What to Wear when Mountain Biking?
Mountain biking is an exciting sport as it not only gets me to feel the beauty of nature, but it is also a good exercise health wise. As a discipline, it also has its requirements especially if you are doing it at a competitive professional level. Some of those requirements include the gear, kits and even what to wear when mountain Biking.
All those factors need to focus on functionality and safety of the rider while in action. Therefore, join this post where I will show you what to wear when mountain biking for the best experience and results.
It is imperative that I point out to riders that the criteria for picking the appropriate mountain biking wear are not dependent on fashion. However, one can accessorize as long as the kit matches the safety requirements I will discuss in this article.
The head gear that I wear when mountain biking includes a helmet and a pair of glasses. My choice of a helmet is dependent on the style of mountain biking in which I engage. For instance, when tackling expeditions that require technical skills such as steep descents, I go for a helmet with more coverage. So I will categorize the various races and their needs below:
• Cross-country biking: I find the uphill speed vital in this race type since the descent isn’t too steep either. Therefore I’d go for a helmet with ventilation and coverage like that of a road helmet.
• Trail riding: it requires technical skills due to the nature of the terrain. Therefore I would recommend a protection helmet with more coverage. Usually, these helmets have long sides and stretched backs more than the road helmets.
• All-mountain or Enduro: the terrain here is even much steeper and technical with steep descents. I would use a helmet with more coverage than that of trail riders and preferably with a detachable chin bar for the steep slopes.
• Downhill or park: it is the most extreme and I would recommend a full-face helmet as well as goggles for maximum protection.
Sunglasses and Goggles
In mountain biking, I mostly find myself cruising down trails as well as through mud and dust than the other regular bikers. One of the things I must have are the goggles which go with full face helmets when I’m riding downhill. Sunglasses, on the other hand, are dynamic forms of eye protection when I have a less coverage helmet.
• The Gloves: mountain biking gloves are much different from the regular biker gloves since they are meant to give you more control. I would recommend more grip, padded and finger covering gloves to provide functionality and safety in the terrain.
• Jackets: mountain biking jackets play two significant roles in keeping you warm during cold weather and protection against the wind in high-speed descents. I usually go for the jacket that offers comfort on the shoulders when I choke forward into the saddle to beat the wind. My perfect jacket should also allow compatibility for a helmet.
When I’m going for Extreme Mountain biking where serious protection is mandatory, then I go for the breathable waterproof jacket, especially for the humid weather.
Mountain Biking Tight and Pants
Cycling pants can range from body-hugging Lycra to loosely fitting shorts and trousers depending on the type of mountain biking in which I engage. However, padding is crucial in biking not only for comfort but also for safety.
On hot weather, my liner shorts would do, contrary to the cold and damp weather where I have to substitute them for padded waterproof tights. When I’m going for trail riding, I opt for a looser or baggier option at the same time maintaining breathability and padding for a comfortable experience.
T-shirts are a good choice except for the fact that they can get clingy and clammy when they get wet either from the sweat or cold weather. I would thus recommend a well-fitting top which can draw water from your body. Those are available in the bike store and offer different functionalities based on the amount you are ready to spend.
For the upper body, I prefer long insulating tops or underwear in a moderately warm weather. However, in humid uphill rides, I recommend fleece jackets preferably of wool, polypropylene and nylon materials as they seldom get clammy when cold.
Arm/Leg kits and armor
Arm- or leg-warmers are some flexible wear I prefer as layering options. They can be simply slipped on and off with the changing climate as I’m on my mountain biking expeditions. In the market, the body armors come in various shapes and sizes. There are full shin pads, knee pads and upper body protection that I find vital in extreme mountain biking. The upper body essentials also include elbow pads and arm length under armor.
For trail riding and cross-country, I usually utilize the lightweight padding. However, as you progress in the mountain biking career, some people may prefer to go without extra padding for more flexibility. I would advise on carrying them whatsoever such that you can slip them back on when you begin an aggressive descent or when on a rough terrain. All-mountain or Enduro riders require thicker longer pads.
The Riding Jersey
Mountain biking jersey is usually lightweight and breathable and can vary from long sleeve to short sleeves. I would, however, advise you to refrain from using lycra jersey but rather a riding t-shirt or an underwear top with longer sleeves.
Mountain Biking Footwear
Mountain biking requires the right types of shoes for many reasons I have outlined in this section.
• Compatibility with the pedal and efficiency: the kind of footwear I’d choose is dependent on the pedal system of my mountain bike. However, to avoid switching between shoes with different bikes, I would recommend multipurpose footwear that goes with both platform pedals and the clipless pedal systems. In Cross Country Mountain biking, I recommend stiff trail shoes with a lot of ventilation which offers efficient pedaling.
• Waterproof protection: if I have to go biking on a wet condition, I go for shoes with waterproof liners to avoid soaking wet shoes which may reduce my pedaling efficiency. I can also recommend riders to consider the shoe covers for extreme cold conditions.
• Walkability: in mountain biking, there are areas where I have to get off the bike to maneuver through obstacles. Therefore, when picking a shoe type, I go for the ones that I’m able to walk in too.
Mountain Riding Backpacks
Though it may not seem essential for short races, I recommend a backpack for the long escapades which may require you to have the bike repair gear plus the extra padding you need for protection in rough terrain. I usually use the packs that are custom made with reservoirs or those that can accommodate my mountain biking gadgets.
Therefore, the above discussion has all the information you need about what to wear when mountain biking. I can guarantee that with the appropriate gear and preparation, your career, as well as personal safety, will improve steadily. Find out more about the particular materials and specifications of mountain biking wear in biking sports outlets or stores.