The most important things to wear while mountain biking

In mountain biking, comfort and safety are paramount. Of course, you can wear anything. Some pro athletes wear denim on gnarly trails. But when you want maximum comfort and protection, you need to know the most important things to wear when mountain biking. We have organized our guide which incorporates different MTB clothing and equipment. Here’s everything you need to stick to your style on the mountain trails.

Equipment to wear

The main merit of mountain biking is that you are not limited to lycra and wetsuits, like in cyclo-cross and short-track cross-country racing. If you’re new to mountain biking, you’ll want to buy clothing made from synthetic fibers such as spandex, nylon, and wool. The materials draw moisture to the surface, preventing you from having a soggy ride in the summer, which is very irritating. Try to avoid cotton wool as it absorbs moisture and could be the cause of cycling-induced hypothermia.


Investing in a good helmet could save your life. Helmets have evolved from one-size-fits-all helmets to helmets for enduro racing, downhill racing, and single-track trail riding. Full face helmets are ideal for downhill racing and offer unparalleled protection. If you ride single trials or enduro, a helmet with a removable mouth guard is ideal. Removable mouth guards allow you to drink and spit water and provide additional ventilation. The helmets have a visor that protects you from rock chips and low branches. You should not skimp on the quality of the helmet. The best helmets sit low in the back of the head and incorporate MIPS technology which reduces rotational effects on the brain in the event of a crash. The Giro MIPS and Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS fixtures are some of the best.

Eye protection clothing

Goggles protect your eyes from glare and flying debris from your front wheel. Opt for glasses with interchangeable polarized lenses. Tinted lenses reduce glare and increase contrast in brightly lit areas, while clear lenses make cycling in the dark easier. Most cyclists wear goggles for downhill races. However, it is advisable to always wear mountain bike goggles. Most goggles are compatible with helmets in “full enduro” equipment.


A good base is imperative when mountain biking. Cycling shoes are either compatible with platform pedals or clipless. When people talk about shoes without a clip, they are referring to shoes with a clip that attaches to the pedal. Some pedals offer a double-sided entry allowing for faster clipping when you’re in a hurry. Clipless pedals and shoes can be difficult to master at first, but they become second nature in no time. Your other option is platform shoes compatible with platform pedals. Platform pedals are the flat pedals you had on your first bike. Flat shoes go well with platform pedals. Socks also play a crucial role in the comfort of the shoe – more on that later. Whether you like clipless or platform, you need to consider waterproof capabilities. A Velcro cover prevents your shoes from getting soggy when it starts to rain in the mountains.

Armor and padding

We’ve never seen any mountain bikers, even pro athletes, run without armor and without padding on their hands, knees and elbows. There are lightweight and slim options for the safety conscious rider. Thick padding and armor are the reserves of riders who want to get to the bottom of the hill as quickly as possible and are prone to breaking down. Sometimes the knee pads slip. Especially if you don’t get the right size, make sure the pads fit snugly but don’t restrict knee rotation. Scratching your knees or bumping your elbows could end your cycling career. The faster you run, the more cover you will need. It doesn’t hurt to have a layer or two of padding to protect your hands, knees and elbows.


You will notice that there are two types of gloves depending on the length of the fingers. For extreme mountain biking you will need full gloves. The gloves have padding on the palm for extra protection in case of slips and cuts. Breathability is essential as long hours of cycling can make your hands sweaty. You need gloves that absorb moisture from your hands to the surface.


Having a good base is the key factor that determines your comfort. Spandex and padded shorts are disappearing from the market, replaced by moisture-wicking fabrics. You still have spandex shorts with removable liners that allow you to customize your comfort. Chamois, padded liners or chamois keep your butt comfortable sitting in the saddle for long hours. Also consider the pockets and stretchiness of the shorts before buying one. Avoid cotton shorts.

Swimwear, tops and jackets

Jerseys do not strictly protect you or add comfort. But they determine whether you will feel good and look good. Short-sleeved jerseys are generally lightweight and feature mesh inserts to increase breathability. Riding on a trail with trees and thorns naturally steers you towards long-sleeved jerseys. There are different styles and colors to suit your aesthetic needs. Like shorts, choose jerseys that wick away moisture. Plus, a pocket to store your phone or race badge comes in handy.


You can wear almost any type of mountain bike sock. The recommended sock is thick and waterproof to prevent water from seeping into your shoes and getting cold feet (literally). Linen socks are ideal for summer conditions, while you can add an extra layer of thickness with wool socks.

Cold weather clothing

It may not always be a beautiful sunny day for mountain biking. But should the cold keep you from having fun? The right cold weather gear allows you to enjoy mountain biking despite the cool conditions. A thick waterproof jacket acts as a shield against the cold and wind. If you plan on making mountain biking a year-round activity, we recommend investing in hybrid jackets.


Your head is the most important part of mountain bike racing. You should invest in the best helmets and goggles to protect yourself. Step up your protection game with padding and armor. Remember that protection doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. A diverse range of colors and styles of garments meet your aesthetic and protection needs.

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