You can probably credit Anton Krupicka for popularizing ride-and-climb missions in recent years, but it’s no mystery why the trend is catching on. Biking to the crag or cliff adds an extra element of exploration, turning afternoon sessions into full-day multisport adventures. It’s also a great way to squeeze in a cardio workout or build endurance for alpine objectives. And for some, it’s the gateway to gnarly human-powered linkups, from Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright’s famous Sufferfests, to Andrew Burr’s Alaskan ice-climbing epic, to Krupicka’s Longs Peak Triathlon.
But the best reason to fit bike commutes into your climbing routine? There’s a whole lot more gear to play with. Build up your gear closet, outfit your adventure steed, and hit the road with these eight picks for bike-to-climb objectives.
1. Blackburn Mammoth Flip Mini Pump
Flat tires are a reality of biking anywhere, but climbing approaches tend to be rougher than most. The Mammoth Flip Mini Pump lets you fix flats fast without missing the morning send temps. The whole thing tucks away into a low-profile package, and folds into a full-service miniature floor pump when you need it. A flip-out foot peg and flexible hose provide stability and versatility, and the head is compatible with Presta, Shrader, and Dunlop valves. ($44.95)
2. Arc’teryx Nodin Jacket
At just 5.5 ounces, the Nodin provides lightweight wind defense both on the cliff and in the saddle. The jacket stuffs down to the size of a fist and packs into its own pocket, making it easy to throw into a handlebar bag, and a sewn loop lets you clip the bundle to your harness for unencumbered climbing. Even better: The fitted hood zips into the collar, so it never flaps around your ears while you’re cycling. ($119.40-$199.00)
3. Metolius Ultralight Offset Master Cams
When you’re biking your gear around, it pays to carry the lightest rack possible. Metolius Ultralight Offset Master Cams give you added security in funky placements without the weight penalty. Like the original Ultralight Master Cams, they’re among the lightest on the market, thanks to a pared-down sling, aluminum thumb rest, and lightweight fittings. The offset design is ideal for maximizing surface contact in flared cracks and pin scars, making them the gear of choice for granite climbers in Yosemite and beyond.
4. Hydrapak Seeker Collapsible Water Bottle
Extra cardio means extra water, but a collapsible bottle means you won’t have to carry any extra bulk on the climb. The Hydrapak Seeker 2L is big enough to keep you hydrated for a full day of climbing and riding, and it squashes down to the size of an orange when it’s not in use. The BPA-free TPU exterior is also super durable—one of our testers accidentally packed it next to his crampons during an ice-climbing mission and discovered no punctures at the end of the day. ($19.95-$21.95)
5. Patagonia Dirt Craft Bike Shorts
The Dirt Crafts have the padding to handle long rides but the pockets to keep your phone and snacks close at hand while climbing. A built-in, three-layer chamois absorbs chatter, and a DWR-coated nylon-stretch blend dries fast after sweaty rides. The shorts also have a slim-cut fit and a zippered thigh pocket, making them amazingly harness-compatible. ($159.00)
6. Blackburn Outpost Elite Universal Seat Pack
At 10.5 liters, the Outpost Elite is big enough to hold draws and a harness, and external bungees are ideal for lashing down a helmet, layers, or climbing shoes. Plus, the seat pack comes with a universal mount that fits just about any bike. Pair it with a frame or handlebar bag, and you’ve got a streamlined ride with the capacity for any style of climbing adventure. Bonus: The whole thing is waterproof, so if you catch that afternoon rainstorm on the ride home, you won’t have to spend the rest of the afternoon laying your wet cams around your house to dry. ($180.00)
7. Petzl Sirocco Helmet
Since climbing helmets aren’t rated for high-impact collisions, and bike helmets aren’t shaped to deflect rockfall, you’re not really supposed to expect one to do double-duty. (Even though Anton has been known to do otherwise.) Fortunately, the Sirocco is so light you won’t have to drag your feet about toting an extra helmet. It boasts full protection around the sides and back of the head, plus a rockfall-deflecting shell and reinforced crown, and still clocks in under 6 ounces. ($139.95)
8. CAMP USA Raid 20L Vest Backpack
This hybrid running vest-backpack is designed for light-and-fast missions. Our tester loved the shoulder-strap pockets for keeping calories at hand during rides and approaches alike. And if you’re the kind who hates biking with a pack on, the Raid is minimalist enough to stuff into a frame pack for the ride home. It’s also up for climbing: Unlike most running vest-style packs, the Raid comes with a helmet-carry option and features a beefy 230-denier nylon front panel and 210-denier on the sides and bottom, making it tough against abrasion.
Still need the basics like a solid bike or good rock shoes? You can find the full spectrum of climbing and cycling gear at Backcountry.com.