Friday, November 26, 2010

Essential Gear Needed for Mountain Biking

Corey Palmer gives basic advice for the absolute-beginner mountain biker:

Bike Gear
Photo credit.

When you bike, there are certain things you need for it. You never know what conditions you will face. With that being said, you want to make sure that you know that you have the gear which you will need in order to make this happen. So, what is some of the essential gear that you will need? We have a few things right here.

One of the first things that every rider should have is a mountain bike helmet. In order for it to do what it's supposed to do for you, you have to make sure that it fits properly. This is essential and therefore, you need to try it on. One size doesn't fit all, just remember that.

Another thing that you might need is a pair of sunglasses. The sun can get pretty bright and this can cause you to crash if you aren't careful. You don't want this. Therefore, make sure that you are able to see. This can help greatly. They do make mountain biking glasses which don't slip and fit just right.

You also want to stay warm when you go mountain biking. That is why a jacket might be needed. The same goes with the right pants and the right shirts. They have this as well on some sites which sell all the essential gear which you might need. For guys, the shorts are great as they don't bunch up and you don't sweat so bad.

If you are going to wear pants that go down to your ankles, then it's best if you wear pants that aren't too wide, which is essential as it limits how much danger you are in. There are many who wear baggy pants when they go about biking and then their pants get caught in the chains or on the pedals. This can make a person go about and fall. So, save yourself from a wipe out.

When you have these things, you are then ready to bike. Biking is very good for you, but if you are going to be serious about it, then you might like to think about getting this essential gear for all your biking needs. It can help you greatly and protect you for the biking that you will be doing. There are many places that you can go in order to buy these things. When you get them, you will find that you will have an easier time riding.

Thank you Corey for keeping the beginners in mind and helping them along!

Corey Palmer spends a great deal of time on his bike, either on the
back trails or riding through the city. Check out his site to help you research mountain bikes.


eastwood,  November 26, 2010 at 4:03 PM  

Some good starting tips there. Helmet fit is certainly key, you don't want a lid that wobbles around on your head as you are rolling over roots and rocks. That thing better stay put so it protects your dome. A nice thing to look for when selecting your helmet is coverage for the back of your head. Old school helmets seemed to sit more on the top of your head - just something to look for.

Sunglasses or protective glasses really. Many biking glasses have interchangeable lenses so you can select the right protection for the condition you are riding. For instance, I ride mostly under forest cover so I don't really need dark tints to protect from sunlight, so I tend to use a lighter color (yellow orange) or clear lenses when I ride. A beginner might ask, why would you wear clear lenses?? And that is a great question. Once you hit some tight singletrack you will understand first hand - and that's because the trees and brush aren't mindful of our eye line and you can catch a variety of branches, spiderwebs, bugs, mud or rocks from your partner ahead, etc up in your eye... and imagine a nice stick in the eye in the middle of the forest, not a good scene. So hence the clear lenses to protect our eyes.

There are shorts made for biking, and shorts made for mountain biking - what makes these shorts specific to our sport is the chamois (with padding) that helps with comfort on the long rides. I would agree baggy pants are not going to be a good idea when riding. I typically wear shorts year round - adding leggings/long underwear underneath to provide warmth in the colder months.

Gloves are another protective key. Full finger or not is a personal preference, and also may have to do with the type of riding you get into. But they can add some nice padding for your hands that can absorb some of the shock and vibrations you'll experience throughout a long day on the trail.

Oops sorry - this is getting lengthy. Good topic though (and we haven't even gotten to hydration/nutrition, tools and extras to bring along, and smaller upgrades - pedals and shoes)

Greg Heil November 26, 2010 at 4:25 PM  

Hey Eastwood,

Thanks for adding some great info on this topic. There's so much more that can be written about it; hopefully I'll be able to fit in a series on this sometime in the near future!

As you mentioned, one accessory that I really want to buy is a pair of clear lens glasses. I've got regular sun glasses, but especially this time of year the sun just isn't that bright in the woods.

Thanks again for the input!

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