WE’VE GOT THE DIRT ON THE BEST MTB HELMETS, BODY ARMOR, APPAREL AND ACCESSORIES

You spent a lot of time testing different bikes, finally deciding on one that suits your riding style and experience level. It’s specced out with a sturdy suspension and griptacular tires. And now those hoops—whether you opted for stiff 29ers designed to smash summer trails or plus-size rollers optimized for snowy singletracks—are begging to get dirty. Not so fast. Before that front tire starts flinging debris your way, use this gear guide to make sure you’re ready for the same conditions as your bike.

BIKE HELMETS

BODY ARMOR

When you’re barreling down a tree-lined trail with rocks everywhere, it’s not just your head that’s vulnerable if you crash—your entire body is at risk. Body armor can be worn to lessen the impact and prevent injuries to your knees, shoulders, chest and spine. You don’t necessarily need to suit up for every ride, however. Wearing body armor is a highly personal choice dependent on your mental approach, skill level and riding style, as well as the type of terrain you’re riding on and the length of the trail.

Like all mountain bike gear, armor gets salty and dirty. Removable protectors make it possible to toss the garment in the washing machine instead of laundering it by hand.

ACCESSORIES AND APPAREL

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