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I am going on my first trail today. What kind of clothes will be best to wear (I'm in So Cal; weather will be around 70)? I don't have the padded shorts (yet), so I have to make due with what I have. I was thinking either cargo shorts, running shorts, or work out pants.
 

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For mountain Biking I often use some cargo's or Soccer shorts. Both work well. Running shorts work well too, pants though I hate and they always get caught in my chainring at the worst time.
 

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Wear whatever you are comfortable in. T-shirt and shorts. You don't have to wear special clothes to cycle.
 

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Do you have to wear cycling specific clothes??? No Is it more comfortable??? Sometimes. IF I am riding any great distance on the mountain bike, I might get some padded touring type cycling shorts. With extra time on the bike a shirt that wicks better than a tee shirt might be helpful.

Yet when I am mountain biking, I am usually on and off the bike quite often because I am looking around and doing whatever in the wild. From moving from one fishing hole to another to checking out a waterfall, those types of trips I am not on the bike that much and regular shorts and shirt work as well and sometimes better.
 

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Cycling shorts are constructed of 6-8 separate panels, so that they not only conform to your body, but move properly during pedaling, without bunching or chafing. They also have padding and a wicking component, which removes moisture from your skin. If you have modesty issues, you can get shorts with a baggy outer shell. For all but the shortest rides, bike-specific shorts will provide more comfort than just about any other type of short.

Jerseys don't need to be skin tight with team logos. A basic jersey will have some pockets in the back for your energy bars or gels, and maybe a phone. The front usually has a short zipper to help a bit with temperature control. And they are made of materials that wick the moisture from your skin, keeping you cool.
 
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