As the northern hemisphere heads into the depths of winter, our mountain biking kit and clothing should reflect dropping temperatures and changeable weather. Out go the shorts and jerseys and instead, it's time to turn to the windproof and waterproof options in our wardrobes.
Good mountain bike kit and clothing is indispensable and will keep out the cold, seal you in from the mud and allow you to keep riding bikes throughout the year. Who can argue with that?
Here's a selection of our favourite men’s and women’s autumn and winter mountain biking clothing and kit that'll help you have fun on a bike in even the grimiest, muddiest, coldest conditions.
1. Scott Winter Stretch LF gloves
Price: £44.99 (€53.95/$60.31 approx.)
These windproof, cold-beating winter MTB gloves from Scott keep the elements out using a Gore-Tex Infinium fabric construction. They are stretchy and breathable, with silicon grip on the palms to ensure a firm grip on the handlebars.
2. Fi’zi:k Terra Artica X2 shoes
Price: £280 (€335.80/$375.37 approx.)
The Artica X2 shoes are certainly at the premium end of the cycling footwear spectrum, but they probably warrant the price. They feature a waterproof, breathable and insulated construction and every part of the shoe has been thought through for optimum performance. Fi’zi:k say they're “designed so riders push further into winter conditions” and we can’t argue with that.
3. Endura MT500 Freezing Point trousers
Price: £139.99 (€167.89/$187.66 approx.)
Scottish brand Endura know how to make hard-wearing, well-designed kit for all-conditions mountain biking. The MT500 Freezing Point trousers feature insulated panels on the front thigh and waterproof spray panels on the rear, so you can be sure to stay warm and dry even in the depths of winter.
4. Fox Thermo Defend hooded jersey
Price: £110 (€131.87/$147.46 approx.)
This jersey from MTB clothing behemoth Fox features a reasonably lightweight and comfy construction using Polartec Power Grid material, which is breathable, moisture-wicking and warm. A wind-blocking panel stops cold air rushing through the jersey when it's worn as an outer layer – Fox says it can also act as a cosy base layer under a jacket.
5. Patagonia Women’s Capilene Air crew
Price: From £88 (€105.50/$117.92 approx.)
This warm and fast-drying base layer from Patagonia blends Merino wool and Capilene recycled polyester for a light, soft and stretchy feeling. Its materials also help reduce odour build-up, so you can keep wearing it day-after-day on those multi-day winter riding trips.
6. Madison Zenith waterproof jacket
Price: £99.99 (€119.85/$133.99 approx.)
A proper winter can’t be tackled without a suitably robust waterproof jacket and Madison’s Zenith Jacket is just that. Arm vents and breathable fabric help to avoid overheating, while a great peaked hood keeps the rain out in the heaviest of downpours. Two big front pockets allow ample storage space. The Zenith is also competitively priced and has a limited lifetime warranty.
7. Leatt DBX 2.0 wind block gloves
Price: £31.99 (€38.34/$42.86 approx.)
Leatt’s DBX 2.0 mountain bike gloves come in a wide range of sizes (from S to XL) and their pre-curved MicronGrip seamless palm and stretchy comfort cuff ensure comfort and solid fit. A soft shell wind-blocking rear keeps your hands warm and dry in all but the worst of conditions. The gloves are suitable for male or female riders.
8. Specialized Defroster Trail mountain bike shoes
Price: £195 (€233.75/$261.27 approx.)
Keeping the extremities warm in winter is always a priority, particularly on a bike, where they're also the main contact point between rider and bike. Specialized’s Defroster shoes seal out the elements and have Thinsulate insulation and a high neoprene collar around the ankle to really keep the feet warm, comfortable and dry.
9. 100% Speedcraft photochromic glasses
Price: £199.99 (€239.73/$268.02 approx.)
Good eye protection is vital when mud is flicking up off the ground and branches are hanging low, laden with rainwater. 100%’s Speedcraft glasses are a popular choice for their light, secure fit and this photochromic lens will adapt to light conditions – ride into bright sunshine and it’ll change from clear to dark in an instant.
10. RideGuard Front mountain bike mudguard
Price: £10 (€11.99/$13.40 approx.)
There are many effective mudguards out there (Marshguards can be seen on the bikes of lots of top downhill racers), but RideGuard does more than keep your fancy new kit clean. The company actively seeks to clean up mountain bike trails by assisting organisations in removing plastic and waste materials from the natural environment. It then uses this collected waste to manufacture its mudguards.
11. Endura Singletrack wind proof gloves
Price: £29.99 (€35.96/$40.18 approx.)
Pretty much the entire of Endura’s range could win weather-beating awards, not least when tackling colder, grimier seasons. It's well-constructed Singletrack wind proof mountain bike gloves keep the cold out and the lightly brushed lining keep your hands in ultimate comfort.
12. Women: Specialized Deflect gloves
Price: £35 (€41.95/$46.90 approx.)
A wind-resistant rear and padded palm make Specialized’s Deflect gloves great for keeping out cold air, while reducing hand numbness. They're touch-screen friendly, too, so your hands will stay warm when using your phone.
13. Men: Troy Lee Designs Resist short
Price: £110 (€131.83/$147.39 approx.)
It’s amazing how much difference a dry backside can make, something British riders know all too well. TLD’s Resist short is made from a waterproof material, but it still looks great and fits well, with zipped pockets and taped seams to ensure things stay dry on the inside.
14: Women: ION Women’s Shelter soft shell pants
Price: £135 (€161.78/$180.89 approx.)
Keep your legs out of the wind on truly chilling autumn rides with ION’s Shelter soft shell pants. Stretchy, lightweight and breathable, but also water repellent.
14. Castelli Nano Flex+ arm warmer
Price: £35 (€41.94/$46.87 approx.)
For maximum versatility in changing weather, how about a short sleeve jersey, gilet and these arm warmers from Castelli, the kings of cycling kit? They're warm, water-repellent and breathable and the stretchy fabric allows you to move your arms freely. Comfortable and practical.
15: Windproof buff
Price: Around £35 (€41.93/$46.87 approx.)
A buff should always be in your backpack. They're light, take up no space and are a great comfort while waiting for your mates at the top of a blustery hill. This windproof version is extra autumn-friendly, too.
16. Sealskinz Mid Mid Hydrostop socks
Price: £42 (€50.32/$56.24 approx.)
Sealskinz are the number one name when it comes to waterproof socks. British riders have sworn by them for decades. They offer plenty of options, but this mid-length fully waterproof and breathable option should work a treat in grimy winter trail conditions.