Why Should You Wear Mountain Bike Gear?
If you're a keen mountain biker, it pays to invest in some mountain bike gear for impact protection. Crash guard, shin guard and body armour can all minimise the risk of injuries from any accidents that occur on the trail.
MTB body armour provides protection for the most vulnerable parts, including your head, neck and back as well as other areas that often take the knocks like hands, arms and legs. Good body armour can help to minimise injuries and make sure your riding is all good fun!
Body armour ranges from lightweight cross country gear to heavier weight downhill protection. The good thing is that you wear it when you ride so you don’t really notice once it is on. It is essential to equip yourself with different levels of protection depending on your riding style. Being prepared with the right equipment can help to avoid more severe injuries if you are unlucky and have an accident.
It's also important to stay aware and pay attention when you're on a trail because there are many obstacles and challenges. Having good body armour is a great start to protection but safe riding techniques are the best way to stay out of trouble on a bike.
Choosing the right trail to match your skill level is a good way to start. Check out these trail maps to ensure you enjoy your ride.
What Protective Gear do I Need for Mountain Biking?
1. Mountain Bike Helmet
This is the most important piece of equipment you should purchase if you want to go mountain biking. Always consider the helmet body, thickness and quality of the impact hardening foam, and make sure that it provides premium protection against falls.
You may opt to get one at a high-quality helmet manufacturer for optimum protection. It should provide adequate protection to your head by absorbing the shocks and vibrations that you get from the trail. The helmet's shape is supposed to fit your head shape closely, and thus should be comfortable no matter how long you're riding.
2. Mountain Bike Shoes
These are also an essential part of MTB gear to protect your feet when you're on a ride. You want to experience the thrill of riding a mountain bike, and proper shoes will protect your lower body from knocks, as well as giving you a better grip on the pedals when you need it.
3. Eye Protection
To make sure that you're safe on your mountain bike rides, you should wear eye protection whenever you go out. Stones, branches and even bugs can get into your eye when you are riding.
Good glasses keep these things out while also making it easier to see where you are going in the rain or wind. There are many options available so take note of which one will best suit you before going out for a spin.
4. Knee Pads and Mountain Bike Shorts
These essential items make sure that no part of your lower half gets injured during mountain biking excursions — providing protection against both abrasions but also UV radiation/sun exposure. Rocks and sticks can scratch and cut as you ride so having some lower leg protection is a great idea. If you do come off your bike these things can help reduce grazes.
5. Body Armour Vest
This is another type of MTB gear that you should consider because it provides torso protection. Look for upper body protectors that are best worn over shoulder pads or shoulder bandages and will suit different types of bodies.
Upper body armour is particularly useful for downhill riding where coming off your bike can be more dangerous. There are many levels of body armour to choose from to meet your requirements for protection and comfort.
6. Full-finger Gloves
These are a must-have when you're mountain biking. You'll need to choose full-fingered gloves that are made of breathable material and are durable. These will provide multiple levels of protection to your hands from being cut or scraped by tree branches, as well as providing cushioning and protection from blisters when you are riding hard all day.
You can find good gloves in any MTB shop but you should also check out your local hardware as some tradesman's gloves nowadays are also ideal for MTB riding.
How to Choose the Best Mountain Bike Armour?
When choosing your mountain bike armour there are a few things to consider such as:
- What type of trail riding will you be doing (e.g., downhill vs cross-country and light trail)?
- How much money do you want to spend on your MTB gear?
- Do you need any special features like waterproofing or ventilation?
Endura, Pentagonia, and Mission Workshop are top manufacturers and have the best mountain bike armour for riders. Their mountain bike gear, such as knee guards, ankle guards, elbow guards, shin pads, shoulder padding, neck braces, and other items of protection, are made of tough superior materials.
Designed to be effective for all sorts of riding accidents — from downhill spills to bumpy falls — mountain bike armour can save you so much pain! If you get hungry during your trip, check out these Mountain Restaurants and Cafes.
Buying Recommendations for Mountain Bike Armour
Here are our picks of quality mountain bike armour you can buy online:
- Chain Reaction is a popular outdoor retailer that sells bike body armour items. It is a great bike shop and you can pick up a full set of bike armour from their website for an affordable price with low delivery times.
- MTB Direct is one of the most recommended online stores for mountain bike armour. They offer a wide range of affordable guards and protection products that are backed by their excellent customer service and guarantees. In addition, they stock all the best brands from major manufacturers like Fox, TLD, Maxxis, Wolf Tooth and more, which means you'll be able to find the competition level products you need in no time!
- Sendy Gear is a locally owned supplier with a kids specific range of gear for your child's MTB needs, such as spine shields, plastic shoulder cups suitable for downhill trails or summer trail rides. Sendy Gear has everything young mountain bike riders need!
FAQs About Mountain Bike Armour
We've compiled a list of questions we get asked most often about this topic, so if something comes up that isn't covered here feel free to ask us!
1. How is mountain bike armour rated?
Mountain bike armour is rated with an impact absorption rate, which is a percentage of the force that your body takes to go from a certain speed in a certain direction to impact. Sometimes it will be listed as the amount of energy absorbed, or in other cases it will be the kinetic energy absorbed in both categories.
2. How much will a helmet protect my head?
When you look at the hard shell of a helmet you might assume that it's strong and impenetrable but unfortunately, helmets have some pretty significant limitations. And they vary depending on the brand and the materials used. A helmet's average cracking force is known to be 140 lbf (pound-force).
3. Should you wear a full face helmet for mountain biking?
No, only if you're racing should you wear a full-face mountain bike helmet. Otherwise, there is very little reason to do so and the extra weight and decreased ventilation are more for track riders than those in general.
4. What makes one helmet better than another?
A decent helmet is one that you don't even notice you're wearing. Because they offer better airflow, more costly helmets are generally lighter and more comfortable.
5. What is d30 MTB body armour?
D30 body armour is the highest-rated protection against a direct impact. It's been tested and proven to be effective against a wider variety of impacts on all parts of your body and is designed to break before you do.
Here are some interesting facts about mountain biking that you might not know:
- The Stanley Creek trail in Western Australia is the hardest mountain bike trail in the world. Described as “tough, technical and dangerous”, and little more than rocks and roots with a few amazing jumps, this is not for the faint of heart. The Stanley Creek Challenge is an annual event that sees riders attempt to ride this challenging course in a 24-hour time frame on a single day, with no mechanical support or other guidance.
- The longest mountain bike race ever is the Leadville Trail 100, a 100-mile ride from Leadville, Colorado to Twin Lakes in the Rocky Mountains. This year's event was won by Dan Hanebrink and took him 10 hours and 44 minutes. The women's champion, Anne-Caroline Chausson, crossed the line 1 hour 16 minutes later.
- Strava is the best mountain bike trail app available, even for knowledgeable riders, and it has a global community that is growing every day. Users can take part in weekly challenges, favourite items and create their own challenges and publish their data online. You also don't want to miss out on the hidden gems of your city.
- A mountain bike is different from a road bike in three key ways: wider tyres, smaller frame diameter and more gears. However, to be considered an actual mountain bike body (as opposed to a hybrid) the bike must have disc brakes and the ability to run off-road tyres.
- Experienced riders can bike at a maximum speed of 35 kilometres per hour with fewer potential crashes.
There are many benefits to mountain biking, but it's not without its risks. One of the most important things you can do is protect yourself with the right mountain bike armour before taking on any challenging trail or obstacles!
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