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When it comes to mountain biking, come winter or summer, it is important to be well-dressed and properly equipped. What are the ‘musts’ in your biking wardrobe? How should you dress according to season and discipline? Epic Bike Store gives you expert advice on proper dress and equipment.
Just like you wouldn’t dress the same way to go jogging downtown as you would for a hike, you shouldn’t pick out the same clothing for mountain biking as you would for cycling in urban settings. Instead of focusing on aerodynamics, mountain biking clothing focuses on comfort, ventilation and protection.
Ventilation and waterproofness are important factors to consider when choosing clothing for adventures far away from the city. As a general rule, you should opt for looser fitting clothing, without picking something too big or wide. In order to avoid friction, it is important not to choose something that is too loose; it is also important to pick flat stitching for the same reason.
Among different types of equipment for mountain biking, elbow, knee and rib cage protection is also very important, in the event of a fall or collision. Take a look at all of our protective gear that will help keep you safe while biking.
Technical base layers are also a must: they will not only ensure your comfort on the bike seat, they will also help evacuate humidity.
You will also need mountain biking shoes, which are both rigid and light, to ensure good stability and better energy transfer while pedalling. Don’t forget protection googles, for sun and debris. Avoid wearing regular sunglasses, as they probably won’t hold as well!
Among the best mountain biking clothing brands, you will find Fox Racing, 100 %, RideConcepts and Smiths, among others. Do their items have integrated protection? They generally do not: protection equipment will have to be worn underneath your clothing.
No matter the season, wearing breathable clothing is essential.
Clothing for summer biking consists of a short sleeved t-shirt and a pair of shorts, generally a padded biking short or shorts over a chamois padding. Even if it is hot, you should have a light windbreaker in your bag; better be safe than sorry!
A windbreaker or raincoat are essential in the spring and fall. For rainy days, you should also have rain pants. When temperatures get colder, you should also opt for warmer gloves and a headband or hat to protect your ears!
When it comes to mountain biking clothing in the winter, you will need long sleeves, and warmer pants and gloves. Wearing a warm vest that is also waterproof is important, but be careful not to pick a coat that is too hot, as it might cause you to sweat more than you want to.
The steeper the slope and the rougher the trail, the more protection you will need. DH biking is the perfect example: even in the summer, you should opt for long sleeves and pants to cover every inch of your skin, without forgetting protection for your knees, elbows and rib cage.
Even if it is not always necessary when working your way up a hill, you should bring your protective equipment with you beforehand, and put it on before heading downhill. If you have already had a fall at full speed on a rock, branch or gravel, you know exactly what we’re talking about…
Don’t forget that your bike will be the first to take the hit. If needed, we offer bicycle repair services.
If you are heading out on muddy trails, it is essential to have water resistant equipment, which includes your shoes and socks. Choosing the proper helmet and gloves will also depend on the specific terrain and discipline. Make sure that you are properly protected.
Clothing for mountain biking is often made from materials like merino wool or synthetic fibers like polyester, elastane or polyamide. The main advantages these materials offer, is the capacity to evacuate humidity and their light weight. Moreover, merino wool eliminates odors and is much appreciated for the comfort it offers.
Depending on the item of clothing, you might also find mesh for flexibility, or polar fleece lining in winter clothing. The fabric that must be avoided at all costs is cotton, as it becomes soaked with sweat and stays wet for a very long time.
Given that temperatures vary when riding in the mountain, it is always smart to use layers. The first layer should be one that absorbs humidity well, and over this, you can add a waterproof or wind breaking layer. When it is cold, you can add thermal underwear. The most important thing is to be able to remove or add layers easily, should you need it. When riding a fat bike, you should dress like you would for cross-country skiing or jogging in the winter.
How can you choose the right size of clothing? Take a look at our size guide or come and try it out in person in Beaupré! We have mountain biking clothing for women and men.
No matter how much you have spent on clothing, you want to make sure that it remains comfortable and looking fresh for your adventures. Given that biking clothing is generally made from delicate fabrics, it is important that you take a look at the washing instructions. Some technical membranes should not be washed in a machine.
You can generally wash your clothing by hand or in cold water on the delicate cycle, without any fabric softener or bleach. Stitching is placed on the outside and zips should be closed. Mesh laundry bags can help you avoid too much friction between the items of clothing you are washing, which also helps prevent damages.
When it comes to drying, you can lay your clothing flat to air dry, away from direct sunlight or other sources of heat, in a well ventilated area. Most importantly, do not iron!
At Epic Bike Store, you will find all of the equipment and clothing you need for your adventures. Would you like to come and have a chat about comfort and performance, or would you like more expert advice? Come and meet with our team of passionate experts in Beaupré!