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What To Wear Mountain Bike Riding (2022)

March 11th, 2022
Mountain biking at Lake Mountain is a popular outdoor activity that can be enjoyed from September to May each year.

You may think it isn’t a big deal, but knowing what to wear when mountain biking is a crucial part of the activity. Technically, you can wear whatever you want, but the right clothing and protective gear are essential if you want maximum enjoyment from your mountain bike.

The main goal with your gear? Protection. Comprehensive coverage ensures that you can handle whatever the environment you are riding throws at you. This is particularly important as you progress to more challenging terrain.

We believe the right gear can make or break a ride, so read on for a full list of everything that should make up your mountain bike wardrobe in 2022.

Keep yourself safe, comfortable, and even a touch stylish with the complete mountain bike gear setup. The following list includes everything you’ll want to consider and why it’s important for your next ride.

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. At the very least, you should opt for a helmet with some other high-quality safety certification. No matter where you are riding or how long/difficult/easy/short your ride is, the helmet is non-negotiable. Always wear a quality helmet.

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 provide additional features such as pockets which are handy for storing your belongings, such as keys, food, phone, and the list goes on. Always opt for long sleeves for protection from brush and branches.

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. Some riders avoid knee pads as they can slip down while you’re riding. That being said, those who are planning on some high-stakes mountain biking will do well to have the extra protection. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared and have an extra layer of cushioning (or two).

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

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. The main features that are unique to mountain bike gloves are padding and finger coverage. Both are extremely necessary. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than trying to grip onto handle-bars with sore, raw hands.

Grips are padded on mountain bikes, but still, long rides will require padding in your gloves. There are some advantages to having no padding, such as a better bar feel and cooler temperature, but this will essentially come down to the type of rides you take.

The one thing you won’t see a lot of in the world of mountain biking is fingerless gloves. Sweaty hands are not as uncomfortable as bloody fingers, so opt for full-fingered gloves every time.

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

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


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.

Aim for socks with moisture-wicking acrylic material that are a mid-calf length or higher. This will provide extra protection for your shins from brush and other objects along the trail.

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

MTB Shoes

When choosing the right footwear for mountain bike riding, the first consideration always needs to be compatible with your pedal system.

Another important thing to keep in mind that many often forget is how much walking you may have to do. While rubber outsoles with grippy lugs may be perfect for riding, they can be difficult and uncomfortable when it comes time to walk along trails.

There are two primary shoe types to choose from:

Flat shoes

The soles on flat shoes can still be very grippy, so your feet don’t slide off the pedals while still being comfortable and very easy to walk in.

Clipless shoes

If you decide to ride with clipless pedals, make sure you choose clipless shoes with a 2-hole SPD-compatible pedal and cleats. Keep in mind these will be a little bit more difficult to walk in, but they do provide a greater pedal grip.

Finally, think about waterproof shoes for wet, cold conditions. Essentially these will have waterproof liners or external shoe covers to keep your feet dry while riding and walking in the wet.

two people riding mountain bikes on a sunny day in the mountains with blue skies and trees as their backdrop

MTB Jackets

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.

Lightweight Jackets

A lightweight jacket is best used during the summertime because it offers better breathability, and 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 advantage of shell-style outwear is its ability to repel light rain without being too heavy. The best part of all? They’re easy to pack and don’t require a lot of room.

Hybrid Jackets

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.

Waterproof Jackets

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. Keep an eye out for mountain bike-specific designs in outerwear as they are often made in more durable fabrics than road wear. A cycling-specific design offers better wind protection while also being tailored to provide comfort and coverage. Most will even come with a helmet-compatible hood.

Hit The Trails

Now that you have all of your gear, you are ready to ride! Lake Mountain Alpine Resort has some of Victoria’s best descent trails, along with technical old school cross country trails, learner trails and an all-ability accessible trail. We also stock high-quality biking gear at the top of the mountain and via our Marysville location.

Visit one of Victoria’s premium alpine mountain biking destinations just a short two-hour drive from the CBD today. There’s always plenty of mountain bike fun to be had with us!

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