The travel kit list: the best gear for mountain biking

Stay safe and dry when riding off-road this winter with our roundup of the best gear, clothes and accessories.

By Amy Sedghi
Published 6 Jan 2023, 15:00 GMT
Clockwise from top left: Scott Spark RC Team Issue A XS bike, Hope Union T pedals, ...

Clockwise from top left: Scott Spark RC Team Issue A XS bike, Hope Union T pedals, Quoc Gran Tourer II, Rapha Trail long-sleeve technical t-shirt.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

1. Scott Spark RC Team Issue AXS Bike

Serious riders will find this stylish, lightweight bike a joy to ride over rugged terrain. Created with cross-country mountain bike racing in mind, it combines top carbon engineering with smooth wireless electronic shifting, disc brakes and high-speed suspension. Uphills can be easily tackled with plenty of grip, but it’s a lot of fun downhill, too. £4,999. 

2. Hope Union TC Pedals

If you’re thinking of upgrading your pedals, these clip-in options are worth investing in. Expertly engineered, they have a large platform that’s easy to clip into, but have great grip when not engaged. They’re fully serviceable, rebuildable, supplied with two cleat options and come in six fun colourways. From £139.99. 

3. Rapha Trail Long-Sleeve Technical T-Shirt

Made for high-quality riding performance, this T-shirt is versatile enough to wear off the bike, too. It’s crafted from a lightweight, sweat-wicking, antibacterial honeycomb fabric to help with temperature regulation. A handy repair kit with colour-matched iron-on patches comes included. £65.

4. Specialized Mountain Liner Bib Shorts with SWAT

These mesh bib shorts have five integrated pockets to stash snacks, spare layers and extra gear, so you won’t need a rucksack. An opening underneath the pockets means you don’t have to pull down the straps to take off the shorts, and you can easily pop them on under baggier shorts, too. £90. 

Clockwise from top left: Specialized mountain liner bib shorts, Fox Speedframe Pro helmet, Shorty Evo Mudhugger, Endura MT500 Freezing Point II jacket.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

5. Shorty Evo Mudhugger

Made from 100% recycled plastic, this mudguard is fitted on the front wheel to protect you from getting a face-full of dirt. The expertise of world-class downhill racers informed the design, making this simple piece of kit highly effective. This version has a ziptie fitting, with optional velcro fitting packs, but a bolt-on version is also available. £22.

6. Endura MT500 Freezing Point Jacket II

The latest iteration of the MT500 jacket by Endura shields against the cold, wind and rain. PrimaLoft Gold Active Insulation ensures great warmth-to-weight ratio, while the softshell fabric on the arms doesn’t restrict movement. Details include two-way zipped underarm vents and reflective trims. £164.99.

7. Quoc Gran Tourer II

A splashproof upper, stiff midsole and fully recessed MTB/SPD cleat compatibility make this gravel shoe a safe bet. British brand Quoc has married its love of classic design with practicality, including one-way air holes for ventilation, vibration-absorbing insoles and a grippy rubber compound outsole. A fast-adjust dial system helps to customise the fit. £190.

8. Fox Speedframe Pro Helmet

A brand loved by the MTB crowd, Fox designed this helmet with pro bikers. MIPS protection shields your head, while vents and a washable antimicrobial liner keep it cool. A 360-degree retention system, adjustable visor and buckle that’s easy to fasten with gloves complete the set. £164.99. 

Published in the Jan/Feb 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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