There’s so much stuff to pack, but your rucksack is just too small. Most keen mountain bikers will have experienced this dilemma. We men usually choose less weight and therefore less hardwork, whereas girls seem to need more space (maybe for their creams and cosmetics!) So, what do you really need to pack for a mountain bike tour? Read on for the ultimate checklist to make sure you have an unforgettable bike ride in Mayrhofen’s mountains.
What standard equipment do you need in the Ziller Valley mountains?
Basic equipment is a no-brainer: a mountain bike tour without a bike would be a little difficult, bike shoes are also important and a helmet is an absolute necessity. The right clothing, especially cushioned shorts, can save you a lot of discomfort the day after, and long sleeves and trousers can keep you warm on speedy descents. Also, a GPS system is increasingly becoming part of a standard bike set, not just for orientation purposes but also to show the trails and plan tours. In addition to these basics, you shouldn’t forget to pack some essential tools in your rucksack, even on short bike rides.
A first aid kit is a “must-have” in any biker’s rucksack, and this should be regularly checked and kept up-to-date. Out of date, stuck together plasters, bandages and swabs are no use to anyone in an emergency. It’s also a good idea to save important phone numbers into your mobile phone before you start your bike tour. For example, the phone number of your accommodation and the mountain rescue. In case of an emergency, I would also recommend downloading the emergency app of the Tyrolean mountain rescue: itunes.apple.com/notfall-app-bergrettung-tirol.
Alpine weather is notoriously unpredictable and can change very quickly. Make sure to take waterproof jackets and trousers with you on every tour. Specially designed waterproofs for bikers are very lightweight and take up very little space in a rucksack.
Technical equipment for mountain bike tours
Technical equipment takes a little more consideration. Of course, what you pack will depend on whether you are planning a short bike ride, or a week-long alpine crossing from the Ziller Valley to South Tyrol.
Pfffffft! A puncture. This can happen on even the shortest of mountain bike tours. To make sure your tour doesn’t become an unplanned hike, carry the right tools in your rucksack. You should always have a flick-set and multitool with you as well as a spare inner tube and a good pump. Sometimes “repair sprays” can provide a quick, temporary solution and save you repairing your tyre until you reach the next bike shop.
For longer tours, I also pack a few extra things. A squeal of the breaks followed by the horrible sound of “metal on metal” and you will be needing spare break pads (and the necessary technical knowhow to replace them!). Even more interesting is when a gear cable snaps or a spoke breaks. If you know how to replace these parts, you should also pack spares. For any other issues we recommend the following motto: “he who loves his bike, will push his bike!” Add in a snack and drink and your rucksack should have everything you need.
When it comes to the rucksack itself, newer models of bike rucksacks offer some fantastic features. Read on to find out more…
Trends in mountain biking – Innovations in 2016
There have been some fantastic innovations in bike rucksacks over the last few years, especially regarding safety. Integrated protectors offer increased protection for your back. Also, airflow systems have been improved, helping to reduce the amount you sweat.
Bike construction has also undergone some changes with a trend towards bigger, wider bikes. First came the so-called “fat bikes” and then 29er bikes. Recently, the new trend is towards 27.5in bikes which offer improved riding comfort and B+ tyres! These tyres are thicker than standard MTB tyres and offer the advantages of better obstacle rollover, less off-road rolling friction, extremely good traction, and low air pressure with a reduced chance of a puncture. A clear disadvantage is the increased weight. It remains to be seen whether or not this technology will cross over to “touring bikes”. Personally, I doubt it will catch on.
Those who prefer the ease of exploring the mountains of the Ziller Valley by e-bike will be delighted with new developments in battery technology. The new 500-watt e-bikes have finally made the dream of covering longer distances and tougher hills a reality.
Bike specialists in the Ziller Valley are happy to provide further advice and help you to plan your next mountain bike tour: www.mayrhofen.at/sommer-urlaub-ferien-familie/biken/
So, get on your bike (with the right equipment!) and get exploring the mountains bike trails of Mayrhofen!