If you’re new to riding, you may not be sure exactly what you need to ride. A bike is one important piece of the puzzle, but it’s definitely not the only thing. There is a whole list of safety gear you should have before you hit the trails.
A helmet is an absolute must-have for anyone about to hop on a dirt bike. One wrong move on a dirt bike could result in a fall, and without a helmet that could mean serious injury or worse. Helmets help protect against concussions and brain damage. Full-face helmets, which are recommended for dirt bikers, also protect your jaw and teeth.
A good helmet should fit snugly, with plenty of ventilation so you don’t overheat while riding. Your field of vision shouldn’t be overly blocked, and you should still have a good range of motion in your neck. Whatever helmet you decide on, make sure that it is DOT-certified. Certification helps ensure that certain safety standards are met, and that the helmet is of a decent quality.
Goggles are another important safety device for dirt bike riders. While on a trail, dust and debris is often kicked up from the ground. This can pose a serious safety risk as if it gets in your eyes, it can temporarily blind you– a dangerous situation when you’re trekking along at a decent speed. Goggles help prevent debris from getting in your eyes, allowing you to see even in the dustiest of terrain.
3. Neck Brace
Along with a helmet, a neck brace can also protect you in the event of a fall. While a helmet protects your head, a neck brace can help protect your neck and spine. Spinal cord injuries are often debilitating and life-changing, making the added weight of a neck brace well worth it.
A riding jacket can help protect your skin from rocks that are kicked up while riding. It can also help protect you if you fall– a jacket made of a good, thick material such as denim or leather will stop you from skinning your arms if you fall and slide.
5. Elbow pads
Elbow pads may seem like overkill, but if you’ve ever slammed your elbow against the ground at 30 miles an hour, you’ll likely never step foot on a bike without one. Elbow injuries are nothing to laugh at, and elbow pads help protect this sensitive body part.
A pair of good, thick pants is important for the same reason as a riding jacket. Riding your bike in shorts may feel great, but if you fall you are going to be glad you are wearing something that offers a little more protection than bare skin. Even a thick pair of jeans is better than nothing, but dedicated riding pants are best.
7. Knee pads
Odds are, tearing your ACL or shattering your knee cap would put a damper on your day on the bike. Knee pads can help protect your knee and the surrounding tendons, thus saving you from expensive and painful surgeries, long recovery times, and lots of limping.
For many, it’s second nature to kick one leg out when turning. Unfortunately, this can sometimes result in a foot getting caught in the mud and a subsequent crash. Keep your feet safe by investing in quality riding boots. Your foot could still get stuck, but good riding boots will keep your feet safe if they are hit by the bike’s tire..
By making safety a priority, you will help ensure that your time on the bike is as safe as it is fun. Proper safety gear is worth the investment.