The very best cycling kit from 2020/21 that you can buy is here. We've review loads of clothing on off.road.cc over the past year so here’s a big old round-up of the very best. There is everything here for both gravel and mountain bikes from base layers to waterproof jackets, socks to gloves, and everything in between.
The test team has taken a long hard look at the list of products that scored well this year and come up with this list of gear that we'd all be happy to have in our bike clothing wardrobe. It isn't all super pricey either, you'll see some great gear to suit all budgets. This is kit is all hardwearing, it's gear that won't let you down and is kit that is worth the money should you choose to buy any of it and its clothing that we'd be very happy to have in our own wardrobes.
In this round-up we have only considered products that have scored highly on test, that means a score of 4.5 or 5 out of 5. Those top scoring products will have undergone a tough test period and been score on their performance, value and quality as well as getting an overall score.
We've included links to our original reviews below each product so you read all about that particular piece of kit. There are also buying links in the article too to help you find the best deals on the 'net.
If it's the best components you are after then click here for the top scoring gravel components and here for the best mountain bike ones.
The best mountain bike and gravel clothing of 2020/21
Leatt DBX 5.0 All Mountain jacket
The Leatt DBX 5.0 All Mountain is a well-built, highly protective winter jacket with excellent attention to detail. It breathes well, has very efficient vents and is cut just right for bike use. In fact, it’s packed with clever features that make it a seriously enjoyable jacket when it’s nasty, though the inner cuffs aren't quite right and it's pretty expensive.
7mesh Ashlu Merino Jersey
The 7mesh Ashlu Merino jersey is a really versatile short-sleeved summer top that copes fantastically with 28˚C rides without overheating, yet stays warm when temperatures plummet and the rain arrives. The five pockets carry huge amounts comfortably, it's really well made and it's perfect for long or multiday rides. There's no denying that price makes it a serious investment, though.
100% Surpass knee guards
100%'s Surpass knee guards offer huge amounts of protection thanks to a hard-shell capped design but they're comfortable enough for all-day pedalling thanks to a pre-shaped design that holds them securely in place. They're pretty expensive but they've become my go-to knee guards for trail and enduro riding.
Morvelo Overland Dual SS Base Layer-Jersey
Morvelo's Overland Dual Baselayer-Jersey fits like a jersey, features all the pockets you'd expect (and more), but is built from sweat-wicking baselayer fabric. It's comfy and works extremely well – both alone on hot days, and beneath other layers when the temperatures fall. It's tight, though, so watch the sizing.
Alpkit Koulin Trail Tee women's base layer
The Alpkit Koulin Trail Tee is a base layer that can conceivably be used as a t-shirt too, wicks sweat from the rear panel well and is nicely shaped – and a bit of a bargain. The styling is undeniably more underlayer than actual t-shirt though.
Endura Singletrack Glasses
The Singletrack Glasses from Endura are well designed, comfortable and lightweight. They’re completely fog-resistant and the lenses are simple to swap. They are comfortable, lightweight and an excellent choice for the money. Only slightly bigger lenses for greater coverage and a clear lens would seriously improve them.
Merida RACE sunglasses
Merida’s RACE sunglasses are the epitome of ‘bang for your buck’. At first glance, they’re pretty basic and feel a little cheap, but use them and they’re really comfortable, give more than enough coverage and cope with fog exceptionally well.
Smith Optics Flywheel glasses
The Flywheel from Smith Optics is a retro/modern-looking pair of sunglasses featuring their own tinted ChromaPop lenses. They’re light, comfy and give excellent coverage for riding. Although downsides are few, the lens isn’t interchangeable, meaning they're only really useful for spring and summer.
Troy Lee Designs Women's Ace 2.0 glove
The Troy Lee Designs women's Ace 2.0 glove is a super-thin and light summer mountain bike glove, with a minimalist design we really like. They're well ventilated, work with a touch screen, and give good feel on your grips thanks to the thin palm. They can be hard to get on and off, however, especially with sweaty hands.
100% Brisker Cold Weather women's glove
The 100% Brisker women’s gloves are a great set of winter warmers for moderate to chilly days. The softshell backing keeps the worst of the wind at bay, they're hardwearing and a single-layer palm means there's still a great feel on the bars. At this price, there’s no reason not to have a pair for winter riding.
Deft Family Catalyst Divide Glove
Deft Family's Catalyst Divide glove is a lightweight trail glove with an excellent fit, thanks to perfect panelling that runs to all the right places. It's not one for cold weather, but perfect for short trail sessions, warm days or faster riding.
Castelli Perfetto RoS women's long sleeve jacket
The Castelli Perfetto RoS wants to be both a jacket and a jersey, and is surprisingly good at being both. It's windproof and rain resistant whilst being super breathable, works well either on gravel or the road, and is perfect for chilly but not really cold weather. It won't keep out sustained downpours and it's expensive, though.
Cube AM WS Storm jacket
The new Cube AM WS Storm jacket is a vast improvement on the previous version. It's superbly waterproof, breathes really well and offers a female-specific cut that's spot on. It lacks hand pockets and the hood could be a bit bigger, but aside from that, it's hard to find fault with this little gem.
Madison Flux Enduro Women's Long Sleeve Jersey
Striking looks, a clean fit and lightweight material make the Madison Flux Enduro Women's Long Sleeve Jersey a winner. It's bright without being garish and performs well too – plus it's a bargain at £45.
Leatt DBX 2.0 Long jersey
The Leatt DBX 2.0 Long jersey is a subtle design that neverthless performs brilliantly. It’s incredibly comfortable, fits very well and provides a little extra warmth during colder months. However, if you like wearing a long sleeve in summer, this one is a bit warm.
Royal Racing Heritage Short Sleeve jersey
The Heritage short sleeve jersey from Royal Racing is an excellent jersey for the summer months. It’s baggy, long and well priced. Despite the Polygiene antibacterial treatment, however, it can still get a little whiffy after a sweaty ride.
Endura Women's MT500 Marble LS Jersey
The Endura Women's MT500 Marble long-sleeve jersey is a lightweight enduro and downhill top that's as good next to the skin as it is over body armour. It's light, very breathable and offers lots of room for elbow pads, while quality is excellent for the price. It can feel a bit baggy without armour, however, and it sizes up quite large.
Cube AM WS Round Neck long sleeve jersey
The Cube AM women's round neck jersey is a stylish long sleeve top that's super soft and comfy against the skin, yet relatively robust too. It's a massive leap in the right direction for the bike brand – subtly branded and not lacking in the performance department.
Specialized 2FO Clip 2.0 shoe
The Specialized 2FO Clip 2.0 mountain bike shoe balances weight, protection, pedalling efficiency and weather resistance in a way that makes it a very pleasant place to be. While it performs well in most situations, however, the Body Geometry footbed might not be for everyone and it's a bit pricey.
Shimano RX8 SPD shoes
Following on from the release of its GRX groupset, Shimano has continued down the gravel route with these new RX8 SPD shoes. A stiff, lightweight yet rugged shoe perfect for performance riding away from the road, or on it for that matter – especially for those who like to be able to walk off the bike. They are a fair old chunk of cash though.
Dakine Thrillium Shorts
The Dakine Thrillium Bike Shorts are summer-specific and designed with the downhills in mind. They’re well built, comfortable and super cool, but try them on before buying – they size up pretty small.
7Mesh Glidepath Short
Hailed by 7Mesh as its flagship trail short, the Glidepath is a superbly-made baggy, non-padded short that could easily become your go-to pair – unless it’s very wet. The fit is excellent, they have decent pockets and armour fits well underneath. I couldn't find much wrong with them.
Madison Zenith 4-Season DWR trousers
The Madison Zenith 4-Season DWR trousers are all-weather trousers designed for year-round use. The four-way stretch fabric is water-repellent, and those areas prone to soaking are properly waterproof. They’re lightweight and incredibly comfortable, but you need to be careful when picking your size.
Dexshell Ultra Dri Sports Socks
The Dexshell Ultra Dri Sports sock is a great waterproof option that's warmer than its competitors, fending off elements while remaining comfortable and stretchy too. Listed as a 'bike sock' if perhaps not designed exclusively for cyclists, the Ultra Dri is an ideal length for mountain biking and gravel riding.
Race Face Roam Knee
The Race Face Roam Knee pads offer serious protection in an easy-to-use wraparound design. They're about as cool for pedalling as pads this substantial can be, the fit is good and multiple sizes should cater to everyone – but there's no denying they're expensive.
661 DBO knee pad
661's DBO knee pads offer a lot of comfort and protection for not a lot of cash, combining a flexible D3O insert to ward off bumps in a slimline neoprene outer with reinforced nylon cap. They're good for all-day pedalling but still provide enough protection for the bike park.
100% Altec helmet
The 100% Altec is a supremely comfortable trail helmet that offers good coverage and very impressive ventilation. It's got some great touches that make it work really well if you go full enduro with goggles and the MIPS-alike Smartshock system promises extra rotational injury protection too.
Smith Mainline helmet
The Mainline is Smiths' first entry into the full face helmet market. While it is expensive, it can definitely earn its keep – it’s supremely comfortable and it fits the bill for an enduro-focused full face almost perfectly. It has both the MIPS and Koroyd rotational-impact protection systems for impressive safety, though the Koroyd blocks some airflow.
Leatt DBX 4.0 V20.1 helmet
The Leatt DBX 4.0 V20.1 is close to being a full-on DH spec helmet, but it’s airy and light enough for enduro/heavy trail use. It’s seriously comfortable too, though the peak doesn't adjust to fit raised goggles – and some may find it a little claustrophobic.
O'Neal Pike 2.0 helmet
O'Neal's Pike 2.0 is an updated version of its enduro / trail helmet, and features its IPX ACells tech for dampening harmful rotational forces during impacts. It has good ventilation and coverage, coupled with a tough feel and some handy detailing. It's a well thought-out and comfortable lid, though it's fairly chunky and the chinstrap could do with refining.
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