6th October 2021

A guide to buying MTB shoes

A guide to buying MTB shoes

With so many MTB shoes on the market, you’ll need to be fairly clear about the type of application you have in mind to find the best mountain bike shoes for you. For example, you might want to consider:

  • Are you looking for clip-in pedals or flat shoes?
  • What sort of terrain or trails will you be riding?
  • Are you seeking comfort for extended tours or maximum power in a lightweight MTB shoe?
  • Do you need insulated or waterproof MTB shoes

Clip-In Pedals or Flat Shoes

Although mountain bike shoes come in all different shapes, styles and sizes, they can broadly be split into two categories: shoes with cleats for clip-in pedals and shoes for flat, BMX-style pedals.

Flat shoes

Although they look much like regular trainers, flat pedal shoes have an outsole with a special tread made from a sticky rubber compound designed to give excellent grip. This grip allows the shoe and the pins on the flat pedals to really lodge into each other for a secure foothold, despite the ‘loose’ connection.
We recommend…

Best entry level Best trail riding shoe Most heavy-duty shoes
Five Ten Freerider Shoes Adidas Five Ten Freerider Pro Five Ten Impact Pro
Five Ten Freerider Shoes Adidas Five Ten Freerider Pro Five Ten Impact Pro
A very versatile all-mountain flat shoe inspired by the comfortability and style of BMX, this is a great all-rounder for getting started. With a Stealth® S1™ rubber outsole and a suede and mesh upper sole, this MTB shoe is great for comfort and versatility both on and off the bike. The Adidas Five Ten Freerider Pro mountain bike shoe with STEALTH® S1™ has excellent cushioning, shock absorption and durability. With enhanced impact coverage and a quick-drying synthetic upper, the Five Ten Freerider Pro is cushioned and water-resistant, offering comfort for full days trail riding on the bike. Strong and sturdy, the Five Ten Impact Pro shoe is built with weather-resistant, quick-drying material and an impact-resistant toe box for added protection. The Stealth® S1 outsole grips both the pedal and the pavement so you can take on the trails, however tough the terrain.
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MTB clip shoes

Clipless MTB shoes click into the appropriate bike pedals with mounted cleats and tend to be much stiffer than flat shoes. The most common standard for MTB clipless pedals is the Shimano SPD system that allows you to decide how firm or loose you want the connection with your mountain bike by setting the release tension via the spring preload.

We recommend…

Trail shoe Downhill shoe All-rounder
Five Ten Kestrel Lace Five Ten Hellcat Pro STB Ion Rascal Shoe
Five Ten Kestrel Lace Five Ten Hellcat Pro STB Ion Rascal Shoe
These all-weather Five Ten Kestrel Lace mountain bike shoe transfers maximum power to the pedals and has a clipless style that's compatible with all clipless mountain bike pedals. The Stealth® C4™ rubber outsole provides exceptional grip both on and off the bike, while the shank of the Kestrel Lace is nylon, making it about 15% less stiff than the original Kestrel. Clip-compatible with a stiff midsole, the Five Ten Hellcat Pro STB shoe allows for aggressive pedalling and offers all-condition control for gravity-fuelled riding. The synthetic upper offers abrasion-resistant weldings providing extra durability, and non-marking Stealth® Marathon rubber grips both the pedals and the ground. Combining stiffness in the longitudinal axis with flexibility in the upper and lateral axis, the Ion Rascal Shoe helps prevent the foot from tilting on the pedal and offers immense power transmission. With great walking abilities even on slippery ground, the reinforced toe cap absorbs shock when hitting a rock or a root.
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MTB Shoe Brands


five ten mtb shoes giro oneal mountain biking shoes ion mountain biking shoes
9th June 2021

Somerset Mountain Biking: The Essentials You Need for the Summer

Somerset Mountain Biking: The Essentials You Need for the Summer

Whether you’re a mountain biking novice or it’s a passion of yours, Somerset offers an excellent selection of trails to explore that are suitable for a variety of skill levels.

With the warmer weather, there are certain things that you will need to remember when it comes to cycling gear and accessories that you might not necessarily need in the winter– especially if you’re planning on a full day out in the sun.

Here at Kustom Bikes, we’ve created a list of our recommended items and clothing that you will need if you’re planning on mountain biking in Somerset this summer.

What gear should I wear mountain biking?

Now, there are several things to consider when choosing the right mountain biking gear for the summer - where abouts will you be riding? Will you be riding in the daytime or in the evening? It’s always important to be prepared and to understand the realistic demands of your ride, as the last thing you will want on a hot summer’s day is not having something essential in the middle of a trail.


A helmet with ventilation

mountain biking gearOf course, wearing a good-quality helmet is always important when mountain biking – no matter what season it is. Even if it might seem too hot to wear a helmet, accidents can happen and it’s better to be safe than sorry. When choosing a suitable helmet for the summer, we would always recommend choosing a MTB helmet that offers plenty of ventilation over a standard road cycling helmet. This is because MTB helmets are specially designed with mountain biking in mind, with features such as an integrated peak to keep both dirt and the sun out of your eyes whilst riding.

Offering 19 openings for effective ventilation, the Alpinestars Vector Tech MIPS Helmet is perfect for mountain biking as it comes standard with the MIPS system - designed to reduce the risk for minor and severe brain injuries by absorbing and redirecting rotational energies and forces during an impact event.



Well-ventilated gloves

mountain biking helmetAlthough wearing gloves in the summer might seem too much in the hot weather, it’s still an essential piece of equipment that shouldn’t be overlooked. Not only do mountain biking gloves offer protection for your hands from friction on the handles, but they will also provide extra grip that’s needed for mountain biking. When looking for a pair of MTB gloves for the summer, it’s highly important to choose a pair that balance both protection and breathability.

The Fox Defend Gloves are a perfect mix of lightweight top hand material and a minimal, yet extremely durable palm. The stretch mesh finger gussets (the fabric between your fingers) increases flexibility as well as helps channel air through the glove for superior comfort. Not to mention they also offer touchscreen compatibility as an additional feature for taking those epic mid-ride photos when the weather breaks!



Hydration backpack

ion-rampart-16-backpackAs you’re going to be sweating much more in the hotter months, staying hydrated is essential – not only for your health but also for your performance. To avoid dehydration whilst you’re out on a long ride in the sun, we would highly recommend aiming to drink around 500-1000ml of water per hour to provide your body with the right amount. 

Hydration backpacks are fantastic as they can carry up to 16 litres of water and allow you to drink water effortlessly without taking off your backpack or even having to use your hands – you can simply grab the drinking tube that’s connected to the water reservoir and drink away whilst riding. 

Offering full protection combined with cooling ventilation properties in a skinny and lightweight design, the ION Rampart 16 Backpack carries all your essentials for an intense day of riding, including; a water reservoir (up to 3l), tools, pumps, tubes, additional rain jacket and jerseys for changing. Of course, you can also fix your helmet to it if you’re taking a well-deserved break from riding.




Good quality knee pads

TSG Patrol Air A Knee Guards 2017Whether you’re a professional mountain biker or you’re only just starting out, it’s always important to wear a high-quality pair of knee pads when you’re out riding and there are many reasons why. Not only do they protect your knees and skin from potential MTB accidents, the technology and the design of knee pads has improved exceptionally over time – offering both comfort and protection throughout the day.

The TSG Patrol Air A Knee Guards are ideal for summer as they feature the same tough protection and shock absorption of the Patrol A, but with the added bonus of an Ariaprene sleeve - which is both lightweight and breathable. The pre-shaped pad has an injection moulded hard cap for sliding out of slams and surround Arti-Lage padding to absorb shocks and deliver added support to the knee joint.



Mountain biking sunglasses

biking sunglassesAs you probably know already, if you’re planning on spending the day riding in the sun, it’s always a good idea to wear a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays and provide yourself with a clear view. However, rather than opting for a regular pair of sunglasses, we would highly recommend investing in a pair of MTB sunglasses. Not only do they look great, but they’re specially designed to protect your eyes from dust and trail debris whilst out riding.

The Smith Trackstand Sunglasses is a throwback to the classic cycling sunglasses. Including two interchangeable Chroma Pop lenses for varying light conditions and a vented brow construction to increase airflow as the temperatures fluctuate, the Trackstand also has two-position adjustable nose pads and megol temple hits to keep the stylish look locked onto your face. 



Lightweight jersey

lightweight biking jerseyWhen looking for the right jersey during the summer, there are a few key features that you will need to look for. For example, you will need to look for a jersey that is made from a thinner, lightweight fabric that has short sleeves for ventilation whilst riding. Of course, you will also need to make sure that it doesn’t restrict your movement whilst riding, so make sure that the jersey you pick isn’t skin-tight.

The championship-winning Fox Flexair SS Jersey is designed to function seamlessly with the human body. It's cut from lightweight and flexible materials which anticipate your every move and it’s been refined to maximise breathability and increase mobility. It’s made from TruDri® fabric, which rapidly wicks moisture to keep you cool and dry and features active-fit sleeves with articulated darting which provides a contoured fit while in a dirt bike riding position.




biking shortsThe next essential piece of MTB clothing for a hot summer’s day is, of course, shorts. You will need to have a good-quality pair of shorts that can protect you from the elements and that features a strategic stetch and cut for potential accidents whilst out riding. We would also recommend opting for a pair that also feature vented panels and waterproof fabrics to provide breathability for the warmer weather.

If you’re struggling to find a pair of shorts for this summer, then we would highly recommend the 100% Airmatic Camo Shorts. Providing all day riding comfort for any trail conditions you encounter; these shorts provide the perfect balance of fit and function and they feature a stretch-mesh back panel to promote airflow and motion.



Lightweight shell jacket

Fox Attack Water JacketAlthough it might not seem necessary to have a jacket for this time of year, the summer evenings can still get cold and it’s important to be prepared for all types of weather when you’re on a long ride – especially in the UK. For the hotter months, we would recommend choosing a lightweight and waterproof shell jacket that offers wind protection whilst still being breathable.

When the summer skies turn angry, reach for the Fox Attack Water Jacket for protection from the wind and rain. If you're out in the elements, comfort is imperative. This jacket is built with waterproof/breathable TruSeal™ fabric and every internal seam is taped to keep the rain out for good. And just for good measure, it also features the DWR (durable water repellent) treatment to repel the rain.



The best mountain biking trails in Somerset: 

These are just a few of the mountain biking trails that Somerset has to offer! If you’d like to find more, then visit the Komoot Somerset Mountain Biking Trails Guide today.

Weacombe Combe MTB Trail Weacombe Combe
Starting from West Bagborough to Somerton Combe, this 3-hour trail is better suited for individuals with a good level of fitness.
agborough Plantation MTB Trail Bagborough Plantation
The Drove Road Loop from West Bagborough is a great route for any fitness level as it’s only 1 hour and 54 minutes long.
Dunkery Descent MTB Trail Dunkery Descent
This beautiful trail is a great loop from Exford and is suitable for intermediate mountain bike riders due to it being quite rocky and steep.


1. Stay Hydrated – as we mentioned earlier, it’s important to stay hydrated on a hot summer’s day as dehydration will tire you out and lower your performance. Remember to try and drink water before, during, and after your ride to prevent this from happening.

2. Electrolytes Are Key – remember that hydration isn’t just about drinking water – you can also lose electrolytes due to sweating more in the hot weather. Electrolytes are key for maintaining your energy and overall level of performance. If you’re planning on going on a long MTB ride, then we would recommend taking electrolyte supplements or vitamins to enhance your ability to absorb water and sustain energy.
Here are just a few of the electrolyte supplements and vitamins available:

3. Insect Repellent Is Your Friend - with temperatures soaring in the hot summer months, it’s inevitable that there’s going to be a few midges around. If you’re planning on going for rides at sunset or early in the morning, then definitely protect your arms and legs from insect bites by investing in insect repellent.


Frequently Asked Questions

What do mountain bikers carry in their backpacks?

Of course, this depends on the individual and their personal preferences. However, there are a few basic items that should be carried in your backpack in case of emergency. We would recommend bringing the following:

  • A fully charged phone
  • Spares and repairs
  • Tools
  • Food and drink
  • A map
  • First aid kit
  • Puncture repair patches or kit
  • Mini pump

Where do you put your keys when mountain biking?

There are several places that you can safely keep your keys whilst mountain biking – in your jersey pocket, in your hydration backpack, or even mounted on your bike.


How do you carry your phone while mountain biking?

Taking your phone with you on a bike ride is always important – especially if you’re going biking on your own. Like your keys, there are plenty of places that you can safely store your phone, including: in your jersey pocket, in your shorts pocket, in your backpack or hydration backpack, or in your armband.

How do you carry a spare tube on a mountain bike?

Whether you’re going for a short or long ride, it’s always important to be prepared every time you go mountain biking. To prevent yourself from being stranded miles from home, we would recommend always carrying a spare tube with the AMS OS Enduro Frame Strap so that you don’t have to add extra weight to your backpack.

30th October 2019

RRP ProGuard Bolt On Mudguards Available for Pre-Order now

RRP ProGuard Bolt On Mudguards Available for Pre-Order now

The brand new RapidRacerProducts ProGuard Bolt On mudguards have now been added to our website and can be pre-ordered for delivery in mid/late November

I have been really excited about these since first seeing the prototype versions earlier this year and can't wait to get one fitted to my own bike

10th October 2018

Shimano XTR M9100 Rear Derailleur is compatible with SRAM Eagle 12 Speed!

Shimano XTR M9100 Rear Derailleur is compatible with SRAM Eagle 12 Speed!

SRAM Eagle 12 speed has been on the market for 2 years now and has changed the game with the range it offers on only a single front chain ring. Shimano have always seemed to be playing catch up to SRAM when it comes to 1x gearing and ever since eagle was launched fans of Shimano have been waiting for them to come out with their own wide range 12 speed transmission. It finally came this year with the launch of the Shimano XTR M9100 groupset

I've always felt that Shimano held the edge in terms of build quality over SRAM and have been a long time user of Shimano XT 10 and 11 speed groupsets. This year however when I was building my new Transition Sentinel I decided to give SRAM GX Eagle a try. For the most part the experience has been pretty good, the shifting is smooth and I have had no problems with the crankset, chain, cassette or gear shifter. The problem I have had though is with the top jockey wheel on the rear derailleur collapsing and damaging the inner cage. I have seen this happen to many other GX Eagle derailleurs on customers bikes and at races so it seems to be a common issue that has not yet been resolved by SRAM

When Shimano launched the new XTR to be media earlier in the summer I didn’t pay too much attention to it as I would usually intend to wait until the technology filters down to the more reasonably priced XT range. I was also put off by the fact that Shimano had opted for a new Micro Spline freehub design which would mean having the change my rear wheel in order to use the new 12 speed cassette

My last GX Eagle derailleur broke on the first day of a three day event which annoyed me some what to say the least and I opted to switch back to my XT 11 speed to make sure I got through the next two days without a problem and because I didn’t want to buy a new GX derailleur if it was just going to break again in a short period

The rest of my GX Eagle groupset was still in good condition though which is what led me to wondering if a Shimano XTR M9100 rear derailleur and shifter would work with a SRAM Eagle 12 speed 10-50 cassette. I couldn’t see any reason for it not to work so ordered them up and waited patiently for them to arrive

The shifter arrived a few weeks ago but the derailleur didn’t show up until this week. I could finally fit them to the bike and am happy to confirm that the setup works perfectly. I wasn’t surprised by this as I didn’t think Shimano would be able to alter the spacing of a 12 speed cassette so was pretty sure beforehand that it would work

Having fitted the Shimano XTR M9100 shifter and derailleur and confirming that it will work with a SRAM eagle 10-50 cassette I thought I would quickly try a SRAM GX eagle shifter with the Shimano XTR rear derailleur and see if they were compatible. I wasn’t really expecting this to work as previously SRAM and Shimano shifters have used a different pull ratio so they have not been interchangeable with each other.

To my surprise the SRAM GX Eagle shifter worked perfectly with the Shimano M9100 derailleur!

I think this is great news as if like me you are fed up with breaking your SRAM Eagle rear derailleur you have the option to fit a Shimano XTR M9100 derailleur instead without changing the rest of your drivetrain

1st December 2017

Transition Sentinel frames have just arrived

Transition Sentinel frames have just arrived

As 29er fans here at Kustom Bikes we've really been looking forward to the arrival of the new Transition Sentinel and we now have frames in stock ready to go

To unlock to full potential of the Transition bikes SDG technology to need the reduced offset forks to go with the frame. We have the Fox Float 36 Performance Elite version of these available to go with the frames

We will also have a Transition Senitinel demo bike available but are currently still waiting on the build kit to arrive for this

If you have any queries regarding Transition bike and frames please get in touch

2nd July 2017

Transition Bikes Introduce the Sentinel with Speed Balance Geometry

Transition have just introduced the new Sentinel model to their line up equipped with Speed Balance Geometry. We have been looking forward to a longer travel Transition 29er so can't wait for these to be available in the UK in October. Full details on the new geometry below

Speed Balance Geometry

What is it about the human connection to the bicycle that brings us so much joy? How can such a simple mechanical device mean so much to so many of us? What if it was possible to heighten that connection? What would it take, what would it mean and how would you achieve it?

Imagine a dream where you could ride without thinking about what your front wheel is doing. You stopped having conscious thought about whether it had traction or not, instead you just intuitively knew. In this same dream your bike could do exactly what you wanted it to at whatever speed your were moving. At high speeds it carved stable turns with supreme grip, and at slow speeds it was nimble and precise to maneuver tight turns. This was our dream.

In the search for a better handling bike, we started by asking some simple questions. Why are mountain bikes becoming longer and slacker? The obvious answer is stability. Why is this good? It makes the rider feel safer and creates a more stable chassis at higher speeds or steeper terrain. Longer and slacker comes at a cost however, and that cost is realized at slower speeds or flatter terrain where the front wheel is too far ahead of the rider. This inhibits the rider's ability to properly weight the front wheel. What if it were possible to have a mountain bike that did all of this well?

Inspired by this dream, late in 2015 we initiated a research program led by our Blue Balls Development Team to discover ways we could make our current bikes handle even better. We began an extensive test cycle with different variations of fork offset and geometries. Why you ask?

In the last 5 years, your mountain bike has changed in in many ways. Your wheels have likely gotten bigger. Your frame has gotten longer. Your head tube has gotten slacker. Your suspension has improved. Your stem has gotten shorter and your bars have gotten wider. And you likely have a remote dropper seat post opposed to a straight post. Your components have improved in ways that have allowed you to ride easier, farther and harder. Yet, the there are some things that haven't been updated with the rest of these improvements. One of these things is steering trail.

Trail is one of the dimensions that relates to particular steering feel and handling characteristics. Current trail figures fall between a regular set of parameters depending on wheel size and bike suspension travel. The thing is, this range of trail is based on an old legacy of 26" bikes with outdated geometry; steep head tube angles, shorter reach and top tube, longer stems and skinnier handlebars.

Why shouldn't this evolve with the rest of your bike?

Transition Sentinel 29er Bike
Transition Sentinel featuring SDG technology. Coming this autumn

Transition Sentinel Geometry Chart

The Tech

Frame sizing - Our SBG system utilizes frame reach measurements that are longer than our current models. The SBG system is designed to be used with a 40mm stem, which equates to a modest total increase in reach when compared to our current models which use 50mm stems. Our SBG system additionally includes steeper seat tube angles which aid in climbing traction and reduce seated sag when climbing. These two changes bring the rider more forward in the chassis into a more central location between the front and rear tire contact patches, which greatly increases traction.

Head tube angle - SBG integrates slacker headtube angles which allow the fork to absorb impacts better on all angles, and positions the front wheel further forward in relation to the handlebars. As you approach obstacles in the trail a steeper head tube angle has a more vertical suspension path. This reduces the forks ability to properly absorb impacts and generates deflection. A slacker headtube angle positions the fork at a better angle of approach to absorb impacts which reduces deflection. Additionally, slacker headtube angles reduce dive while increasing rear wheel grip under heavy braking.

Fork offset - SBG is designed to be used with a fork offset that is shorter than traditionally used per wheel size. The shorter fork offset brings the front axle more rearward and under the rider which further increases front tire traction. This works in unison with the shorter stem length to provide a more direct steering input and dramatically enhances connectivity to what is happening with the front wheel. The shorter offset also brings the front wheel more under the rider which balances the effects of a slacker head angle. Our SBG system creates a longer trail figure than standard, used in a way that eliminates the negative side effects.

Transition Sentinel Dimensions

If you were to implement any of these changes independently you would see negative handling effects, but when executed together each change compliments the other which creates a dramatically different handling bike. SBG ensures the bike maintains low speed agility, increases front wheel traction, and proper rider weight balance while actually increasing confidence in steep terrain and at high speeds. With SBG, a slacker head tube angle is combined with a reduced offset fork to eliminate a vague feeling front wheel. This improves front to rear weight distribution on the bike, which is often out of balance on long and slack bikes. One of SBG's greatest benefits is that it creates a steering feel that is highly dependent on wheel speed.

At lower speeds the bike is easy to redirect, responds easily to steering inputs, and reduces front wheel wander when climbing. As the wheel rotates faster the bike becomes more stable, and less energy is required to keep the bike tracking straight. The rider is encouraged to lean into corners. SBG also reduces under and over steer, front wheel push, and improves front wheel traction in flat corners and off camber sections. Our SBG system provides more stability at high speed, more agility at low speed, improved traction, control and confidence for riders at all speeds.

What does this ultimately mean for you? More control, more confidence, more party.

10th June 2017

Now Stocking Deity Components

Now Stocking Deity Components

We are now stocking Deity mountain bike components in the UK. Our first drop includes the Black Label handlebars, Copperhead stems, Black Kat pedals, Knuckleduster and Waypoint Grips but we will be adding more in the future

20th April 2017

New Transition Bike Models

New Transition Bike Models

Transition bikes have just introduced two brand new bike models, the Throttle and the Vanquish

The Throttle is an aggressive 27.5" carbon hardtail designed to blur the lines between a trail bike and a dirt jump bike. It is designed to give the playful feel of the Transition full suspension frames combined with the efficiency of a lightweight carbon hardtail frame

The Vanquish is the closest thing to a cross country bike that Transition have ever made. A lightweight carbon 29er hardtail with a 120mm travel fork that will climb like an XC bike and keep up with your full suspension mates on the downhills

Both frames are £1799.95 and are available for Pre-Order now with delivery expected in 2-3 weeks

4th April 2017

New Website Launch

As you may have noticed we have a brand new website. If you are one of our previous customers then you should find that this is a big improvement over the old site and if you are a new customer we hope you like what you see. To celebrate the launch of the new website we are offering 10% off all orders until the end of April. To claim your 10% discount use code NEW10 at checkout