At Westbrook Cycles, we speak to mountain bikers day in day out - who all prefer to head out on the trails in their own way. Increasingly, we are speaking to customers who are looking to head out mountain biking - without having to carry a mountain biking backpack or hydration pack. Although this is fine for shorter rides, there are some challenges to heading out on longer rides, without some form of load carrying equipment.
Those who can manage riding without a backpack however, can enjoy a greater freedom of movement, more dynamic mountain biking whilst keeping the back cool and sweat free. In this post, we look at some of the ways that you can carry everything you need whilst out mountain biking, without having to carry a backpack.
If you are heading offroad, it makes sense to carry the essentials at all times. The weather here in the UK is changeable, and you can very quickly find yourself away from where you need to be, without key equipment. As a minimum, we recommend carrying a puncture repair kit, quick link, multi tool, tyre boot, hydration, snacks and a waterproof jacket. Armed with the above, you can keep yourself healthy and be able to quickly repair any issues you have out in the field.
One of the best ways to avoid having to carry a rucksack, is to use bottle cages on the frame of your bike. There are plenty of lightweight MTB bottle cages on the market, and you can use a couple of bottle cages and bottles to provide all of the water/drinks that you need for your ride.
MTB Frame Straps are an inexpensive, and highly effective way of strapping things to your bike frame. The range of straps available have been designed to be able to fit a massive range of equipment onto the frame, and when well packed, straps can usually secure an inner tube, tyre lever and pump, as well as a bit of food. Those looking for something more permanent, should invest in a frame bag - although this will suit hardtail and gravel riders more so than it would those riding full suspension bikes.
MTB Jerseys with Pockets
The mountain biking industry is home to a number of well designed products, which have been specifically designed to make each ride as easy as possible. As such, there is an excellent range of mountain bike jerseys available on the market, with plenty of storage - allowing you to store everything from hydration to a wallet and car keys.
MTB Bum Bags
Although bum bags are worn on the body, they are less obtrusive than backpacks - and are a great way to carry essentials. Many of these bum bags/fanny packs/hip packs also have hydration bladders built in- allowing you to carry more water than you can in a water bottle.