MtnBikeRiders Holiday Gift Guide-2009

To help with your holiday shopping for the mountain biker in your life, I’ve come up with some great products that will make you a winner.

Clif bars holiday flavors. Yum. Out on the trail, you’ve got to have nourishment. Why not make it a Cranberry Orange Nut Bread, Sliced Pumpkin Pie or Iced Gingerbread? The holiday Clif bars are a seasonal item and make a great stocking stuffer for the mountain biker who has everything.

Uh, yeah. I want some pumpkin pie!

Wool socks: During the winter time our feet get cold out there on rides. I picked up a pair of Swiftwick Four Merino socks a couple of weeks ago and really like them. They definitely keep my feet toasty when out riding and they feel great with comfy sole support. OK, so this is Southern California so take the “toasty” comment with a grain of salt but a “prop” for the Swiftwick Socks is that the Merino wool socks are machine wash-able and can be put in the dryer on low.

Cold winter ride + Feet warm & toasty = GOOD

If the doldrums of winter are getting your mountain bike aficionado down, give him something he can upgrade on the bike. Changing new cables are recommended on a yearly basis, depending on the number of miles you put on the bike. For derailleur cables I like fully sealed systems but they can be pricey. Instead, I’ve tried and like Jagwire Ripcords. The Ripcords come in different colors including: merida green, white, red and SID blue to name a few.

White derailleurs cables, THAT’S HOT!

For those that have a hitch mount on your vehicle I cannot more highly recommend the Raxter Rack. This is the best rack system I have used and I trust all my bikes (and other people’s bikes) to it. I am always questioning the thought process behind purchasing a $3,000+ bike or two and transporting it on a $50 rack. Cheap racks are cheap for a reason: they have compromises. They compromise in how they hold your bike (rubbing the paint off your bike’s top tube… ask me how I know), they compromise in materials (cheap metal that won’t support the bike’s weight) or they compromise in design (allowing exhaust from the tailpipes to heat up a bike’s tires in transport). The Raxter rack holds the bike securely, by the wheels so no paint rub, uses sturdy materials (nearly 3 years: looks great, functions PERFECTLY) and is designed extremely well. It’s also really easy to use!

Did I mention that RL likes it too?

OK, this last one is spendy: if your mountain biker buddy has not tried a 29er, it is time to get ‘em on the big wheels. As proclaimed by one prominent mountain biking magazine, the 29er hardtail will replace the 26” hardtail. I can promise you, your mountain biker buddy will go absolutely gaa gaa with a 29er hardtail in the garage. I would personally start off with a Sette Razzo, which has a great balance of component spec and low price. Or, if you have money to burn, a Kona King Kahuna would be a great addition to any bike stable.

29ers ROCK!

Happy Holidays and please add your holiday suggestions in the comments section below.