Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: Ace Steep Climbs and Descents with the Right Gear

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Itching to explore far-off mountain trails on two wheels? Get on your bike and hit the trails; it’s as simple as that, right? Hold your horses. As exciting as mountain biking sounds, it’s nothing like cruising down paved roads. It’s an exhilarating sport that pushes you to your limits and lets you experience the thrill of the off-road at its most rugged, so you need to be prepared.

Apart from being physically fit and having a purpose-designed bicycle, conquering steep climbs and descents requires additional specialised equipment. Do you need special clothes for mountain biking? Just like a regular street bike can’t handle the bumps, jumps, and rocks of the off-road trail, your everyday clothes won’t hold up either. So, the answer is a firm yes, and here’s why:

Protection and Durability

Man with protective MTB pants
Source: bikeradar.com

Garments like specialised MTB pants are built with tough, abrasion-resistant materials to withstand the rigours of rugged terrain. This is crucial both for durability and protection, as scrapes, scratches, and thorns have a way of meddling with the experience.

Performance and Comfort

MTB clothing is designed for performance, featuring strategically placed seams, elasticated ankle cuffs, looser fits, and moisture-wicking fabrics. This construction allows for a complete range of motion and thermoregulation, ensuring you can focus on your ride, manoeuvre, and react to the trail with ease and confidence. In addition, the flexible and breathable fabrics of MTB riding pants and jerseys will keep you dry, cool, and comfortable during intense rides and extreme weather conditions.

Functionality

Last but not least, this type of clothing is designed to add ease and convenience to your rides. For instance, strategically placed zipped pockets on mountain biking pants allow for secure storage and instant access to your phone, multitool, keys, or other items.

MTB Wardrobe Must-Haves for Your Next Ride

Jerseys

Invest in a lightweight and breathable jersey as the foundation of your MTB ensemble. This is important for preventing overheating and dampness on demanding rides while also ensuring freedom of movement. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can choose between relaxed and tailored-fit MTB tees and shirts, as well as long-sleeve and short-sleeve options.

Pants

Why wear mountain bike pants and not shorts or regular joggers? Because MTB cycling pants provide superior protection for your legs, the most exposed body part when shredding gnarly trails. Some leading-brand options, like FOX MTB pants, utilise long-lasting, tear-resistant fabrics like Cordura® nylon to act as a barrier between debris and your knees and shins.

In addition to Cordura®, FOX incorporates other innovative materials like TruMotion® stretch fabric for mobility and durability and TruDri® fabric for sweat control. These advanced, high-performance blends function seamlessly with the human body, allowing you to anticipate your every move.

Construction-wise, FOX Racing pants build upon the Rider Attack Position™ for greater comfort and fit while in the riding position. Along with the breathable and lightweight fit, this empowers you to push beyond your limits on the trails and experience mountain biking to the fullest.

Thoughtfully tailored to be compatible with braces and guards, you can trust FOX to provide you with a well-rounded pant package that excels in all aspects. If you’re shopping for a new pair of bottoms, make sure to check out the brand’s Flexair, Defend, and Ranger models to find your perfect fit. Speaking of which, how should MTB pants fit?

You’re looking for a snug yet comfortable feel that won’t restrict your movement. It’s always wise to opt for pants with an adjustable waist cinch for a custom fit and tapered lower leg to reduce the risk of snag and drag.

Protection

MTB protection
Source: peacecommission.kdsg.gov.ng

Good protection is vital when navigating off-road terrain, so you should build reliable safety armour to shield you from impact, abrasion, and laceration injuries. A properly fitted helmet is paramount for the prevention of a serious head injury in case of a fall, whereas a pair of knee pads can go a long way in shielding your lower body from scrapes and bumps. You should also consider buying a high-quality pair of gloves to protect your hands from blisters and fatigue. Explore padded options offering good grip and flexibility.

Accessories

MTB accessories can further enhance your experience on the trail. For instance, a well-stocked bike repair kit can save the day in case of a chain break or a flat, so consider getting one for your next ride. It’s also nice to have dedicated storage for your snacks, extra layers, or spare tubes. A lightweight and cycle-friendly backpack is the ultimate solution for keeping all of these items out of the way yet readily accessible, ensuring you’re well-prepared and self-sufficient on longer rides.

If you’re looking to get smart about your routes and stats, make sure to choose the right cycling electronics to eliminate the guesswork of your next cycling adventure. And while you’re shopping for accessories, don’t forget to grab a hands-free water bottle for quick and easy refuelling on the go.