Even with the best bicycle modern mountain biking has to offer, you could be setting yourself up for trouble without the right accessories. Something as seemingly inconsequential as poorly fitting gloves could ruin an otherwise perfect ride. Shift into the right gear by stocking up on these must-haves, and you can hit the trail safely while looking and feeling your best.
Giro Silo Plant-Based Helmet
For the environmentalist in anyone, Giro has developed a plant-based, biodegradable "E-PLA" liner. Designed with a lower ecological footprint than helmets made of conventional expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, the Silo also breaks down in your compost once it's served you well for years. This has to cost a pretty penny, right? Guess again. The Silo is surprisingly affordable at $50.
Fox Racing Demo Bike Jersey
A great choice for a budget-friendly biking jersey, this moisture-wicking shirt not only quickly absorbs moisture away from your skin, it also dries quickly even in humid conditions. While most high-quality biking shirts go for $70 or more, this Fox Racing design can be yours for as little as $30 from Competitive Cyclist. Plus, it's available in nine different styles.
Fox Racing Bomber Gloves
When shopping for the perfect gloves, mountain bikers are not only looking for no-slip grip, they're also seeking protection from close calls with trees and other trail-side hazards. Consider these sleek gloves, which feature polycarbonate knuckle protection, as high-performance hand guards. Snag them for about $55 from Backcountry.
NiteRider Lumina 380 Cordless LED Headlight
When you need to see and be seen, this cordless headlight is your best choice. It features multiple brightness levels with a maximum of 380 lumens so you can save your battery when you don't need as much light. The best part? It never requires a battery replacement because it's rechargeable via USB. That's well worth its typical $90 price tag. Get it now from Performance Bicycle.
Louis Garneau LA84 Lace-Up Cycling Shoes
Classic lace-up riding shoes are back, and for good reason. Velcro, rachet, and other tightening systems could never match their superior comfort. Today, riders often pay a premium for this in-vogue style, but Louis Garneau offers them for a steal (under $100) compared to their counterparts.
Machines for Freedom Summit Socks
These form-fitting, ridiculously soft socks offer a six-inch cuff height and are available in plum and evergreen patterns. Machines for Freedom offers free shipping, free returns, and no minimum purchase price. These socks not only keep your feet happily dry, their unique design complements your feet and stands out above the rest for only $15.
Troy Lee Designs Skyline Shorts
Look no further for the ultimate in mountain biking comfort. The Skyline short features an adjustable waist, moisture-wicking stretch fabric, knee pad compatible length, and a range of incredibly cool designs. They are typically about $70 from Backcountry, available in women's and men's designs.
Troy Lee Designs Speed Elbow Guards
Every respectable mountain bike fiend has experienced (or dreads) elbow injuries. Don't leave your arms unprotected this season. You can get these reasonably priced elbow guards instead. The sleek black $50 design is cushioned, features an elastic silicone grip closure, and comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty. Get yours today from Backcountry.
Ride With GPS
Ride With GPS is the premier cycling application. With Bluetooth support, you can launch the app with one click and focus on enjoying your ride while the app tracks location, speed, distance traveled, elevation changes, and more all with superior power-saving technology. Ride With GPS even features offline maps so you can still access your plan in more remote locations. Start off with a 7-day subscription for just a few dollars or get the basic plan at $6 per month. Compare plans here, then download the app; it's available for both iPhone and Android.
iOttie Active Edge Bike and Bar Smartphone Mount
This affordable, sleek handlebar mount for smartphones securely cradles your tech while giving you easy access on the go. The swivel feature lets you rotate your phone between portrait and landscape views, and the dock is available in two stylish colors, including Electric Lime and Indigo Blue, for around $35. Visit B&H Photo for yours.
Now that you've brushed up on the latest, greatest mountain biking gear this year, you can pedal off knowing you're set. From jerseys and helmets at premium price points to budget-friendly rates, these must-haves will put you on the right track. Ready for what's next? Gear up for your first (or 50th) bike tour.