Top 6 Safety Accessories for Mountain Biking
By Lydia Quinn
Mountain biking can be a fun and exhilarating activity. However, in order to enjoy it, you must have all the proper safety accessories needed to protect you from falls, crashes and other unforeseen events that tend to be quite common when you’re racing through such rocky or treacherous terrain. Here are the top six safety accessories that every mountain biking enthusiast needs to have:
The top safety item is, of course, the helmet. In fact, you’ll want not just a helmet to protect your head, but a full-face helmet that will protect your entire face and head from falls or those random branches and foliage that may get in your way. Keep in mind that a mountain biking helmet is very different from a bicycle helmet, which only tends to cover the top of your head. A mountain biking helmet will look more like a motocross or dirt bike helmet. It will have vital face protection, while still allowing you to see and feel the wind in your face through a number of vents.
Also critical is having proper eye protection. In this case, you want goggles, not sunglasses. A pair of goggles appropriate for mountain biking will look very much like a pair of ski goggles or dirt biking goggles. They will have a large surface to see through and also have a heavy duty strap which allows the goggles to stay on your face even over a full face helmet. You need goggles to protect you from the sun, glare, wind, dirt, dust, mud, leaves, foreign objects and whatever else you may run into.
Also important are gloves. Mountain biking gloves are much thinner and made from more flexible material that typical sports or work gloves. The flexibility is critical since mountain biking requires you to hold on to something constantly and have a strong grip. Mountain biking gloves will also have some sections of harder material on them, like rubberized or plastic areas for the back of the hand to protect your hands from cuts and scrapes.
Since you are sitting on a bike, having elbow pads is also vital. Elbow pads will protect your arms as you ride through dense areas of woods. They will also protect your arms in a crash or fall.
Since you will likely be heading through dense brush, grasses or rocky trails, shin guards are another essential. Shin guards will protect your legs from all the dense underbrush, rocks, logs, branches, and everything else you roll over.
Mountain Bike Pants
You can buy pants specially made for mountain biking. It’s another critical clothing item to have if you’re out on the trails. They will feature extra durability and flexibility for someone riding a bike. In addition, waterproofing is also critical since you may need to go through a muddy path or a few inches of water. Extra padding would be found in the knees, as well as spandex or a similar fabric for maximum flexibility.
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