[The Gear Closet] Mountain biking essentials for the singletrack fanatic

[The Gear Closet] Mountain biking essentials for the singletrack fanatic

Featured Image: Steve Shannon

By now most of you have cleaned and summer-waxed your skis and tossed them into a dark corner of the basement. Sure, there are the turns-all-year-folks, but we trust that most of you are sane enough not to seek postage-stamp sized suncups for your July and August fun. You’re probably biking instead. So here’s the skinny on some mountain biking essentials you’ll need to complete your kit and rip brown pow until the snow falls again.

Flylow Davis Jacket

You don’t have a wind shirt? Shame on you. No, but seriously, every skier and mountain biker needs one. This air-permeable soft-shell fabric is killer for chilly mornings and provides just enough weather protection that a storm won’t ruin your day—all while being light enough that you barely notice it. As a wise Ned Flanders once said, “Feels like I’m wearing nothing at all!”

Backcountry 401 Button-Up Jersey

Let’s face it. There’s a reason your bike rides don’t involve spandex, lycra, and meeting at 5am at the local juice bar for your all-flat century day. That’s why Backcountry made their button-up jersey. The professional-looking plaid is perfect for dipping out of Zoom meetings early and ending a long gravel ride at the bar. But don’t let the flannel look fool you; it’s packed with technical details to keep you cool, comfortable and focused on the trail.

Smartwool PhD Cycle Ultra Light Crew Socks

The perfect sock is the difference between a casual ride and a descent into hell. Smartwool’s blend of merino wool, nylon, and elastane cinch these babies down for a perfect fit with no hot spots. Keeping you cool is the number one priority. The PhD Cycle Ultra Light crew socks are complete with mesh venting, so you don’t even need to bring water. (Please bring water).

Giro Tyrant Spherical Helmet

We’re not typically ones for tyrants, but Giro’s new helmet is pretty progressive for the name. The high-speed colorways are paired with MIPS technology to reduce the risk of TBIs by redirecting impact energy in case you crater. With 14 vents both at browline and around the head you’ll be nice and cool while ripping singletrack or gravel.

Scott MTB AR Shoe

Scott’s new AR shoe is our pick for flat pedals. The cushioned EVA midsole pairs perfectly with a sticky-rubber outsole for superior grip and a smooth ride. The moderate stiffness keeps your feet comfy on big landings and air mesh ventilation stops overheating. And don’t think we didn’t notice the Air Force 1 styling that will keep you stunting off-trail.

RMU Utility Belt

Skip the pack and the sweaty back with RMU’s new utility belt. The stretchy fabric fits a phone, extra tube, even a pump and a multitool so you’ll be ready for any biking eventuality on trail. There’s even a deployable water pocket in case your enduro bike can’t fit a bottle holder. Reflective threads run throughout the belt on each zipper pull to keep you safe.

Athletic Brewing Company Non-Alcoholic Brews

Athletic’s line of Non-Alcoholic beer runs the full gamut from Mexican Lagers to Hazy IPAs. At around 0.5% ABV, these tasty brews will keep you cool and are actually hydrating. Using the same hops as the best full-strength beers on the market, these are all flavor but regret-free.

Kate’s Real Food Bivy Bars

The Lemon Coconut & Ginger Bar packs a nutritional punch: ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, coconut is good for heart health, and lemon supports digestion. But c’mon, we wouldn’t be recommending this if it didn’t also taste great. Luckily it does. And it’s made with USDA-certified organic ingredients; this bar is healthy fuel for all your adventures.

Skratch Labs Hydration Drink Mix

Hydration drink mixes used to be a neon-colored carnival. Skratch Labs takes it back to the basics with minimal sugar and a simple blend of electrolytes. The kicker? Real fruit flavor is the only taste additive in the whole mix. All-natural hydration is the way to go for enduro-rides or city biking.

Flylow Garrett Shirt

Whether you’re a downhill biker, a cross-country rider, or someone who commutes to work on their bike, you can do it all with Flylow’s new Garrett shirt. With Polygiene treatment for anti-stank, the Garrett has a wicking, stretchy fabric that can go multiple rides without a wash. We see you out there with your overflowing hampers, and we’re here for you.

Flylow Goodson Short

With a burly fabric made to deflect branches and added stretch and breathability, Flylow made an MTB short to rule them all. Just as at home climbing hills and stomping drops, this mid-length short has all the protection you need, without excess weight or metal hardware. It’s even black, so it won’t show any ketchup stains from your well-earned burger.


POC Joint VPD Air Knee

As skiers first, we’re sensitive about our knees. We’d very much like our patellas to stay put, thank you very much. That’s why we trust POC—with their race protection heritage—to keep us safe on the downhill. The Joint VPD Air Knee provides excellent padding and protection while keeping you free to move how you like—and not in the twisting direction.


Honey Stinger Energy Chews

Honey Stinger makes some of our favorite snack food for long ski tours, so why wouldn’t we nosh on them all summer long? Their caffeinated energy chews are perfect for early starts and enduro days, and with just 32g of white-tea-extracted caffeine bolstered by carbohydrates, you won’t crash hard after just an hour of biking.


Chamois Butt’r Original Anti-Chafe

Look, when you’re biking and you need this, you REALLY need this. So why not go with the very best? Chamois Butt’r is the king of non-greasy feeling anti-chafe cream. It washes off of both clothes, and, well, you easily, and it won’t damage tech fabrics. So don’t wait until you have a problem to put it on.


RMU Tailgate Locker 2.0

Sure, the old towel trick will do. But RMU’s new, streamlined Tailgate Locker 2.0 is a splurge worth making. Pared down from version 1.0, the new Tailgate Locker is made from recycled fabrics with a burly, 840d nylon face with PU coating that will stand up to some serious abuse. Tailored for you and your bikes, this is a buy-it-for-life kind of product. And yes, it still has a beer cooler.


Sweet Protection Hunter Pro Gloves

Known for going above and beyond in terms of safety, Sweet Protection’s new bike gloves are just what the doctor ordered. Combining reinforced padding in all the places that count, the new Hunter Pro Gloves offer superior protection. They don’t sacrifice comfort either—the preshaped fingers and lightweight materials keep you cool and comfortable all day long.


Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Rack

We can all agree rooftop bike racks are insane, right? Well Kuat’s new NV 2.0 bike rack will never have you worrying about clearance again. With features like a hands-free pivot stem and integrated cable locks, the Kuat is the only rack you’ll ever need.

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