Mountain biking is not just about the bike you are riding. You don’t just wear casual clothes and not bring anything to supplement your ride. It doesn’t work that way.
Instead, you also need to consider other things, most importantly your bike gears.
So, what are the essential mountain bike gears you need to know of and wear on your next ride?
In this article, we are going to dive deep into each of the gears you need to wear to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable mountain biking experience.
We are also going to help you choose the right ones based on the different variants available in the market.
The helmet is the most important gear you need to have when mountain biking. You shouldn’t ride your bike if you aren’t wearing a helmet.
You must wear your helmet at all times when riding your bike because you are only riding on two wheels where the chances of falling or crashing are very high. Also, note that your head is exposed to the elements.
And it being the central core system of your body, it makes perfect sense to protect it. There are two main kinds of helmets available in the market today.
These are the half-shell helmets and the full-face helmets. You wear a half shell if you are into cross-country mountain biking or trail helmets for light trail riding. Meanwhile, you must wear full-face mountain bike helmets if you’re into downhill riding or enduro racing.
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You should also wear gloves when going mountain biking. Note that your hands are what affect your control and maneuverability on your bike.
And not wearing any mountain bike gloves puts you at risk of sliding off your mountain bike especially if you have sweaty hands or if you’re riding steep downhill sections.
Aside from the safety factor, gloves also make your ride more comfortable because it acts as a cushion on your hands. It absorbs the vibrations you’ll get when riding on rough terrain as well as provide a better grip on the handlebars.
This is very important especially if you have sweaty hands because you might slip off them.
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Kneepads are a vital mountain bike gear because these protect your knees if ever you fall or crash off your bike.
The first part of your body which hits the ground if you crash are your hands and your knees. This is why you need to wear gloves as well as knee pads. You surely know how big of an inconvenience it can be if you have a wound on your knees.
Not only is it painful and stingy, but it will also take a longer time to heal because it always moves every time you bend your knees. However, you don’t have to worry about that if you are wearing kneepads because they will cover your knees.
Movement is also not an issue because mountain bike kneepads are very flexible. You won’t have any problem pedaling or moving your legs on your mountain bike shorts because they have a bendable midsection.
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Although elbow pads are not required, they are still very useful especially if you are into extreme downhill racing or freeride riding.
However, these aren’t very popular among most riders because they find it awkward to maneuver their mountain bike, especially in technical sections. There are lighter enduro-oriented elbow pads, though, if you want to prioritize breathability.
What’s also great with elbow pads is that they protect your elbow and arms from being wounded from crashing.
Because what usually happens is that your arms graze and rub the ground when you crash. This then creates a very large scraped wound. You can avoid these nasty injuries by simply wearing an elbow pad.
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Wearing eyewear is an important part of mountain biking because your face, or more specifically your eyes, is exposed to the elements.
And the most common eyewear mountain bikers wear are shades because they can be worn even on casual occasions.
These mountain bike accessories are also light and are very breathable as they only have glass installed. Cross-country riders and light trail bikers are the usual ones who prefer to wear shades. Meanwhile, others prefer goggles.
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Goggles are the preferred eyewear of choice for downhill riders and enduro racers because they provide maximum eye protection.
There are even goggles sold in any local bike shop which have a nose cover to protect the nose in case your face crashes on the ground. Wearing goggles also protect your eyes from moisture or if it rains. There are also some that have tear-offs.
These tear-offs are plastic stickers that you can easily remove if a lot of water from the rain or mud sticks to it.
This then improves your vision and can help you go faster and safer on the trails. What’s more is that the glass of these goggles is rubberized. They won’t break and shatter into little pieces so you don’t have to worry about your eyes.
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Then there are the shoes. You can’t ride your bike if you aren’t wearing proper mountain bike shoes. There are two main kinds of mountain bike shoes. The more popular ones are called flat shoes.
Meanwhile, the other type is clipless pedal shoes. Flat shoes are common because they can be used on casual occasions.
They just have a regular flat sole that provides grip and traction on the flat pedal pins. This is the reason why they are great if you are a newbie and want to start mountain biking.
On the other hand, clipless pedal mountain biking shoes have a cleat that connects to the clipless platform of the pedal. This attaches your feet on the mountain bike-specific shoes to the pedal, allowing better pedal efficiency and control.
However, this compromises the movement of the mountain biker because you can’t easily dab if ever you want to regain footing. What you need to do instead is to move and twitch your feet to the sides to detach from the clipped pedals, which is what most mountain bikers tend to do.
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It is very important for mountain bikers to wear essential mountain bike gear to ensure their safety and comfort.
This also makes them enjoy mountain biking even more because they don’t have to worry about the inconvenience of injuries or exhaustion as these gears are designed to avoid those. It would even be better if you have your own small first aid kit and multi-tool.
Just be sure to choose the right gears, be cautious of the brand, as well as its features. When you do, then there’ll be no stopping you from achieving your dream mountain bike ride.