It’s prime time for mountain biking. Around much of the country, the weather has warmed up, the dirt is tacky and the trailheads are reopened. So, whether you’re new to mountain biking of the local King of the Mountain, hit the pedals and enjoy.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite items to shred this summer, from full-suspension bikes to snazzy, button-up shirts.
There are only a few things that mountain bikers agree on: Dirt is better than pavement, down is better than up, and the Five Ten Freerider Pro is the shoe by which all others are judged. The Stealth S1 rubber outsole sticks to flat pedals like glue, while the insole is stiff enough for solid power transfer to the pedal but comfortable enough to walk in for extended hike-a-bike sections. $150
Prefer to clip in? The SPD-compatible PEARL iZUMi X-Alp Summit bike shoes have a stiff shank designed for maximum power transfer to the pedal, and the three-point buckle closure system keeps the shoes snug when you’re pulling up on the pedals.
Osprey Syncro 5 Hydration Pack – Men’s – 2.5 Liters & Osprey Sylva 5 Hydration Pack – Women’s – 2.5 Liters
There are so many bike-specific packs on the market, but it’s the little things that set the Osprey Syncro and Sylva apart. The bite valve has a magnetic connection to the sternum strap, it comes with an integrated rain cover, and a bungee pull on the back securely holds your helmet when you’re not wearing it. As for the meat and potatoes, you get a 2.5-liter bladder, enough storage space for layers and tools and an uber-breathable back panel. $120
DAKINE’s lineup of gloves is relatively easy on your wallet and packed with features. The Cross-X gloves have airy backs and knuckle deflectors, plus silicone grippers on the fingertips. That, coupled with 3 mm of foam palm padding, helps protect your hands for the long haul and provides solid connection with the handlebars. Bonus: They’re touchscreen compatible. $35
It doesn’t matter what kind of dirt you’re after—cruisey singletrack, sculpted jumps, epic downhill, long cross-country miles—the A1 is the lid for the job. This helmet from Troy Lee Designs has all the bells and whistles, including a MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) layer that helps absorb rotational forces during a crash, intake vents to bring in cool air, an adjustable visor and a one-handed dial-in fit. $145
Get the protection of a full goggle with the superior breathability and anti-fog properties of sunglasses with the Ruckus. The glasses come with two different lenses, one for bright light and the other for low light, each with Smith’s top-of-the-line ChromaPop technology for great contrast. Grips on the temples and nose pads help the glasses stay in place, even when you’re sweating hard. $199
The Fox Ranger Utility, which uses a nylon/poly/elastane blend, is designed to handle tough trails, but the shorts are also stretchy and breathable enough for summer riding. They have a removable chamois and a handful of pockets. The 13-inch inseam and slim silhouette help prevent bunching when pedaling—and look nice enough for town, too. $99.95
The Wild Rye Freel shorts give you everything you need in terms of functionality with a nylon/elastane blend that serves up four-way stretch and enough protection to defend you from shrubs and raspberries, but they’re no utility cargo shorts. The Freels come in several fun patterns, including sloths (pictured), which says nothing about how fast you’ll feel when wearing them. Note: No chamois. $119
A button-up may look out of place on a road ride, but not on the trail (especially when you transition from ride to post-ride beer or seltzer). More importantly, there are serious jersey chops hidden beneath all that Club Ride style, like a hit of spandex in the material for stretch, mesh side panels for breathability, the maximum UPF 50 sun protection and hidden zippered stash pockets. $79.95
If moving parts are inherent failure points, then bikes are chock-full of could-go-wrongs. Be prepared for trailside repairs with this multi-tool from crankbrothers. The pocket-size tool has approximately one million different wrenches, including hexes, spokes, opens and even a Torx for disc brakes. It also has two screwdrivers and a chainbreaker. $27
Co-op Cycles’ DRT series has something for everyone, from beginners looking for an entry-level workhorse to enduro racers going full send. The 2.2 hits the sweet spot between value and capability, with an entry-level price tag and versatile components. The hardtail’s long wheelbase and slack headtube angle help give you more confidence on the descent, while a 1×12 SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain serves up the right punch for unrelenting climbs. A dropper seatpost is a nice touch at this price point. $1,799
Like to charge? The Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 29 3 might be your racehorse. With 29-inch wheels and a Gemini suspension system that stiffens on the climb, this bike was built for slaying Strava KOMs. But it’s also loaded with 150mm of travel in a Fox Float Performance 36 up front and Fox Float Performance DPX2 on the rear, which gives you downhill-bike capability when the dirt turns rough. Hello, enduro! $4,250
Interested in more staff picks and kits? Find more collections here.