haven’t videoed it, it didn’t happen.

And we’re not talking about one GoPro. To get the right angles for your sick edits, you’re going to need several. Helmet, chest, bars, forwards, backwards, one of the rider behind you, one on the rider in front of you.

And a drone - you need those aerial shots.

And to edit the mountains of video files you’ll need a powerful laptop, a few terabytes of back-up storage and an indestructible wheelie-case to lug all this gear around in.

Joking aside, if you want our honest advice you’ll buy minimal equipment, learn how to use it really well and be selective about when you bother, or when it’s better to just ride.

5. IKEA bag

Ah, the ubiquitous IKEA bag
Ah, the ubiquitous IKEA bag

The ubiquitous blue bag from our favourite supplier of Swedish flat-packed furniture is a dead giveaway that you’re a dedicated mountain biker.

Big and easy to carry, they’re perfect for throwing soggy kit in after a wet ride or carting your bike gubbins between house and van...not to mention tough.

No matter how organised the owner, they’ll invariably contain about 5 multitools, the wrong sized inner tube, one lone and lost sock, a half-eaten protein bar and the leafy detritus of several trail centres.

And if you haven’t yet saved up for the pricier accessories in this list, the blue Ikea bag is the perfect place to start.

Aoife Glass

Women's Cycling Editor
A mountain biker at heart, also drawn to the open road. Likes big long adventures in the mountains. Usually to be found in the Mendip Hills or the Somerset Levels in the UK. Passionate about women's cycling at all levels.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Rocky, rough and a long way from anywhere.
  • Current Bikes: Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2015, Juliana Furtado 2013, Canyon Roadlite AL
  • Dream Bike: Juliana Roubion, Liv Avail Advanced SL
  • Beer of Choice: Red wine for the win!
  • Location: Weston Super Mare, Somerset, UK

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