Mountain Bike Protective Gear – Comprehensive Guide

Mountain biking is undoubtedly a dangerous and risky affair, whether you are a beginner or professional rider. It involves complicated jumps in risky terrains where injuries, accidents, and cracked bones are no alien. Hence, even with proper care, you can end up getting hurt. Yet, the good news is that you can minimize the degree of injuries to a great extent with the right protective gear.

Mountain Bike Protective Gear - Detailed Guide Featured Image

These gear are equipped with suitable padding and stuffing that helps you in resisting the impact of accidents ideally. Wondering where, when, and why you should opt for one? Need not to worry, as I have brought together some mountain bike protective gear along with some buying instructions that can help you in choosing the right one. So, let’s get in for more.

Mountain Bike Protective Gear – All You Need For Your Protection

1. Mountain Bike Helmet for Head Protection

Mountain Bike Protective Gear Guide - Helmet is Necessary

The first and foremost thing you need to make the experience of mountain biking convenient and safe is the helmet. It is absolutely important to invest in a quality helmet as it helps you in resisting impact to a great extent. It can also assist you in carrying out complicated and difficult tricks with security ensured. Here are some of the common options you can find out there;

The Half-Lid Bike Helmet

Mountain Bike Protective Gear Guide - The Half-Lid Bike Helmet

To begin with, these helmets are also known as normal helmets and are designed for regular terrains. If you are a beginner or only want an affordable helmet for daily usage, these alternatives are an impressive option for you.

The Full Face Bike Helmet

Mountain Bike Protective Gear Guide - Full Face Helmet for Mountain Biking

Secondly, if you are someone who doesn’t get satisfied with these half-lid helmets, I would absolutely recommend you go for full face mountain bike helmet. These are designed for full protection on trial and provide you with impact resistance for the full face and head. The only downside to these can be that these alternatives can be pretty hot sometimes. So, if you are a professional looking for absolute protection, these are great for you.

Removable Chin Bar Helmets

In the end, these are an upgrade of the full face and open face helmets and help you in difficult and dangerous MTB rides. These are primarily designed for daily bike commuting and offer removable chin guard for the head and face protection during dangerous mountain bike rides.

Tip to consider while buying helmet

One tip while buying mountain bike helmets would be that you should always consider whether the desired one is certified by MIPS as it ensures superior vibration and impact resistance. Here, my personal favorite is Bell Super 3R MIPS Helmet, as it helps you with maximum protection and breathability. It also has a stylish and contemporary design that looks appealing to the eyes.

2. Protective Eye Gears for Eye Protection

Mountain Bike Protective Gear Guide - Goggles for Eyee Protection

Here comes yet another important piece of equipment you should put your money in if you are planning to upgrade your mountain biking journey. These are primarily used to protect your eyes through this thrilling adventure from dirt and debris. For this purpose, you can find two main things across the market;

MTB Sunglasses

Sunglasses are appropriate for anyone in the initial stages of their mountain bike journey. Just make sure that these glasses are polarized and offer you basic protection against the sun.

Mountain Biking Goggles

Goggles are designed specifically for full-face helmet protection. These are a great option for professionals who are looking for something that can eliminate the potential risks of accidents in rowdier terrains.

Here, if you are looking for recommendations, my favorites are Roka SL-1x and Smith Ruckus, both of which are extremely lightweight and stylish. These are also equipped with outstanding breathability that makes the process comfortable. I also really like the fact that these two come with full coverage, making them great for professionals and beginners alike.

3. Mountain Biking Gloves for Hands Protection

Mountain Bike Protective Gear Guide - Gloves for Hands Protection

Another important thing that can save you from potential injuries is to go for padded gloves as they provide you with needed comfort and protect the critical points on your hands. These are designed for punk and sharp rocks that can be dangerous for your hands and can cause potential damage. If you are using the bikes in basic areas daily, it is still necessary to opt for some level of minimal padding to make the process secure.

Here, if you are in search of a quality glove, I would recommend you Fox Ranger and Giro DND, as they are absolutely comfortable and provide you with fairly decent protection. These are also equipped with mesh lining that allows smooth airflow and makes them durable. So, next time you are on the go, don’t forget a pair of gloves.

4. Mountain Biking Shorts or Pants

As we already know, while you are going for adventurous and thrilling games like mountain biking, it is absolutely essential that you invest in a quality pair of shorts or pants that can help you with decent protection. However, it is also important to note that most mountain bikes are not equipped with already existing padding. Hence, it can cause potential injuries and discomfort. For this purpose, it is recommended that you go for something that has an inner lining that has the ability to absorb impact well.

Most commonly, you can find gel lining and fabric coverage, both of which are suitable for a pleasant and secure process. If your budget allows, I would suggest you go for gel paddings with mesh lining as this provides you with needed support and breathability. Here, my personal favorite is the Gear Wear C3, as it incorporates maximum support and protection that has the ability to absorb vibrations and resist impact.

5. Mountain Biking Knee Pads

Last but not least is the importance of getting the right knee guards or pads that can help you in making the process safe. I have always been a fan of knee pads as they are great for preventing injuries and resisting impact. Across the market, there are a number of options you can find out there;

Soft Knee Pad Sleeves

They are best for preventing slip down while pedaling. These also offer you fairly decent protection; however, they are not suitable for rough or rowdier rides.

Hardshell Knee Pads

Hardshell knee pads are designed for more technical terrain. If you are planning to upgrade your biking on hard and sharp rocky areas, these provide you with absolute protection and resist the impact quite well. Most commonly, these are made up of high-quality plastic that helps you in preventing injuries yet can be a bit heavy and hot.

Shin + Knee Coverage Pads

They are designed specifically for professionals with superior padding that helps you in maximum protection. Yet, these alternatives tend to be heavy and don’t allow proper ventilation.

6. Elbow Pads for elbow protection

Similarly, MTB elbow pads are yet another protective gear that helps you in eliminating any chances of scraped elbows. If you are new to mountain biking, there is no urgent need for this investment. However, I would still recommend this to professionals who often ride over sharp and dangerous rocks. Finally, I would recommend you always choose the correct padding for your desired requirements.

Also watch a detailed video guide about Mountain Bike Protective Gear

What to Consider While Buying a Mountain Bike Protective Gear

Choosing the right mountain bike protective gear can be challenging. Hence, it becomes important that you consider everything from your skillset to the terrain and basic padding levels. To save your day, I have brought together these answers that can help you in this buying venture;

When Should You opt for Mountain Bike Protective Gear?

The first question people often ask while planning to start off their mountain bike journey is whether you should opt for one or not? The answer to this question is an absolute yes; you should always invest in quality equipment irrespective of the skill set. However, there are some things that are a must when it comes to protective gear, for instance, helmets, knee pads, and even glasses.

If you are a beginner, you can skip some gear such as gloves and shoes as these are not necessary for training. Yet, I would still insist that you go for some level of padding that can help you in preventing injury and resisting the impact. Likewise, these can help you in becoming more confident about your skills and allow you to experiment with different stunts with security ensured.

Why Do You Need Mountain Bike Protective Gear?

It is absolutely necessary that you go for padded gears for your mountain bike for many reasons. Some of these are;

  • Using padded gear can help you in becoming more confident about your skills.
  • It also allows you to groom your skills and experiment with different techniques and stunts with security and safety ensured.
  • These padded safety gear can help you in absorbing vibrating and resisting impact, which in turn prevents potential injuries and keeps your bones from cracking.
  • Using padding for knees and elbows can save you from potential injuries and doesn’t cost your health checkups in the long run.

Style of Riding

While going for any protective gear for mountain biking, it is of paramount importance that you have considered your skillset, as it can make a huge difference. For instance, if you are in the initial stages of your riding journey and basically want something for training, I would recommend you a decent, affordable alternative that can help you with protection and comfort for the most part. However, for professionals, it is absolutely necessary to invest in high-end effective gear.

Make sure to choose the helmet according to the style of ride you’re planning. For downhill rides, choose a downhill mountain bike helmet and in the same way, for enduro rides, choose enduro full face helmet.

Type of Trail

It is equally important to have an idea about what type of trail you are going to ride. Trials can be divided into three categories;

Light Duty Trails

Light Duty Trails are the basic singletrack areas that offer a flowy ride without many obstructions and obstacles. For these jumps, I would suggest you go for fairly decent padding, yet don’t go for stuffing and compromise on the breathability. Make sure that you have a satisfactory level of padding that can help you with needed protection and security.

Mid Aggressive Trails

As the name suggests, are designed for rather big, rowdy, and rocky areas. These are designed for professionals and require fairly decent protection. For this purpose, I would recommend you go for medium to heavily padded knee guards, full-size helmets, and cushioned seats. However, don’t go for bulky gear as it can act as an obstruction for long rides.

Enduro or Gravity Trails

They are designed specifically for fast and fancy jumps. So, you would need maximum support and protection in your gear that is able to protect you from potential accidents and injuries. I would recommend you go for heavy paddings, lots of armors, and stuffed knee guards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need elbow pads for mountain biking?

Yes, you do need elbow pads for mountain biking if you are a professional who is most likely to use the bike on medium or gravity trails. If you are a beginner and going for basic training sessions, you can skip this one. Yet, I would still suggest you go for minimal padding as it can help you prevent injuries.

Who should buy helmets for mountain biking?

Everyone who owns a mountain bike should buy a helmet that suits them well. This is because it can help you make the process safe and secure, for the most part, by resisting impact. However, while buying, make sure you have gone through some commonly used padding for helmets and choose the one that is right for your skillset.

Are mountain bikes protective gears worth it?

Yes, buying the protective gear for mountain bikes is absolutely worth it. This is because using padded safety gear can help you in preventing injuries and potential accidents on the field. It also helps you in becoming comfortable and confident about your skills and experimenting more with stunts.

Final Thoughts about Mountain Bike Protective Gear

Mountain biking can be scary and risky, considering its complicated and difficult terrains where injuries are inevitable. So, by choosing the right protective gear, you can make the process comfortable and safe for the most part. Finally, I hope that this guide can help you in choosing the right one based on your individual requirements.


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