The Mountain Bike Life

We often focus on the big things, wheels, frames, drivetrains…but I think it’s the small things that really make the difference. I have compiled a list of a few things that I have found to make my Mountain Bike Life better, I hope that you will find these items to be as useful as I do.

Chromag Seat QR

Not all seat QR’s are created equal, you would think that there is not much you could do to improve the basic design, but Chromag hit the nail on the head when they made theirs. I have used, Hope and Salsa, but neither come close to the smooth and trouble free action of the Chromag. This may be one of the more expensive items on this list but at just under $50 but it is the one item that I would at the top of any bike build. As the old adage goes, buy the good stuff once or the cheap stuff often.

DeFeet Wooleator Socks

These are my go to riding socks. In the summer they keep my feet cool and help keep the odor away and in the winter they keep them warm and when I get feet wet, I don’t go home with numb toes. I will admit I will wear the heavier Woolie Boolie when the mercury drops but for most of the year the Wooleator’s grace my feet. I lean towards the cheap, good bang for your buck and for years just tried to find cheap socks and then one year I received a pair of these in my stocking and have not looked back since. If you have not been lucky enough to try merino wool yet, give it a shot, you will not regret it.

Source Magnetic Clip

Not often can something under $10 make such a difference. All packs come with those little plastic clips that hold the hose, and they work fine, right? Well, last year I broke the little plastic clip and after a few rides of my hose just flopping all over the place I found this little item in my local outdoor store and after one ride I was hooked. I will never go back to the little plastic clip again, when on your bike and riding down a trail all you have to do is pull on the hose and drink and then get it back to it’s general location and it snaps back into place, sometimes all I have to do is drop the hose and if set up right it will just click into place on it’s own. I don’t know why pack manufacturers have not started using this stock, it’s cheap and would be a huge selling point.

Rand Momentum Lube

Use the right lube. For years I lived in the Tri-Flow camp and love it (especially the smell), a while back I started looking for something better. I wanted something a bit more earth friendly and that worked better, I tried a few products and was getting frustrated. That’s when the people at Rand sent me a sample of Momentum to try out and right away I noticed it was different from any other lube I had used in the past. I have used this lube on chains I was going to throw away, old and rusted…but after applying the lube I was amazed at how much crud and rust was just wiping away and the bike shifted flawlessly when I was done. I have used it in the hot and dusty summer and the wet and muddy winter and it performs like a champ no matter what I throw at it. It may be a new name, but it’s worth asking your LBS to order some in.  I will have a full long term review of this lube soon, so stay tuned for that.

Small Socket Wrench

Many years ago I got a fairly cheap socket set as a gift and for the most part it sat unused in my basement. One day while working on my bike I pulled out the 1/2 Inch Socket wrench and it has since not left my tool box. I use it manly in place of a Y allen wrench, it makes the job faster and easier. I still use allen wrenches, but for most of the basic bolts on my bike I use my handy socket wrench. There are cheap ones on the market, but in my experience they do not last, try to find something that is well built and out of as much metal as possible. It should not cost much more than $30 for a set like the one pictured below.
You can live without these items and be perfectly happy, but take chance on at least one of them and see if it works for you, I bet it does. As I said, it’s the little things that count and the items listed above will make your Mountain Bike Life a better one.
What small things do you find make a big difference out on the trail and in your workshop?
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