The chances of slipping, crashing or bumping into a tree or rock are much higher than for commuters or most road cyclists, so head protection is crucial. If you ride year-round and live somewhere with an inclement climate (like us here in the UK!) You find fewer mountain-bike-specific designs in outerwear. Yes, always. A mountain bike helmet also sits lower around the back and sides of the head to provide better coverage. Most shoe covers slide over the top of your shoe and are secured with Velcro. It may be a good idea to look for shoes that offer some sort of waterproofing. Mountain biking is such a fun way to get outside and explore, plus its great exercise! There are some big considerations here. This is because can you exert more downward force without your foot slipping off, and you can also pull up using your quadriceps at the same time. This is mainly to add a little more protection if you happen to take a spill. As mentioned above, downhill and enduro riders typically wear full-face helmets. The head gear that I wear when mountain biking includes a helmet and a pair of glasses. Finding stylish and functional women’s MTB wear is difficult. Not only do they look much cooler than the tight-fitting jerseys, but they also offer more protection if you crash or brush up against something. You want to choose a lightweight jacket that offers waterproofing protection for riding in the rain. These jerseys also come with back pockets for storing your essential items while riding. As you become more experienced, you may find yourself wanting to venture into a new discipline. Road-cycling-style bib shorts with a chamois pad are ideal either on their own or, more common for trail riding, as an under layer with a pair of baggy mountain bike shorts over the top. If you are new to mountain biking, then you will need to spend some time researching the type of riding that interests you the most. Crashes are inevitable while mountain biking and if you choose to wear minimal protection gear, the helmet better be above all else. Or you might keep it in your pack just in case the conditions change mid-ride and you need an extra layer. The former are likely to be made from a hardshell fabric – the kind of waterproof trousers you might expect to use for hiking – and offer plenty of protection from the rain, but at the cost of breathability. A backpack will help you carry all your essential items. If you’re just starting out then the best kit is the kit you already have, but as you progress then chances are you’ll want clothing designed for the specific demands of mountain biking. The coverage provided by full-finger gloves helps protect the hands from crashes and undergrowth, and some gloves will come with padding on the palms to provide additional cushioning. Don't miss out on MBUK – get your next 3 issues for just £5, Get the next 3 issues of the UK's number one cycling magazine for just £5. Warm Pants. As your skill level increases, you can increase the tension, keeping your feet more secure. It’s unlikely to be fully waterproof either. You can unsubscribe at any time. A helmet is arguably the most important part of your mountain biking kit. The latter are more likely to be made from a softshell fabric, offering improved fit and durability as a result, and with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment to shed rain. Cross-country mountain bikers tend to wear a Lycra jersey, along the lines of a road cycling jersey, with rear pockets ideal for stowing spare tubes, tools and snacks. The last thing you want to worry about is having a bug or other debris fly into your eyes. Most downhillers will wear goggles rather than glasses because they are more secure and offer more protection on long, technical descents. There are just a few essential items that will really make a difference once the temperature starts to drop. As well as being a way of expressing your style, long socks can help protect the shins and calves from scratches and cuts from undergrowth, or from the pedals themselves. Shuttle runs, lift served trails, and mountain bike parks all exist thanks to the downhill (DH) crowd. A clear lens, for example, is good for riding in dull or dark conditions, while tinted lenses are better for reducing glare or increasing contrast. Not to worry, a lot of manufacturers still include the pad for those who are on the saddle for longer periods of time and need extra support. Added extras such as Velcro tabs on the ankles, for a close fit, and abrasion-resistant materials are also useful. EZRUN Padded Bike Shorts. If you come from a road riding background and you dress the same way to go for a winter rip in the woods, you will roast. This allows for more airflow to move into your jersey, keeping you dry. Some are even said to be waterproof which can be helpful if you find yourself riding in rainy conditions often. It is important to understand that when someone says “clipless pedals” they actually mean clip-in pedals. This will intensify what used to be considered a small crash. The VPD System Torso is a great option for chest and back protection. Flat pedal shoes tend to look more like skate shoes or trainers, and will usually have a lace-up fastening, normally with an elasticated band to tuck the laces in to. Some long-sleeve jerseys will have mesh panels to improve breathability. Most riders wear knee pads at a minimum if they’re riding any trail where there’s an above-average chance of taking a spill. If you’ve still not managed to master the fashion faux pas of the bike world though, fear not, because here’s our crash course in what not to wear when you’re out on two wheels. Cycling glasses … Stay cosy all winter long with irresistibly snug bedding from Rapport Home Furnishings. With their 3D padding, fast-drying material, and comfortable fit, these … Or just for peace of mind. This lets you swap the lens out according to the conditions. An articulated cut will help in that respect, too. The snug fit will not only help keep wind and debris out, but it will also keep them in place. The cleats are included when you purchase the M520 pedals and they will fit almost any shoe. Prices are generally lower than road cycling jerseys, and there’s a huge range of colours and designs out there. POC makes some of the best mountain biking clothes and accessories in the industry. They also have a sole with a tread pattern that works with the pedal pins and is made from extra-grippy rubber for the same reason. Not only do these look kind of funny, but they also aren’t very comfortable to wear unless you are on the bike. Sometimes it’s hard to tell it’s even there. A quality pair of lycra shorts with a chamois is quite literally a life saver, or an arse saver, … A featherweight shell jacket that packs down into your CamelBak is a great option for those of you who live in less cold regions of the country. The primary difference … Still, there’s a wide range of conditions you may encounter so there’s a wide range of mountain bike jackets to choose from. Eventually, you may need to upgrade your gear as you get more experienced. They are typically long sleeve and are made from the same breathable, moisture-wicking material as the tight-fitting jerseys. Also, be sure to set a budget when shopping for new gear. Goggles are usually paired with full-face helmets, though many will fit with regular helmets — colloquially known as going ‘full enduro’. That said, you’ll find a wide range of gloves out there, with lighter options for summer riding and more heavily insulated options for cold conditions. They are used to hold your essential items depending on the size you purchase, as well as any type of fluid. You may also want to take some more essential packs so that you don’t feel unprotected during your bike adventure. Don’t forget to look into one with great ventilation as full-face helmets will make you sweat on hot summer days. This combination provides enough grip and control, while also allowing the rider to bail from their bike in the event of a crash. A good waterproof jacket won’t come cheap but, if you’re committed to riding year-round, it will be one of the best investments you make. If you are unsure, ask if you can borrow your buddies’ bike, or see if you can rent one from your local bike shop. A tube and a mouthpiece come out the top of the pack and down the shoulder straps. Not only are Five Ten shoes a great choice for downhill and enduro riding, but they also provide the comfort and style to function off the bike as a casual shoe as well. Required fields are marked *, Mountain Biking My choice of a helmet is dependent on the style of mountain biking in which I engage. If you want a full-face helmet that you can climb in, you’ll need to decide if a removable or fixed chin guard is the right call. This is because cotton absorbs moisture. POC has a couple of great winter mountain bike gloves that will help keep your hands warm. Like mountain bike shorts, mountain bike jerseys have also changed throughout the years. There are more lightweight options than ever before that offer protection while still being able to pedal comfortably. If you are riding in the desert or at higher altitudes, be sure to choose a darker lens with more UV protection. Wearing tights under your shorts on a cold day will help keep you warm. The biggest difference between gloves made for road biking and gloves made for mountain biking is the finger length. Helmets probably have evolved the most throughout the years, besides the mountain bike itself. Shoes are a critical component of your mountain biking gear. Not only is mountain biking fun, but it is also a great way to stay fit. It is important you purchase a mountain bike that will fit your riding needs. Helmets used for riding trails typically have excellent coverage around the back and sides of your head like the Sixer helmet by Bell Sports. Gloves aimed at downhill or enduro riders often have more protection on the back of the hands because the likelihood of crashing is much higher for this type of riding. If you are planning to spend a full day on the trails, you may need a bigger pack to carry more. Padding and armor are mainly for downhill and enduro riders. As stated above, cotton absorbs moisture, and your shorts and undergarments will start to bunch up towards your crotch as you ride. We’re talking proper hardshell waterproof jackets here, designed to keep the rain out for hours on end. One should cover the basic part of your body on the bottom. This is to add even more protection for enduro and downhill riders. Clipless pedals allow you to fly through bumpy sections of trail without the worry of slipping a pedal. A hybrid jacket will be less packable than a lightweight shell but it should still stuff into a riding pack. This additional padding is ideal for longer rides over rough terrain. In a general sense, you need to wear a helmet, goggles, biking jersey and shorts, gloves, shoes, protective pads, etc. Most of their helmets incorporate spherical technology powered by MIPS which is extremely important to have when mountain biking. There is nothing better than flying down the trail, with adrenaline pumping through your veins and the wind blowing in your face. A cuff that is loose-fitting and/or stops at the wrist won’t do as good of a job as one that is longer and/or has a snug fit. My buddies have some amazing mountain biking apparel and … BikeRadar's editor, George, has been writing about bikes for a decade and riding them for much longer. Platform pedals are similar to the ones you probably had on your first bike. If you like to take chairlifts and shuttle rides to the top of your descents and avoid uphill pedaling at all costs, purchasing a full-face helmet should be your priority. Ever had a club ride at 6 but a hot date at 7? A short-sleeve jersey will keep you cooler in the heat of summer but a long-sleeve jersey will offer a little more protection for your arms – both from the sun and nettles, thorns and branches. While a sopping wet t-shirt in the middle of the summer is nothing more than an irritation, wet clothing on a cold winter day could result in the onset of hypothermia. There’s also the option of putting waterproof shoe covers over the top of riding shoes (most likely if you’re using slim-line shoes for clipless pedals), which adds even more wet weather protection. The Spark helmet by Bell Sports meets all the requirements for a great cross-country helmet. Comfort, weather conditions, protection and to some extent personal style determine what to wear for mountain biking. Polarized lenses are always the best option if you have some spare cash to spend. Gloves help you to reduce soreness due to vibrations from the bike. If you typically ride tree-covered trails or live in an area that gets a lot of rainfall, it may be a good idea to choose a goggle or sunglasses with a lighter or even clear lens. This article is written to give you, the prospective mountain biker, an outline of absolutely all the gear you need to get started mountain biking. Although a little pricey, this helmet meets all the requirements for a great enduro helmet. 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what to wear mountain biking

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