Marin Mountain Bike Starter Pack

24 November, 2020

A very good friend of mine recently moved back home to Marin and is spending more time out on his mountain bike. He asked for some help assembling a starter kit of tools and supplies that he might need at home and on the bike.

Paradigm Trail

This is what I shared with him.


Crank Brothers M-17 Multi Tool

Crank Brothers M-17 Multi Tool

Where: Saddlebag

Use this for many repairs on the trail - this should cover you for most issues you'll encounter, including broken chains and spoke issues. Generally too small and fiddly for at home maintenance, so don't count on it for that.

Buy at Universal Cycles


Silca Tattico Mini-Pump

silca tattico

Where: Saddlebag

A reliable and ergonomic pump for the trail. Mounts under a bottle cage so that it's always on the bike. Consider an extra mount for multiple bikes.

Buy at Silca


Continental Standard Presta Tubes - 29"

conti tube

Where: On the bike via Voile Strap

Just in-case. Keep strapped to your downtube with a Voile strap. This tube will fit 29" x 2.1 - 2.4" tires.

Buy at Universal Cycles


Ortlieb Micro 2 Saddle Bag

ortlieb micro blk

Where: On the bike

Durable, waterproof, and practical saddlebag that's easy to put on and take off. Can purchase additional mounts to use across bikes.

Buy at Universal Cycles

Tire Repair

Dynaplug Pill

dynaplug pill

Where: Saddlebag

Use to plug small tears in a tubeless tire. See Dynaplug's video for usage:

Buy at Universal Cycles

Tire Levers

Pedro's Tire Levers

pedros levers

Where: Saddlebag

The best there is. Durable, lightweight, compact. Hopefully not needed, but just in case.

Buy at Universal Cycles

Voile Strap

Voile Straps® - 15” Aluminum Buckle

voile straps 15 inch aluminum buckle orange

Where: On the bike

Highly versatile elastic strap. I use one to keep a tube strapped to my bike.

Buy at Voile


Spurcycle Original Bell


Where: On the bike

Beautiful long-lasting tone. Keeps other trail users aware of your presence.

Buy at Spurcycle

Handlebar Bag

Outershell Adventure Drawcord Handlebar Bag


Where: On the bike

For longer days when I don't want to carry anything on my back. Keep in mind that overloading a handlebar bag will start to affect the handling of your bike.

Buy at Outershell Adventure

Heavy Chain Lube

Dumonde Tech BCL-Original Lube

dumonde original

Where: At home

The best heavy lube that I've used. Use on a freshly cleaned chain to create a base lubrication. Make sure to apply sparingly and clean after application. Use light lube after this until you give your drivetrain a good wash. See below for details:

Buy at Universal Cycles

Light Chain Lube

Pro-Link Chain Lube

pro link

Where: At home

A nice, clean, light lube for use between drivetrain cleanings. Use liberally and wipe excess off before letting dry on chain.

Buy at Universal Cycles

Valve Core Tool

Stans Valve Core Remover

stans valve tool

Where: At home

Good to have in case you ever need to add more sealant to your tires. Can probably leave this at home.

Buy at Universal Cycles

Water Purifier

Sawyer Mini


Where: Handlebar Bag

Long hot summer rides in Marin deserve one of these. Favorite watering hole is down near Kent Lake.

Buy at Sawer

Magic Link

Shimano Chain Quick Links

shimano quick link

Where: Saddlebag

Handy to expedite repairs if you break a chain on the trail. Carry this in your saddlebag.

See video for usage:

Buy at Universal Cycles

Chain Wear Checker

Park Tool CC-2 Chain Checker Wear Indicator

chain checker

Where: At home

Regularly replacing your chain is key to a smooth shifting drivetrain and avoiding prematurely wearing our more expensive wear components: chainrings and cassettes. Use this regularly to check the wear of your chain.

See video for usage details:

Buy at Universal Cycles


Marin County Bike Coalition Map

mcbc map

Where: At home

Marin County's best bicycle map. Use to plan rides both on dirt and on the road. Join MCBC and make a donation while you're at it!

Buy at MCBC

GPS Software

Ride with GPS

ride with gps

Where: At home/On the bike

The best route planning and GPS tracking tool that I've used on the bike. Use in your browser or on your mobile.

Use at Ride With GPS

Trail Info

Trail Forks


Where: At home/On the bike

While there are many good sources for trail info -- Trail Forks is one of the better. Useful both for planning at home, and while on the ride. While I prefer Ride with GPS for tracking and route finding, Trailforks is a consistently useful reference.

Use at Trailforks

That's it for now! I'll update this over time as new recommendations emerge. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions or want to dispute my taste in things!