Tools for mountain bike racing

Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
One of the rules at most mountain bike races is that once out on the course, you have to fix any mechanical mishap by yourself. Being prepared and skilled at this is as important as toeing the start line with a high VO2max.

Your fitness and hard training is for naught if a flat tire means a DNF. You should be able to fix a flat tire in under two minutes, which in longer races will not drop you a place in the standings.

Here's the list of tools you should have on board with you. My preference is to have all of these stuffed tightly in a seat pack.

  • Spare tube
  • Tire levers
  • Tire boot (thick plastic square to glue inside a ripped tire sidewall)
  • Quick link or power link to fix a broken chain
  • Multi-tool like the Crank Bros multi 17 tool
  • Patch kit
  • CO2 cartridge (know how to use the CO2 before the race)
Learn how to fix everything on your bike. Don't be the racer with the "big fish" story -- "I was having the race of my life, but then ..."


Lynda Wallenfels is a USA Cycling Elite coach and pro endurance racer. Ask her training questions on her forum, contact her about coaching, purchase a training plan or read about her dominating win at 24 hours of Old Pueblo on her blog.

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