The Best Men’s Mountain Bike Apparel of 2022
Rigorous testing was no match for these pieces
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They say good design is invisible, and that’s especially true in today’s mountain bike apparel. We’re more comfortable, better prepared, and, let’s be honest, better-looking than we’ve ever been, and it’s often thanks to small touches that make a big difference. That’s what we were looking for when putting together our list of the best riding clothes of 2022. Our testers have been on the trail since the old days, when four-way stretch was something you did to limber up before a ride. So we notice when brands manage to make good gear even better. After a season of riding in the best the industry has to offer, these are our favorites. Now get dressed—the van is leaving.
Specialized Trail Supima Jersey ($65)
This may look like any old T-shirt, but it elevates casual cycling apparel to pajama-level comfort. The fabric is made of long-fiber pima cotton that yields thinner yarn and softer, more breathable material without sacrificing strength. (XS–XXL)
Giro Havoc Pants ($170)
After a winter riding in cool-weather pants, testers were glad to see the lightweight Havoc. The DWR-coated nylon-elastane blend deflects water and brush but lets the breeze right in. The relatively slim fit offers room for lightweight knee pads, and the tapered cuffs have yet to catch a chainring. (30–40)
Leatt MTB Gravity 4.0 Jersey ($70)
This slim-fit jersey employs a barely-there polyester-spandex blend with perforations that channel the slightest breeze straight to the skin. Though the Leatt doesn’t claim any measureable UPF rating, the shirt’s long sleeves do offer some sun protection on hot days and even feature brush-protection panels on the elbows. (S–XXL)
Yeti Cycles TURQ Range Anorak Jacket ($150)
Lightweight packable protection against the elements. The Yeti Cycles TURQ Range Anorak Jacket packs down into its own stuff sack that fits in a pocket. Perfect for traveling light and still having all the coverage you need.
Rapha Trail Cargo Bib Liner Shorts ($135)
We felt Rapha’s years of refinement in the Cargo Bib. Think: a not-too-thick chamois, a contoured on-bike fit that won’t restrict your riding position, and wide shoulder straps with a high back that prevents neck hot spots. The two rear cargo pockets are a little hard to reach, but deep and secure. (XS–XXL)
100% Celium Shorts ($129)
We didn’t think a Boa dial could take the place of a waist snap until we tried these shorts. With no clumsy Velcro adjustment tabs and no zippered fly, the Celium is all business. The stretchy, light nylon-spandex fabric is cut just baggy enough to fit over slim trail knee pads, and the stitched and taped seams hold strong but still feel nonexistent. (28–38)
Norrøna Fjøra Flex1 Shorts ($139)
Though not heavy-duty, these are more substantial than most mountain-bike shorts, thanks to a generous inseam (16.2 inches on size medium) and feature set, including zippered pockets and zippered vents straight down the front of each thigh. The reinforced, articulated knees were a little too form-fitting for full-sized pads, but if paired with something slimmer, they pedaled comfortably and felt at home in a wide temperature range. (S–XXL)
Flylow Royal Shirt ($85)
Both high-tech and low-key, this collared snap-down fits and stretches like a jersey but doesn’t make a big deal out of it. (It even blends right in with the general Outside and Beta office dress code.) This approach is nothing new; the Royal is simply a bit more evolved than other similar tops, with soft polyester-spandex fabric and a 50-plus UPF rating. (XS–XXL)
BN3TH North Shore Chamois ($85)
Even our snobbiest tester, who rides only in fine Italian bib shorts, was impressed by the North Shore, which wraps your package in a built-in breathable mesh envelope: no friction, no mugginess. Oh, and not safe for work. (The poly-spandex blend is delicate.) However that’s no matter, since you’ll need overshorts anyway. (XXS–XXL)