A quick guide to essential clothing MTB riders need to own

Mountain bikers ride on rough terrain, and while the roughness of the terrain depends on the location and environment, riders are still confronted with several obstacles such as roots and rocks. This already tells you that comfort and protection is a top priority. 

If you’ve been an off-road rider for some time, you know that this is true and that one of the many ways to protect yourself is through clothing. The kind that’s specifically designed for mountain biking. Why does this matter? Because your day-to-day clothing is not made to protect you and provide you comfort on your rides, which typically go on for many hours. 

Below, we’ve put together a cycling clothing guide to help you understand exactly what to wear for casual bike riding and serious rides, be it training for a big race or for fitness reasons. We’ll also mention where to find cycling clothing for sale in South Africa.

Cycling shorts

Cycling shorts are one of the cycling essentials you would struggle without. This is because they’re made with thick materials to help you withstand potential crashes and offer protection without causing restriction of movement as you ride. Mountain biking baggies, as they’re called, are made with durable, quick-drying outer Enduro fabric, built-in mesh liner with comfortable moulded padding, and stretch rear panelling for articulation in the riding position. It’s ideal to buy shorts that hit a little bit below the knee for extra protection. 

Baselayer, jersey and jacket

This trio of cycling tops is essential for your rides. A baselayer is warm, breathable, and keeps moisture away from the skin, which is particularly useful during warm weather. On the other hand, jerseys made specifically for mountain biking have seams in the right places and a cut made to protect you from rubbing, which might result in sores if you simply wear any ordinary jersey. There are different types of jackets available, but it’s ideal to get a jacket with windproof, breathable and water-repellant features. You can buy a short sleeve shirt and a cycling jacket for different seasons or weather conditions, or to layer up when necessary. 

Cycling socks

To reiterate what we’ve said above, riding off-road means you’re going to meet obstacles – some more dangerous than others from sand or mud to pebbles, low bushes and branches, as well as African poison ivy. Cycling socks are thin in the foot and on the leg and have a cushioned heel and toe for increased durability. They protect you from these dangers, and the longer your socks are, the better. Longer socks also protect you from the discomfort that might be caused by sweat or the mud picked up from the trail. 

MTB shoes

MTB shoes are different from regular trainers in that they’re built stiffer and with more grip on the soles to ensure even distribution of power on the pedal. They will boost your performance and improve your confidence in the terrain. When you visit Chris Willemse Cycles, you’ll find that our MTB shoes are built to provide you with an excellent fit and high performance. They have an adaptive fit upper pattern that features a Boa Fit System L6, combined with a lower anatomic fit strap for the best fit. They come with a stiffness index 6 injection composite sole, which increases cleat adjustment range and minimal Sticki race rubber that offers fantastic traction on roots, rocks and loose soil.

Cycling accessories

Basic accessories such as a bike helmet, mtb gloves, knee pads and cycling glasses are non-negotiable if you care about your safety on the rides. These items offer you more coverage and protection in case of crashes. You’ll feel more confident with back-up protection for your body. Plus, they don’t restrict your movements, so you have no reason not to cover up. 

Final thoughts

As a mountain bike rider, you cannot simply slip on a pair of ordinary shorts, a t-shirt and jump on your bike for a trail ride. Protect yourself and enjoy adventures. To purchase the above items and more cycling-related resources or if you need a new mountain bike, visit Chris Willemse Cycles today!