It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, second only to fall season mountain biking, but hey, it’s still a pretty wonderful time. It’s also time to get your mountain biker loved one some more stuff, right?
“Wrong,” you think. He/she has everything he/she needs and buying him/her anything bike-related is like buying your teenage daughter clothes–it ain’t happening! So, let’s keep this real simple by focusing on some quick and easy gifts that fit the needs of nearly ANY mountain biker. These items are practical (yes, maybe even boring), frequently need replacing, and having extras goes a very, very long way. So, whether you’re an avid rider with buyer’s block or a mountain biker’s significant other who is completely clueless, here are 10 gifts to stuff the stocking without breaking the bank (all prices are USD).
Jagwire Rotating S-Hooks
BUY NOW: $9
If your cherished mountain biker is not somehow securing the front cables, they’re rubbing them raw at an accelerated rate. Even if they’re using zip ties to keep the cables quiet, they’re worthless compared to some fancy rotating s-hooks from Jagwire. Once snapped on to adjacent cables, these hooks provide separation between brake, shifter, and dropper hosing for a cleaner look and quiet ride. Because of a rotating component where the two hooks meet, the Jagwire S-Hook won’t slide down like zip ties when riding. Each order comes with four hooks.
Hydration Hose Bite Valve
Here’s the truth: no one properly cleans their hydration system as much as they should. Even if we did, any part of the system (bladder, hose, bite valve, etc.) should probably be replaced more frequently than we think. This obviously depends on usage under varying conditions, but why not, at the very least, stuff the stocking with a replacement for the part of his/her hydration system that sees the most wear-and-tear–the bite valve. There are several hydration systems out there, so do check for the brand used before purchasing including, but not limited to: Camelback, Dakine, Platypus.
Ritchey 6-Bit Torque Key
Say “adios” to expensive, awkward, fragile torque wrenches and “hello” to this little gem! Your mountain biker loved one torques responsibly, but really only a handful of small bolts. The Ritchey Torque Key has a handy, ergonomic design, comes with enough bits (6, to be exact) to handle the whole cockpit and more, and clicks when the preset 5Nm of torque is reached–enough to meet in most home mechanic needs. The Ritchey wrench is small enough to throw in a pack for multi-day trips, yet packs a punch in versatility and durability.
Any item that lessens the chance of your MTBer wandering home hours after he/she said they’d be back is one worth its weight in gold, and I can’t count how many of these little nuggets I’ve given away trailside saving the unprepared hours of unwanted hike-a-bike. Don’t let your biker out for another ride until they’re packing a master link for the unfortunate event of a broken chain. Note the brand of chain and speed (9, 10, 11) for correct compatibility.
Stan’s No Tubes Tire Sealant (2oz)
Although not as exciting as the first half of our list, the next five stocking stuffers are easily the most frequently used and replaced in the modern era of mountain biking. And if he/she is not using these things, now’s the time to welcome them into the modern era of mountain biking with a tubeless setup. Starting with the basics, let’s get your biker some sealant. These handy little bottles are perfect for throwing in a pack for a weekend or a long ride and have a nozzle specifically sized to inject straight through the valve when the valve core is removed (see below).
Stan’s No Tubes Tubeless Valves
Setting up tubeless requires designated tubeless valves and, as with any other tubeless setup, Stan’s No Tubes has you covered. Even if they’re already rocking a tubeless setup, over time sealant and other trailside grime wears on valves to the point of no return. Sold as pair.
Deity Presta Valve Caps
Chances are the mountain biker on your Christmas list doesn’t even have valve caps. These little plastic do-dads were more of an afterthought until companies like Deity made a cap you can actually be proud to have adorn your wheels. CNC machined from aluminum and knurled for added grip, all five colors are anodized and also laser-etched to keep those new valves (see above) so fresh, so clean. Sold as pair.
Stan’s No Tubes Valve Core
Another bit that may keep your biker out of trouble is some backup tubeless valve cores. From time to time, these little guys jam up, get lost during a repair, or break, leaving you high and dry. As with valves, it’s always good to have a few sitting around the shop and in your pack for the ride. Sold as one.
Stan’s No Tubes Valve Core Remover
No tubeless valve and valve core is complete without a way to remove it. And why remove it? See below. With a valve core remover, you’ve almost come full circle in supplying your biker with a complete, pro-level tubeless experience.
Stan’s No Tubes 2oz Sealant Injector
Have you ever walked out into the garage and wondered why it looked like someone had just finished the milk gallon challenge, unsuccessfully? A sealant injector from Stan’s will be the end of that. Now equipped with tubeless valves, valve cores, valve core removers, and sealant, simply inject the sealant injectate through the injector, replace the core, and inflate. No fuss, no mess. Tubeless like a boss, bruh!
These items work fantastic as gifts for stuffing your mountain biker’s holiday sock as they’re parts that not only most riders use, but use over and over again. For convenience, these are simply brands I prefer so don’t hesitate to search other brands and types of sealant, valves, tools, etc. Also, try exploring items related to those on the list such as other hydration, tubeless (yes, there’s more), and cable accessories, which are all very handy, have a high turnover rate, and are relatively cheap.