Mountain bikes are becoming more and more popular in the consumer market every year. And this is quite logical, because this type of bicycle significantly expands the possibilities of riding, allows a person to walk on difficult and aggressive terrain, and at the same time get the most real pleasure from riding. Modern manufacturers offer the widest range of mountain bikes, and it is very easy to get confused in this variety. Therefore, before making a purchase, you must carefully study the main advantages and features of all models that belong to the mountain category.
Things that will be needed during the trip
Even with all the precautions taken, minor troubles can still overtake you on your trip. Do not be afraid of this. Just take the following list of things with you on your trip:
- Pump – Every cyclist is required to have a tire inflation pump in his arsenal. This item is small in size and light in weight. You can attach it to the frame or just put it in your backpack,
- Spare camera – Very complex damage occurs that cannot be repaired with a conventional repair kit,
- Hydrators and water bottles – These are the things that any cyclist should have, regardless of the length of the intended trip.
- Bicycle lights – The front white headlight and the rear red light come in handy when driving in the dark,
- Helmet like the one from troy lee designs.
Checking the performance of the main elements of a mountain bike
Before setting off on a long trip, you should take care that all the components of your vehicle are in fully operational condition and will not fail at the most crucial moment.
Every cyclist should check the following details of their transport:
- steering wheel,
- gear shifting mechanism,
- dial tone (bell).
Wheels – important part of a mountain bike
The wheels take all the shock load from the pits and potholes onto themselves. It is not worth saving on these elements. It is better to update outdated tires and tubes with new analogs before the trip. Fortunately, today you can buy any type of wheels in a specialized online store. In addition, you can use reinforced heavy freeride rims. This will allow you not to worry that after overcoming a small off-road you will have to regularly adjust the “eights”. These wheels will be able to withstand significant side impacts and fall from a sufficient height. It is better to immediately put forged thick knitting needles, and not take spare ones with you. The number of knitting needles also matters – 36 is better than 32.
There is a question as to which sleeve to assemble them on? The answer is very simple – the most popular of the abrasive and water-resistant. This fact is determined by the presence of additional external oil seals in the composition.
Good mountain tires are massive and thick. With quality tires, there is less chance of pinching the tube. You should definitely bring a special emergency camera repair kit with you. This small set will be able to save in any conditions.
If your bike has been stored on the balcony or in the garage for a long time, then it is worth checking the quality of the rubber and measuring the tire pressure. You should also make sure that there are no sharp objects that have long been stuck in the tires (screws, wire, small nails, glass fragments, metal shavings). Spin the wheels and make sure there is no play. The wheels must not come into contact with the brake pads while driving.
Checking the brakes
The braking system is one of the key systems in any type of transport. Bicycles are no exception. The cyclist’s safety depends on the effective operation of this system. Its correct work in conditions of extreme trips is especially relevant. Agree that no one wants the brakes to fail him on the descent from a steep slope.
The first step is to check the brake pads for wear. The thickness of the parts must be approximately 4-5 mm. Make sure they are completely in contact with the wheel rim (during deployment). There must be no contact with the tires. If the pads are already worn out, then they should be replaced with new ones. Also, inspect all brake cables. They should be free of rust, damage, and tears.
Of course, disc brakes are significantly more effective than rim brakes. Therefore, if your bike is equipped with the latest variations, then you need to think about replacing them. However, most modern mountain bikes come with disc brakes from the start.
Fenders – effective protection against dirt
It should be understood that overcoming the cross-country route can give the cyclist a lot of surprises. There can be puddles, as well as roads where mud is the main surface. In addition, no one is safe from the rain while traveling. By attaching reliable and wide fenders to your two-wheeled vehicle, you can protect yourself from mud flying out from under the wheels. Naturally, even the longest and widest wings are not capable of performing a miracle, however, it is still better to go to conquer the off-road with them than without them.
It is worth noting the fact that today there are wings in the online store, supplemented by illumination. This is a good option for long bike trips. The backlight can make the cyclist more visible in the dark. This is especially true when there are trips to regular highways.
Check and improve the transmission
This equipment includes a chain, carriage, cassette, and connecting rods. It is worth making sure that the rear and front derailleurs are correctly adjusted and not dirty. Gears should shift as smoothly as possible. All kinds of jerks and delays must be absent. An incorrectly tuned gearshift system is a common cause of falls for cyclists when overcoming difficult mountain areas.
It is important that your bike is equipped with a cassette hub with excellent water and dirt resistance. Even the most severe roads will not be afraid of such an element. It’s the same with the cassette. It is worth initially equipping the transport with a good part and forgetting about possible problems for a long time.
Don’t forget about the steering wheel. It would seem that this simple element of the bike cannot negatively affect the ride, but this is completely wrong. Many of us have seen funny videos of cyclists turning the steering wheel, but the front wheel did not respond to their movement. This is all due to the fact that the steering wheel is not fixed enough. Express check is very simple – you just have to clamp the front wheel with your feet and try to turn the steering wheel. It should not rotate even with a sufficiently large effort. In addition, the handlebars must remain perpendicular to the bike frame.
Lubrication of rubbing elements
Check the chain for corrosion after your last ride. To prevent rusting, remember to dry your chain after each trip in the rain. The chain will last significantly longer if you lubricate it regularly. Make sure that the bottom of the metal chain does not sag under its own weight. Sagging can indicate malfunctions in the chain tensioner. This assembly can rust and seize. Before an important trip, it is better to replace the tensioner with a new one.