It is possible that one can blame modern marketing for the face of our world and state of affairs. Young believers think they need to drink expensive vodka, drive expensive cars, and carry fancy bags in order to fit in. Hipsters think the opposite, yet they still have their own set of rules, like rolled up skinny jeans, fixed gear bikes without brakes, and prescription style glasses that no longer have the prescription glass. Our society is an interesting place, one that will drive you crazy if you think about it too much.
Avoiding the inertia created by this mass advertisement is a feat in itself. So to make it easier, here are a few random items that you truly don’t need on the trail.
Padded Chamois Shorts
I stopped wearing diapers a long time ago. Aside from that one party in college where we all wore them and they snapped off at inopportune moments, I have avoided them since I was potty trained. Padded chammies give me the same feeling of having relieved myself in my shorts after eating too much creamed corn. Along with the poo resemblance, there also seems to be a tropical climate in your groin due to the lack of ventilation. Our advice is to get used to the pounding and take it like a man (or woman). After 3 solid rides, you won’t even notice, we promise.
Third Chain Ring
Leave the 3×9 to the road bikers. Too many of the gears repeat themselves, and mountain bikers shouldn’t have to fine tune their grind as much. Even the steepest ascents in the mtb world tend to be short and painful, which makes having to drop loads of gears more of an inconvenience than a pain reliever. So ditch the 3rd chainring, install a bashguard, and get up out of your sadde to grunt out some uphills.
Frame Mounted Water Bottle
Everyone talks about shaving grams of weight off of their bikes, then throws on a rattling bottle cage and 16oz of freedom. Not only does this throw weight back on the bike, but your streamlined kit is now one step away from having a kickstand. Not to mention, if you are going on a long ride, 16 oz is going to be way less than needed, and for a short ride 16 oz won’t even get through your system by the time you are done. So really, do you need that fancy blue bottle cage? Nope.
Road Biking Helmet
They are light, airy, and make you look like you are strapped to enter the Matrix. But they also tend to be fairly fragile and low on the coverage spectrum. I have seen so many smashed helmet pictures from people who were riding at low speeds. It is scary that people buy these things expecting them to truly be safe when they aren’t. I even had my head sliced open with my old helmet because of a tree branch that finagled its way in between one of the numerous vents. Do yourself a favor and buy a multi-impact helmet with more coverage like the POC or the Mavic helmets.
This subject is sensitive by nature. Which is why you must think this through and read our reason before you get offended yourself. There is nothing wrong with riding with your significant other, in fact it is super fun… as long as everyone is on the same page with similar expectations. Don’t be that guy that drags your girl on and all day epic when she just wants to cruise and laugh. And don’t be that girl that begs to come when she knows there are big plans that are way over your head. If you haven’t seen it, watch A Couple’s Ride and you will laugh your head off and understand why. So most importantly, let each other know what trails are in store, and let the rest sort itself out.
For a helpful list on items you need but may not think about, check out our list here.