So, you’re new to mountain biking and you’re about to pick up your brand new rig. Your stoke levels are at an all-time high and you can’t wait to hit the trails when you’re asked the question: “do you have all your gear sorted?” Gear?! You’ve never mountain biked before so you could be forgiven for thinking all you need is your bike and the open trails. Fear not newcomer, we’ve put together a list of first-time essentials to get you set up and keep you safe while you master your MTB skills.
Noggin, noodle, cranium, dome, think tank, skull, head! Whatever you call it, that thing siting on your shoulders, controlling your every move, reaction and decision is number one on your priority list! Whilst style and colour are important personal preferences, safety is paramount when choosing a helmet. So once you’ve picked a helmet that you like the look of, put it on! Make sure it fits correctly – adequate coverage, no loose areas and no tight points. This might mean you have to wander around the shop wearing the helmet for a few minutes like a bit of a pelican, heck – you might have to do it a couple of times - but if that’s what it takes to ensure you get the right helmet for you, then it’s absolutely worth it. Your helmet decision will also depend on the type of riding you plan on doing – different terrain calls for different levels of coverage. For example, trail riding might call for an open face helmet with larger ventilation openings, whereas downhill riding might demand a full face helmet that offers extra protection for the face, chin and mouth. Whatever your riding preference we recommend getting a helmet equipped with MIPS technology for increased safety. Learn about MIPS technology here. Our range of MTB helmets can be viewed online or check the out in store.
Double-pluggers are a no-go, Cobber! As one of three contact points you’ll have with your bike, shoes are extremely important for both bike control and performance. Unlike casual shoes or other sports specific footwear, MTB shoes are designed to be rugged, inflexible and hard-wearing to improve power transfer and offer maximum contact to the rider. The shoes you need depend on your pedal choice and this is often influenced by the type of riding you plan on doing. Matching your shoes to your pedals is important as different types of MTB shoes have been designed to function in a specific way with different types of pedals. For example, flat pedals have pins to help flat soled MTB shoes maintain grip with the pedal platform whilst cleated shoes are designed to work specifically with clip-in pedals. A lot of beginner riders opt for flat pedals until they are comfortable and confident on the trails before switching to clip-ins, whilst other riders will continue to ride with flat pedals throughout. Whatever your choice, be sure that the pedal/shoe combo is right for you and if you’re unsure, ask as many questions as possible. Get familiar with our range of MTB shoes online or talk about your options in store with our friendly sales team.
The devil wears Prada? More like the devil wears TLD! Mountain bike clothing is just as important as your helmet and shoes, not just because it adds comfort to your riding but because it’s been designed specifically for it. Unlike everyday casual wear, MTB clothing is designed to be breathable, flexible and durable. It’s often made from tougher materials to prevent ripping and friction whilst still being lightweight and flexible enough to allow the rider unrestricted movement on the bike. Investing in a good quality pair of shorts is essential. Whether you choose a pair with a removable chamois inner lining for extra padding or a pair without, be sure to look for some with decent length. Longer shorts tend not to ride up when you’re pedalling and offer more protection against plants and branches overhanging the trail. Next comes the jersey. A MTB jersey should suit the climate you are riding in, so keep that in mind when making your selection. Your jersey should keep you cool (or likewise warm when required) whilst offering adequate protection from the elements. And finally, gloves! A comfortable and well-fitting pair of gloves will not only stop your sweaty mits from sliding off the grips, they will shield your hands from blisters as well as overhanging trail flora and offer impact protection should you happen to come-a-gutser. Full fingered gloves are the most commonly used gloves for mountain biking and are available in a range of materials, thicknesses and with various inbuilt protection and comfort components. Check out our range of MTB jerseys and shorts online or in store where you can try them all on.
Although the list of mountain biking must-haves could go on for yonks, these first-time essentials will help get you on your bike without being too overwhelming. Like any outdoor activity, you must be prepared for the environment so whilst comfort and protection are important, so too are nutrition and hydration. Being prepared for your new mountain bike will ensure that you hit the trails safely and comfortably as you find your MTB identity. If you have any further questions about your needs before you start your MTB adventure shoot us a message or drop in store for a chat!