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    What to Wear Mountain Biking in Scotland

    5 min read

    By Rupert Shanks
    More by Rupert

    4 Seasons in One Day

    Mountain biking in Scotland can mean 4 seasons in one day all while on the saddle. We have been running Scottish Mountain bike trips for over 15 years. So we’re delighted to share our guide to What to Wear Mountain Biking in Scotland.

    Getting muddy and wet is all part of the fun right? It sure can be! As long as you have the gear to keep you warm and comfortable biking all day in the hills. Our full kit list below will ensure a happy and warm day out in the Scottish mountains, in all weathers!

    Check out our video for a summary of the guide. Kindly presented by Sara Blanch from our office Operations team. Thanks Sara!

    Upper Body

    What to wear mountain biking in Scotland-5

    Long sleeved top is a great option.

    Base layer T shirt or lycra cycling shirt – We recommend quick-wicking, breathable ones.

    Long-sleeved base layer to complement the above – We love lightweight but warm and breathable Merino wool options.

    Lightweight fleece jacket or gilet – Find yourself something lightweight to protect you from the elements, cosy and windproof. We also love the elasticated armholes to ensure they’re not restricting while riding.

    Lightweight waterproof jacket – Something tough, breathable and that can pack right down.

    Lower Body

    Padded lycra shorts plus/or outer shorts as preferred – We prefer the full combo of padded lycra bibshorts with a tough pair of mountain bike shorts over the top! Look for something well-fitted by breathable.

    Leggings or longs for riding – For those colder rides, it’s worth bringing some leggings. Something warm and snug but preferably with ankle zips so that they’re quick to get on and off during a ride.

    Lightweight waterproof trousers – Waterproof but breathable!


    What to wear mountain biking in Scotland-5

    Bike shoes or hiking trainers – Look for solid and flat-soled shoes.

    Socks for riding –  It may seem ridiculous to get bike-specific socks but the breathable nature of merino wool socks can make a difference for happy feet.

    Neoprene overshoes if you tend to get cold feet – If you experience cold toes regularly when you’re riding then overshoes are a great option to keep your shoes and feet more protected and insulated.

    Head & Hands

    Helmet –  Ensure it’s safety certified and highly adjustable.

    Gloves (full-fingered are usually a better choice in Scotland) – You could also opt for fingerless mitts if you prefer.

    Clear lens or interchangeable sunglasses – 100% UVA & UVB protection.

    Warm fleece or wool hat – keep yourself warm in between rides!

    Buff or bandana – Ideally, this should fit under your helmet to keep your ears warm on those extra cold days.

    Other Essential Equipment

    What to wear mountain biking in Scotland-2

    Good backpack size for a day in the hills


    Backpack – To carry clothes, equipment and food (15-30L capacity).

    Waterproof liner or bag – Keep backpack contents dry.

    Water bottles or hydration bladder (ideally 2L capacity total) – Ideally bottles that can be mounted to your frame.

    Bike & Spares (Below is not required if you are hiring a bike through Wilderness Scotland)

    As many of these items are bike-specific we recommend you visit your nearest bike shop with your bike to get exactly what you need.

    • Bike multi-tool
    • Flexible or spare spokes
    • Pump and shock pump (if required)
    • Inner tubes
    • Spare gear cable
    • Chain links/pins (speed links)
    • 2 x spare disc pads
    • Puncture repair kit
    • Bike chain lube
    • Rear mech hanger suitable for your bike

    Mountain Biking Trips

    Meet the Author: Rupert Shanks

    “After a spell in the corporate world in London Rupert decided to find a more rewarding way of life involving a closer connection to the outdoors and to his camera!”

    View profileMore by Rupert

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