||Where to stash your gear 101
You've seen riders with those little backpacks, called "Camelbaks"
by most of us because that's the most popular brand. This is the gold
standard of "taking it with you." It holds water, lunch,
emergency supplies and just-in-case clothing, tool kit, car keys,
There are big Camelbaks and little ones. Once you decide you like
mountain biking, it's time to buy a backpack -- maybe a big one and a
||There are other options. I like an under-seat pack for my
basic toolkit. It holds multi-tool, quick-link for the chain, spare tube,
patch kit, a couple of CO2 inflators, plastic rain slicker, and single-use
mosquito repellant and sunscreen pads. So it's always with me, even if
it's a 15-minute jaunt -- without backpack -- from my front door.
The disadvantage of an underseat pack? No matter how tightly you
lock it on, eventually the straps will tear loose. I fix mine with strips
of water-jug plastic to reinforce the case, shoe goo between the layers,
||Some riders, racers in particular, keep everything in their
jersey pockets. Water bottle in the cage on the frame and another in the
back pocket and you're good for 20 miles. Bike tools on one side, spare
tube and patch kit on the other. (I like to have my mini-pump attached to
the bike frame, but you can stash it in a pocket too.)
For rides up to 2 hours, I only take a backpack if I'm doing video.
I love the freedom of a bottle in the back pocket.
||Some riders like lumbar packs aka "fanny packs"
because they get the weight off your back. So it's a bit cooler, and you
can move around on the bike more easily, with less backache on long rides.
You won't see a lot of these on the trail, but they actually work very
well for intermediate-length rides.
With two 24-ounce bottles, you're set for a substantial ride. But
for hot, long, hard days in the saddle, you really need the increased
water capacity of a backpack!