If you are a Mtn Bike rider I hope you know and have mastered these three essentials. If you are thinking of becoming a Mtn Bike rider I encourage you to learn these skills. Practice the first two at home in the comfort of your garage before you need them on the trail. For the third skill it’s mostly common sense and it’s a skill that can save your life.
These are great skills to know as an adult. They are also great skills to teach kids. When a flat occurs on the trail it’s a great teaching moment. Kids learn that “stuff happens” and they also learn that they can fix it themselves.
The Three Essentials
Fix a Flat
- Easy to do
- Practice at home
- Video - http://bicycletutor.com/fix-flat-tire/
- As the video suggests I recommend replacing the whole tube. If you want to patch your flats do that at home in the comfort of your garage or workshop – then put the repaired tube in your pack for the next time you get a flat.
- Trail Riders Secret (aka Dad’s Secret) – Use Slime for your tubes. At least for your kids tubes. I have fixed a lot of flats on my kids bikes over the years. I have not changed a flat since I added Slime to the tires. Ask your Local Bike Shop (LBS). They’ll have a few options.
Break a Chain
- Takes a little more skill and requires specialized tools – practice at home before you need to test your field skills.
- Video - http://bicycletutor.com/chain-tool/
- Web Site (very detailed) - http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=25
- Trail Riders Secret --- Master Links / Quick Links
- Pick up a couple of these at your Local Bike Shop (LBS)
- Know where you are going
- Tell Someone
- Be aware of your surroundings. Be prepared to make your way out in an emergency or to help a fellow rider or hiker out.
But Wait … That’s Not All
My Three Essentials for Mtn Bikers are in addition to the Ten Essentials that anyone venturing into the wilderness should have on hand AND know how to use.
Future posts will be about Trail Building Basics and another about Trail Riding Basics.
Below are a few more of my thoughts on Mtn. Biking – Enjoy! When you are ready --- come on out and ride with me.