So you went out and picked up a new mountain bike. It was probably pretty overwhelming at first. There were so many designs to choose from, different stores to shop at, different manufacturers to consider. You finally picked the bike you wanted and brought it home. You forgot something important, though. There are some accessories you ought to consider for your mountain bike and for you.
The first thing you should think about is safety. Safety accessories for mountain bike riders are diverse and plentiful. A key ingredient for rider safety is the helmet. Many riders shun helmets, but no intelligent rider should be without one. Statistics woefully back up the significance of helmets. Helmets save lives: it's that simple. It's not just your mortality you should be concerned with but also your long-term health. A serious head injury can leave you with a whole lifetime of health problems. Even a minor wreck can result in serious injuries if you hit your head and you're not wearing a helmet. Modern mountain bike helmets are light and sleek and do a better job of protecting your head than their clunkier predecessors. In the past, riders looked down on riders who wore helmets but in recent years reason has prevailed. More and more riders choose to wear helmets. Cost shouldn't be a factor as a good helmet can be acquired for around $30. If you want a top of the line model, be prepared to spend over $200.
Another important safety accessory for mountain bike riders are lights. If you're going to be riding at night you should have a light. Most jurisdictions require them. Even if you're riding off-road, it's pretty obvious that you're going to want a light for your mountain bike. You want to see the trail, don't you? And if you're riding anywhere near traffic you're going to not only want to be but you're also going to want to be seen by drivers. Who hasn't suddenly come up on a bike rider and found themselves thinking, "He's lucky I saw him." Mountain bike lights these day are made with cutting edge LED lamps so they almost never need to be replaced and more and more are being made with rechargeable batteries so you don't have to keep spending money on new batteries. There are also those classic models which are powered by the wheels of the bike. You should invest in lights for the front and the back of your bike to make sure you visible from every angle.
Beyond safety accessories, there are plenty of other items which will begin to be necessary as you get into mountain bike riding. One such necessity will be a repair kit. What are you going to do if you get a flat tire on a trail miles from the nearest road? This is when you'll wish you had a repair kit. Basic repair kits are cheap and will let you patch a tire, repair brakes, fix your derailleur, and other simple tasks. Along with patching that tire you'll want to be able to inflate it again! A small pump which attaches to the bike frame is an excellent purchase.
Another good idea is either a water bottle or backpack hydration system. When riding in the summer heat you'll be thankful you brought some liquid refreshment with you.
This by no means an exhaustive list of mountain bike accessories. This just gives you an idea of the range of products available. These are just the basic ones you'll want. The more you ride your mountain bike the more you'll find the need for more accessories. For every need there's a product.