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Aron Bosworth | 09.19.2019

As mountain bikers, we love when autumn comes around. Crowds start to thin on trails, temps become more tolerable at many of our favorite riding locales, fall foliage presents a colorful backdrop, and those first rains knock down the lingering trail dust. Warmer gear becomes part of the packing list, and rides often start and end with a jacket. For many regions, fall is the best time for mountain biking, which is why we've pulled together some of our favorite mountain biking gear for the shoulder season. The trail is calling, see you out there!


2020 Santa Cruz Hightower 29

Released in July, Santa Cruz has made some enticing updates to the second iteration of this popular 29er that we felt warranted representation here. Positioned as a do-it-all trail/all-mountain bike, the 2020 Hightower runs a 150mm/140mm suspension setup, and it is the latest bike in Santa Cruz's line up to to get the lower link-mounted shock design. Santa Cruz has also slackened and lengthened the geometry compared to its predecessor, giving the bike a more modern look and feel. Available in both aluminum and carbon models, the 2020 Hightower price ranges from $2,899 up to $10,499 for the top carbon spec with carbon Reserve wheels.

Starting at $2,899 • Santa Cruz


Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Carbon 27.5 (Women's)

The Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Carbon series trail bikes have been a huge hit across the board, and the women's model is no exception. With 27.5 wheels and 150mm front and rear balanced suspension, this is an aggressive trail bike that retains user-friendly handling and impressive stability, and it looks good while doing it. With a 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain, Fox front and rear suspension, and SRAM Guide R disc brakes, this is a good-value carbon build hyper-tuned to female riders.

$4,520 • Specialized

Giro Chronicle MIPS Helmet

Not all products in the mountain biking world need to break the bank. Giro's Chronicle MIPS Helmet delivers top protection technology at an affordable price while looking good too. The helmet is goggle compatible for those days you are looking to step up your game, and a styled visor keeps sun out of your eyes. A Roc Loc fit system lets you easily adjust fit. Available in both men's and women's in a variety of colors.

$100 • Backcountry | Amazon | Moosejaw


Fox Ranger Gloves

Fox Racing's top-selling, affordable Ranger glove takes care of the business across pretty much every mountain bike discipline. The four-way stretch polyester construction enables form-fitting and flexible movement. Available in men's and women's fits in a variety of colors.

$24.95 • REI | Backcountry | Amazon



Giro Blaze 2.0

As the autumn chill starts to settle in, your hands will thank you for thinking ahead with the Giro Blaze 2.0 glove. Offering a temperature rating of 40 to 50 degrees, Giro integrated a Polartec Windbloc for the back of hand and a microfleece lining to keep your hands happy during cool fall weather.

$50 • Backcountry | Amazon



Dakine Syncline (Men's) + Cadence (Women's) Bike Shorts

Comfort, durability, fit, and stretch are keys to quality bike shorts. Dakine knows how to bring these all together with features like interior waist adjusters, breathability, and water-repellent coatings to keep you comfortable on the trail regardless of what the weather throws at you. The four-way stretch will keep riders comfortable while grinding up climbs and flying downhill in both the Syncline and Cadence shorts. Both the Syncline and Cadence shorts are available with or without a built-in liner option.

Men's Syncline: $100 • Backcountry | Amazon

Women's Cadence: $95 • REI | Backcountry | Amazon


Fox Ranger Drirelease Jersey (Men's + Women's)

Cooler weather calls for layering and longer sleeves. Fox Racing's Ranger Drirelease jersey will keep you comfortable during autumn rides with full arm coverage and advanced moisture-wicking material that dries quickly and prevents odor. This 85% polyester/15% cotton blend jersey gives you a soft, dare we say cozy, feel.

Women's Ranger Drirelease Jersey: $69.95 • Backcountry | Amazon

Men's Ranger Drirelease Jersey: $69.95 • REI | Backcountry | Amazon


Patagonia Dirt Roamer Jacket (Men's + Women's)

Packing a jacket for fall rides comes highly recommended, and as the season goes on you'll likely start and end in one. Patagonia's Dirt Roamer Jacket was made with mountain biking in mind, combining light, stretchy, and highly breathable fabric that helps to wick moisture and regulate temperature on the way up and keep you warm and comfortable along windy ridges on the way down. A stowable hood and DWR treatment is ready for light precipitation, and when not in use the jacket packs into its own back pocket.

Men's Dirt Roamer Jacket: $229 • REI | Backcountry

Women's Dirt Roamer Jacket: $229 • REI | Backcountry


Dakine Syncline 16L Backpack

Riding in brisk autumn weather likely means you will be bringing more gear: layers, a jacket, and possibly a thermos of hot tea. With all the extras, the fanny pack no longer cuts it. Dakine's Syncline 16-liter hydration backpack is an ideal size to carry those extra accoutrements that make your fall rides that much better. The Syncline pack features a lumbar reservoir for additional load stability on the trail, plus the helpful carry straps to hook on pads and your helmet.

$135 • REI | Backcountry | Amazon

Blackburn Tradesman Multi-tool

There are a lot of good multi-tools for mountain biking available. We like this one for the addition of a chain quick-link remover and disc pad spreaders. Lightweight and protected by a lifetime warrantee, it's a singletrack essential that'll keep you up and running on two wheels for years to come.

$29.99 • Amazon

Five Ten Freerider Flat Pedal Shoes (Women's + Men's)

Some riders prefer a clipless pedal system (i.e. shoes that clip into pedals) while others prefer the freedom you get from riding "flats" or platform pedals. For those riding platform, we recommend Five Ten shoes with their patented stealth sticky rubber that helps you from slipping when the trails get rowdy. The brushed nubuck leather uppers on the Freeriders conform to your feet over time, and the breathable mesh keeps your feet well ventilated.

Women's Freerider Mountain Bike Shoe: $100 • REI | Backcountry | Amazon

Men's Freerider Mountain Bike Shoe: $100 • REI | Backcountry | Amazon


PROBAR Meal Bars

Grinding uphill and flying down over singletrack requires a hearty replenishment of energy. With countless options of energy bars out there, you might as well give yourself the best, right? The body is a temple, after all. We're big fans of PROBAR's organic, nutrient-rich, and gluten-free meal offerings that range from Superberry & Greens to Almond Crunch to Superfood Slam. Once you go PROBAR, it's hard to go back.

Prices vary • REI | Backcountry | Amazon


Smith Optics Attack MTB Chromapop Sunglasses

These may seem like a luxury, but you can never be too careful with your eyes, particularly when you are riding through densely wooded forest. Smith has brought retro styling to a key piece of safety equipment, affording full coverage to keep the eye watering at bay and easy, interchangeable lenses that allow you to go from low light in the woods to dark in the sun in seconds.

$249 • REI Outlet | Backcountry | Amazon


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