This blog specifically talks about Dallas Riders, all the folks who ride mountain bikes in Dallas.
There are a number of great trails spread throughout the Dallas and Fort Worth metroplex. Here is a list of all of the Dallas trails. Just because we don’t have any mountains here doesn’t mean that we don’t have some great mountain bike trails. Places like Big Cedar and Sansom are more than enough to wear you out.
When you first start riding, there are several items that you will want to have handy.
- Moisture Wicking clothing
- Spare Tube
- Tire Levers
- Air Pump or CO2 Compressor
These are the absolute basics that you need for any off road riding. Here’s why you need each one of these things.
If you ride without a helmet your asking for a concussion. I can’t count the number of times that I have gone head first into a tree or dirt. Mountain biking involves a lot of falling as you are learning to do it. That is just part of the sport. Get a good quality helmet from your local bike shop and keep your noggin protected.
As with the helmet, a light pair of bicycle gloves will be a huge help to you anytime you fall. They also help to provide a good grip on the handlebars and keep your hands from slipping. In the event of a crash or fall, these gloves will also keep your hands from getting torn up on the rough ground.
Your eyes are one of the most important parts of your body and need to be protected. A simple pair of sunglasses will prevent low hanging branches or dust kicked up by your tires from getting into your eyes.
Moisture Wicking Clothing
This is important in the humid heat of Texas. Cotton clothing is a big no-no, it bunches, it stays dripping wet and its all around uncomfortable once you start sweating. Another plus for getting mountain bike specific shorts is that they have built in pads most of the time that make the ride more comfortable.
Well duh, right? Having the correct bike is important. Here in Texas I recommend a 29er with disc brakes, but any bike will do.
Breakdowns on the trail happen, you definitely need to keep a multi-tool with you to fix your bike and make minor repairs. A good multi-tool will have a phillips and flat head screwdriver, several different allen wrench sizes most importantly a 4 & 5mm, then preferably a chain break tool for fixing chain issues. My preference is for this Crank Brothers Multi-19 Bicycle Tool.
If you get a flat tire from a thorn, sharp rock or something else in the trail you will need to be able to replace the tube and keep riding. Carrying a spare tube with you is an absolute must for all riders. Be sure that you get the right size tube for your wheels. If you ride a 29er then get a 29inch tube. If you ride a 26 inch tire, then get a 26 inch tube.
A set of tire levers help to pull your tire off of the wheel so that you can change a flat tube. These aren’t required and in fact many of the tires have enough give that they are able to be pulled off with your hands. However, every tire is different and some do fit very tight and require a set of tire levers.
Air pump or CO2 cartridge and adapter
Once you change the flat, you need to air the tire up. Keep a small hand pump or a set of CO2 cartridges with an adapter on your bike when you ride. A hand pump takes a lot of effort to air up, your arms will likely tire out before long, but you aren’t limited with the amount of air you can put into the tire. A CO2 is limited in how much air you can put in, but it is much faster and it doesn’t wear your arms out to inflate it.