Mountain Biking Guide Series - Article 3: Gear, Equipment and Accessories
As discussed in the previous post, different types of Mountain Biking require, in many parts, different types of bikes, skills and even equipment as well as different gear, mainly for protection.
Let’s start with the different gears.
Speed, trail conditions, weather, level of experience, fitness, desired style and personal choice are all factors affecting the level of protection worn by riders.
Using helmets during mountain biking is widely common among all types of mountain biking and, as you guessed, head protection is the main reason. There are three main types of helmets used in mountain biking. Cross-Country helmets, rounded skateboarders' helmets and full-face helmets.
Cross-Country helmets, also used by road-bike riders due to their aerodynamic quality, are light weight and well ventilated. They are more comfortable to wear especially in hot weather and long trails.
Skateboard helmets are simpler and cheaper than other helmet types. They provide greater coverage of the head and resist minor scrapes. Skateboard helmets typically have a thicker, hard plastic shell which can take multiple impact before it needs to be replaced. The down side is that they tend to be much heavier and less ventilated, therefore not suitable for endurance-based riding.
Full-face helmets provide the highest level of protection. They include a jaw guard to protect the face. The weight is the main issue with this type, but today they are often reasonably well-ventilated and made of lightweight materials such as carbon fiber.
The choice of helmet often comes down to rider preference, likelihood of crashing, and on what features or properties of a helmet they place emphasis. Helmets are mandatory at competitive events and most bike parks. Most organizations also mandate when and where full-face helmets must be used.
Body Armor and Pads
Body Armors can be separate pieces for the upper body or the lower body and can even be full suits. The armor basically is a padded biking outfit with extra cushion at the elbow and knees. Some companies make the armor even stronger by adding plastic and metal plates to certain sides of the body such as the spine and the abdomen. Some body armors are equipped with a backpack hydration system.
Body armor used mainly in Downhill rides, but riders use it in other trails too, especially when they have steep parts.
Gloves are essential in mountain biking especially for the long trails. They help protect the hands and alleviate compression and friction. They also protect the palm, fingers and knuckles from abrasions on rough surfaces when falling.
Gloves, body armor and helmets are part of the gear but what other items or accessories which mountain bikers may carry with them along their rides.
First Aid Kit: Kits are often carried by riders. Sometimes the bikes have a bike pouch or the bikers carry it in their backpack. Experienced mountain bikers may be trained in dealing with serious injuries especially in high speed trails such as downhill biking.
Glasses: Help protect against debris while on the trail. Yellow filtered glasses for cloudy days or shaded for sunny days. Downhill, freeride, and enduro mountain bikers often use goggles similar to motocross or snowboard goggles in unison with their full-face helmets.
Shoes: Generally, have gripping soles similar to those of hiking boots for scrambling over un-ridable obstacles.
Hydration Systems are important for mountain bikers in the backcountry, ranging from simple water bottles to water bags with drinking tubes in lightweight backpacks known as a hydration pack.
GPS Systems are sometimes added to the handlebars and are used to monitor progress on trails.
Pumps to inflate tires, Shock and fork for the rear and front suspensions. Mountain bikes usually come with suspensions to keep the bike in upright position and gives the rider more control especially in rough terrains. In certain situations, the suspensions lose air which makes it hard for the rider to ride the bike through the trail. Having a high-pressure pump handy is crucial in mountain biking.
Bike tools and extra bike tubes are important, as mountain bikers frequently find themselves miles from help, with flat tires or other mechanical problems that must be handled by the rider.
High power Light based on LED technology, used for mountain biking at night.
This was the last article in our Mountain Biking Guide Series. Stay tuned as we will post more articles about mountain biking and other great outdoor activities. You can also follow us on social media or join our members group to receive updates and future products and offers.
Thank you “Berry” much.
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