It’s that time of year again, when you’ll be searching high and low for that perfect present for the mountain biker in your life. We’ve gathered together a selection of items that won’t break the bank, making them perfect last minute gifts or stocking fillers.
Giro DND gloves - £30 / US$25.95 / AU$TBA
This minimalist glove is short on features, but goes the extra mile in terms of durability. The palm is constructed from three pieces of durable Clarino synthetic leather, while the back is constructed from four-way stretch mesh. Flex zones on the knuckles help to make this one of the best fitting gloves we've worn. The DND comes in five sizes and eight colours.
Related reading: Giro DND review
ESI Silicon grips - £16 / US$18.99 / AU$34.98
From top to bottom, ESI on the bikes of Julien Absalon, Dan McConnell and José Antonio Hermida
Grips wear out and so it’s highly likely a fresh pair will be met with appreciation. While not perfect in the wettest conditions, a pair of ESI silicon grips will save weight and improve ride comfort. There’s a reason why most cross-country riders on the world cup circuit are now using this style of grip and why many brands now offer an imitation, too.
Related reading: ESI Chunky Silicone grips
Shimano PD-M785 XT Trail SPD pedals - £80 / US$140 / AU$139
Our pick for the best all-round clipless pedals, the XT Trails are a class act. The engagement is quick and intuitive, they’ll survive anything up to a nuclear attack, and the chunky cage helps ward off rocks.
Related reading: Shimano PD-M785 XT Trail SPD pedal review
Bontrager Flash Charger TLR - £TBA / US$119 / AU$189
Bontrager's Flash Charger TLR pump packs the punch of an air compressor in a lightweight highly portable package. It's designed to make seating stubborn tubeless tyres a breeze. In several months of testing we've been consistently impressed with its performance.
Related reading: Bontrager Flash Charger TLR review
Yakima HighRoller roof rack - £TBA / US$199 / AU$299
A bike rack is often a crucial piece of kit for many mountain bikers and the convenience of a permanent roof rack will likely have you at the trails sooner. While roof racks are an investment and tend to outlast the car they are on, axle standards and frame styles have changed rapidly in recent years and many riders are left trying to adapt their new bikes to old rack types.
We’ve been using the Yakima HighRoller for sometime now and have found the wheel holding system to work well with all types of bikes (excluding fat bikes). With no gripping of the frame, placing the bike is simply fast.
Related reading: Yakima HighRoller review
Troy Lee Designs Skyline Race short- £59.99 / US$98 / AU$148
These baggies impressed us with their fit — slim, but not restrictive. The high-backed waist sits securely in place for good coverage and there’s enough stretch from the rear yoke panel and the main body fabric to give complete freedom of movement.
Related reading: Troy Lee Designs Skyline Race Short review
SRAM Guide RSC brakes - £185 /US$199 / AU$287
SRAM hit a home run with its latest brakes. The Guide RSC packs all the power you need with plenty of modulation to maintain traction through the turns. The Guide RSC offers independent reach and contact point adjustments, and uses a cam system, dubbed Swinglink, to provide a progressive leverage curve for improved modulation. The new Centerline rotor design runs much quieter than previous SRAM rotors.
Over six months of hard riding our test pair never let us down.
Related reading: SRAM Guide RSC review
Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO TR - £54 /US$78 / AU$89
If we had to stockpile a single tyre to last out our riding days, Maxxis' long-standing Minion DHF pattern would probably be our top selection. The simple but hugely versatile design means they can be turned to pretty much everything save cross-country racing. The more closely packed centre tread rolls well on hardpack despite being able to bite down to traction in all but the deepest mud. The chunky corners grip hard but are predictable when they break free.
Related reading: Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO TR review
Lezyne Port-A-Shop tool kit - £90 / US$140 / AU$150
What mountain biker doesn't want a shiny new set of tools? Lezyne's Port-A-Shop is intended to be a portable tool kit that features all the tools needed to keep your bike in working order.
Related reading: Lezyne Port-A-Shop review
GoPro Hero action camera - £99 / US$130 / AU$169
The new entry-level HERO offers 1,080p HD recording at 30fps or 720p footage at 60fps and, like the other cameras in the range, comes with GoPro's rugged skeleton case (rated fully waterproof down to 40m). Stills can be captured at five megapixels, via the wide-angle lens, with timelapse and burst functions built in.
While it may lack the advanced features of the more expensive models, the Hero is a high value option to prove that you did (or didn't) land it.
Related reading: GoPro Hero first look