Mountain biking opportunities slim out this time of year for most of us. It gets cold, it gets wet, and it gets uncomfortable. For some, it’s a welcome break, but others aren’t ready to stop.
A dedicated cold weather riding kit can help. The kit needs to keep heat in but water and mud out, while also allowing a little airflow to keep dry inside.
Leatt debuted the updated DBX 5.0 cold weather gear at Interbike back in September. The kit consists of a riding jacket, a jersey, gloves, and shorts, all meant to make mountain bikers a tad more comfortable when it gets cold out.
The jacket has soft rubber brush guards, which also help keep a pack in place. The magnetic hood stays in place when it’s down, or on a helmet with a spare magnet when it’s up. The jersey is thick, and also features brush guards. The shorts are heavier on material than most warm weather riding shorts, and so are the gloves.
I’ve been out riding in the kit in cold weather, at night, and during cold days, and have been impressed so far.
- Waterproof, breathable, four way stretch material
- Magnetic hood, water-resistant zippers
- Tailored fit
- Brush guard protection on elbows and shoulders
- Sizes XS-XXL
- MSRP: $200
There’s a big difference between the DBX 5.0 jacket and a normal MTB rain jacket or windbreaker. The DBX 5.0 feels more like a light jacket. The fabric is thicker and a bit stiffer. This makes it a dedicated riding jacket and not something riders will want to roll up and stuff in a hydration pack.
The jacket is full of options, like a pass pocket on the left arm for stashing a lift pass. The main pockets on the front side of the jacket are accessible from the top or bottom, with zippers starting above and below. There are also zippable vents on the side of the jacket to let a bit of air in if things get warm.
The arms feel very tailored and narrow down the entire length. It’s easy to tell they were meant for a straight arm to slightly bent arm riding position. The flip side is the arms feel a touch constrictive in other positions, like with arms folded. It’s not the most comfortable jacket off the bike, but that hasn’t stopped me from wearing it around town too, because it’s a great looking piece of apparel.
I’ve ridden with the DBX 5.0 jacket in 30ish-degree temps, with the DBX 5.0 jersey underneath and it’s been a great combo. When temps dip under 20-25-degrees, I’d probably reconsider my riding all together and go for a full-on winter kit, but I’d probably be breaking out a fat bike at that point anyway.
For cold and wet weather, but not full-on wintery conditions, the DBX 5.0 jacket makes me a happy camper.
- Brush guards on elbows and shoulders
- Waterproof, breathable
- Tailored fit
- Zippered pocket with microfiber goggle cloth
The DBX 5.0 jersey also includes the brush guards, which add a little comfort and security to the combination. The jersey fits much more like a slim base layer than a loose-fitting jersey.
The WindBlock material provides even more wind and cold protection, so for just a chilly day out, the jersey is a solid choice. In this case, I’d tuck it into my shorts, since it’s not quite a loose-fitting jersey that would go comfortable over the waistline.
The material is also soft and thicker than a normal, summertime jersey so it feels and fits a bit like a thermal, long sleeve T-shirt. I’ve mostly just been wearing the DBX 5.0 long sleeve jersey under the jacket, but it’s a solid grab for rides around 40-45-degrees when it’s not quite jersey or jacket weather.
- Three-layer HydraDri, four way stretch shell
- Dirt, water, and stain resistant coating
- Pre-curved, tailored fit
- Rear zipper ventilation
- Waterproof thigh pockets
There’s no doubt that the Leatt DBX 5.0 shorts have aided in keeping me warm on cold rides. For my first venture out in them, I wasn’t sure if I’d ultimately want to throw on a pair of long underwear underneath, but I haven’t found it necessary yet.
With the vents shut and steady movement on the bike, these shorts have kept me plenty warm. Like the jacket, the shorts are a stiffer and thicker material and feel very durable and don’t seem like they’ll be very susceptible to tears.
On rides around 40-45 degrees, they start to feel pretty warm. I went out for a semi-chilly ride during a lunch break and my legs got sweaty pretty quickly in them, until I opened the vents on the back of the leg. That dried things out and they became a bit more comfortable.
With how thick the shorts are, I’m actually interested in riding the lifts in them next summer as they seem like they’d still make a good pair of downhill shorts, but definitely with the vents open.
My only complaint is the waistband. With the integrated belt on them cinched up, it bunches in the back and interferes with a fanny pack. With the fanny pack over the jacket it wasn’t a problem, but with just the shorts and a regular jersey, it became a little uncomfortable.
- softshell glove
- MicronGrip palm
- Stretchy, no velcro cuff
The DBX 2.0 Windblock gloves have quickly become a favorite of mine out of the entire kit, and I’ve been wearing them on most rides for the past few weeks. Colorado has been cold, and annoyingly windy lately, and these gloves have no doubt helped keep my fingers warm.
They feel great on the handlebars and don’t feel that much thicker than a normal riding glove, yet the wind resistance is superb.
On a ride back from Green Mountain, there’s a stretch of descending road I take to get back home. I usually hit about 25-30mph down it, and with the wind in 30-degree temperatures, the DBX 2.0 gloves manage to keep the chill off my fingers. I think this would change for long periods of sustained descending in that temperature, but for a few minutes here and there, I can tell the gloves are working.
The fingers actually work pretty well with a smartphone, also. They won’t unlock the home button on an iPhone, since that requires a finger print, and I couldn’t get it to click for the password option either, but once the phone is open, the gloves swipe perfectly for a decent amount of functionality.
The Leatt DBX 5.0 kit and DBX 2.0 WindBlock gloves are a savior this time of year. They work excellent when worn all together and make riding in the cold much more tolerable. The functionality goes far beyond that though. The jacket is stylish enough to wear anywhere, the vented shorts should be wearable beyond the cold season, and the gloves, for only $35, are a heck of a deal and work better than expected.
Check out our mountain bike shorts buyers guide and our picks for the best mountain bike shorts.