Essential Mountain Biking Gear – Must Have Equipment for Every Rider 

All set for a gnarly ride or just planning to hit the dirt roads? Starting with mountain biking requires some special equipment to ensure a safe and thrilling ride. 

Some of the must-have mountain biking gear includes helmets, repair kits, MTB shoes, and jerseys. Moreover, protective gear like gloves, goggles, knee and elbow pads are crucial to avoid fatal injuries while riding. 


Protecting the head during mountain biking must be every rider’s top priority. It’s a proven fact that helmets can prevent about 50% of potential head injuries that may lead to death. However, wearing any type of helmet won’t do the job at all. As your foremost mountain biking gear, you must select the ideal size and type of bike helmet to get the best possible protection. 

Also Read – 5 Top Rated Giro Bike Helmets

Broadly speaking, there are 2 main types of MTB helmets, as discussed below: 

Half-Shell MTB Helmet 

  • Half-shell helmets are ideal for trail mountain, recreational, or cross-country riders. 
  • As the name suggests, they cover only the top, back, and sides while leaving your face exposed. 
  • They’re lighter, take up less space, and offer extra ventilation during high climbs. 

Full Face MTB Helmet 

  • Full-face helmets are typically preferred by enduro, freeride, and downhill mountain bikers
  • As these helmets cover your full face, they offer extra protection at higher speeds, involving an increased risk of crashes. 
  • They come with a chin guard to prevent the helmet from falling off during heavy impact. 

Protective Gears

Except for protecting your head, it’s equally important to prevent fractures, abrasions, or injuries on other parts of the body. Thus, protective equipment is the next must-have mountain biking gear before you get on your bike. 

You must select proper mountain bike protective gear based on your riding style and preferences. 

Check out some of the most essential mountain bike protective gears:

Bike Gloves 

  • Mountain bike gloves offer comfort and grip during long rides while protecting your hands during a crash. 
  • They’re available in half-finger and full-finger coverage types and can be optimized based on breathability and other elements. 

Knee and Elbow Pads 

  • Knee pads come in a range of minimum to maximum protection based on the rider’s preferences. 
  • Soft knee pads are lightweight but offer minimal protection during a fall. Knee and shin guards provide full leg protection for rough rides. 

Also Read – 5 Best MTB Knee Pads: Our Top Picks

Body Armor 

  • If you’re into downhill trails or freeriding, body armor is a must-have gear for maximum protection. 
  • Body armors range from only covering your chest to offering complete protection that includes the chest, arms, and shoulders, depending on the biker’s choice. 

Eye Protection Gear 

  • Protecting your eyes from debris, dirt, and insects while riding is critical to avoid accidents. 
  • While a pair of eye protection gear may work, you can choose to wear mountain bike goggles with a full-face helmet to prevent them from falling off, especially on steep terrain. 


As a mountain biking beginner, you may wonder what to wear when riding. Mountain biking jerseys usually have some common features. They’re designed to dry out quickly and are close-fitting. Moreover, cross-country riders also look for a front zip feature to facilitate ventilation while climbing hard.  

Padded shorts coupled with a chamois pad provide excellent cooling by stirring away the moisture from your body. You can also choose mountain bike shorts that go up to knee-length for increased protection against the sun with high durability. 

Also Read – Essential Bike Clothing Every Rider Should Have

Biking Shoes

Riders must consider the impact point of their shoe with the bike’s pedal while choosing the type of shoes for riding. For clipless pedals, you must choose shoes that have cleats to attach themselves to the pedal. These cleats, along with a chunky tread, provide more comfort and allow the rider to walk normally.

Flat pedal mountain biking shoes have stiff soles and rough surfaces that offer extensive grip even on extremely rough terrains. While cross-country riders tend to choose clipless shoes, other riders prefer flat-soled shoes. 

Also Read – Best Cycling Shoes Based on Foot Shape

Tools and Repair Kit  

Adding to the most important mountain biking gear list, tools and repair kits play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth riding experience. Repair tools help you to perform quick repairs and maintenance at any point of your ride. 

Some basic tools include a bike pump, a Phillips screwdriver, duct tape, and a spoke wrench.  You can also apply bike chain lubricant on multi-day or long rides where your bike is most likely to ride through dirt roads and trails. 

Also Read – How to Maintain Your Mountain Bike for Peak Performance

Safety First, Adventure Always  

To get the most out of riding while maintaining your safety, you must be equipped with some mountain bike riding gear. Protective gear like helmets, gloves, and goggles promote riding safety. 

Moreover, repair tools such as bike pumps, duct tape, and chain lube allow you to perform crucial repairs if required during a challenging ride.


Frequently Asked Questions


Should I carry a tire repair kit while mountain biking? 

For longer rides, it is highly recommended that you carry a spare tube or patch kit with you. In the case of a flat tire, you can fix it through a bike patch kit if it’s a small puncture. However, larger punctures may require replacing the tube entirely. 

What do mountain bikers carry in their backpacks? 

Mountain bikers carry essential items such as a first aid kit, chain lube, tire lever, multitool, and spare lever. Some bikers may also keep spare food for longer or multi-day rides.

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