What is the style of your mountain biking? Are you fascinated to do downhill, trails, cross country, all-mountain, dirt jumping, or free-ride? You can adopt any style depending on your tastes and preferences. But, whatever may be your style, mountain bike protective gear is inevitable for keeping you safe. Most important mountain bike safety equipment are helmet, padded shorts, and gloves.
The most protective gears of downhill mountain bikers are:
- Mountain biking helmet
- Knee protection
- Elbow protection
- Mountain bike neck protection
- Mountain Bike Armor
- Shin guards
- Wrist Support
- Padded mountain bike shorts
Essential Mountain Bike Protective Gear
a) Mountain Bike Helmets
Mountain biking is considered as one of the most challenging sports. You must be prepared to deal with rocks, branches, ditches, tree roots and even your riding buddies during the sport. All these factors can cause an accident. So, a mountain bike helmet is the most essential protective gear. The type of helmet depends on your type of riding. Open face and full face mountain bikes are the two types of mountain bike helmets. An open face mountain bike helmet is excellent if you are doing cross country, recreational or single track riding. Open face helmet is lightweight, well-ventilated and comfortable. You can consider full face mountain bike helmet if you are fascinated to do dirt jumping, downhill riding and other higher risk, high speed forms of riding. However, you must ensure to pick a perfectly fit mountain bike helmet. If the helmet is too tight or too loose, it will do more harm than good.
b) Mountain Bike Padded Shorts
Padded mountain bike shorts are used for protecting your hips, tailbone and quads from a crash or fall. Padded mountain bike shorts and pants are comfortable, versatile and lightweight. Serious downhill riding requires maximum protection. In such cases, you can use padded shorts, which are a major piece of mountain biking protection. Padded shorts have padding to protect your tailbone, hips and quads. You may be a serious downhill mountain biker or just learning the skill. But, you really need proper protection, which is helpful for getting maximum safety and full enjoyment.
c) Mountain Biking Gloves
Good quality pair of mountain bike gloves is the most trusted riding buddy during the trail. You must be able to neglect the complaints and gloves must be with you when you really need them. When you select a pair of gloves, you must consider its construction, looks, fit and padding. Gloves are inevitable when you do cross country trails, downhill bombing, blasting down the center lane or following the kids around the woods.
d) Neck Braces for Advanced Neck Protection
Injuries to spinal cord and neck are major problems in mountain bike riding. If you are doing any kind of aggressive downhill racing, you must be protected with neck braces. In fact, neck braces are the recent addition to downhill mountain bike racing protective gear. Some riders are not ready to use neck braces because they think that they do not need them. Neck protection depends on the type of riding you are doing, how you are riding and where you are riding. When you wear a neck brace, it restricts extreme movement of your neck during a crash. So, it prevents your head from tilting too backward, forward or to the side. All these movements can damage your spinal cord. You must remember that a spinal cord injury can keep you off the bike for 6-8 weeks. If the injury is very serious, it is enough for putting you in a wheelchair. So, why should you take the risk of serious injuries?
e) Mountain Bike Armor
If you are a serious mountain biker, body armor is essential for you. You may be doing dirt jumping, downhill or anything on your mountain bike. But, you will surely get some air. So you need to protect your spine, ribs and chest perfectly. Great selections of upper body armors are available today. These are lightweight and can able to provide you maximum protection. There are rocks, branches, turns and roots on your route. When you increase the speed and gravity, you can expect a crash at any time. You may be doing a casual ride on a single track trial. But, you can fall due to lodging of a stray branch or you may hit a rock at the wrong side. Mountain bike armor can alleviate lots of injuries and bruises that can keep you off the bike.
f) Mountain Bike Elbow Pads
Your elbow pads can protect you from a stick in your spokes, a sudden drop off and when you suddenly test Newton’s Law of Gravity. Mountain bike elbow pads are not just for dirt jumping or downhill. You can always expect challenges during mountain biking. It can even occur on a single track. If you are ready to push yourself a little further, you can do it safely with high quality elbow pads.
g) Mountain Bike Knee Pads
You can expect a few minor scrapes, bruises, and bumps on a trail. If you are equipped with good pair of mountain bike knee pads, you can dissipate the impact of fall. This is also beneficial for protecting your knees from hitting on sharp or hard objects, which can cause serious injuries. Your knee is one of the most complicated and largest joint in your body. Mountain bike knee pads help you to protect your hard working knees. A hard hit on a rocky trail can cause serious damages. This is also enough for keeping you off the bike for weeks or months. So, do not waste your time, just protect your knees with knee pads.
h) Mountain Bike Shin Guards
Rocks, branches, pedal strikes or crashes can turn a great day of mountain bike riding into a lousy one. However, every rider is not needed shin guards. It depends on how you are riding and where you are riding. If you do any riding where there is a good chance of crashing, mountain bike shin guard is a good investment. This is also helpful for protecting you against pedal strikes if you use platform bike pedals.
i) Mountain Bike Wrist Support
One human hand contains 27 bones, in which 8 appear on your wrist. When your wrist is injured, it is very difficult to get wrist support. Wrist guard can be used when you are doing gravity riding.
Factors to Consider While Buying Mountain Bike Safety Equipment
When you select a mountain bike safety gear, it must integrate fully with your individual needs. The best way to select the most suitable mountain biking gear is to get a piece of mountain bike body armor, and a protective jacket that protects your upper body perfectly. Elbow and knee mountain bike safety equipment must be lightweight, but solid.
When you select safety gear, you must also consider the level of wrist protection, ankle guards, or dirt goggles. As mentioned earlier, it also depends on your style of mountain biking. If you are an expert mountain biker, you can research for the combination that works for your style of biking.
Helmet of a cross country mountain biker must be lightweight. You can select open-spaced helmets, which combine high ventilation with comprehensive protection. Cross-country mountain bikers can stay safe by selecting an exercise bike, single-track helmet, soft mountain biking pads for elbows and knees and padded mountain biking shorts.
Mountain biking gloves are essential for every style of riding. Gloves range from fingerless, light to fully armored and heavy duty. You can select a glove as per your preference. But, you should not step out for mountain biking without wearing something on your hands. Plenty of mountain bike safety gear shops are available today. So, you have myriad choice to purchase the best mountain bike protective gear.