Often, we spend a lot of time thinking about the ‘major’ components of mountain bike riding. The bike itself, the trail -- these sorts of large-scale pieces of a successful day riding. Unfortunately, that means that the details and the bits-and-bobs can fall to the wayside. These seemingly-little pieces of mountain biking may not be so little after all, though. These odds and ends can be the difference between a ‘good’ day mountain biking and a great day mountain biking. Today, we’re going to take you through some of these details and explain why they might be more important than you think.
There’s no doubt about it -- mountain biking glasses and goggles look super cool. But, they’re also one of the most important pieces of optimizing your performance on the trail. While some riders are quick to skimp out on quality mountain biking glasses, and just grab ‘whatever works’, that’s a less-than-ideal strategy. Aside from protecting your eyes from bugs, sticks, and dirt, high-quality mountain biking glasses also have a few other functions. They can protect your eyes from sweat trickling down from your brow, for instance. They also protect you from dry eye -- the air moving directly into your eyes is going to dry out your eyes, and then damage your vision (both long and short term). Lastly, high-quality glasses often include some kind of ‘roll off’ technology. This ensures that dirt and debris don’t stick to the lenses. This saves you the time and hassle of wiping your glasses off, leaving you to focus on the trail.
On our blog, we often talk about ‘points of control’ or ‘points of contact’. The two main points of control you have over your bike are your hands and feet. So, it’s crucial that these two points of control are fully optimized and worry-free. Proper, high-quality mountain biking gloves allow you to safely keep control of your bike, thus increasing your overall performance. Dirt Gloves are designed to do just that. With a four-way stretch material, a synthetic leather palm, and a mesh backhand, Dirt Gloves allow you to grip your bike naturally. This uniquely engineered mix of materials creates a glove that is comfortable enough to wear for hours, while being robust enough to prevent blisters and other common injuries.
ShoesWhether you ride clipless or flat, wearing proper shoes is crucial to your success on the trail. In many ways, your shoes can be seen as the foundation of your entire ride. Mountain biking shoes present designers with a distinct set of challenges, though. Road biking shoes can be reasonably uncomfortable, as they are designed solely to be worn when clipped-in to your pedals. Mountain biking shoes, though, require more. They need to be comfortable and rugged, so they are suited to all types of weather. They need to be light, but sturdy. Comfortable, but stiff. Armor-like, but breathable, and snug but not tight. Your feet (and thus your shoes) determine your rate of acceleration, how you transition through gears, and even how you take particularly treacherous corners. If we stick with the metaphor of your feet being like the foundation of your ride, well...it’s clear that your shoes are quite important.