Mountain Biking Gear


A breathtaking adventure, mountain biking as a sport is a thriller in itself. It helps in building power, agility, and endurance. Whether you see it as a sport or a fitness routine, the use of appropriate gear can multiply the thrill of mountain biking, without having to compromise on safety.
However, before you begin with this exciting sport, you must get all your stuff together; especially when you do not want this to end in a wallop. But, no need to delve further into adversities because the list is definitely not long to break your budget. All you have to do is to make sure you are perfectly equipped, at least, for the sake of safety, if not fun. The right gear makes this sport safe and gives an authentic taste of mountain biking. 

Cutting things short, in this article, we have made the most essential dirt-bike parts, the center of our detailed discussion. So here are the top picks which will ensure that your next biking journey is a real thrill;

Helmet

A helmet is your most faithful friend when you go out for mountain biking. A life savior, a fellow traveler, one cannot put enough emphasis on its importance. Yet, it is surprising that most of the mountaineers or mountain bikers leave for the trails without a proper helmet. Either, they are not wise enough to anticipate a fatal fall causing brain injury, or they are accustomed to toying with danger. It is unarguably the most essential safety accessory for a biker. It saves the brain by not letting the impact of the fall penetrate deep enough to damage the mushy organ on which our lifeline depends. 

mountain biking
Today, we have helmets that are specifically designed for the mountain bikers, offering almost 100 percent cover-up of the skull. Despite its mighty scenery, a mountain has many piney monsters ready to do cause serious damage if you accidentally land on them. 

The MTB specific helmets cover the temporal and occipital regions of the brain. This feature sets them apart from an ordinary bike helmet. If you are riding down the hill, there are helmets available for full-face coverage to protect the face, chin, and mouth. Also, there is a new trend for full-face ‘convertible’ helmets. They have gained fame because of their unique design and reliable endurance. These helmets also allow the removal of chin guard when climbing up the hill. 

For steep locations that demand more technical riding skills with enhanced protection, helmets with MIPS technology work better due to their sophisticated safety features. 

MTB helmets are designed in a way to provide enough ventilation, even at lower speeds. The latest models of mountain biking helmets consist of a visor, also known as peak, which also provides eye-protection to the bikers against scorching sun and deflects the overhanging foliage. 

Another amazing feature that the mountain bike helmets host is a small torch attached to them. When exploring a variety of helmets, you are very likely to come across abbreviations such as MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection). Obvious from the name itself, this latest technology offers greater protection from rotational impact injuries.

Footwear and Pedals

Your riding kit is incomplete without your footwear. It is one of the few contact points that will keep you physically adhered to by your bike. Besides, like an oar to a boat, your footwear helps you in controlling the movement of your bike on ever terrain. 

The footwear for mountain biking is designed as rugged, stiff and hard-wearing to ensure maximum power transfer from body to the pedals. 

Mountain bikers are provided with plentiful options when it comes to choosing the footwear for their ride. They can either go for flat pedals or clip-in pedals. The pedals here are different from the ordinary road-bike-pedals as they are clipped in from both sides and function by shedding the mud, offering a small cleat for a smooth run. 

Usually, cross-country bikers go for the clip-less, lightweight pedals, also known as the SPDs. Such pedals allow a smoother and more effective use of the pedal stroke in order to ensure effective transfer of power and maximize the rotations, to deal with steep and rough trails. 

The downhill bikers and trail climbers opt for a similar mechanism, except that they have a cage around the pedal that provides them with a better platform, making the paddling easier. 

On the contrary, flat pedals are a great option for they are strong and wide, providing a solid platform. Typically, the flat pedals are fitted using the pins in order to make the shoe grip on the pedal firmer. 

Make sure your shoe compliments the choice of your pedal. Both the cleat specific MTB shoes and flat-soled shoes work great in their respective areas. The former ensures better foot protection, has stiff sole and specially-designed threads that set it apart from the normal skate shoes or sneakers. 

Once you make up your mind about the pedal type, consider the kind of riding you are interested in. Different platforms require a certain type of shoes, not all types are going to compliment the brand of riding you wish for. If your riding also involves vigorous walking then gravity shoes will work in your favor as they provide maximum foot protection against thorns, piney mountain surfaces, and rocks. However, they are heavier as compared to the other type, which is the high-performance cross country shoes. These shoes are lightweight but not ideal for walking. 

Clothing

What sets apart the mountain bikers from roadies? Their attire. 

Whereas all the biking outfits do not serve as ‘biking uniforms’, they are meant to make the riding smooth. Similarly, the mountain biking outfits are designed to maximize your comfort level during the journey. Yet, there is a lot more to it than what it reveals. 

Mountain biking suits are more breathable, reinforced, and flexible to no end (so that the rider can move easily around the bike) and are tailored in a tougher material as compared to the roadie outfits (to ensure no ripping happens in case of a fall). 

Let us break down the components to make things easier and more tangible. 

For mountain biking shorts, choose the one that consists of at least one zipper and zip pocket. A well-working fastening system will make things hassle-free for you. Another thing to keep in mind is the length. Do not go for too long (it can restrict your movement), neither too short (it will keep stretching up). 

Most MTB shorts have a removable inner short with it, which allows you to choose if you should have extra padding or not. As an alternative, you can also wear the normal roadie or cycling shorts underneath the MTB shorts (the ones that do not come with an inner). 

When choosing a jersey, get something that is made out of a breathable fabric, because you are going to utilize as much oxygen as you can while riding up the hill. A good mountain biking jersey has extra padding space. Considering the time of the year you are riding in, choose a jersey that favors the climate. Usually, the MTB jerseys appear as T-shirts, but they feature placed seams and are made from wicking cloth. 

Body Armor & Pads

As the trail progress, a rider is needed to push the limits and muster the best out of him. In this scenario, the wisest idea is to make sure you are padded with the right body armor. Cover your knees with flexible knee pads to protect the kneecaps from a potential shock. Shin elbow and back protection are equally essential when setting off for the trail. 

The knee and elbow pads for MTB are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. When buying one, make sure to try it out and check if it is providing enough flexibility and ride comfort. 

Most popular brands produce elasticized pads. Another great option is Velcro straps or the BOA wires, as they ensure biker’s security and comfort. 

Then, we have pads with a hard, plastic exterior. Their designs are designed and manufactured in a way that they safeguard the rider by resisting to high-impacts. If you are not seeking a thrill, soft pads are the thing you need; because they allow smoother pedaling and enough ventilation. 

Gloves

The MTB gloves work by offering protection against the foliage and scraps from falls. They are typically full finger length gloves that ensure total protection of knuckles and exposed part of the hands. 

Often, the mountain biking gloves appear light on padding, which ensures better handlebar control. 

The fit is not the only thing you must guarantee while searching for the right pair of MTB gloves. You need to look beyond by testing the surface grip and checking whether the gloves are temperature-friendly, concerning the climate you are riding... 

Eye Protection

Eyes are the most precious thing entrusted to you by nature, and you would never want to compromise on your site for any sort of adventure. Therefore, the importance of choosing the correct eye protection is not something to be overlooked at any cost. Eye-wear not only protects the eyes from the scorching rays of the sun but also acts as a barrier against all the dirt and debris from getting into your eyes. 

There comes a special eye-wear for mountain biking that comprises of goggles and sunglasses. They are something of a new trend, a step up from the normal fashion sunglasses. This type of eye-wear is designed to curve around the biker’s head and fit into the helmet, providing comfort along with extra protection. Traveling around through the scrub at a high speed can cause all kinds of harmful particles to invade your face. These sunglasses provide you with extra protection while presenting you with a better alternative than those odd-looking biker goggles. 

GPS Tracking

Who would not want a small computer on their bikes to save them from getting lost in the mountains or not being able to track how far they have come? A GPS tracking device has ride recording apps and the capacity to withstand all weather conditions. They attach to your bike neatly, without spoiling the look of it. 

A GPS tracker mainly runs on battery, but its battery outlasts one of the smartphones. It not only offers smart features like ride-recording, distance tracking, speed meters but also comes with essentials such as Bluetooth connectivity and heart-rate monitors. 

These functions allow the rider to evaluate their riding details and learn about instant information such as the total distance or alleviation gain. The latest devices comprise of the technological features that let a rider upload a route to his computer, in case he wishes to follow a particular route. 

Frame Protection

Besides the mud, mountain bikes have to go through all kinds of trials like deflecting rocks, stray debris, sticks, chain slaps, etc. This makes the frame protection just as important as the outfit or helmet. The MTB specific equipment such as chain protectors and mudguards are vital, as you never know what trouble lies ahead in your journey. 

Mountain bike frame protection is highly recommended if you want to maintain the freshness of your bike’s paint – keeping it young forever. 

A decent looking MTB mudguard is another aspect that must be considered. This will prevent the mud from slapping into your face when you are high-speeding. Normally, it is located under the crown or on the down-tube. 

A mudguard stays out of the way of the suspension and does not obstruct your fronton vision.

Final Word

Mountain biking might not be the ultimate extreme sport, but it sure can turn into a horrible experience – or let us say ‘accident’ – if you are not properly prepped up for it. The aforementioned gear list contains elements of absolute importance and must not be overlooked.

Keep in mind, whether you are anticipating trouble or not, it can appear at times when you are least expecting it. Moreover, you would never want the enthusiasm for your first expedition to vanquish in a disaster…


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