Getting new stuff feels like... Commencal photo.
Mountain bikers constantly need stuff. We blaze through gear, accessories, clothing, tires and food at an alarming rate. Re-supply us and we’ll love you—even more than we do now—though we might still bail on lazy Sunday pancakes.
Check out TGR’s picks for the fully-addicted cyclist. (We stayed away from bikes, helmets and shoes because most bikers really like to try those things on before committing.)
1. Pearl Izumi Winter Gear
This stuff is comfy and perfectly splits the difference between roadie tight and DH baggy. The MTB Softshell Pants fit great, have ample and easily accessible pockets and block wind like a champ. The Elite Pursuit Softshell jacket (both men's and women's) is super comfy, has generous rear pockets and can go from 45 degrees to near zero with the right underlayer.
Price: $170 pants, $160 jacket | Pearl Izumi
2. Topeak Digital Tire Gauge
Tires have gotten fatter and bike designs rely more on proper tire inflation pressure. Cyclists now have to find the right pressure down to the pound. And floor pumps are notoriously inaccurate. The Topeak gauge is a great choice, it has a nice clear beep, switches from presta to schraeder and from Bar to PSI.
Price: $27.99 | From Amazon
Another great option is this G140 version from IBIS, fits super nice in any pocket.
Price: $29.99 | Ibis
3. Syntace Torque wrench
Another new requirement from your friendly bike designers and product managers: Everything now has a torque setting. This Syntace torque tool has the most complete range of settings, a nice small form factor, is easy to use and is the most accurately calibrated from the factory.
Price: $122.89 | Syntace
Good news if you’re looking for cheaper options; easy-to-use affordable units that cover small ranges from 3-6 Nm are perfect for most jobs. Like this ATD-1 above.
Price: $62.29 | Park Tool.
4. Tailwind Hydration Mix
We blaze through this stuff like coke in the 80s (so I'm told). Cyclists are constantly running out. Tailwind has put massive research into properly formulating their endurance fuel and it can actually be all you need on a ride. it’s light and clean enough to go in a hydration pack and wash out completely without getting nasty.
Price: $16.05-$37.99 | Tailwind nutrition.
5. Crank Brothers Mallet E Pedals
Pedals are a bit of a splash, so maybe sneak into the garage to see what your beloved has on their bike now. We’re fans of the Crank Brothers Mallet E (E stands for, you guessed it, Enduro): great retention, no upward release and a few pins to really hold you in there.
Price: $165 | Crank Brothers
Canfield Flat Pedals
If the person on your list is an avowed flat-pedal rider, Canfield Brother's Crampon Mountain wowed a lot of us at TGR earlier this year. They feature an ample platform and ergonomic convex design.
Price: $149 | Canfield
6. Leatt Airflex Pro knee Guards
Light kneepads are something most every rider wears, and they get super nasty and worn out over a season or two. So it’s a solid bet these will be welcomed. Leatt kneepads fit like a glove, don’t slip and use impact gel to harden when they need to. Mine have been through multiple bumps and bangs. They are the only kneepads I've tried which won't wiggle down. I can't leave home without them.
Price: $79 | www.leatt.com
If your giftee is a night rider, the cost of lights has mercifully come down over the last few years, though it's still a spendy present. Look for lumens (brightness) vs cost. The more lumens per dollar, the better. Coyotes eat the guy with the dimmest bulb, so get the most you can afford. The Seca 2200 (lumens) Race, above, is waterproof and lasts for 1.5 hours on high.
Price: $400 | Light & Motion Night Rider 2200
A cheaper option would be The Cateye Volt 1600 above. It pumps out 1600 lumens for 2 hours or 500 lumens for 5 hours on middle setting. It's a good choice.
Price: $219 | Cateye Volt 1600
8. CEP Compression Socks.
Socks? Really? Yes, but hear me out. High-end socks are treasured and these CEP socks support your feet in all the right places. They wick great and come in regular and merino wool varieties.
Price: $20 | CEP Compression
9. Bryton GPS.
This is a great unit from a manufacturer relatively new to the US market but big in the U.K. It’s got all the features of your Garmin units, for a lot less money. It syncs to Strava with local wifi (and your phone via Bluetooth), does turn-by-turn navigation and the heart rate and cadence sensors work great. For the mountain biker looking to up their game to the next level.
Price: 530-$150 or 330-$105 | Bryton
10. Sombrio Smuggle Bib Liner
I haven't worn a backpack on a Saturday ride since I got these. They are great bibs with a comfortable chamois, 3 rear pockets and one zippered compartment fits all your essentials! Wear your most hipster flannel and cutoffs over them for stealth comfort.
Price: $135 | Sombrio
Bonus - Beer
If you’re still stuck… we like beer. We drink it in the parking lot. Oskar Blues.
Other stuffers: LBS gift card, multi-tools, tubes, lube, Clif Bars. Make a gift basket of a few things—again, we’ll love you for it.