Off-road riding can be more daring than on-road. Terrain, traction and conditions are constantly changing and sooner or later you may find yourself off your bike. If you are wearing the right protective gear you dust yourself off, restart the bike, climb aboard and ride away.
Goggles protect your eyes from wind, flying dirt, branches and other obstacles. Most off-road goggles have straps designed to go over the helmet but some have velcro quick straps for easy removal and replacement. All goggles must have shatterproof lens.
An off road helmet shares the same construction materials as a street helmet but varies in design. Off-road riding is quite a bit more intense and will elevate your heart rate and breathing. For that reason the chin piece is extended away from the mouth for more air room. Flying rocks and dirt from your friends spinning back tire also requires the helmet to have a peak (visor). You can dip your head to deflect the rocks and dirt (called a roost). Goggles are used mostly with off-road helmets so that they can be easily removed to wipe off the roost.
You can sweat a lot riding off road so your helmet should have a removable, washable liner. As mentioned above, goggles protect your eyes from roost and branches.
Good strong, protective motocross style boots are an essential part of your riding gear. Most off-road boots have smooth soles so they can skim over the ground and not stick and jam your leg. Enduro riders may prefer a lugged sole if they expect to need the foot traction to push the bike through a mud hole or up a hill.
Jerseys and Pants
Jerseys and pants are not only stylish, they cover your skin too. They help prevent abrasion and scratches from branches. Off-road pants are tough and will stand up to many tumbles in the dirt.
Gloves are essential to protect you and to help prevent blisters. Padding on the back of the knuckles helps protect you against roost, rocks, branches and trees. Body armour can cover your shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. The more protective gear you have, the safer you are. Most armour is designed to encourage motion.
Neck braces are also available. Their intent is to limit the range of motion of your helmet and thereby protecting your neck.