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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am relatively new at this sport and have a question about how to outfit the bike. For instance do I use a water bottle or a camelback? What do I need to ensure that I take with me? (pump, spare innertube, toolkit, tire changing tools, suspension pump, beer cooler)???

Also what about a GPS, Heart Rate Monitor, Bike Computer???? Is there a single unit that combines the functions that I need?
 

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There are two different set ups: Race setup and training (recreational) setup. For racing, you bring only things you can fix and still stay in the race (tube and chain). Nothing else is needed.

For recreational or training, bring everything you need to get you back to your car if something should happen. I carry a tube, CO2, SRAM links and multitool with chainbreaker in a wedge back under the seat.

I use water bottles 99%of the time. The 1% is when I night ride. Then I have my camelback so I can carry more survival items if I should get stuck in a state forest: cellphone, glow sticks, protein bar, small flashlight (in case Xeon light goes out).

You can get a computer that has all three, but plan on paying for it. I don't care about GPS. I have a seperate HRM and Bike computer so I can use my HRM for other things as well (spin class, jogging, etc). A bike computer is a necessity. You can get them relativitly cheap anywhere (check nashbar.com today, they have 15% off). HRM is dependent on how much info you want. I think some actually come with difibulators in case you ahve a heart attack it just shocks you back alive.

I wouldn't worry about a HRM until you've ridden awhile and established some goals for your training.
 

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Only concern yourself with the tools needed to get yourself out of a fix, like Guppie said.

Don't worry about the other stuff until you're well into the game and want to start training seriously.

Waterbottles over camelback anyday, but that's my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Going to start by rec riding

Great, that answers my question. I do have a heart rate monitor that my doc gave me and I have used it off and on over that past year...now is the time to use it regularly. Will buy a basic bike computer with miles and time....anything else?

Maybe an under the seat bag with the basics of bike repair as I will start off by riding it to work (10miles). That should start getting the old legs back in tone.

I do have a new etrex color GPS, but most of the time I will know where I am going so it is just bling.
 

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Jam Econo
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If I'm not racing, I carry everything in a hydration pack. For me, it's easier to fit everything it than an on bike bag, and I have a greater capacity for water, plus I still can carry 2 additional bottles for really long rides.
I use a Garmin 305. It combines all the functions I'm interested into one unit, but for years I just used a simple bike computer.
 

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CrashGordon said:
I am relatively new at this sport and have a question about how to outfit the bike. For instance do I use a water bottle or a camelback? What do I need to ensure that I take with me? (pump, spare innertube, toolkit, tire changing tools, suspension pump, beer cooler)???
Woot is actually selling a beer cooler that runs off your car's electrical socket right now :)

In my saddle pack I have a multitool, chain tool, spare tube and tire levers, those are what I consider to be the minimum I can get away with (along with either a CO2 cartridge or a pump mounted on the frame).

As a Clydesdale you're more than likely to snap chains (ask me how I know), so make sure you bring a chain breaker and know how to use it, depending on your tires you might not need levers (folding bead tires can often be pulled off the rim by hand) but you will definitely need a spare tube and a general multitool (usually for farting around with your saddle clamps when you cock up a landing and find the saddle pointed upwards at 45 degrees).

Figure on drinking 1 water bottle every hour when cycling, more if it's hot, so if you're going to be out for more than 2 hours, a Camelbak is probably the better plan. I always ride trails with one, in it, I carry a pump, another spare tube, a shock pump (when I'm tuning the shocks), spare cable, brake pads, granola bars and obviously a ton of water :) (it's also useful for carrying your wallet, phone and car keys - don't leave these things in your vehicle at the trailhead, they're far too easy to steal).

And like the previous poster mentioned, the Garmin Edge 305 is a cycle computer, gps and heart rate monitor in one unit, it's not cheap, but as a fellow geek I think you'll appreciate it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Does anyone offer a general tool pack?

I guess I can take this list to my LBS and just buy one of everything that I need. But does anyone offer a MTB saddle kit that provides everything that is needed (except the spare tube, of course)? Will look at the edge 305.

Thanks
 

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CrashGordon said:
I guess I can take this list to my LBS and just buy one of everything that I need. But does anyone offer a MTB saddle kit that provides everything that is needed (except the spare tube, of course)? Will look at the edge 305.

Thanks
I know Topeak sell a saddle pack/multi tool combo, I think other tool combos are probably down to the bike shop itself rather than a manufacturer.

... oh yeah, pack some antiseptic wipes/spray, sooner or later you'll wish you had some, ask me how I know.
 

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Step 1. Don't hang anything on your bike. Remove all water bottle holders, fenders, reflectors--everything. If it rattles or has any potential to make a sound or cause a vibration and is not nec. to make the wheels move or stop, remove it. It will drive you absolutely up the wall crazy. Your bike should be stripped clean.

Step 2. Pack the essentials in a camel back or other back pack, preferably with a fluid bladder. You need fluid, snack bar(s), basic first aid (tape, gauze, aspirin, benadryl), tube (s), pump, maybe some patches, allen wrench, needle nose, knife, maybe a screwdriver, some string, tire repair tools, cell phone, ID, money. You may need more than this depending on the length of your ride.
 

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Pedals Fastly said:
Step 1. Don't hang anything on your bike. Remove all water bottle holders, fenders, reflectors--everything. If it rattles or has any potential to make a sound or cause a vibration and is not nec. to make the wheels move or stop, remove it. It will drive you absolutely up the wall crazy. Your bike should be stripped clean.

Step 2. Pack the essentials in a camel back or other back pack, preferably with a fluid bladder. You need fluid, snack bar(s), basic first aid (tape, gauze, aspirin, benadryl), tube (s), pump, maybe some patches, allen wrench, needle nose, knife, maybe a screwdriver, some string, tire repair tools, cell phone, ID, money. You may need more than this depending on the length of your ride.
The dude is racing, not going on an epic ride into the outback!:eekster:

He needs only a few items in his jersey pocket (see my post above) and his water bottles.
 

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Thirsty
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I've enjoyed running Slime Tubes. I know they are heavier than other tubes, but the area I ride most has lots of thorns, so Slime Tubes keep me from changing a tube every ride. I recommend Slime Tubes if you have problems with flats. I pulled 3 thorns out of my front tire today and lost only 2 psi pressure (37 psi down to 35 psi at the end of the ride).
 

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ThrashNY said:
The dude is racing, not going on an epic ride into the outback!:eekster:
I didn't see that he was racing, I'm pretty sure he's just getting into the sport and wants to know what most of us carry.

I try to make sure I carry enough stuff to at least be able to ride the bike off the trail instead of having to push it and some basic first aid is never a bad plan either - altogether this comes down to pretty much the same list Pedals Fastly posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Not racing, yet

Actually, unless they have a "free willy" class, it will be a while before I am racing. I did buy an under the saddle pack that has multitool and spare tube in it. I also bought a bottle cage and pump, but found that the bike didn't have any mounting screws in it...just holes. So need to either take them back and get a camel bag or just buy some screws. I have never been a big fan of drinking out of plastic bottles...so I am thinking the camel bag is the way to go...I like the idea of the first aid supplies....will add some of those.

I also bought a basic wireless bike computer and when I got home found that I couldn't get it to work. The instructions call for the magnet and receiver to be within .2 inches....heck I couldn't get it closer than about .75 inches. Is there a basic unit that I should use till I can afford that edge? Something that will work on a Fox fork and MTB wheels?
 

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Kyoseki said:
I didn't see that he was racing, I'm pretty sure he's just getting into the sport and wants to know what most of us carry.

I try to make sure I carry enough stuff to at least be able to ride the bike off the trail instead of having to push it and some basic first aid is never a bad plan either - altogether this comes down to pretty much the same list Pedals Fastly posted.
I was guessing he was racing due to the forum. My mistake...pass the weed!
 

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Cannondale Snob
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For you, I'd recomend the Camelback MULE. It has a 100oz bladder in an insulated compartment, and enough room in storage compartments to carry everything you need for a non-epic ride. For long-distance, epic rides I'd recomend the HAWG and toss a Unbottled into the main storage compartment. I can't quite do this with my MULE.

I don't have a bottle-cage on my Rush, either. I plan on getting a Camelback Lobo or similar stripped-down pack for racing. I find it much easier to drink from the Camelback than from a bottle. Most of the trails I ride on don't have long enough, smooth enough sections to ride one-handed for long enough to grab a bottle and get a drink.

For tires: I have UST rims and run UST tires with Stans solution in them. I never could keep a tube aired up, even sitting in the garage. However, now my tires stay at nearly full-pressure, all the time! I wouldn't want to race with a tube and take the extra risk of a time-wasting flat.
 

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As little as possible!!!

You really don't need much to start with... Start off by putting screws and a water bottle holder... I personnaly don't find it convenient to haul a pack around... Get a basic repair kit and make sure you know how to use it! Co2, spare tube and basic multi tool in case an odd bolt comes loose... You don't need to be MacGyver out there!

Make sure you know where you are going, plan ahead... My guess is that you will not be doing epic 5 hours ride in the backcountry... 1 water bottle every hour or so... When you are riding 2 hrs +, on bike nutrition (energy bars) becomes an important factor...

The wireless computer is a bonus... I never even used one in my life mountain biking... If you must, get the sensor as close as possible to the main unit and fiddle with it... Any computer is compatible with your brand of fork and wheels...

Personnaly, what I do use is the Polar S720, which combines HR and wireless bike functions... Pretty costly, but worth it... Plus, plus you download all of your ride date... Keeps you occupied when not riding!

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
CamelBacks -

Went to Performance Bikes in N. VA and they had the Mule and Hawge on sale for the same price. Bought the Hawge simply because it was bigger (biggerXsameprice=better buy?). Also it has enough room for a change of clothes when I ride my bike to work (if the heat ever lets up).
 

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I use the Mule, the two packs carry the same amount of water, but the mule is a smaller pack - I find it's JUST large enough to carry what I need for a ride, but if you're riding into work then the Hawg is probably better suited for you.

I carry a bottle of water on the bike too, but it's not for drinking from, I'll just squirt cold water all over my head and shoulders when I'm riding, during a long, hot climb it helps to cool off and since I'm using Elixir in the Camelbak, I don't want to be covered in sports drink :)
 
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