In this post and video you’ll see the items that we use to get the most out of the trail.
First is obviously, a good helmet. There are so many different kinds of helmets - half shell, full face downhill, etc. In the video I show you a full face trail helmet that rocks! The Kali Protectives helmet is so cool because it's as light in areas of the helmet, but gives you that chin protection.
Next, even though they might look dorky, is pads. If you never crash, you won’t need pads. But you will be grateful you have them on when you smack your elbow on a rock or tree.
For knee pads, POC VPD, air pads are a great place to start. These are awesome. and you don't recognize when they're there. They're airy, they're pliable, but when you hit it firms up and protects your knees.
Gloves are also helpful even though a lot of people don't wear them. Hands get sweaty and slip on the grips though so gloves are a good way to keep control of the bike. Do you really want a stick or twigs going up your fingernails? The Giro Xen gloves - they're extremely lightweight.
For eye protection, you can wear sunglasses, goggles, or nothing at all. You’ll hear lots of different opinions on this topic, so just do what you want to do.
Now let’s chat about nutrition. Everyone has their own opinion on what they like. Skratch Labs is the stuff. They have, hands down, the best protein bars and the best chews on the market. The bars don't feel like a brick in your stomach.
Now onto shoes. You’ve got a ton of options here. Most people ride clips, but don't shy away from flats. With a little tweak of technique you'll be riding beautifully. Some of the best mountain bike racers wear flats. Clips are more common. The Five Ten Freerider Pros are a good place to start- they’re just like a shoe, but they have a much stiffer foundation. If you like to walk while riding try the Five Ten Fivetennie.
You also need to consider hydration. A water bottle and camelback are probably the most popular options, but as long as you have enough water with you then you’ll be fine.
If you don't like strapping everything to your frame.... wear a backpack. The Evoc Stage 6 crushes it. It’s so comfortable - you barely even notice this on your back. It'll fit a three liter a water bladder. It's also good throwing a pack on because when you fall and roll, it protects your back.
Hope this helps you know what gear you need for the trail!