Mountain Biking 101: What to Wear

What better time to try a new sport than the summer! At Loon, not only do we have plenty of beginner and intermediate terrain but also a Your Turn lesson that’s perfect for those that have never tried downhill mountain biking.

Although it may be a new sport, it’s still important to dress the part to ensure that you have a great day out on the trails.


Comfort is key! Opt for long or 3/4 length sleeves to protect from any encounters you might have with brush or dirt. You will get sweaty, so choose a material that will help wick away moisture like merino or a synthetic. Your top should be able to allow for unrestricted movement, as well as protection from sun and dirt.


Movement is the biggest factor in choosing what you wear on your lower half. Most mountain biking shorts are loose, offering of plenty of movement, and coverage that reaches to your knee pads. As with your shirt, opt for a fabric that provides some protection should you find yourself in a crash. If it’s a colder or rainy day, feel free to weer a longer pair of pants.


Helmets! When you rent a bike or participate in Your Turn at Loon, you automatically have access to a full face helmet. This largely comes down to personal preference; a full face helmet is bulkier but offers a significant more amount of protection thanks to a chin bar, whereas a trail helmet still offers protection but without the chin bar. If you’re opting for a trail helmet, make sure that the back of the helmet extends lower than your average bike helmet for added protection. As you increase in speed and riding capability, you should also increase the level of protection you wear.


To get on the lift, we do require closed toed shoes. Choose a shoe with a stiff sole and sticky rubber that lets you transfer more power to the pedals while ensuring a strong connection with the pins on the pedals. For sock, follow the similar though as your top – longer and moisture wicking – providing some protective coverage for your ankle and calf.

Protective Padding

Although this comes down to personal preference, we definitely recommend them. The harder riding you do, the more protection is probably for the best. For beginners, we recommend knee and elbow pads, but feel free to wear / bring your own padded shorts or chest/back protector.


When the dirt is flying, you definitely want to protect your eyeballs. At low speed, you can get away without any eyewear, but as you continue to progress, we recommend goggles or sunglasses. Remember, the woods can get dark, so clear or yellow lenses are important for riding.

Photo courtesy of @Spitzerphoto.

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