In this chapter, we will discuss about the equipment and accessories used in Mountain Biking. Let’s start with helmets which is the most important equipment that every biker must wear.
Helmets are mostly use as a protective measure for biker’s head. Use of helmet is almost universal in all bikers. Based on their design, three types of helmets are used. These include cross country, rounded skateboarder style, and full face. Cross country helmets are very much similar to road racing helmets. They are lighter and have aerodynamic qualities.
Rounded skate board helmets are simpler and cheaper than other helmets and cover a large area of the head. They are made of hard plastic and can take up to multiple blows. Full faced helmets are used for maximum security with a jaw guard placed in it and are stronger as well as heavier than other helmet types. They are made of carbon fibres and are well ventilated.
Unlike normal road touring gloves, biking gloves are specially designed for bike rider’s safety. They are made of heavier materials with thumb and other fingers are mostly covered because of safety issues. The gloves have padding near the hand knuckles.
The glasses used by mountain bikers are very much similar to that of other racing sports. They are mainly used to avoid debris on the trails. Filtered and colored lenses protect eyes from strain. Downhill and free ride bikers mostly use goggles that are used in motor cross or snowboard sports.
Shoes used by the bikers have gripping soles with more flexibility similar to hiking boots.
As bikers often ride through off road terrains, hydration systems are very much important for them. They use water bottles as well as water backs with tubes in their lightweight backpacks.
GPS navigation devices are provided in handlebars and are used as a navigation map and to monitor player’s progress during the race. Mostly premade mapping system or internet downloaded maps are used for this feature.
Pumps are used mostly to inflate flat tires.
Bikers carry bike tools as well as extra tires for avoiding situations like mechanical problem.
High-powered LED lights are used, especially for biking at night.
Different protective pads and guards are used in mountain biking to protect the biker against crashes and accidents. For knees as well as elbows, neoprene sleeves are used; while hard plastic shells are used to protect the limbs as well as whole body.
For spine protection, metal enforced plastic plates with foam padding are used. Some bikers also use chest plates, abdomen protectors.
Every biker carries first aid boxes in order to clean and dress cuts that are caused by accidents or crashes. As the speed rises, injuries to head, chest or spine are likely to occur, first aid kit is highly recommended for bikers. In case of severely injured bikers, either motor vehicles or helicopters are used to move them.