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holiday collage

Are you struggling to answer the question, “What do you want for Christmas this year?” With the sheer quantity of gear out there, it can be hard to even know where to start. For my gift guide this year, I wanted to feature items that I have used personally, and that I really liked.

These products stood out for various reasons. Some, like the Airchecker, have a simple, easy-to-use design. Others, such as the 7iDP knee pads and Smith helmet, have given me more confidence on the trail. And some items, like the Danny MacAskill shoes and Mission Workshop duffle are stylish but functional.

So, if you’re a discerning mountain biker looking for gift ideas for yourself – or to get someone else – this is a great place to start.

SKS Airchecker – $25

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Testing several plus bikes this year, I quickly realized I needed a better gauge than the one attached to my floor pump. The larger the tire, the more sensitive they are to small changes in pressure. For instance, with a 27.5×2.8″ tire at 16 PSI, I had serious tire squirm in the corners. At 18 PSI, though, I could largely eliminate the problem. However, many floor pumps don’t even register below 20 PSI, or if they do, they are wildly inaccurate.

To make sure my tires are at my desired pressure, I picked up the SKS Airchecker from a local shop. The swiveling head on the Airchecker works with Presta and Schrader valves and the backlit screen is easy to read–helpful for getting your bike ready in the morning after a late night. There’s also a bleed valve for fine-tuning, and the Airchecker displays in either PSI or bar, up to a max of 144 PSI / 10 bar.

It’s small, light, and affordable – making it a great addition to any toolbox or to the perennial over-packer’s backpack.

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