Essential Mountain Bike Gear for Beginners
Mountain biking is, as you know, a dangerous sport and therefore requires a responsible attitude, including such an important thing as the choice of equipment. In this article, we will look at what it is like and what it is intended for.
Mountain bike itself
The main features of a mountain bike are wide (1.5 – 2.5 inches instead of the usual 20-40 mm) wheels, slightly smaller than road bikes in diameter (26 inches instead of 700 mm). Special geometry frame with bogie raised for cross-country driving up to 29-33 cm and a large (21-27) number of gears with a wide gear ratio range, suitable for any height difference where you can still ride. Mountain bikes can be used in extreme conditions, and the demands of convenience and efficiency are as important as weight reduction.
A helmet is an alpha and omega for any cyclist, not just mountain bikers. Good manners tell us to wear a helmet at all times, no matter whether you go to the store for bread or go down the black trail in the mountains. But helmets are different, let’s look at their main types used in mountain biking, and what they are intended for.
A lightweight helmet that weighs almost nothing, differs from a road helmet in the presence of a visor. Saves your head once, for example, when flying over the steering wheel. After the first blow, such a helmet becomes unusable and requires replacement. It should be understood that he does not provide any truly serious protection.
There are two types, the first, in the jargon called a bowler hat, is used in freestyle, where there is a great risk of hitting your head and, in particular, the back of your head. Therefore, such a helmet is strong enough, heavy, and can withstand more than one fall. However, the severity and lack of sane ventilation make themselves felt.
The second is an enduro and AM helmet, which is essentially a cross-country helmet, but with additional protection for the back of the head and, in general, a little more durable. However, this is still a one-hit helmet.
Full face helmet
This is a bike helmet that comes from motocross. It differs from motocross in less massiveness, lightness, and a large number of ventilation holes. Provides maximum protection for the entire head, however, is heavy and uncomfortable.
Knee and shin protectors
The second most important piece of equipment after the helmet. Falls to your knees are frequent, and their restoration is laborious and expensive. Therefore, do not neglect them. There are hard ones with a plastic cup and all sorts of smart systems that harden on impact.
Knee pads are often combined with shin protectors. Shin protection is needed so that you do not injure your legs when you dismount from the pedal. The cleats on the pedals dig very unpleasantly into soft tissue.
Are needed to protect your elbows. It is more difficult to get a serious injury to the elbow than to the knee, usually, it ends in abrasions, although they are also not pleasant enough. However, on difficult rocky trails, where every uncomfortable cobblestone may be the reason for long-term rehabilitation, you should not ignore them.
Fully protects the upper body from impacts against rocks. There are different types from a very bulletproof vest to a light T-shirt with spine protection. Its use is relevant on tracks where, wherever you fall, there will be sharp stones. It’s hot and uncomfortable in the shell, but sometimes it’s worth it. Especially for beginners try examples on crooze troy lee designs.
However, do not assume that you are protected from everything and fly headlong. The shell will not protect you from fractures of the collarbone, falls from great heights, and other similar injuries.
Prevents the neck from moving beyond the physiological limit when falling. Will save you from fractures, sprains, and other troubles. It is expensive and requires very careful fitting.
Prevents the leg from moving further than it is anatomically foreseen. It takes up some of the inertia, for example, during plane landings. May save you from torn ankle ligaments or ankle fractures.
They will save your palms and wrists from abrasions and bruises, as well as protect you from whipping branches and stones. There are different ones, ranging from ordinary fabric ones to armored ones and with silicone inserts.
As you can see, you can vary the degree of your protection quite a lot, from riding in shorts and a T-shirt to being fully wrapped in armor. A gentleman’s set is a helmet and knees, however, the final choice of equipment is always yours. Don’t be afraid to look stupid, you ride for yourself, not for that guy. Long thoughts that everything could have been completely different, if you put on the knee pads, then you won’t enjoy it, that’s for sure.
Well, it’s better to never take off your helmet at all.