It’s December. And that means Christmas shopping.
The mountain biker in your family can be a tough person to shop for. But he doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are a few essentials that mountain bikers always need, but don’t always want to buy for themselves. You see, mountain bikers prefer to spend every last penny they can on race entries, parts upgrades, wheelsets, and burritos. And while it’s possible to give those things as gifts, it can be hard to know exactly which carbon riser bar, Crank Brothers pedal, or nipple (spoke!) color your mountain biker wants. But don’t worry, there are a lot of other things mountain bikers need. In fact, these gift ideas are affordable and guaranteed to please. Really, they are.
1. Stan’s NoTubes Sealant. One of the eternal truths of mountain biking is that there is never enough tire sealant in the garage. Never. Just when it’s needed most, it’s gone. And that can be really frustrating. Especially at 11 o’clock the night before the season’s most important, most anticipated, race. An extra quart or two of Stan’s sealant just might save the day. $25.
2. Twin Six Socks. Comfortable, stylish, and durable mountain biking socks are like Tim Tebow touchdown passes—rare and miraculous. Stuff your mountain biker’s stocking with stockings. He’ll love you forever. $12.
3. DZ Nuts Chamois Cream. It tingles. What more needs to be said? $24.
4. Crank Brothers multi19 Tool. 19 tools to help keep the bike working, and it only weighs 175g. The multi19 fits in a jersey pocket or backpack easily, and will one day help your rider make a trailside repair that will get him home just in time for you to attend book club. $33.00
5. CarboRocket. CarboRocket is like sealant, socks and chamois cream—it’s always needed. Every ride. Every day. A bag of Kiwi-Lime CarboRocket, and a canister of Rasberry CarboRocket 333 (with a bonus pair of socks) might just be the perfect gift. $22/$29.
6. Maxxis CrossMark Tire. Tires can be tricky. Mountain bikers are picky and fickle about tires. But it’s hard to go too far astray with the CrossMark. It’s versatile, light, and durable. It’s been a favorite for many riders, and for many seasons. $40.
7. Ride the Divide. There are a lot of mountain bike films on the shelf of your local bike shop. Some of them are good. Many of them are not. Ride the Divide, which tells the story of the Tour Divide mountain bike race is one of the good ones. The very good ones. In fact, it’s the best mountain bike film to date. And the best part about it, everyone—rider or not—will enjoy the film. $20.
8. Pedal Cleats. An extra set of pedal cleats is always really nice to have in the toolbox. Find out what kind (this is important) of pedals your mountain biker uses, and then find a pair of corresponding cleats at your local bike shop. Cleats are one of those items that riders install and forget. That is, they are forgotten until one breaks or wears out. And that always happens at extremely inconvenient moments. But having a spare set handy will, well, come in handy. $25.
9. Brake Pads. Like pedal cleats, brake pads seem to wear out at the worst possible moment. And, again, like cleats, find out the specific pad needed to fit your rider’s brakes, and pick up a couple of pairs. They will get used, unlike that cardigan you were thinking of buying for him.
And there you go. 10 gifts that every mountain biker needs, and that every mountain biker wants.