What to wear for mountain biking?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum What to wear for mountain biking?

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Xerien Xerien 7 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #77866

    Hi all,

    We’re definetly new to all this. I have a Diamondback Topenga I bought in 2002, and it’s barely been used. My wife and I decided it was time to change that, and we bought her a Trek 3700, and are ready for spring!

    We rode some fire roads last year, and am looking forward to hitting some of the easier single tracks in the Oklahoma City area this spring/summer. We have an 8 YO son we take with us on his Mongoose Gavel BMX type kids bike, so we won’t be doing anything too complex.

    Our first question, (I’m sure there will be many) is what are we supposed to be wearing when riding? We don’t have any bike specific clothing, usually just wear T-shirts and shorts, and helmets and riding gloves. Is there something better we should be dressing in? We saw quite a few different types of shirts and shorts at a local bike shop, but it was pretty busy and we didn’t bother to ask questions then, but we thought most of it was for road biking. Thanks!

    TRH

    #77867

    Welcome Shortline! To answer your question, in my opinion, you don’t need to wear anything special when riding. I’ve been riding singletrack for a couple years, and all I ever wear is a t-shirt & shorts, along with my helmet & riding gloves. I’m guessing sweat-wicking shirts are nice, and padded shorts are more comfortable, but they definitely aren’t a must.

    #77868

    don’t wear boxers or any sort of cotton underwear… you will chafe. serious. at least wear spandex, and if you are going to be in the saddle more than 2 hours a week or so, you are going to need padded shorts.

    #77869

    Welcome welcome, hope you enjoy it here at singletracks.

    This may be a smart ass reply, but wear what you feel comfortable in.

    I find some shorts that don’t fly all over, or run up my legs are nice to wear. Depending on if i’m riding trails or the road I might wear a loose t-shirt vs a climbing shirt, but that’s my preference. Also another simple observation would be NOT to wear loose pants, or anything that might get caught in your chainrings.

    Perhaps some sunglasses to keep the wind, bugs, and of course sun out of your eyes.

    I don’t really have any opinion on shoes, but again, anything that you feel you can get the best out of will do just fine.

    Now if you really get into biking big time, they have tons of biking specific shorts and such, that help against all the bad things that happen while biking!

    #77870

    I agree with the comfort thing. I used to wear boxers and cargo style shorts but found that it did indeed cause chaffing. Now I wear padded cycling shorts, underneath cargo shorts cause I’m not big into showing off spandex and i like pockets. As for shirts it depends on weather. I find that a cycling jersey is great as it can unzip to cool off but you can’t really use the pouches on the back if you’re wearing a Camelbak. An Under Armor or similar type loose fit shirt is comfortable and inexpensive (compared to some bike jerseys). Alot of it depends on how long you plan on riding at a time and again, what you are comfortable in. MTB is far more relaxed than the Roadies. I also agree with some sort of sunglasses; preserve longterm vision and offers protection from debris or whatever

    #77871
    "Shortline" wrote

    Hi all,

    We’re definetly new to all this. I have a Diamondback Topenga I bought in 2002, and it’s barely been used. My wife and I decided it was time to change that, and we bought her a Trek 3700, and are ready for spring!

    We rode some fire roads last year, and am looking forward to hitting some of the easier single tracks in the Oklahoma City area this spring/summer. We have an 8 YO son we take with us on his Mongoose Gavel BMX type kids bike, so we won’t be doing anything too complex.

    Our first question, (I’m sure there will be many) is what are we supposed to be wearing when riding? We don’t have any bike specific clothing, usually just wear T-shirts and shorts, and helmets and riding gloves. Is there something better we should be dressing in? We saw quite a few different types of shirts and shorts at a local bike shop, but it was pretty busy and we didn’t bother to ask questions then, but we thought most of it was for road biking. Thanks!

    TRH

    Welcome Shortline. I hope you and your family enjoy.

    I like padded shorts and sweat wicking T-shirts. Places like Dicks sell some shorts that aren’ too expensive. Jenson, Performance Bike, Price Point are online stores that have a large clothes assortment. My girlfriend is always finding sweat wicking T-shirts for me at Goodwill. Like skiing or other outdoor activities layering seems to work best.

    #77872

    What to wear means a lot to differnt folks. I like to wear a synthetic shirt (long sleeve or short) I picked mine up at Wal_Mart each under $10 and am pleased with them. I am all in for real padded bike shorts. I bought a "baggie" pair at one of those large sporting good stores.

    Helmet and gloves I find a must. Again these can be bought anywhere now.

    I would also look for a regional mt bike club/organization. Many have group rides, skill clinics and for your wife, all female rides. Great way to meet fellow riders.

    It places a big smile on my face when I come across someone taking a kid out on the tail. Even bigger when it is a family.

    The biggest piece of advice I can share is to keep it FUN! God blees

    #77873

    Thanks all for the replies. We’re excited to get started, and your answers helped. Forgot to mention in my post we also do wear glasses, I work in safety and get all the clear and tinted lenses I can stand, and it would look bad for the safety guy to get hurt (even off the job!) so we play it safe. (sometimes Annie thinks I take it a bit TOO far….) In fact, one of my concerns was for falls…are there any padded gear like motorcycle gear to protect knees and elbows without being too cumbersome to be comforatable? I don’t mind a little rash here and there, but thought I’d check.

    TRH

    #77874

    Hmmm sounds like a TV show.

    Well like most of the folks here say..Wear what is comfortable. Padded shorts is a must. Your choice if they are like tights or more of a short with a shamious inside. For men and women they have shorts designed for their specific body parts in mind. Even though there are uni-sex i would prefer to get the correct short. A jersey which has wicking abilities and bit extra room. The cycling jerseys are cut for cycling in mind, that is they are cut to fit correctly in the riding position.
    Gloves and shoes and helmet are a must. Get the best you can afford in these areas. If your going clipless get a shoe that has good support and fits properly, this goes for the gloves (full finger or half finger) and helmets. Make sure the helmet does not move around much. With helmets go to your local bike shop and have them fit you into one, this is one place you don’t buy online. Have your local bike shop rep fit you properly. First find a helmet or two that fits they worry about the price point.

    As Mongoose also mentioned armor if your doing that type of riding. In some areas (States/Provinces) it may be wise to use knee padding elbow guards all the time. For one some plants (poison oak/ ivy) are around all the time and with the guards at least they stop the plants from hitting your skin. Also if your new to the sport they will help you when you fall…Less personal injuries.

    Above all don’t worry too much about brand names find the stuff that fits your body first and your wallet second. They worry about how you look…Besides i haven’t had one rabbit, racoon, bird, tree, bush complain about how i look or clash with my bikes paint.

    #77875

    Probably the most important piece of clothing for your comfort is the shirt. I would definitely invest in a couple synthetic wicking tops – especially in Oklahoma. Second would be the shorts – padded shorts help on long days in the saddle. Especialy if the terrain isn’t very technical and your sitting the whole time.

    Have fun!

    #77876

    I would look real silly in bike shorts, i would say what ever is comfortable

    #77877

    I made the mistake of wearing pants. I forgot I was wearing them and messed up my nice levis.

    #77878

    I would just add that I have recently started riding with padded shorts and I have noticed a much higher level of comfort on longer rides than I ever achieved with unpadded shorts. Not saying you have to buy $100 bike shorts to enjoy a ride, just saying that you might try some low cost padded shorts to try and adjust for quality as budget permits. The whole idea of riding is to have fun and it’s hard to enjoy a ride when your crotch is screaming! 😮

    Unrestrictive, sweat wicking fabric should be a priority when considering riding apparel.

    Get out and RIDE it!!! 😃

    #77879

    hi i am getting into mountain biking soon. i havent bought a bike yet but i’m thinking about it. my questions is also about clothing specifically shoes. i’ve read that you should get hiking/running shoes and as a beginner clip in shoes are probably not for me. i was thinking of getting something like these [url:188s6pfh]http://www.rebelsport.com.au/ecom/rebel/product_detail.aspx?id=22540&cat=394[/url:188s6pfh]. would this be a decent choice or should i opt for more of a hiking shoe? or just whatever is comfortable?

    thanks[/url]

    #77880

    Just to add my $.02…

    I have gone back and forth with bike shorts and regular shorts over the years, and I have decided that unless I’m spending more than about three hours in the saddle it really doesn’t make much difference to me. Usually I wear cotton boxers with whatever shorts my hands grab when I reach for what’s on the shelf in the closet. If you are worried about comfort in the saddle I think you are better off spending the time to get a good seat that fits [i:3dswud88]your[/i:3dswud88] butt. I think that is a much better payoff for the effort and money.

    A good wicking poly shirt really does make a difference to me. Getting the sweat away from the body just makes for a better day to me. I also do appreciate having the pockets on the back for stashing snacks, camera, extra water bottle, etc.

    I don’t wear a pack unless I’m going for an all-day ride. I like the comfort of not having some slimey, sweaty, thing in the middle of my back. A water bottle or two can be easily mounted on the bike. Took kit in a wedge pack. Pump under a bottle. Snack in a shirt pocket. Windbreaker tied around the waist. I mean really, unless you are going to be out for a long time it isn’t necessary, IMO.

    To sum it up, you really don’t need much. Get out and have fun. If you keep at it you will start getting a feel for what makes a difference for [i:3dswud88]you[/i:3dswud88] and buy the things you feel are important. There is no need to break the bank on all the fancy bike duds that the cool people think are necessities.

    #77881

    I like Specialized shoes for clipless pedals…they last forever. Or Vans for platform pedals. A camelbak is a must for long rides to keep you hydrated, plus you can put minipumps, patch kits, minitools, cliff bars, gel packs, etc… in them. I prefer baggy shorts with a padded chamois liner. You don’t have to blow $60+ on a jersey, you can get some nice alternatives for way cheaper at Sports Authority. I like sunglasses for eye protection. They have interchangeable lenses for those cloudy days. Comfortable full finger gloves are good for added protection and grip. And DO NOT forget the helmet!! I also wear a Halo headband to keep the sweat out of my eyes. Don’t forget some Chamois Butter if you’re going on a long sweaty ride. As far as spandex…I can’t wear those due to an exceptionally large package. It makes me way too sexy and the women won’t stop staring…JK.

    But if you’re chillin with the young un…just dress comfortable because you obviously won’t be doing any epic rides. At least a helmet and some hydration.

    #77882
    "cooldog98" wrote

    would this be a decent choice or should i opt for more of a hiking shoe? or just whatever is comfortable?

    The shoe you linked should be more than adequate for casual XC riding. I wear a similar looking pair by The North Face on platforms or old-school toe straps and they’re very comfortable. And that – as you said – comfort, is the key. The one thing to be aware of about comfort is shoes with too much flex, or at least flex "the wrong way" (allowing your heel to drop as you pedal hard) can be very uncomfortable on long rides as your muscles and foot joints have to take up the slack.

    The other point is that large XC running shoe tread lugs may or may not have good traction on a platform pedal. It’s a hit or miss thing…

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