While I’m always secretly hoping that a brand-new carbon 29er frame, preferably from Ibis, will show up under the tree at Christmas, I know the chances of that are pretty slim! Still, there’s no limit to the parts, accessories, and gear available for mountain biking, so chances are good that the rider in your life would love some (or all) of the products on this list:
Genuine Innovations Tire Repair and Inflation Kit Wallet
Nearly all cyclists have a floor pump. Most have a portable mini pump. And everyone needs a CO2 inflator! This kit from Genuine Innovations includes everything needed to repair all but the most severe of trailside flats, all in a neat wallet that can be easily stowed in a hydration pack. The kit retails for $24.88 on Pricepoint.
For economy of both cost and space, it’s hard to beat a good trail map as a stocking stuffer. Is your biker planning a bike trip this year? If so, get a good map of his/her intended destination. You may even be able to find maps of great trails within a day trip of home. Hit up your local map store; if you don’t have one, check bookstores, and, of course, most can be found on the net as well. Check out Singletracks’s own topo map store here.
National Geographic has excellent coverage via its Trails Illustrated series, which are readily available at most outdoor stores. The USFS and BLM publish a variety of maps. Many independent cartographers focus on maps for particular geographic area(s). These maps are all waterproof and tear resistant, ensuring they will survive miles of abuse. This simple, inexpensive stocking stuffer can really help your biker to get out there and explore… and reduce the chance of him/her getting lost!
SIX Nutrition, Vitamins for Men
I recently had a chance to demo the daily multivitamin for men from SIX Nutrition, and as cliche as it sounds, it really did change my life–so much so that my wife insisted I order them and continue taking them.
If you’re gift shopping for a man who wants an edge in their riding, or just wants to feel better in daily life, a month’s supply of SIX nutrition is just $6 with the coupon on their site. After a few days, I bet he’ll be thanking you!
The biker in your life needs a dropper seatpost. Before I got mine (as an early Christmas gift before a trip to Moab), I was skeptical. Did I really need this? Would it be worth a little extra weight? My boyfriend and best biking friend both had them…but did I REALLY need it? Well, it turns out I did. Since getting the dropper seat post I’ve managed to conquer a few drops on local trails that I honestly never thought I’d ride. I rode Slickrock with ease because I could drop the seat while descending a steep portion and immediately raise it back up for climbing.
Pearl Izumi Gloves
Because, really–can you have too many pairs of bike gloves? I tend to wear out bike gloves rather quickly, so it’s always good to have a nice, new pair on hand. These Pearl Izumi ones fit, well… like a glove! Pearl Izumi bike gloves can be found at your favorite bike gear shop.
Most serious mountain bikers have been riding tube-free for years now. However, I’m constantly amazed at how many don’t have some of the inexpensive tools that make tubeless life so much easier. One of those is the Stan’s NoTubes Valve Core Remover. It’s only $9, and allows you to easily remove the core from presta or schrader valves. There’s two reasons you might want to remove the valve core. For tough-to-seat tires, removing the valve core will let you push more air to quickly get the tire’s beads seated. And then in a few months, when it’s time to add more Stan’s sealant, you can remove the valve core and inject fresh sealant through the valve without needing to remove the tire.
To inject the sealant, you’ll need a NoTubes Sealant Injector, which is only $16. These two inexpensive tools will allow you to quickly and easily maintain your tubeless setup with minimal fuss.
Sunglasses are a crucial piece of mountain biking gear, but they are guaranteed to wear out, break, or get left on top of the car over the course of time. Consider getting the rider in your life a new pair of shades. With quality shades ranging in price from $50 Tifosis or Ryders all the way up to $300+ Oakleys, you can easily spend as much as you want to spend on a gift of eyewear.
Jagwire Ripcord Kits
Fresh shift cables make every bike feel like new again, and Jagwire’s Ripcord cables and housings are some of the best. The cable is super slick, and the housing is available in several colors. There are some sealed ferrules included to help keep mud and gunk out of the housing. But for the best performance, I’d recommend using full-length housing–it keeps the gunk out and keeps the shifting smooth for years.
Novara Headwind Winter Cycling Gloves
Any mountain biker worth his or her salt will extend their riding into the winter months. These gloves are as comfortable and supportive as any regular cycling glove, but are micro-fleece lined and have a wind blocking layer on the top. They are toasty warm for moderately cold rides, and can be used under an outer mitt for severe cold. As an added bonus, the index finger is smartphone compatible, so you don’t have to remove them to start or stop your Strava in cold weather. The Headwind gloves retail for $39.50 at REI.
Easton Lock-On Grips
The Easton Lock-On grips are a great deal, and are available in a bunch of colors and two thicknesses (30mm / 33mm). Just think about it: everytime that special someone in your life goes out for a ride, they will be hanging on to your most excellent gift. What personally puts these grips on my list is the excellent feel to the grip itself, wet or dry, and I also like the safety-conscious integrated bar end.
During the cold temperatures of the fall, winter, and spring months, every mountain biker needs a bevy of cold weather gear to keep him or her out on the trail. Dressing for the trail isn’t an easy task, however: choose the wrong gear, and you can either be too sweaty right off the bat, which could lead to chills later on in the ride, or too cold for the entire ride. Oftentimes, a pair of leg warmers is the perfect medium between knee warmers and full-length thermal tights. While many companies make great leg warmers, I can personally vouch for Pearl Izumi’s warmers.
Your Turn: What’s your top holiday gift recommendation for mountain bikers?