Once one starts mountain biking, one begins to have different needs of accessories both for the modality you are going to practice, for comfort, as well as for personal taste or simple fashion.
In the case of mountain biking, due to its different modalities, these accessories may vary, or you may not need some of them. In this article, we will separate the essential things every mountain biker needs to have in order to improve his/her experience.
- Mountain Bike Helmet
There are different types of helmets for the different branches in which mountain biking is divided. Choosing the right helmet (size and type) is vital to protect the head and enjoy a more comfortable ride. For example, a Cross Country helmet (XC) is more ventilated but offers less protection than a helmet designed for Trail or All-Mountain.
- MTB gloves
Quite often, we believe that any glove can serve us, we have even come to use those for the gym; however, as in everything, there are specific gloves for mountain biking too. If it’s too hot, your gloves with short fingers can work. For the rest of the climates and the most common modalities are long gloves.
There are several types of MTB gloves; some have protective plates on the knuckles or near the pinkie, which protect you on the descent for the modalities of DH, trail, AM, etc. Other gloves for mountain biking feature pads. These are usually made of gel or a kind of foam. Some gloves have a little reinforcement, in terms of the synthetic material they use for the rest of the glove. Finally, it is essential to mention the gloves for cold weather or rain, which are repellent to the water and their interior protects you from the severe winter weather and keep your hands warm.
- Plastic Glasses
You’ve probably heard it a lot. But you probably don’t know why plastic frames. It is quite clear; in case of a fall, metal or similar frame can cause an accident by embedding in your face. Plastic frames are (most of them) made to disarm under certain pressure, making them suitable for sports activities.
- Knee Pads
It’s a fact, in mountain biking you are more likely to fall, due to the irregularities of the terrain. In the competitive XC mode, they are not usually needed, because pedaling can hinder and even graze the skin. However, in the rest of the modalities, it is considered to be used to protect the leg from possible scrapes or fractures. From our experience you will even enjoy the falls knowing that you will be protected.
There are several types of knee pads, and their difference is found in manufacturing materials. There are rigid knee pads that carry the full shell of rigid plastic, offering better protection but are somewhat uncomfortable to pedal. There are semi-rigid or soft knee pads, which feature shells made with with a soft technology that hardens with impact, thus protecting your knee from the blow. The material is neoprene, making these knee pads very comfortable, but some models can make you feel hot.
- Hydration Pack
When it comes to mountain biking, hydration backpacks are an ideal accessory. In addition to serving to transport water, they also help us to store the jacket and refreshments in case of a ride that takes all day. Different brands offer different sizes, from 5L to 25L, which is considered as quite a large backpack for cycling. All of them carry a bag of water that can withstand 2-3 liters.