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If you’re reading this seriously looking for fashion advice for mountain biking please let me know ( ) because that’s really funny.  I’m the least fashionable person on the planet.  I wear one  pair of Blundstone boots (that changes every 5 years), wife beater singlet, Hobart MTB Tours jumper. Jeans in winter, shorts in summer.  I live in bib and brace bike shorts whether I’m on the bike or not. If you’re still not convinced, I cut my own hair every three months while drinking a beer in the backyard.  But please don’t think I’m a snob, I love people who have style and flair, who put in the effort to look sensational, they make me happy, but its not me.

So why am I writing an article entitled “Mountain Bike Fashion: What to wear , when”?  This is a guide to what gear to wear over the range of weather to stay comfortable.  I prefer road riding gear because it is very versatile with lots of zips.  It looks pretty silly but it works.  Mountain bike specific gear looks much better but a lot of it seems to be suited to short downhill runs or sitting at the pub after the ride.

25C + Hot Hot Hot… maybe too hot
Head Well ventilated helmet
Torso Lightweight short sleeve jersey with a full length zipp
Hands Lightweight, short finger gloves or no gloves at all
Legs Lightweight shorts
Feet Lightweight socks and well venilated shoes
Carry Water / sunscreen, headband or sweatsoaker

Its hot, riding uphill is not much fun, even less than normal.  Make sure you have water and a route amongst shady trees might be the go. I live in Hobart, Tasmania, a cool climate location and I pull the pin somewhere around 30C. Maybe its time to find a nice pub with a shady beer garden. ( have a look at the pasty guy in the photo – he doesn’t see much sun )

Too hot for hard riding

Try and stay cool

20  24 C Perfect for easy riding
Head Well Ventelated helmet
Torso Tee shirt or short sleeve Jersey
Hands Short finger gloves
Legs Shorts
Feet Socks and shoes
Carry Water / sunscreen, money for post ride beer

Happy days! Possibly too hot if you have lots of tough climbing to do but for most riding this is ideal and you can wear pretty much what ever you like. If you’re trying to convert you’re partner to mountain bike riding this is the day.

Warm conditions...wake up dopey

Great weather for easy riding

15 – 19C Perfect Conditions
Head Helmet
Torso Wife beater beater singlet and short sleeve jersey OR long sleeve top
Hands Short finger gloves or lightweight long finger gloves
Legs Shorts
Feet Socks and shoes
Carry Arm warmers, spray jacket, beer money

You can ride all day in these temperatures without a care in the world, except for snakes and mechanicals and where you left your kids

Mountain bike attire 15 - 19C

Mountain biking without a care in the world

10 – 14C Great Conditions for hard riding
Head Helmet
Torso Wife beater singlet, short sleeve jersey and arm warmers, or undershirt and long sleeve top
Hands Mid weight full finger gloves
Legs Short knicks,
Feet socks and shoes
Carry Packable spray jacket, leg warmers

For Tassie riders, like me, this is perfect.  Summer mornings or spring and autumn afternoons.  Be prepared for weather changes but apart from that just have fun!

Mountain bike clothing

Ready for hard riding

5 – 9C Good Conditions if you’re prepared
Head Helmet
Torso Mid weight thermal and a jacket
Hands Mid weight full finger gloves
Legs Short knicks and leg warmers or 3/4 length knicks
Feet Winter socks and shoes
Carry Packable spray jacket, neck tube

Great conditions for hard riding, but be prepared.  At 9C on a dry, windless sunny day you can probably get away with short sleeve jersey, shorts, arm warmers and gloves – IF NOTHING GOES WRONG!  If you have to stop for a while as you or a mate fixes a flat tyre you will cool down so make sure you have enough layers for all possibilities.  Time to start wearing technical fabrics

0 – 4C Getting Cold Now – Be Prepared! 
Head Helmet, Beanie or Bandana, Neck Tube
Torso Long sleeve thermal top, fleecy top, windproof waterproof jacket.
Hands Winter gloves
Legs Long, winter knicks
Feet Winter socks, shoes and booty covers
Carry Hand warmers, spare pair of gloves, packable spray jacket, space blanket, matches.

If you’re well prepared, riding in this temperature range can be exhilarating but be careful.  Wear technical fabrics that stay warm when they get wet, no cotton!  Check the weather! There’s a huge difference between 4C on a dry sunny day sheltered among the trees and 1C descending on an exposed road in the rain with a 20knot wind.  Creek crossings which leave you with wet feet might be best avoided – especially early in a ride. Make sure you’re well prepared and carry a few spare items for your less prepared mates..

Wear everything you've got

Prepared for the cold

Below 0C???

Yes you can do it but I draw the line around 0C and pursue other activities.

Beer and a log fire