Preparing for your Trip
You’ll need to bring a mountain bike in good working order suitable for the ride you’re doing. If you need a rental bike, click here for a list of shops around Southern California that rent mountain bikes. It is recommended that you have your bike checked out at a local bike shop before your ride to be sure it’s in good mechanical condition. You should also be carrying the following items with you.
- Your driver’s license, passport or other official identification.
- Your health and travel insurance information.
- A note in your wallet that includes your blood type, any allergies, any medications you take, and a list of emergency contacts.
- Bring any prescription medications you take with you and let your guide know before the trip about them. For example, if your are diabetic or allergic to bees you should advise the guide on what to do if you’re unable to self-administer your medication.
- A bike helmet (required.)
- Gloves (full finger recommended)
- Elbow and knee pads for rides.
Food and Hydratrion
- A hydration pack with a three-liter capacity at a minimum.
- A water bottle with a hydration mix.
- Food and snacks.
- A map of the area you are riding.
- A GPS computer or cell phone with a navigational program loaded. (NOTE: Data services like Strava may not provide real-time topographical data in the wilderness, so you should get a program that enables to download topo data before the ride and which doesn’t rely upon a data connection.)
Tools for ALL Rides
- Tire irons
- Allen wrenches for every bolt on your bike
- Tork hex wrenches for every bolt on your bike (i.e. the disc brakes)
- Spoke wrench(s)
- Screwdrivers (both Phillips and Flathead – multiple sizes)
- Chain breaker
- Pliers / vice grips
- Crescent wrench
- A knife / saw
- Long zip ties (at least one foot long)
- Duct tape (best) or electrical tape (OK)
- Chain lube
Spare Parts for ALL Rides
- Tubes (two)
- Quick chain links
- Derailleur hanger
Spare Parts for Long / Remote Rides
- Tube patch kit (adhesive recommended)
- Tube slime
- Brake pads
- Brake cables (front and rear)
- Derailleur cables (front and rear)
- Rear derailleur
- Rim skewers (front and rear)
- Seat post clamp and skewer
- Spare bolts for every part on your bike
- Spare clips / bolts for your clip-in shoes
- Cleaning brush
- Shock pump
- Extra set of pedals
Buy the essentials at Amazon.com
For liability reasons, bike rentals and other equipment are not provided. However, XEN MTB will be happy to pick up your bike and bring it to the ride for you. Check the map of Southern California bike shops that rent mountain bikes near you.
For the past 10 years, your ride leader has had experience with group sizes ranging from a few people to nearly 50 at a time. Smaller group rides with people you know personally are the best rides. So that’s why there’s a four-person guest limit.
Yes, there are dozens of public parks and your guide has experience with just about all of them. But the rides featured on this website are the best among them.
Yes! But the more people you bring (up to four max), the cheaper it’s going to be per person.
On the Ride
You are expected to be able to work on your own bike and have all the tools and supplies you need with you on the ride. That said, in an emergency, your guide can assist with most necessary trail repairs like flat tires, broken chains and even some catastrophic failures. But that shouldn’t be an issue if you had your bike checked out before riding!
Yes, that’s perfectly fine! Your guide is slow too. But just be sure your buddies are OK with that! And remember, there’s no shame in walking. But that said, you shouldn’t try a ride that you know you’re not physically or technically able to do. When you contact XEN MTB, your guide will discuss your experience and recommend rides suitable to your abilities.
We ride as a group and stick together for safety and camaraderie. It’s just more fun that way! In the 10 years that your ride leader has been doing tours, nobody has ever been left behind. Of course, as a courtesy, please don’t leave the leader too far behind! We stop at every trail intersection to make sure people don’t get lost, at the top of every climb, and the bottom of every descent. We also take breaks as often as needed to let people catch their breath and to eat once an hour on longer rides.
Your ride leader is not an emergency medical technician and can only render basic first aid assistance. If you need more help for than a cut, your ride leader will make sure you get the help you need from trained professionals.
If you don’t mind, it’s a good idea to bring a trail “sweep” along with us (a person who will always stay at the back). But that’s up to you. There’s no extra charge for bringing a trail sweep with us.
It’s highly recommended that you ride with people who have equal skills and endurance. But as long as your buddies don’t mind, if some people want to push hard, your guide will advise you where it’s safe to sprint ahead to the next stopping point.
Your guide will always stay with the slowest person in the group. If you’re waiting longer than 10 minutes at the next rest stop, turn around and rejoin the rest of us at the back! Do that a few times, and you probably won’t be sprinting up the hills anymore.
If you miss a turn or stopping point or leave your guide behind, you may find yourself alone in the great outdoors. So pay attention!
Are There Other Fees?
Some rides require a shuttle company to drive us to the top of the mountain. In most cases, these fees are separate from the fees charged by XEN MTB.