How to win a mountain bike race: Equipement

Physical and mental preparation isn’t everything.

Without a bike, you have no chance to win a mountain bike race.

Here we go for the best tips you’ll get on how to win a mountain bike race, starting with the equipment.

Take the lightest items with you

You know what sucks? Having to carry on an heavy backpack for 40+ kilometers in high mountain.

It will definitely break your endurance faster than a 45% gradient.

When you choose an item to take with you, always check the weight.

You don’t want to become a camel. You only want to carry the strict minimum which is also super light.

When you add an item to your backpack, always check the weight. If you can find another item with the same function and which is lighter, always prefer the lightest stuff.

Having heavy stuff in your bag will slow you down. We want to be as fast as possible so here you’ll go for what’s efficient.

Check your backpack, you shouldn’t have anything useless in it!

Remove what is useless

Your bike may be full of gadget like mine.

I had at least 4 random items that I had to remove.

I gained 300-500 grams because I removed what’s useless.

Take time to do it!

I removed the bell, two flashlight – front and back -and both of my mudguard.

I don’t need any of these items with me for a mountain bike race.

These items slow me down.

Plus, the mudguard looks bad on a mountain bike!

Bonus point: If you need to keep a flashlight, take a headlamp. It’s lighter and super handy to use compared to an average flashlight.

Don’t forget to completely clean your bag and remove everything from it before packing what you need in, you’ll also save some grams this way.

Yeah, that’s not called optimization for no reason!

Check your bike


You need to check every screw.

Mountain biking is tough, your bike need to be at its finest.

You cannot let some screws unchecked. In case you have a problem, this will surely come from the screw.

That’s not madness. That’s ownership.

With time they are loosening. Check all of them and tighten them if needed!

Bonus point: Don’t tighten too much, otherwise you may block some component. Usually there is a paper which gives you the clamping force to you use in decaNewton/meter.


The must check.

You need to check your brake, and preferably change them for the race. Even if they aren’t super used.

We want top performance, so we play the optimization card.

Note that without strong brake you will problems in an inclined environment. Make sure that your brake are strong and functional.

Without brakes, you die.

Bonus point: Do not touch the brake disc, otherwise you will pollute it. If you do, clean it with a special “brake” product.

Care. After changing your brakes your bike won’t brake as hard as it does.

You need to drive and to brake for 1-4 hours depending on your brake to make sure that everything is functional.

Failing to do so will set you at a disadvantage the due day.


I bought a new tire for the mountain biking race.

I know where it takes place and what environment it is so I chose the perfect tire to match the situation.

I changed the front tire to gain in adherence. The new one is designed for rocky area and have extra cramp on the side of the tire to make it harder to skid when I spin.

I kept the old tire at the back. This one is smoother and makes it perfect to skid on the back wheel

Bonus point: You don’t need to have the two same tires. Caution, when you change the tire, you need to respect a sense of rotation. Otherwise your tire will be less efficient, it will be harder to take on speed!


Remove them.

You don’t need mudguards for a mountain biking race.

Having them will slow you down with extra grams.

Those can easily be removed.

Also remove the screws of the mudguard to gain a maximum of weight.

Remove the crutch

You are into a mountain biking race. You won’t need this item.

It is only dead-weight.

It will definitely slow you down, remove it!

Clean up your bike

If you are a good rider, chances are that your bike is dirty.

Normally you should wash your bike after every ride. If you don’t do it – I don’t – then you have to take the Karsher and clean it up the hard way.

You’ll get rid of the dirt and grass on your bike, making it lighter.

Also, it will look cool. Once again.


After washing your bike you must lubricate it in order to keep everything functional.

Washing your bike with a Karsher will remove the oil. We want the different components to move smoothly so you’ll take a bomb of WD-40 and splash it on the gearwheel and the chain.

If you don’t do it, you have a higher chance of breaking your chain.

Bonus point: A well lubricated gearwheel makes it effortless to change the speed!

The backpack – Only the essential

First you have to clean your backpack. It’s even better if you buy a new one.

Make sure to have a light and as small as possible bag. We don’t want to be slowed because we have a bag.

Note: If you never rode with a backpack on, it’s time to train before the mountain bike race!

Here is a list of everything you need to repair your bike from A to Z.

  • Air-chamber
  • Extra screw
  • Patch
  • Pump
  • Rilsan
  • Replacement tools
  • Tire lever

With this kit you save a maximum of weight while having everything you need in case of trouble.

Make sure to double check the weight. If you find a lighter alternative, take it!

Survival kit

High mountain isn’t a place for weak people.

You cannot come on the mountain without physical and mental preparation.

Having the right tools is also a good way to survive in any case.

Remember that you are in the mountains, that’s why you’ll need a special case.


Your race will last 2-4 hours or even more.

At a point, you’ll be hungry and you will need to eat or your performances will decrease.

I advise you to take nuts with you.

Highly filling, nuts are full of energy. They contain a lot of calorie with 0 sugar, they are handy to transport and weight nothing.

Plus, you won’t feel dizzy when eating them.

Any kind of nuts is appropriated.




If you run out of water, take Micropur. That’s a chlorinated chip which transform any kind of water into drinkable water.


Survivor’s toolkit.

You’ll thank me later!


Only the basics. You won’t be alone in your race, you don’t need more!

Last part…

That’s every piece of equipment you need to take with you in order to win your mountain biking race.

Every item described here is useful and will help you to deal with troubles, if you forget something/choose not to take it, then you’ll have to face the full consequence of your acts in case of trouble!

It’s better to prevent the situation!

In case you didn’t read it yet, here is our guide to mental and physical preparation for your mountain biking race.

Let’s win champion!