In Part 2 of our Beginner's Guide to Mountain Biking, we’ll focus on ensuring you have the right gear to have fun and stay safe on your mountain bike. Missed Part 1? No Worries! You can read Part 1: How to Choose a Bike here.
In addition to a bike, there are a few required items to get started riding.
Helmet - We highly recommend you buy a new mountain bike specific helmet. Helmets break down over time and should not be used again after absorbing a hard impact. While we hope your new adventure doesn’t include a crash, you need to protect your most precious item - your brain! Helmets help to prevent serious brain injuries and keep you riding for years to come.
Chamois - Chamois are padded liner shorts. YES! You should wear them. These padded shorts lessen the dreaded saddle sore feeling (yes, that bruised feeling gets better in time - we PROMISE), pulls moisture away, and decreases chafing. Pro tip: we know this can be embarrassing, but you don’t wear underwear with these. A chamois is your underwear on the bike, and is made to be worn under a looser fitting “baggy” short. Wash them after each ride as a build up of salty sweat can cause irritation.
Gloves - Mountain bike gloves serve a few purposes on your ride. Hands sweat and gloves help pull that moisture away and improve your ability to grip the handlebars. They also offer protection on your palms should you fall. And, they help protect the tops of your hands from sun, wind and rain. SHREDLY mountain bike gloves come in all sorts of colors and sizes. We made these of a thin, yet durable material that feels weightless.
Sturdy Shoes - You don’t have to purchase specific bike shoes right away. We recommend a shoe that is semi stiff but still easy to walk in. The balance you’re looking for here is a shoe that allows you to pedal and not have your foot flex which can cause soreness (if your shoes are too soft, it will feel like you wore high heels for too long) while still being soft enough to walk in. Typically a good trail runner or a hiking shoe works great. Mountain bike shoes have flat soles with very sticky rubber to help them stay in place on the pedals. As you progress you might want to try
clipless pedals which clip into a cleat on the bottom of specialized shoes.
Protective eyewear - A fun pair of sunglasses works great. But if you’re riding when it isn’t sunny or in the forest where light is low, it could be hard to see. For clear lenses on a budget, stop by the hardware store and pick up a pair of clear safety glasses. We know - it looks a little redonk - but the price is right and your eyeballs will thank you.
- Water bottle or Hydration pack - Set yourself up to stay hydrated and maybe bring some snacks. Ok, definitely bring some snacks, you’re going to want them.
Bonus items - You’ll want to wear shorts over your chamois and a sports top or jersey. Our tops and bottoms come in a variety of lengths, styles, and are made with eco-friendly materials in fun patterns and colors.
Check out other posts in this series: