Mountain (Biking) Man: Gearing Up For A Top-Notch Trail Ride

Posted on: 20 May 2016


It's not just the kids who are shredding it on the trails these days. Big guys do it, too. You'll get just as much exercise as if you were working out on a stationary rowing machine or doing circuit training. It will, however, be a whole lot more fun. Half an hour of mountain bike riding burns up 377 calories if your weight is upward of 185 pounds. Even better, you'll breathe fresh air and see awesome sights while you're doing it. In addition to getting a great cardiovascular workout, you'll benefit from the powerful stress-busting effects of being surrounded by nature. 

Besides the obvious equipment you'll need to get started – a sturdy mountain bike sized to fit your height and weight, and a bike rack to haul it to the trails – good gear will make the riding safer and more enjoyable.  

  • Helmet. A must-have for protection from head injuries if you take a spill. Find headgear specifically designed for this type of rugged cycling activity. They're marketed as BMX cycling or downhill mountain bike racing helmets, and should be labeled with the safety standard number by which they have been tested.
  • Jersey. Made of fabric that wicks moisture away from your body, a shirt designed specifically for cycling is a colorful way to stay cool while you're crushing it on mountain trails. Go for the tall-size version if you're a big guy – the shirt should be slightly snug and cover your spine completely when you're mounted on the bike seat. Contact an outlet, such as Perzist, for further assistance.
  • Shorts. Unlike the tight Lycra shorts you see bike racers wearing, mountain bike shorts should fit loosely. The baggy style is for comfort and greater protection as you brush against shrubs and tree limbs.
  • Shoes. Specifically designed for tough terrain, mountain biking shoes have thick, rigid rubber soles with a waffle-like pattern to grip the pedal firmly when you're climbing or accelerating down hills and around curves.
  • Gloves. Protect your hands with gloves made of strong, lightweight material. The palm area should have a non-slip coating to help keep a firm grip. You have a choice of styles that with half- or full-finger covering. Make sure the gloves have perforations for air to reach your skin.

Now all that's left is to pack a healthy snack and fill your water bottle before you head out to hit the trails as a thoroughly modern, properly outfitted mountain (biking) man on the trail to peak physical well-being.