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MTB Clothing



Do you need mountain bike specific clothing in order to ride? The answer is yes... and no.

It is possible to wear regular sports clothing when riding your mountain bike but using clothes specifically designed for your activity will result in increased enjoyment and performance. Sure you can suffer through a ride with four pair of underwear instead of padded shorts, and a sweat drenched t-shirt instead of a jersey, but why? Mountain bike apparel isn't just about "the look", it is about clothing that performs better under all riding conditions. Good quality MTB wear does and should include the following features:

1. Wicking. The materials used in mountain bike shirts and shorts are designed to "wick" or remove moisture from the skin and transfer it to the outer layer of the material where it can dry quickly and easily. The result? A cool, dry and comfortable rider.
2. Invisible Seams. A real necessity, invisible seams keep material from rubbing you in vulnerable places. The result? A rider with baby soft skin, with less chaffing.
3. Padding. MTB shorts and/or tights involve pads built in where you need them most. The result? Well, you get the picture.

What You Need:

There are five basic items of clothing you should consider when outfitting yourself for a ride.

1. Jersey. A good mountain bike jersey will have long or short sleeves and is designed with material that "wicks". It will typically have a 3/4 or 1/2 zipper down the front (for increased air flow) and pockets in the back, for storage (maps or snacks). A jersey should be worn over, not tucked into, your shorts.
2. Gloves. Full finger or half finger gloves are available. Both have padding in the proper places to help keep your hands from going numb. They also protect your hands in the event of a crash.
3. Shorts. Shorts come in two styles, baggie or lycra (tight). Both have padding in the right place to protect your behind and prevent numbness. Choose the style that suits your taste and comfort level. Note: Padded cycling underwear are available and can be worn under anything, turning your regular clothes into padded shorts.
4. Socks. Cycling socks are thinner than regular athletic socks, and made of special wicking fabrics designed to keep your feet dry and toasty. They also protect your ankles.
5. Bike Shoes. There are many different kinds of bike shoes from hiking boot style to light racer-like shoes. However, they all have one thing in common - they are SDP compatible. What this means is that they have a rigid sole and (usually) a supported area that will hold the cleats for a clipless pedal (which attaches your shoe to the bike). The rigid sole helps the rider to apply even pressure on the pedal.
6. Helmet.