If you know someone who's crazy about mountain biking, it probably seems pretty difficult to get them Christmas gifts. Mountain bike nerds usually sound like they’re speaking another language when you overhear them talking about their bikes, but in this buyer's guide we’re going to go over our top 10 recommended gift ideas that are totally universal to bikes and riders so you won’t need to feel like you’re going to buy someone something they can’t use.
TOP 10: Easy Gift Ideas for Mountain Bikers
1) Ground Keeper Fenders & Top Caps
Mountain bikers typically ride in muddy conditions in the Fall and Winter, and a front fender is the most valuable piece of gear at those times. Ground Keeper is not only based in Bellingham, but their fenders are also manufactured here too! With tons of amazing designs and colors, you can match pretty much any bike color scheme. They also make matching top caps for most of their designs as well. Any rider will definitely be stoked to keep mud out of their eyes and look good doing so!
2) Ground Keeper and Lost Co Water Bottles
Pretty much every cyclist uses a water bottle when hittin' the trails, which makes this the perfect universal gift. Our favorite designs are from Ground Keeper with their "La Crud" design for those La Croix lovers out there. You can choose your flavor with either Pamplemousse or Lime. We've also got our own Lost Co bottles in either the Cool Stoke design or our popular Live Gnarly bottle. Toss a sweet new bottle in a stocking and BOOM! Happy rider!
3) Shock Pumps
All riders wish they owned a shock pump, but very little actually do. Any mountain bike with a suspension fork or rear shock needs a specific pump to inflate and check their pressures. Both of these options are compatible with all mountain bike suspension. The RockShox Shock Pump uses a basic analog gauge which is the perfect pump for pretty much every rider, but the Fox Digital Shock Pump is the best choice for those true die-hard riders. The digital pump is more accurate and gives the rider to truly fine-tune their suspension setup. We religiously use the Fox Digital Shock Pump here in the shop!
4) Topeak Digital Pressure Gauge
One of the biggest unsing heroes of modern mountain bike accessories is the digital air pressure gauge, and we prefer the Topeak Smart Gauge D2. Most riders use a the built in pressure gauge from their floor pumps, but these are typically off by 3-8 psi. Might not sound like a lot, but mountain bike tires run low pressure so every single psi counts. This is the ultimate pressure gauge for anyone who wants to maximize traction and rolling resistance.
No these aren't the fanny packs that used to be popular in the 90's, these are hip packs specifically designed for mountain biking. Over the past several years, riders have ditched their backpacks which get hot'n'sweaty and puts a bunch of weight far from your center of gravity making jumps and high speed riding slightly weird. EVOC makes our favorite hip packs on the market with their extremely well designed packs. The Hip Pack Pouch is the smallest of all three options and works best for racers or riders who want a minimal amount of gear with them. The Hip Pack Race has much more storage, can hold a water bladder and works best for the average rider. The Hip Pack Pro is our shop favorite, and is by far the most comfortable hip pack on the market. You get slightly more storage than the Race, but the main advantage is the kidney belt which makes the pack momre secure and SUPER comfortable. You can choose to purchase the Pro with or without a water bladder, but we recommend it with a bladder so the rider can bring lots of water with them on longer rides.
6) The Lost Co Cleaning Kit
Plain and simple; clean bikes work better and last longer! Mountain bikes are made to get dirty and need to be cleaned properly. Dirt and gunk wears out parts prematurely and makes a bike's life quite a bit more rough. With The Lost Co cleaning kit, we've compiled everything needed to properly wash, degrease, polish and lube a bicycle. We've compiled our favorite maintenance items and Park Tool cleaning brushes to make washing your bike a breeze. We even have a super in-depth video of how to use this kit on our YouTube channel!
7) WPL Chain Lube & Fork Boost
Does that special someone have a bike? Well, it probably has a chain. Chains need to be lubricated with the correct type of lube to keep things running smooth for a long time. Our favorite chain lube is from WPL (Whistler Performance Lubricants) which is non-tox and biodegradable so there's no need to worry about young ones getting gnarly chemicals on their hands. Grab the Dry Chain Lube if the bike is being ridden in a dry climate, or the Wet Chain Lube if, you guessed it, the bike lives in a wet environment like the Pacific Northwest.|
WPL also makes Fork Boost, which is basically a lubricant for mountain bike suspension. Simply drip some Fork Boost on a mountain bike's fork, shock or dropper seatpost and things will continue running nice and smooth!
8) Park Tool CC-3.2 Chain Wear Tool
Every pedal stroke gradually wears out a chain and "stretches" it. When a chain stretches, it also wears out the rest of the drivetrain with it. The Park Tool CC-3.2 drops right into the chain to tell you how stretched your chain is. This tool can straight up save you hundreds of dollars. How? Well, replacing a chain regularly means a stretched chain won't continue to damage the rest of the gears. Replacing a chain is about $40, while an entirely new drivetrain is about $300. But how do you know when to replace your chain? Well, the Park Tool CC-3.2 will tell you. All hail the chain checker tool!!
Many brand new bikes come with "test ride" pedals which have plastic pins and provide virtually zero grip. If you know someone still riding those pedals, make their life a lot better with a new set of pedals with metal pins so they don't continuously slip off of their pedals. Below are our favorite affordable pedals which mostly have a composite body, but the ANVL Tilt V3's have a metal body and will be the most durable. However, you can't go wrong with any of the pedals below starting at just $49 and are guaranteed to make any rider stoked to receive them! Pedals have a pretty universal fit for mostly all bikes that aren't purchased from a department store.
Grips are probably the most commonly upgraded part on mountain bikes. Grips have a pretty dang universal fit, are cheap and can drastically increase the rider's grip compared to a pair of worn out or cheezy stock grips. Our favorite grips are below from ODI, Chromag, PNW Components and OneUp. All offer tons of grip and come in a bunch of different colors to match any rider's bike color!