If you are a newbie looking out for suggestions about how to stock your wardrobe for your big ride or if you are an experienced cyclist but are looking for some suggestions about some cool mountain bike shorts, or the best MTB apparel brands in the market, you have both landed at the right place!
I will talk about all kinds of clothes needed for different times of the year and also about some of the best MTB clothing brands in the world. Feel free to use this as your very own mountain bike clothing guide.
Though there is no law stopping you from wearing breezy shorts and funky shoes, you should probably dress wisely if you want to enjoy yourself at all.
There is specific women’s apparel and also men’s apparel. Apart from the clothing, do not forget all the MTB protective gear that all mountain bikers need.
It will get you through accidents with just minor scratches and bumps.
In this article, we will see all about mountain bike apparel, the perfect apparel for each season, and the popular, trustworthy MTB clothing brands.
What are the clothes that you need for MTB?
Let’s start with the most obvious one. The mountain bike shorts! Unlike the road ones, they are stretchable and offer the easy movement of the legs.
The padded crotch lines help in reducing friction and moisture.
If you plan to ride a cross-country bike, you should go for the tighter version of these shorts so that you get enough muscle support.
Otherwise, the baggy fit will also do. Downhill riding shorts should be longer and much thicker than the normal ones. If you want, you can also buy bike underwear separately.
However, do not wear non-bike underwear with liners as they will almost certainly result in chafing.
Mountain bike shorts padded are good enough for the summer season trips. You can find one of the best options by spooned brand currently available right here.
Mountain biking jerseys are usually close-fitting though a bit looser than other styles. You can buy the ones with long sleeves to get additional protection against branches and bushes.
Try to find one with a rear pocket if you are not riding with a pack.
Fox is well-known for its great quality. You can find a super protective MTB jacket by Fox brand right here, but you can take a lighter option like this G-Form Pro-X Compression Shirt (available in both youth and adult sizes).
They will be dead useful in keeping the money, keys, and other important things.
On the other hand, mountain biking gloves come with padding and offer finger coverage as well.
Usually, the grips on a mountain bike are padded, so you can forego the padded gloves if you want. These Bomber Gloves by Fox are one of your premium options to go.
If you are planning a long trip, you will appreciate the extra comfort the padding offers. I would highly suggest you get full-fingered gloves if you are riding in the wilds to protect yourself from injuries.
Mountain biking footwear is another important thing you need to consider. Make sure the footwear you choose is compatible with the kind of pedal system you have.
Grippy rubber outsoles shoes with lugs ease the walking on a rough trail.
If you are unable to ride the trail or if your bike needs a service, you might have to walk a bit. So, make sure that you pick the right shoes.
Since trail shoes are designed for increased pedaling efficiency, they are usually tougher to walk in.
However, they are given much more breathability. If you are planning to drive in cold, wet conditions, you should probably choose a show with waterproof liners. Or else you can go for shoe covers.
While choosing a mountain biking helmet, consider the style of mountain biking you are going to indulge in.
Since cross-country riding does not involve a lot of steep trails, a helmet similar to a road helmet is enough. Make sure the ventilation offered is good enough.
Trail riders need more coverage and protection, usually on the back and on the sides.
Enduro riders navigate through technical, steep, and high-speed descents. They need more coverage than the trial riders.
When you are choosing a helmet, look out for one with a detachable chin bar which you can fix-up when going for a steep descent.
Downhill riding needs maximum protection, such as a full-face helmet with goggles.
What to wear in the cold
If you feel comfortable and warm when you set out for your trip, it is better to remove the top layers until you feel a bit cool. With all the layers, you are bound to overheat soon.
A waterproof and breathable jacket should be on your list if you are planning to go on a mountain biking trip.
The main difference between what one can note between road outwear and mountain bike-specific apparel is the quality of the fabrics.
These are more durable and offer much better protection from the wind in the front. The hood will also be compatible with the helmet.
If you are planning a short ride, a featherweight shell can be used. These are light to carry and can be packed into a tiny package. Bike tights are the replacements for your liner shorts for the winter season.
Just like the bike jackets, try to get one that is waterproof (this one is a great option). You can also try getting a pair of mountain bike pants.
Avoid fabrics like cotton while polypropylene, wool, and nylon make for great choices. You can choose to get a neck warmer which can be worn as a scarf to keep your neck warm and cozy.
If you want, you can wrap it around your head, keeping your ears and head warm. Arm and leg warmers are not a bad idea as well.
You can also take a cap along. These are easy enough to do or remove as you please during the ride. Waterproof socks are a great idea as well.
There is nothing that makes one cranky as a soggy, damp pair of socks. These waterproof socks make use of a liner to prevent the water from seeping in.
Also, consider going for waterproof shorts which will again help you in keeping warm. These dry quite quickly making them even more useful.
What to wear in the summer
If you are going to be riding in the summer, you must keep yourself hydrated.
Most hydration packs let you keep the necessities, such as food, trail tools, a three-liter hydration reservoir, and a jacket.
“X-Project” refers to this dirt shoe that remains inflexible while pedaling but is comfortable while walking. This could be a great addition to your wardrobe if you are planning a ride.
You can also consider buying a jersey or a jacket that dries quickly. Also, try to go for one which offers shoulder-to-shoulder back vents.
Usually, such jackets come with closed pockets where you can store important things. You will need a pair of mountain bike shorts as well.
More about some of the most well-known brands
Endura is one of the most popular and most trusted brands in mountain biking apparel. It was established in 1992 in Scotland by Jim McFarlane, an avid cyclist himself.
Yeti is another brand that offers durable mountain biking apparel for all kinds of trails. Very much worth a look.
Bontrager is another brand named after Keith Bontrager. The company has merged with Trek since its foundation but the quality remains the same.
Specialized (that could very well be the most “famous” one) was founded in 1974.
By 1976, the company started manufacturing its bike parts which have now come to be known for their high quality and durability.
Kitsbow is a California-based apparel brand that creates mountain bike threads for all the bikers out there. They create valuable pieces for all kinds of conditions.
Alpinestars is another apparel company that was born in Italy in 1963. It was established by Sante Mazzarolo. The company is now one of the biggest names in the industry.
They make the best use of their experience with motorsports to create the perfect mountain biking gear of the highest quality.
They have designing studios in Italy and California where the team comes up with amazing designs which work on specific fabrics.
Pearl Izumi is a Japanese cycling sports apparel brand that was established in 1950. Initially, the company was started in Tokyo and then later expanded to the US.
It is a Shimano-owned company and manufactures some of the best-looking apparel that you will ever see! The greatest part is that you do not have to burn your pockets!
Dakine was founded by Rob Kaplan in 1979 in Hawaii. He started the company dedicated to focusing on sportswear for alternative sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, surfing, and of course, cycling.
The company is located in Oregon today where they come up with apparel that performs excellently. The casual style goes perfectly on a bike!
POC is another trusted name in the MTB apparel industry. The company was founded in 2004 which is now popular with every sportsman out there.
It is a Swedish company that started selling helmets. Now, they offer mountain biking apparel with quality construction, visually pleasing design, and also technical solutions.
Women’s MTB clothing brands
The above-mentioned mountain bike clothing brands do have an offer for women as well. However, most of them are likely to be dull and lifeless.
If you are a passionate female cyclist looking for women’s MTB clothing, you would want to show your passion in your dressing style.
Unfortunately, with the lack of options today regarding this, women just have to deal with the dull shades of colors and the depressing lack of style.
Thanks to these geniuses who decided to start MTB clothing lines dedicated to women, female cyclists across the globe are celebrating!
DHaRCO is an Australian brand that makes use of the bright shades of nature to design its products.
They sell shorts in a four-way stretch fabric, T-shirts with funky slogans and motifs, and short, long, and 3/4-length sleeved jerseys.
Shred is an American brand, founded by Ashley Rankin. The shorts are available in pretty much every design that you can think of and are available in a variety of lengths as well.
The company also manufactures multisport shorts, tops, leggings, and chamois-liners.
Ride It was set up by Ally Mackay who supports equality in cycling. He recently sponsored the Maiden women’s downhill race and coaching weekend that took place in Scotland.
The company manufactures a range of women’s mountain biking apparel.
Flare Clothing Co was established by Hannah Myers. The company sells shorts, T-shirts, waterproof jackets, and a variety of long and short-sleeved jerseys.
They all sport daring and eye-catching designs. It’s not just about the aesthetics either. The brand is known for its collection of women’s MTB shorts.
Many women find it difficult to find a pair of baggy mountain biking shorts which are long enough.
These shorts by Flare are popular for their unique design and the fact that they fit the women comfortably.
Findra is another sportswear company that emphasizes comfort and design. The creators not only want the cyclist to be comfortable but also to look good and feel good!
They work with natural, technical fabrics and use earthy shades. It has a Scottish founder, Alex Feecha.
Within a year, the company developed a line of jerseys, shorts, and accessories for women.
They are stocked by Wiggle and have plans of expanding soon.
Some final tips
Do yourself and everybody else a favor and never, ever wear a see-through chamois. Always go for a non-see-through chamois. If it is outside your budget, choose a pair of trail riding shorts.
It is always better to stay clear of cotton. Cotton soaks up sweat and moisture and will not dry fast enough. You will be stuck with your wet top and it will soon start chafing.
Try using breathable layers, such as wool or synthetic. They dry fast and look great! It is also a good idea to stay away from baggy jackets and tops as they can rip your clothes.
If you going at a pretty fast speed, chances are there that you might even take a tumble.
Select form-fitting clothes which are comfortable to handle. Never make the mistake of wearing flip-flops or sandals.
They do not provide protection and the last thing you want is to get hurt and spoil your trip. Shoes are always your best bet.
Also, and finally, avoid sunglasses that will slide down your sweaty face or ones that are likely to fog up. Choose ones that are specially designed for such activities.