Without a doubt, the most important piece of equipment you can own for mountain biking, besides the bike itself, is a helmet. Nothing will ruin your ride – or life as you know it – faster than a head injury, so you know to take proper precautions. All commercial helmets will technically do the job, but if you spend enough time in the saddle, you’ll want something that fits well, is light and comfortable, and offers maximum protection for your riding style.
If you have been around mountain bikes for the last few years, you’ve probably heard riders making seemingly hyperbolic statements like “my dropper seatpost changed the way I ride,” or, “I can’t ride without my dropper.” You might think these riders are exaggerating, but they are onto something.
In the short history of mountain biking, a few inventions have revolutionized mountain biking to the point that most riders would not dream of riding without these features on their bikes. While there are exceptions most riders depend on suspension over rigid bikes, disc brakes over rim brakes, and tubeless tires over tubes, the dropper seatpost is the next revolution in this line.
The wheels on your mountain bike can radically transform your ride in ways that no single component upgrade can. Stock wheels on many mountain bikes are relatively heavy, have hubs with mediocre drivetrain engagement, can be difficult to set up tubeless, and might not be as strong as their more sophisticated counterparts. In addition, wheels that have seen a lot of miles have fatigued rims and spokes that might not be worth the trouble to maintain.
Our buying guide breaks down everything you need to consider first, along with our favorite hoops for every disciple.
It’s a saturday morning and you’re stoked to ride. You’re at the trailhead early in the morning hoping to beat the crowds. But apparently you aren’t the only one with that idea. After the first mile you’ve passed 17 hikers, 5 dogs, and 3 other groups of riders.
These scenarios are not uncommon during summer weekends. But get to the trailhead at 9pm? Absolutely empty, you will have the trail to yourself.
Night riding is its own beast. But it doesn’t have to be if you bring your 2500 lumen Light & Motion light you’ll have a beam of light that isn’t even street legal in some places. At night the trails you’ve seen 100 times take a whole new form: when you’re ripping down the trail it’s only the small ribbon of light and nothing else to distract you, and best of all you’re doing this alone or with your buddies.
Just remember to grab your light before you go. Choosing the best light will make or break your PM trail time.
Whether you’re commuting to work, running errands, heading out for a long all-day ride with the crew, or just tooling around the park, you should wear a helmet. There aren’t any laws in this country requiring cyclists to wear helmets (unless they are under a certain age) but statistics do show that the risk of serious head injury is reduced by 70% if the rider is wearing a helmet.
Maxxis has long been a standard-bearer for mountain bike tires, and every few years, they come up with the “it tire” that everyone wants. At a time when momentum was growing behind pushing the definition of “cross country” riding to the fringes, they produced the Ardent, a tire of massive volume, thick casing, and chunky treads that seemed out of place for only a short time. The Ardent set the bar for aggressive, fast-rolling tires.
Its reputation as a good all-around tire has made it Maxxis’ number one top-selling tire, with multiple wheel sizes, a skinwall version for the NAHBS crowd, a lighter “race” version and even an e-bike specific version.
Riding should never be a pain in the butt. Whether you ride for fitness or for fun (ideally both), having a saddle that is comfortable can be the difference between finishing a ride tired and happy or finishing the ride and not being able to sit for a week. If finding the perfect saddle sounds as elusive as nabbing a pro’s Strava KOM, this article will guide you closer to finding the perfect mountain bike saddle for all riders and budgets.
Choosing mountain bike tires isn’t as easy as it sounds. Like most things in the bicycling universe, there are more choices than ever to fit the type of rider you are and the kind of riding you do.
There are several factors you should consider when looking for the best mountain bike tires. Tire weight and width are only the tip of the iceburg.
For a good all-around tire that sheds mud well and rolls fast, we love the WTB Velociraptor.
When you first start mountain biking, an ordinary pair of running or hiking shoes will probably do you just fine. But once you’ve decided this is the sport for you, a more specific shoe can definitely help improve your performance.
What you go for will depend on the type of riding you do, the weather conditions you ride in, and your budget.
Whether you’re a dirt-jumper or an 80km cross-country rider, your mountain bike gloves are likely to be dear to your heart. This humble piece of kit has to meet many needs: protecting your knuckles, letting your hands breathe, and helping avoid the dreaded numbness. Once you find your perfect pair, you’ll never want to let them go.
There are so many styles and makes of gloves out there that it can be hard to know where to start looking. And let’s face it – we’re all different. What works for me, may not be the best choice for you. So we’ve reviewed the most popular mountain bike gloves on the market to find the perfect glove to suit every rider and every budget.
Here are our personal picks for the best mountain bike gloves. Keep reading for our reviews and recommendations.