With Christmas looming ever nearer on the horizon are you slowly entering panic mode regarding what to buy your bike mad friend? Or are you the bike mad friend and you’re in dire need of a subtle hint to steer your other half, family or friends in the right direction?
Well look no further because here I have for you, the solution.
This list of 10 Christmas gifts for mountain bikers has all you need to keep the rider and their beloved steed happy. From stocking fillers, to essential kit, to items off their pretty please Santa wish list. Compiled from Australia’s popular online bike shop – Mountain Bikes Direct – these are the gifts riders are hoping to find under their tree this year.
CRANK BROTHERS Mallet E Enduro Pedals
Tailored specifically to cater for the demands of big epic days out these elite level pedals are made from 6061 aircraft grade T6 alloy and durable 300 series stainless steel. They are undeniably built to last.
Crank Brothers are better known for their DH pedals. To reconfigure their design for the enduro market the pedals have kept a large pedal surface area for security and the popular mud beating egg beater engagement system but have trimmed down on overall size. They now also come with reinforced side wings to better deal with narrow winding singletrack trails.
“This is an example of a fantastic product emerging from the demands of the enduro racer, providing us with a great pedal for nearly every type of riding.” Concludes Imbikemag.
For the full review see – http://www.imbikemag.com/reviews/components/pedals/crankbrothers-mallet-e-2016/
CAMELBACK Skyline 10 LR Hydration pack
Camelback are the most well-known brand of specially designed outdoor wear backpacks with fitted bladders for hydration on the go. They stay ahead of the game by constantly redesigning and improving their product to meet the latest demands of the market. With enduro fast on the rise in popularity there has been an increased demand for a pack that could carry all the required gear for a big day out, yet still stay in place when the descents get gnarly.
The Skyline 10 LR is the first pack Camelback have brought out made with the pure focus of being comfortable on descents and it seems that unanimously throughout the industry it has been a great success. With all the weight being carried lower down in the bag this keeps it from sliding up your back to hit you in the head on longer descents. The thick padded straps around the waist prevent this from meaning it weighs too heavy on the riders shoulders. With excellent ventilation around the back and waist it doesn’t even make you overheat on a hot day. It is a well thought out bag with great attention to detail.
Bike Radar verdict “The Skyline ticks just about every box, remaining just where it needs to be when the riding gets rowdy”
For more information on Hydration systems – the various options, how they work and how to rehydrate most effectively see this useful article – http://sportsadventure.com.au/mountain-biking/everything-need-know-hydration-systems/
FOX DH 6 inch Socks
Featuring anatomic arch support, flat toe stitching and strategically placed mesh panels for ventilation Fox DH socks are specifically designed for high performance level athletes demanding more from their clothing. With such attention to detail in every other area it is surely worth making sure a great day out isn’t ruined by crumpled, soggy socks irritating your feet. As the main point of feel and contact with the bike, happy feet are a necessity. Also – perfect stocking filler ALERT!
Stylish, comfortable, warm, yet dry these are the perfect socks for riding or even for everyday use if your keen to promote your membership in the mountain club of prowess. They are so cool in fact that they feature in this review on a motorcycle website of ‘The 10 best and coolest socks’ alongside designs featuring a hairy bigfoot, sharks, skulls and heated socks.
STANS NOTUBES tubeless tyre sealant
This is the No. 1 most popular premium level tyre sealant on the market and is suitable for all types of tyre in any temperature for between 2 -7months.
Tyre Sealant is a low viscosity liquid that is spread all over the inner tyre wall forming a barrier to stop the air leaking out. This removes the need for inner tubes and so prevents any bothersome punctures as the liquid simply fills any holes and reseals almost immediately. At most in case of any particularly large holes or air burping out from heavy impacts you simply add a little more air. Much easier than the fiddly job of swapping tubes.
Bottles come in 3 sizes – 2oz single use backpack handy size – Stocking filler ALERT!
“Probably the best-known sealant, Stan’s is popular for a reason – it works.” MBUK Wrecked and rated.
SQUIRT dry chain lube
Chain lube is an essential part of any rider’s tool box. As a regular part of post ride maintenance the chain will need to be cleaned and a squirt of chain lube applied. This prevents the build up of rust and grime and keeps the chain running smoothly for a clunk free ride.
For the dry and dusty conditions of Australia Bike Inventions Squirt chain lube is the go to product of choice. Highly acclaimed for leaving no mess and only requiring a little on each application. – Stocking filler ALERT!
BikeRadar verdict “Superb performance in dry conditions that finally lives up to wax-based billing, surprisingly long lasting, drive trains stay cleaner and quieter longer“
See here for full review – http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/tools/cycling-tools/product/review-bikinventions-squirt-lube-32098/
MARSHGUARD Original Mud Guard
The MarshGuard was invented by DH world cup mechanic Jason Marsh and is the most popular mud guard used by top level racers. It is easily fitted by attaching it to the front fork stanchions just above the wheel with cable ties. Once in place it will effectively protect not just your eyes from mud and spray but also prolong the life of your forks by stopping mud getting in the stanchions and seals. The Marshguard is also light, aeorodynamic, small and stylishly designed, perfect for a lean mean racing machine.
Pinkbike says “The Marsh Guard does exactly what it says on the tin, it stops the mud flicking up from your front wheel, is super light and easy to install/remove, fits onto nearly every fork, it’s aerodynamics and the real winner is the cheap price. If it’s good enough for World Cup racers, then it’s good enough for you and me!”
For the full interview with Jason Marsh, inventor and mechanic to World cup racer Greg Minaar see the below link. http://www.pinkbike.com/u/si-paton/blog/The-Marsh-Guard.html
SRAM PC X1 11 speed chain
This chain is part of the new cheaper set of X1 components designed to bring all the benefits of the 1 x 11 set up down to a more affordable price for the everyday rider. Featuring 11 speed power lock and built for toughness this is a chain you can rely on. A quirky yet useful stocking filler – ALERT – particularly good stocking filler!
“SRAM designed the X1 Chain with the same XX1 geometry to shift quietly and smoothly across any SRAM 11 speed cassette. With X-Sync Technology, the chain tenaciously holds on to the chain ring, resulting in few to no dropped chains. Solid pin construction isn’t the most lightweight option, but durability certainly won’t be sacrificed. Long lasting and corrosion resistant, the X1 chain is the value pick in SRAM’s line up.”
Review by artscyclery http://www.artscyclery.com/
ONE UP COMPONENTS ISCG 05 Chain guide
Even with all the latest advances in drivetrain technology dropped chains are still an annoying occasional occurrence. The last thing you want mid race run, or halfway down an epic rocky descent you bust a gut to climb up to, is that awful moment when you stamp down on the pedal and it spins round almost catapulting you over the bars. Not cool. At only 35 grams and easy to fit, this is a no brainer addition to your bike set up. One Ups chain guide also boasts the ability to lengthen your chain and chain rings life by preventing any side to side movement that causes additional wear to both parts.
“How does it perform? Put simply, it does the job as intended. Richie Rude has just gone and won the first two rounds of the Enduro World Series on a similar One Up guide with an integrated bash guard, so these things obviously work. It runs quiet and doesn’t attract gunk or clog up with mud, it kind of just houses the chain rather the holds it, so it doesn’t rub. It’s a part worth having.” Review from Descent world.
See link for full review and how to fit guide. http://www.descent-world.co.uk/2016/04/18/tested-one-up-components-chain-guide-and-oval-ring/
SHIMANO TL bt03 – S Bleed kit
Bleeding your brakes may sound like a complicated messy job best left for the proper shop mechanics but with the right tools this can be a great way to save a few pennies in servicing fees. This simple bit of kit is all you need to keep your brakes working in top condition. The pack contains 1 syringe, oil funnel, tube and a funnel stand. Be sure to buy specifically Shimano mineral oil for this to work correctly as some other brands use DOT fluid. This bleed kit operates using a one-way bleeding system which allows fast and easy bleed maintenance by making it possible to bleed and fill through the same hole.
This kit comes with a detailed manual but for your convenience here is a practical video from GMBN on when and how to bleed Shimano brakes.
DERT Tailgate Pad
No one likes seeing their expensive toy scrape around in the back of a ute, banging into the other bikes and coming out broken before you’ve even started riding. Let’s be honest here no amount of ingenious homemade padding really works, not for long anyway. Nor does anyone enjoy paying crazy money for a bit of padding just because it has a swanky logo on it. Enter the DERT tailgate pad. A convenient and safe way to travel up to 5 bikes in the back of your Ute.
Shaped to fit most popular Australian pickup trucks this well-padded accessory fits over the back of your tailgate with a soft interior to protect the vehicle and a hard wearing exterior made to last. The thick, wide straps wrap around any size frame and keep the bike securely in place throughout the journey. To ensure you have the DERT pad correctly installed for trouble free use refer to this handy manual – https://ridedert.com/how-to-install
“Awesome product. Quick and easy to use. Takes about 20 seconds to get a bike on or off. Half the price of similar products and just as good.” Customer review from Mountain bikes direct – https://www.mountainbikesdirect.com.au/dert-tailgate-pad
Of course none of these items fit into the category of traditionally expected Christmas gifts, except maybe the socks. Some may feel that bikers will be happy with any bike related gift and whilst this is true to an extent, the vast majority of riders have a long, long list of items they actually need. In these times of economic uncertainty, or more to the point, progressively better and shinier bikes on the market tempting us to spend far beyond our means, money is not always a readily available thing. So do your mountain biking buddy a favour…….. buy them a useful gift they can use this year. And tick one of these awesome items off their wish list.
For further inspirational ideas take a browse of all mountain bike direct has to offer – https://www.mountainbikesdirect.com.au/
So keep in touch and see you out on the trails.
About The Author
Rod Bucton, mountain bike fanatic from Mid North Coast, New South Wales Australia…discover the shortcuts to mountain biking for beginners and while you’re at it follow Rod on Facebook or Instagram.
Like any sport, bicycling involves risk of injury and damage. By choosing to ride a bicycle, you assume the responsibility for that risk, so you need to know — and to practice — the rules of safe and responsible riding and of proper use and maintenance. Proper use and maintenance of your bicycle reduces risk of injury.