Top 10 Best Bang For Your Buck Mountain Bike Items
Mountain biking is expensive. We all understand that. Given that fact, I wanted to write up an article on the top 10 things you can buy that will make riding more enjoyable, offering the most benefit per dollar. These are listed in no particular order but have all gave my riding a kick in the pants after I bought them.
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Top 10 Best Bang For Your Buck Mountain Bike Items
- New Tires – New tires can breathe new life into any tired bike or allow you to tackle terrain in a completely different way. Old, worn out tread doesn’t offer much traction and new tread designs and compounds come out each year. Maybe you’ve always rode the same tires year in and year out and should try something new. Ask your buddies or your local shop what they like to ride. You can also check out my top tires article.
- Tubeless Kit – Riding tubeless allows you to run lower pressures and avoid punctures. For mountain bikers tubeless is a no-brainer. The setup is often lighter than tubes so you have less rotating mass to accelerate or decelerate. If you don’t have tubeless wheels it’s easy to buy a conversion kit or research Ghetto Tubeless (remember to buy tubeless ready tires). I’ve always been a fan of Stan’s No Tubes goo and rim strips. The new Orange stuff is getting good reviews too.
- Adjustable Height Seatpost – An adjustable height seatpost is a must if you do a lot of trail / all-mountain / enduro riding. It’s very handy to be able to crush a climb and then flip a switch to drop your saddle and plunge the downside of a great trail. You don’t have to fiddle with a quick release seatpost binder and hope you get your seat height back to wear you want it again. There are a plethora of options out there and tons of reviews. My go-to post is the American made Thomson Elite Dropper.
- Wider Handlebar – Have you not jumped on the wide bar trend yet? If you haven’t, you should give it a go. It puts you in a much better riding position with a lot more leverage for climbing. The aggressive guys have been running wide bars for a while now but I think everyone should try them out on their ride. I personally like bars from Easton, ENVE, Niner, and Thomson (even though they aren’t made in the USA).
- Better Pedals – The contact points of a bike are very important. One of the most important parts of a bike in my opinion is the pedals. Once you’ve ridden a good set of wide platforms with aggressive traction pins or a dialed set of clipless pedals, you’ll notice you have a lot more confidence in rough sections of trail. I suggest platforms from Twenty6 (made in the USA), Point1 Racing now Gamut USA (made in the USA), or Straitline (made in Canada). For clipless I stick with Shimano XT / XTR or Time.
- New Grips – Speaking of contact points, a new set of grips is always a great purchase. Grips get worn pretty heavily if you ride a lot and new ones always feel so nice and plush. If you haven’t got a set of lock-on’s you might look into those as well. They are much more secure. You can see my favorite grips in a previous article I did awhile back.
- Riding Shoes – Riding shoes go hand in hand with pedals. Good mountain bike shoes with the right rubber compound can make a huge difference. They stick to the pedals better and have a stiffer sole for better power transfer. For those that ride platforms 5.10 is the best you can get. Their rubber compounds sticks to pedals like glue. If clipless is more your game Specialized, Giro, Shimano, and Sidi all make some of the best MTB clipless shoes.
- POV Camera – Action POV cameras are another purchase that you get so much instant satisfaction from. I always love to show my buddies new trail videos and check out the places they’ve ridden. Nothing like scaring your grandmother with a video of you slicing up a trail and making it out unscathed. I enjoy the quality and accessories of the GoPro the best.
- Hydration Backpack – If you ride a lot you realize you can get pretty thirsty on a ride. Do yourself a favor and ditch your old water bottles and grab a hydration backpack. You can carry more water, keep it colder longer, and also more easily carry tools and spares. My favorite packs are ones that can store you helmet when it’s not in use.
- Riding Specific Eyewear – If you ride in a lot of different conditions a pair of sunglasses with interchangeable lens come in very handy. I’ve had riding glasses with multiple tint lens for a while now and never ride without them. It’s nice to be able to switch to orange, yellow, or clear in low light conditions. I’ve had success with eyewear from Oakley, Smith, and Tifosi.
What are you best bang for the buck mountain bike purchases?