Mountain biking is a great sport for building endurance and power and just for getting out in the great outdoors. It’s not a sport we recommend starting without first doing some research, though. There are several things you should invest in before hitting the trails.
Keep reading to learn how to choose the best mountain biking gear.
Helmets are one of the most important biking essentials. According to Helmets.org, 74% of fatal bike crashes involve a head injury and almost all cyclists who died (97%) were not wearing a helmet.
Helmets can reduce the severity of cycling-related head injuries by 48%.
There are three styles of mountain bike helmets available.
Cross-country helmets have excellent ventilation and are lightweight to wear. They’re great for long rides.
Trail helmets have 3/4 coverage and a visor to protect your face from the elements. They’re not only great for mountain biking but general cycling as well.
Full-face helmets are a must-have for cyclists doing a lot of downhill bike trails. They provide the most protection for high speeds and unpredictable terrain.
2. Repair Kits
The last thing you want to encounter on a trail ride is a blown tire or broken chain. Repair kits are portable and indispensable, especially for trails that are well out of cell service.
Look for kits that contain:
- tubeless tire repair tools
- mini ratchet set
- tire pump
3. Eye Protection
Eye protection is another essential item you’ll need for riding a bike. Mountain bike sunglasses aren’t just a fashion accessory, though. A high-quality pair will protect your eyes from the sun as well as wind, dirt, and mud that could be flying at you.
Look for sunglasses that are lightweight and non-slip with moisture-resistant coating on the lenses. You might also consider a pair that wraps around to allow for better peripheral vision.
4. Bike Rack
A bike rack will make transporting your bike to and from the trail an absolute breeze. Not all bike racks are created equal, though.
The best racks are made with steel and don’t have any breakable plastic parts. They allow you to still access your trunk even when the bike rack is fully loaded and is low profile so you can still see out of your rear window.
Another great feature to consider is a hydraulic dampening system. This allows you to lower a full rack slowly without hurting yourself.
The right mountain biking shoe provides a customized fit that can make you feel faster and more efficient. They have flatter bottoms and are grippier than other types of shoes to provide stability as you cycle. Mountain biking shoes are also thicker and more durable so even if you snag your foot on a branch on the trail, your shoe won’t rip wide open.
Look for shoes with internal booties to keep your foot snugly in place. They should also offer great traction off-bike, comfort, and a stiffer sole for pedaling efficiency.
Invest in the Best Mountain Biking Gear
When you invest in mountain biking gear, you can be sure every trail ride will be as safe and fun as possible. If you don’t have the means for the above five products, splurge on a high-quality helmet first and buy the others when your budget allows.
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