a beginner women's mountain bike set up - helmet, bike, glasses, pads, gloves

A Beginner Woman’s Trail Riding Bike Set Up

In 2020, my friends convinced me to get a mountain bike, and it has easily become my absolute favorite way to get outside during the summer.

It’s a great workout. I can do it with friends. I can explore new places with the intent to bike. And I can even go back to some of my favorite destinations and explore them with a new sport.

Plus, it’s become the perfect compliment to skiing. It’s a high adrenaline sport with room for me to progress (like alot!), and I just can’t praise it enough.

The actual bike is definitely the biggest barrier to entry for this sport, but let’s check out the head – to – toe set up that I have to get out on the trails:

*Please note that I would classify my preferred style of riding as trail riding/mini enduro. I do love the uphill for the workout, but I also love more aggressive blue square flow trails, and while I am still hesitant, I am willing to try black diamond downhill trails. I love trying easier drops and jumps (still getting comfortable with sending it on gap jumps), as well as wood features at smaller bike parks.

Bike

When I went into go buy a bike in May of 2020, it was the beginning of a major bike shortage, so I needed to find something I liked… and fast. I went into a couple shops, but they didn’t have the specifications I wanted in my price range. And I felt like every time I went into a shop, my budget would slowly creep up due to bikes not being in stock.

However, on one fateful date that was meant to be, I walked into a local shop and they said they had just built out the perfect bike that I was describing to them (it was shortly after COVID restrictions had lifted, so we weren’t allowed into the shop, and we had to social distance with masks and relay information in the parking lot). But then they brought out my bike, and I knew that It was meant to be…

There was even a woman looking for a similar bike that was maybe 5 minutes behind me in the queue, so the universe was on my side that day because if I would have even come 6 minutes later, I probably would have a different bike.

And now I couldn’t be more happy with it. It is the 2020 Liv Intrigue 3, and honestly, when I first bought it, it was a little more aggressive (as far as travel) than I was hoping for, but I’ve been able to easily grow into it. It’s become the perfect bike for the trails I like to do, so it should be a solid bike for a couple years.

Bike: 2020 Liv Intrigue 3

Tires: 27.5″

Travel: 150 mm front/ 140 mm back

Size: Medium*

Original Price: $2,100 (not including extras)

Extras purchased with bike: Crank Brothers Stamp 1 Large LE pedals (bright orange ones because why not), frame protector

* note that I am 5’6.5″ and 135 lbs

Probably my favorite thing about it is that I am able to upgrade it if I want better parts, such as a front fork, derailleur (which I already upgraded), or cassette.

Helmet

Since starting mountain biking, I’ve realized that your helmet is the most important piece of gear. Whether riding gnarly trails or just taking the easy traverse, the helmet is a must have.

I wear Wildhorn Outfitter’s Highline helmet while skiing, so I was stoked to try out their new mountain bike line that debuted summer 2022. This helmet is low profile, and offers Expanded Polystyrene foam for the perfect lightweight protection.

Currently, Wildhorn is working on making a MIPS helmet for additional safety, but this helmet has still saved me nonetheless after some hard crashes.

Plus, at less than $100.00 this bike helmet is an awesome bang for your buck.

Helmet: Wildhorn Outfitters Corvair Helmet

Size: Small/Medium

Glasses

Glasses are helpful to shield from the light, but also it’s important to have eye protection as you’re biking through trees and around rocks at high speeds.

I personally love the Wildhorn Outfitters new line of mountain bike glasses paired with the amber lenses. The amber lenses combined with the Fenom technology is great for variable light. While the lenses are easy to swap, and the frames can be altered to be frameless on the bottom of the glasses, I usually stick to the amber lenses with the full frame!

Like the helmet, these glasses come at a great price of less than $75.00.

Glasses: Wildhorn Outfitters Radke

Lenses: Clear, Amber

Grip It Gloves That 70's Glove

Gloves

Grip It Sports is a local Salt Lake brand that has been an awesome supporter of the bike community. Plus, they have an wide array of gloves that offer both performance and style.

I love the That 70’s Glove color way, as it perfectly matched my bike scheme, as well as the Cosmos style for when I want to ride out of this world.

With features like a touch pad, silicone for extra grip and a tight fit, the Grip It is a great option for riders looking for technical, yet stylish glove!

Gloves: Grip It Sports That 70’s Glove

Size: Small

G Form pads for mountain biking

Pads

While pads are not a necessity, they have definitely saved me in a couple gnarly crashes. At the moment, I only have knee pads, but I am looking at elbow pads when we head to lift access trails that are going to be a little more aggressive on the downhill.

Not to mention, they have a mental power as well. I feel more secure, so I feel like I can send a little more… anyone else????

Bike pads: G- Form Pro X2 Knee Pads

Size: Small

I do wish I would have just gotten the Pro X model, because I feel like they fit better on my knees. Either that, or a large size of the X2 model.

Your nacforadventurer and newbie mountain biker,

AJ

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