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The Best MTB Riding Gear of 2018 - Shreddy Awards 8

Vital's testers reveal their choices for the best mountain bike riding gear of 2018!

The Best MTB Riding Gear of 2018 - Shreddy Awards

If you're dressed in crappy gear on a ride, you're gonna have a bad time. You risk heckling, chaffing, rashing or cutting rides short because some broken stitch snagged your levers and sent you over the bars. If you care about your rides, you should care about your riding gear. Now don't get us wrong, if we only have 30 minutes for a quick rip, we ain't scared to hit in jeans and a flannel, but there's nothing like being equipped for battle. So Vital's crew of testers have put together their top three mountain bike riding gear picks for 2018.


1st Place - Troy Lee Designs Stage Helmet


Lightweight, breathable full face helmets have really come into their own over the last couple of years, as riders continue to push the limits of what can and shall be done on a trail bike. TLD took their time joining the party, but that just meant more time to spend on getting it absolutely right when they showed up. The MIPS-equipped, DH-certified Stage helmet weighs in at a scant 690 grams or so, and features enough ventilation to allow you to keep it on for the climbs.

What really sets the Stage apart from its competition however is the fit. The liner reaches all around the head, holding the helmet in place without needing to resort to any kind of adjustable harness – just like a regular full face helmet. Each Stage ships with a set of pads of different thickness to make sure every rider can dial it in to their particular head shape.


Between the safety features, the high degree of ventilation and the visual design cues from the wildly popular D3 helmet, you’re looking at a lid that will make you reconsider wearing a full face more often – and that’s a good thing! Certainly good enough to take home the highly coveted Shreddy as well. Congrats, Troy Lee Designs!

2nd Place - 7iDP Sam Hill Kneepads


The Sam Hill kneepads won Best in Test against 13 other pads in our Lightweight Kneepad Round-up

Sometimes, simpler is better. When Sam Hill asked 7iDP if they could take one of their less elaborate pads and add a bit of protection to the sides, they obliged. The result was a knee protector that would really prove to combine the best of two worlds. As pedal friendly as a pull-on knee warmer yet with enough protection to shrug off some pretty gnarly crashes, this kneepad is the one we found ourselves reaching for time and time again this past season. Sam Hill winning the EWS overall title again while wearing them is icing on the cake!

3rd - Fox Racing Indicator Pants


We love riding in long pants, if for no other reason than that they make us feel about 7.8% gnarlier on the bike. That gnarliness used to come at the expense of comfort, however, as the MX-crossover pants of yesteryear were nothing if not hot, heavy, and bulky. Fast forward to 2018, and Fox MTB took their racing experience and applied it to a pair of pants that you can wear for any kind of bike riding, any time. Comfortable, rugged, breathable and not too ostentatious to look at, the emperor would do well to give Fox Racing a call the next time he’s looking for new clothes.

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