For me, summer mountain biking is all about sunshine, sharing the trails with my friends, and celebrating with a nice cold pint at the end of our ride. I don’t want to be kitted out in Lycra and carbon fiber race shoes for this type of riding, I want something comfortable both on and off the bike. Here are a few of the pieces I am loving so far this summer.
Five Ten Hellcat Women’s: Lightweight and low profile, the Hellcat uses Five Ten’s Stealth C4 rubber that absorbs shock and reduces vibration with the classic Dotty tread for great traction off the bike. You can wear these as flats but they are also SPD compatible (which I have done). The cleat recess is nice and deep so that you don’t walk around scratching rocks or pavement.
The breathable mesh tongue and side panels in the otherwise leather upper make these my go-to hot weather version of one of my favorite Five Ten shoes — the Kestrel Lace. The 3/4 dual-density, vibration-dampening TPU shank is great for power transfer on steep climbs but offers enough toe flex for those hike-a-bike sessions.
Pearl Izumi Versa Short: I wear these stylish shorts both on and off the bike — all you have to do is pair them with the boy short-style Versa liner when you want to go for a ride. The 6.75-inch inseam is the perfect length for summer (it falls mid-thigh on me) and the dark gray color goes with everything.
The mountain bike shorts are made from a moisture wicking, double woven fabric that is treated with DWR to repel mud (or spilled ice cream) as you bomb through those puddles. Open front hand pockets give a casual look while three further zippered pockets enable safe storage of keys, money, or other valuables.
Pearl Izumi Women’s Performance T: Another piece that can be worn both on and off the bike, this basic V-neck T-shirt has a nice feminine fit and is a bit longer in the back for full coverage when riding. Made from Pearl’s Transfer Dry fabric, the shirt works hard to wick away sweat. I’ve worn this in close to triple-digit temps and the shirt dried quickly as soon as I made it to the pub.