Gear Guide: 8 items to bring on the ultimate mountain bike road tripWorld champion Kate Courtney's recommended gear for the ultimate mountain bike road trip
By Kate Courtney
Heading out on Kate Courtney’s perfect mountain bike road trip? Here is some essential gear you’ll need to successfully complete the journey—items you’ll find in Kate’s bag when she’s out on the trails.
A great bike can make a huge difference during a long trip. My first choice for this trip would be the new Specialized Stumpjumper. It is an incredibly trail-capable bike with great handling and enough suspension to have some serious fun out there. If a new bike is too big of an investment, I would recommend renting a trail bike with similar capabilities. While many of the trails on this trip are more cross country style riding, there are certainly options to go big and you will want a bike ready to take on some technical challenges.
Great riding glasses
are essential for long days on the trail—especially across a variety of weather and terrain conditions. The Radar EV is my favorite classic Oakley frame. The Prizm Golf lenses are perfect for increasing visibility on trails across a wide variety of light conditions.
For a mountain bike road trip in the U.S., you definitely need to add some patriotic flair to your gear setup. I have been using Crankbrothers for my entire career. I love these durable, light pedals. They are great in all conditions—especially in the mud—and are a reliable choice for a long trip.
For a mountain bike road trip in the U.S., you definitely need to add some patriotic flair to your gear setup.
Base layer—with room for gear
This is not your average vest. While I typically ride in spandex, I often opt for baggies and a loose jersey on a long, epic trail day. There’s just one problem: Where do you store all of your extra gear and snacks? The SWAT vest can be worn under anything from a t-shirt to an enduro jersey and has three pockets in the back to store everything you might need for your day on the trails.
Nobody wants a flat tire to end their day. Dynaplug makes incredible tools to quickly repair a tubeless tire by plugging the hole. Not only will it save you a lot of time, it’ll mean you don’t need to take your tire off and replace the tube. These tools were a lifesaver for me at the Cape Epic. Since then, they have become an essential piece of gear for any big rides.
With so many amazing trails to hit, good fuel will be extremely important on this adventure. The new Clif sweet-and-salty energy bars feature my favorite flavor yet: Chocolate Chunk with Sea Salt. While this tastes like a salty chocolate chip cookie, it is also high-quality endurance fuel. And, in a pinch, it can make a great breakfast on the go.
This one is for the ladies. After a long day of riding, nothing feels better than getting back to the car and being able to get clean. I am often running right from the bike to my next activity—whether it’s a PT appointment, a gym workout, or cruising into the grocery store still in my kit. The CliniqueFIT face wipes keep me feeling fresh as a daisy.
Base layer—with ‘anti-stink’
Another one for the ladies. Putting on clean, technical clothing after a long day is a great feeling. The Swiftly Tech line from Lululemon is a super-light layer that has anti-stink fabric. What’s more, it is perfect for long road trips–or to throw on after a long ride. Depending on the time of year and weather, I highly recommend either the short- or long-sleeve versions. Or, if you are like me and always overpack, bring both.
A note from Kate: “This is the gear I depend upon for my mountain bike adventures. I have chosen to use these items because they are high quality products and work for me. As a professional athlete, I also depend upon sponsor support to enable me to train and compete at the highest levels. I am fortunate to be sponsored by Specialized, Oakley, Lululemon, Crankbrothers, and Clif.”
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