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News & Tips

Clothing Essentials for Mountain Bike Riding

5 mins
April 16th, 2021
Mountain biking at Lake Mountain is a popular outdoor activity that can be enjoyed from September to May each year.

Over the years Lake Mountain’s MTB trails have evolved, culminating in 2019 with the launch of the cascades trial. A single-track adventure taking you from the Resort Village all the way to Marysville on incredible single-track terrain.

While we encourage you to take the plunge and head to our little mountain just two hours from Melbourne CBD and enjoy our thrilling MTB trail, we first want to prepare you for your journey. Choosing the right mountain bike clothing and protective gear is essential to your performance and your overall enjoyment.

So why don’t we dig into the essentials for mountain bike riding.

Mountain Bike Helmet

It goes without saying that wearing a helmet is one of the most important safety factors of just about any sport. Mountain bike riding is no exception!

Off-road mountain bike riding is one of the most unpredictable terrains to navigate, further increasing your risk of slipping, crashing or falling off your bike. So it’s important to be prepared.

What is the best helmet for mountain biking?

When looking for the best mountain bike helmet it really comes down to one thing, high- quality protection. For optimal protection, it’s important to choose a mountain bike helmet that sits deeper on your head and extends down the nape of your neck, further shielding you from the sun. Most mountain bike helmets come with a visor or peak that are easily adjustable to shield your eyes from the sun and low-hanging branches or obtrusions that may be in your path.

If you’re looking to elevate your mountain bike riding and take it to the next level, we suggest opting for a full-face helmet. Full face helmets provide more protection to your chin and face, by providing extra internal padding and support. They’re also the perfect defense against extreme weather climates and debris, such as rock or sticks that could potentially hit you. Their downside? They aren’t known as being the most comfortable helmet amongst the mountain community, but that will all come down to trial and error.

a lady riding a mountain bike through the trails with a helmet and sunglasses on

Mountain Bike Glasses (or goggles)

The difference between a good and a bad day on the trails? The right eyewear. Mountain bike glasses are crucial when it comes to enhancing your performance. Not only do they protect your eyes from the harsh UV rays but they also prevent dirt and debris from getting in your eyes. Choosing the right eyewear is an extremely personal process, the “perfect pair” for you may be extremely different for someone else. That’s why creating the perfect list can be difficult. However, some key features to consider are:

  • The costs
  • Performance level
  • Protection
  • Quality
  • Fit
  • Comfort

Another important factor to consider is looking for glasses with interchangeable lenses. That way, you can change them out to suit the conditions you’re riding in.

When Would You Wear Goggles Mountain Bike Riding?

Goggles are usually worn when the weather decides to take a turn and it becomes difficult to see due to downpour or muddy conditions. Goggles are a great choice if you’re wanting a wider range of vision and a more secure fit.

a guy riding a mountain bike on a dirt hill in the air after going over a jump

MTB Jersey

Mountain Bike Jerseys generally offer a more breathable, lightweight feel, however, they come in a range of different styles. A cycling jersey is made out of breathable fabric that allows you to sweat, get wet, and dry out during your ride. This is unlike cotton, which will only cling to your body and create hotspots that make your ride terribly uncomfortable. So if you’re curious about whether or not to invest in an MTB jersey, we say yes, every time.

Not to mention, jerseys also provide additional features such as pockets which are handy for storing your belongings, such as keys, food, phone, and the list goes on.

Choosing what MTB Jersey to wear

A short-sleeve mountain bike jersey will help keep you cool in the summertime. However, a long-sleeve jersey provides more protection from the sun and low-hanging branches or shrubbery that may be in your path. There’s plenty of jerseys to choose from, and always we suggest finding a fit that works for you and your needs before buying online.

a person wearing mountain bike clothing getting air over a jump along a mountain bike trail

Mountain Bike Shorts

While you could probably get away with wearing any old pair of shorts, for a more comfortable ride, we recommend you have a pair of mountain bike shorts in your MTB essentials kit!

What are the advantages of mountain bike shorts?

Mountain bike shorts offer distinct features such as durability, longer fits to stretch over knee pads, waterproof fabric and even vented panels.

The climate and conditions that you’ll be riding in will determine your choice of style and fit. If you’re riding in the summertime, then choosing a lightweight, shorter fit will provide better ventilation. However, if you’re wanting to wear knee pads (which we suggest if you’re just starting out) then choosing a longer fit will be more comfortable and provide less space between the kneepad and your skin.

If you often ride in cooler weather or you’re thinking about tackling mountain bike riding in the winter, mountain bike pants or even trousers may be the better option, as they provide more insulation.

If you’re looking to ride at Lake Mountain during the cool season, then we suggest you add a pair of waterproof shorts and/or trousers to your kit, as you never know when the weather might turn. With the added weather-resistant coating, these pants/shorts shed water and mud, helping to keep you dry and warm during your ride.

a person leaning forward on a mountain bike picking up speed as they head through the trail

Body Armour for Mountain Biking

Whether you’re just starting out in mountain bike riding or you’re a veteran of sorts, wearing protective gear is always recommended, especially body armour and elbow pads. If there’s a chance of falling off your bike, then it doesn’t hurt to be prepared and have an extra layer of cushioning (or two).

a guy leaning sideways around a corner while riding a mountain bike

MTB Gloves

Gloves are a year-round essential to have in your MTB kit! No matter the conditions, mountain bike gloves should always be worn. Full-finger gloves offer great protection when it comes to potential crashes or hot spots. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than trying to grip onto handle-bars with sore, raw hands.

Not to mention, gloves provide a stronger grip due to the traction on the gloves. If you’re riding during the cooler climates, they also help to keep your hands from stiffening.

a guy fully clothed in mountain bike gear facing the back of the camera riding down the hill


Socks are a great way to add a little flare to your outfit, as well as provide more protection for your calves and shins.

As always, the style of socks you choose is dependent on the weather. Waterproof (or water-resistant) socks are great for winter as they dry out quickly, and help prevent blisters from forming. If you’re looking to ride during the summertime then light, breathable socks will help to reduce sweat.

close up off mountain bike tyres with a guy riding the bike

MTB Shoes

Mountain bike shoes are regarded as one of the most important items in your riding kit, and for good reason. Your pedals are one of three points of contact (your handlebars & saddle are the other two) so finding the right shoe is vital to your performance on the trails.

Can You Wear Any Old Shoe For Mountain Bike Riding?

Technically, you can. However, if you’re wanting to take mountain bike riding seriously, then investing in a quality shoe is highly recommended. There are two options when it comes to choosing the right shoe: clipped-in or clipless. There are pros and cons to both, so we suggest doing your research before buying (like always).

a guy on a mountain bike looking ahead at the mountains in front of him

MTB Jacket

If you’re looking to turn your mountain biking hobby into a year-round activity, then we suggest investing in a waterproof and or windproof jacket to help you tackle extreme weather conditions.

There are a few types we can look at, a lightweight jacket, a hybrid jacket, and a fully waterproof jacket.

When To Use a Lightweight Jacket for MTB Riding

A lightweight jacket is best used during the summertime because it offers better breathability, water resistance and provides some wind cover.

If you’re wanting to move freely while wearing a jacket, then the lightweight jacket is a perfect choice! The best part of all? They’re easy to pack and don’t require a lot of room.

When To Use a Hybrid Jacket for MTB Riding
Hybrid jackets are often worn in cooler conditions, as they provide extra insulation and (some) wind protection. The whole garment is usually treated with a water-repellent finish to provide protection from light showers, however isn’t fully waterproof. A good hybrid jacket is made from a soft shell with extra insulation in the core section and over the front and back of the shoulders, leaving a thinner, stretchier fabric on the arms so that you don’t have to compromise on movability.
When To Use a Waterproof Jacket for MTB Riding
A waterproof jacket is all in the name – a hardshell jacket designed to withstand heavy downpours and keep you warm during the winter.

If you’re looking to make MTB riding a year-round activity then we suggest investing in a thick, durable waterproof jacket to allow you to go anywhere.

Want to find out more about the mountain bike trails at lake mountain? Read our article about the Cascades trail for Mountain Bike Riders at Lake Mountain, and let us know what you think. Our Mountain Bike Shuttles are open and spots are filling up fast, so be quick before you miss out!

Stay COVIDSafe by staying up to date on the latest physical distancing and restrictions via the website.

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Preparing for a big day

Dress for a change in the weather

The weather can change quickly in the mountains. Always bring a warm layer and something waterproof. In the warmer months, the mountains can be a great escape from the heat. Lake Mountain Alpine Resort can be 10 degrees cooler than Marysville.

Pack some essentials

There is plenty to keep you and your family entertained on our little mountain. It is always a great idea to pack some essentials for your day like water, sunscreen, and snacks. Please check our website for the bistro opening hours.

Make a plan

When visiting any alpine resort in Victoria, it's always a great idea to think ahead and be prepared for any conditions that may arise during your visit. Check the weather for the area you are visiting and check the fire danger rating for the place you are going to be driving through and exploring.

Enjoy your journey

There is plenty to see and do on your way to and from our Little Mountain and so much in our area to explore. Check out the town of Marysville. This is the last town before you arrive at Lake Mountain Alpine Resort. Alexandra and Eildon are also great to visit if you have a bit more time to adventure.