Essential Mountain E Bike Gear | Macfox Electric Bike
    Essential equipment for mountain electric bicycles, including helmets, clothing, protective equipment, etc.  Whether you're a beginner or an experienced rider, ensure safety and comfort on every ride.

    Essential Mountain E-Bike Gear: Everything You Need to Know

    • By Macfox Bike
    • May 23

    Comfort, weather conditions, protection and personal style determine what to wear when mountain biking.  Here’s a comprehensive guide to ensure you’re fully prepared for your mountain ebike adventure.

    Generally, trail and downhill riders opt for baggy kits consisting of loose-fitting shorts, padded Lycra shorts underneath, and a similarly loose jersey. More race-focused cross-country riders will often go full Lycra. If you're starting, the best kit is the kit you already have. However, as you progress, you'll likely want clothing designed for the specific demands of mountain biking.

    Ultimately, the choice is up to you; you should wear whatever you feel comfortable in.

    Where you ride and the time of year or season will significantly impact what you decide to wear. When the weather is warm, and the trails are mostly dry in the middle of summer, you'll require less protection from the elements than in the depths of winter. You also need to factor in the demands of your ride. Suppose you're heading off for an all-mountain adventure in the Alps or Rockies, for example. In that case, you'll need to bring a more severe kit because you'll need to make sure you're prepared for backcountry epics.

    However, whenever and wherever you're riding, you're likely to need several essentials.


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    A helmet is an essential piece of kit for mountain bikers. The chances of slipping, crashing, or bumping into a tree or rock are much higher than for commuters or most road cyclists, so head protection is crucial.

    The best mountain bike helmets generally have an integrated peak, which helps keep the sun and rain out of your eyes and deflect low-hanging branches. A mountain bike helmet also sits lower around the back and sides of your head to provide better coverage.

    For bike parks, downhill riding, and enduro racing, mountain bikers usually wear a full-face helmet, which offers all-around protection. Occasionally, full-face helmets are paired with a neck brace, which prevents the head from being dangerously thrown back in the event of a significant crash – more of an issue for riders doing big jumps and drops. MIPS technology is increasingly common in mountain bike helmets. MIPS is an additional layer, or slip-plane, inside the helmet designed to reduce the rotational forces on the brain, which can be experienced in specific impacts.

    Glasses or Goggles

    Glasses or goggles protect your eyes from sun glare and debris kicked up by your front wheel. Look for mountain bike sunglasses with an interchangeable lens and multiple lens options. This enables you to swap the lens out according to the conditions.

    A clear lens, for example, is suitable for riding in dull or dark conditions. In contrast, tinted lenses are better for reducing glare or increasing contrast. Trail riders wear glasses most of the time. However, suppose the weather is bleak and muddy. In that case, goggles are an alternative option because they provide sealed weather protection with a wide range of vision.

    Goggles are usually paired with full-face helmets, though many will fit with regular helmets – known colloquially as going 'full enduro'. Most downhillers wear goggles rather than glasses because they are more secure and offer protection on long, technical descents.


    Mountain bike jerseys tend to have a looser cut than a road jersey. Most mountain bike jerseys will have a loose cut and come in short-sleeve, three-quarter, or long-sleeve options.

    A short-sleeve jersey will keep you more relaxed in the summer heat, but a long-sleeve jersey will offer more protection for your arms – from the sun, nettles, thorns, and branches. Some long-sleeve jerseys will have mesh panels to improve breathability.

    Prices are generally lower than the best cycling jerseys for road cycling, and there's a vast range of colours and designs. Cross-country mountain bikers wear a Lycra jersey like a road cycling jersey, with rear pockets ideal for stowing spare tubes, tools, and snacks.

    Shorts, Liner Shorts, and Baggy Shorts

    Padded shorts are a good idea because mountain biking, by its very nature, takes place on rough terrain, and riders spend time repeatedly getting in and out of the saddle. Road-cycling style bib shorts with a chamois pad are ideal either on their own or, more common for trail riding, as an underlayer with a pair of baggy mountain bike shorts over the top.

    You can also find padded shorts made of lightweight material or mesh, designed to be used just as liners under baggy shorts. Baggy mountain bike shorts will usually be knee-length and constructed from either a stretchy material or a robust, tear-resistant fabric with stretch panels around the back to allow the shorts to move with the rider.

    They should also have room for knee pads to fit underneath. Waterproof shorts protect your bottom and pad from the spray of your rear wheel, allowing you to ride in the rain without the discomfort of sitting on a soiled nappy.

    Waterproof Trousers

    Suppose you ride year-round and live somewhere with an inclement climate (like us here in the US) then riding trousers will make a big difference in mucky conditions. Riding trousers will not only help keep you dry but also provide warmth when the temperature drops and stop you from getting caked in mud (even if your kit still takes the brunt of it).

    Like jackets, riding trousers are usually available in waterproof and water-resistant variants. Waterproof cycling trousers are likely to be made from a hardshell fabric – the kind of waterproof trousers you might expect to use for hiking – and offer plenty of protection from the rain, but at the cost of breathability.

    Water-resistant trousers are more likely to be made from a softshell fabric, offering improved fit and durability, and with a Durable water-repellent (DWR) treatment to shed rain. Fit is critical when it comes to riding trousers. You want something close enough to avoid the material flapping or getting in the way, but with enough room to not restrict pedaling. An articulated cut will help in that respect, too. Extras such as Velcro tabs on the ankles for a close fit and abrasion-resistant materials are also helpful.

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    Knee Pads and Other Protection

    Most riders wear knee pads at a minimum if riding any trail with an above-average chance of taking a spill. Or just for peace of mind. There are more lightweight options than ever before that offer protection while still enabling you to pedal comfortably.

    For more technical riding, there are chunkier pads available. Some mountain bikers will also use other body armour for racing and technical riding, such as elbow pads and back protectors.


    Mountain bikers wear full-finger gloves rather than fingerless gloves or mitts. Look for gloves with carefully placed grippers. Most mountain bikers favour full-finger gloves, which provide more comprehensive protection than mitts.

    The coverage provided by full-finger mountain bike gloves helps protect the hands from crashes and undergrowth, and some gloves will come with padding on the palms to provide additional cushioning. Gloves aimed at downhill or enduro riders often have more protection on the back of the hands because the likelihood of crashing is much higher for this type of riding. Gloves can also help with grip because the palm will be designed to provide extra traction on the handlebars.

    Look for gloves with carefully placed grippers so you have complete control over the brakes and shifters. Full-finger gloves also provide welcome insulation and windproofing in the autumn, winter, and spring when riding in cool or wet conditions. That said, you'll find a wide range of gloves out there, with lighter options for summer riding and more heavily insulated options for cold conditions. Investing in a couple of sets of gloves will stand you in good stead, and avoid sweaty hands when it's warm and freezing hands when it's chilly.


    Long socks give some protection from thorns and trail debris. As well as expressing your style, long cycling socks can help protect the shins and calves from scratches and cuts from undergrowth or the pedals.

    Waterproof socks are popular with mountain bikers who ride in wet conditions because they help keep feet warm and relatively dry when shoes get wet. On the other hand, lightweight, breathable socks will help keep your feet cool in summer. There's also the option of putting waterproof shoe covers over riding shoes (most likely if you're using slim-line shoes for clipless pedals), which adds even more wet weather protection.


    Mountain bike shoes are usually available in clipless and flat varieties. When it comes to contact points – where the rider makes contact with the bike – the shoe/pedal interface is one of the most important.

    Riders need to feel secure when riding over rough ground and also be able to pedal efficiently up challenging, technical climbs. There are two choices on offer: flat pedals and clipless pedals. Many trail and cross-country riders will choose to ride clipped-in, like road cyclists, with a mechanism connecting a cleat on the sole of the shoe to the pedal.

    Clipless shoes look like road cycling shoes but will have a recessed cleat and chunky tread to allow the rider to walk more normally. Other riders ride with 'flat' shoes and pedals, with a rough-textured surface and 'pins' that project outward to grip the shoes.

    Flat-pedal mountain bike shoes look more like skate shoes or trainers. They usually have a lace-up fastening with an elastic band to tuck the laces into. They also have a sole with a tread pattern that works with the pedal pins and is made from extra-grippy rubber for the same reason. If you're riding through the cold, dark months, it's worth looking at winter mountain bike shoes made from warm, weatherproof materials.

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    A lightweight jacket will fend off the wind and showers. As with every other type of cycling, mountain biking can be a year-round activity if you have a suitable kit. A mountain biking jacket will help keep the elements at bay if the weather starts to look inclement.

    Still, , you may encounter a wide range of conditions there, so there's a wide range of mountain bike jackets. We will run through three main options: a lightweight shell, a hybrid jacket, and a fully waterproof jacket.

    A lightweight jacket is usually made of a water-resistant material designed to offer wind and rain protection while retaining breathability, often through mesh panels or perforations in the fabric. A jacket like this should also be packable, meaning you can take it off if conditions improve and stow it in a backpack. Or keep it in your pack just in case the conditions change mid-ride and you need an extra layer.

    A hybrid jacket is designed to offer the best of all worlds, combining water repellency, warmth, and breathability. An excellent hybrid coat will likely be made from a softshell or padded fabric for additional warmth and stretch. While a hybrid jacket will be less packable than a lightweight shell, it should still be stuffed into a riding pack. Look for a jacket with vents because there's only so much heat build-up a coat like this can handle, even with a breathable fabric. It's unlikely to be fully waterproof either.

    A waterproof jacket does what it says on the tin. We're talking proper hardshell waterproof jackets here, designed to keep the rain out for hours. A waterproof jacket designed for mountain biking will have a looser fit than a waterproof road cycling jacket to accommodate layers and potentially body armour underneath, allowing greater freedom of movement. There will usually be a couple of pockets for stowing essentials and snacks, as well as vents for keeping your internal temperature down when working hard on climbs. A good waterproof jacket won't come cheap, but if you're committed to riding year-round, it will be one of the best investments you can make.

    Waterproof Onesies

    Waterproof suits promise a silver bullet solution for riding in the worst weather. The mountain bike suit combines a waterproof jacket with waterproof pants, giving riders ultimate protection in wet conditions.

    While the mountain bike onesie adoption has yet to go mainstream, riders heading out into the depths of winter will benefit from the one-piece design. Mountain bike suits remove the gap between the jacket and pants where the spray can penetrate, leading to a soggy back. Waterproof fabrics with generous vents are used to construct waterproof suits to balance breathability with water resistance. Mountain bike onesies are not cheap but help you out of the door on those days when the couch calls.

    Wrapping Up

    Equipping yourself with the right mountain e-bike gear is crucial for a safe and enjoyable riding experience. Each gear plays a vital role in your comfort and safety on the trails, from helmets and eye protection to jerseys, shorts, and shoes. Remember, the best gear is the one that meets your specific needs and preferences, allowing you to ride confidently in any condition.

    As you continue your mountain e-biking journey, don't hesitate to upgrade your equipment as you gain more experience and understand what works best for you. Investing in quality gear will enhance your performance, protect you, and make every ride more enjoyable.

    Stay prepared for the elements, choose gear that fits well and offers the right level of protection, and always prioritize your safety. With the right gear, you can fully immerse yourself in the thrill of mountain e-biking and confidently tackle any trail. Happy riding!


    What is the most important piece of gear for mountain e-biking?

    A helmet is the most crucial gear for mountain e-biking, providing essential head protection.

    Do I need specialized clothing for mountain e-biking as a beginner?

    Beginners can start with their existing gear, but specialized mountain biking clothing offers better comfort and protection as you gain experience.

    Why is MIPS technology important in mountain bike helmets?

    MIPS technology reduces rotational forces during impacts, offering enhanced protection for your brain.

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