Enjoy your jollies!
Riding abroad for a mountain bike holiday? Here’s our top gear for dusty, overseas singletrack and other types of travels with your mountain bike.
Mountain bike holiday must-haves
1. Evoc Travel Bag Pro
Keep your bike safe and in one bike-shaped piece by investing in a Travel Bag Pro. It’s expensive but the best bike bag on the market for its blend of protection, light weight and ease of use. The Pro version weighs 8kg, uses separate wheel compartments and even has a clip-on third wheel so you can push the whole thing like a trolley. If £469 is too much then a cardboard box from your local bike shop actually does a really good protection job too, and it weighs much less too.
2. Seasucker Talon
Multiple bikes and lots of luggage can mean a tight fit in a hire car, so how about putting one on the roof? The Seasucker Talon is a portable bike rack, it fits into a shoebox but safely attaches to the outside of any car. Then you can just pack down the Evoc Travel Bag Pro and stash it in the boot.
3. Evoc Transition Bag
The Transition has really useful compartments — one for your shoes, one for your helmet and a main section that can be split into two for wet or dry gear. There’s also a pullout, foldaway changing mat.
4. Hope Slick Chain Device
The latest chainring designs from the likes of Shimano and SRAM have all but eliminated the dreaded chain drop, but rough Alpine descents push them to the limit. Get the added security of a chain device — they needn’t be big or even cause drag, this Hope device doesn’t even touch the chain, unless it bounces off the teeth.
5a Giant Fluxx MTB shoes
Rocky, alpine terrain is tough on feet, so keep yours well protected and firmly anchored with Giant’s new shoe, the Fluxx. Some of us here at mbr prefer to ride in SPDs on rough terrain, ditching the fashionable flat pedals, because it stops us bouncing off the pedals on really rough descents. The Fluxx shoe has loads of protection around the heel and toe to fend off rocks and Giant boasts it’s a comfortable enough shoe for all-day riding.
5b Five Ten Impact VXi
If you simply don’t do clipless pedals… keep your feet well protected and firmly anchored with Five Ten Impact VXi shoes. They’ve got the best grip on the market so you’re less likely to be bounced off the pedals on really rocky stuff.
6. Lazer Phoenix+ helmet
The latest crop of helmets with detachable chin pieces (like Lazer’s Revolution) are the perfect choice if you’re racing enduros with huge climbs and rocky descents. But if you’re just riding for fun, can cruise up the hills or you’re getting an uplift, full face lids are still give the best protection. The new Phoenix+ here has loads of top end gear — sub 1,000g weight, D-ring chinstrap, 16 cooling vents — but with a low end pricetag.
7. Camelbak KUDU
The KUDU is the hardiest hydration pack Camelbak makes, designed to protect your spine if you take a tumble with a foam back protector. It’s functional too, with a three-litre reservoir and the superlative Camelbak bite valve, and storage for a that full face helmet and your knee pads.
8 & 9. Sombrio shorts and jersey
Because you’ve got to look great on your bike.
Jersey £39.99, shorts £79.99, cyclingsportsgroup.co.uk
10. Thor Sniper Barred goggles
Ideal for riding at speed, goggles keep wind, mud and insects out of your eyes. The Snipers have good ventilation, come with a removable nose guard and also supply a second lens.
11. Race Face Flank pads
Knee pads a great for regular UK riding, but when the speeds pick up you need to look after your shins from rock strikes and pedal slips too.
The Flank stretches far enough down the shin to offer decent protection, which comes from two D3O pads on the patella and just below the knee. They’re comfy and easy to put on too, thanks to an open back that makes shoe removal unnecessary.