Do you have a biker on your list this year? Does he or she like pushing their limits, going fast and taking chances, or are they rough on their gear? Do they occasionally find themselves on the wrong side of the delicate line of control? Here are 11 gift ideas, with options from helping them get their adrenaline rush to keeping them safe, and documenting it all.
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Smith Squad MTB goggles
For the mountain biker on your list that loves the downhill, and maybe merely tolerates the uphills, Smith's Squad MTB goggles are a fine present.
A new set of goggles is always a treat since they are constantly getting battered by tree branches, pulled on and off, and suffer the general rough and tumble life of being mountain bike gear. They offer fantastic venting, meaning the lense resists fogging which can be an issue when riding hard and sweating. The field of view is large so even the tiniest trail obstacles remain in full view.
Smith includes two lenses as well, a clear version and a mirrored version for bright, sunny days.
- Price: £50 / $60 / AU$149
Disc brake pads
Control is important. Even the fastest riders, on the road or on the trails, benefit from proper brakes. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to keep your braking on point are fresh disc brake pads. Disc brake pads can be one of those maintenance items that get forgotten as the performance degradation is gradual and not easily seen as they're tucked out of view.
There are a few things to note when buying disc brake pads for your speed-obsessed gift recipient. First, pads are specific to each type of brake, meaning SRAM disc brake pads are different than Shimano and so on. Second, there are two types: organic, which are quiet and have loads of initial power, but wear quickly, especially in wet, muddy conditions; and metallic, which last longer, but have a less initial power and can make more noise.
- Prices from: £8 / $6 /AU$11
Gym membership or strength training
Strength training is an important part of cycling, especially for aggressive riders who hit the deck more often than others. Having a solid foundation enables riders to bounce back from injuries quicker, and can even prevent the severity of injuries in the first place. Plus, if the person you're giving the gift to lives in a location where the weather makes it difficult to ride, a gym membership or some strength training will hopefully give them an outlet during the off season.
Gym membership pricing varies greatly depending on facilities, location and length of membership.
7iDP Black Transition knee pads
Going hard and fast is fun but crashing sucks — and it can be especially crappy if you don't have the right protection.The 7iDP Black Transition knee pads are built for mountain bikers who ride up and then like to push their limits on the downs. They're a bit less robust than full-on downhill-only pads but the padding should be more than adequate for most riding.
- Price: £51 / $70 /AU$95
100% Speedcraft Performance sunglasses
Even if the rider on your gift list doesn't remember the '80s, chances are they'll have fun looking the part in 100% Speedcraft Performance sunglasses. In addition to protecting their eyes from debris, the huge lense blocks 100% of damaging UV rays. They're pretty much the quickest, easiest way for your cyclist to non-verbally say "Hey! Look at me! I'm here to go fast, ride loose, and have fun."
- Price: £160 / $175 / AU$265
Vantage Robotics Snap drone
For years it was "pics or it didn't happen!" but now increasingly it's become, "video or it didn't happen!" With Vantage Robotics Snap drone your lucky gift taker can prove just how rad they were.
The Snap will shoot stabilized video at up to 4k 30fps, or super slow-mo 1080p at 120fps or 720p at 240fps, and can even shoot 12mp still images in bursts up to 10fps. In simple terms, it's more than capable of capturing beautiful photographs and clean video footage for an entertaining video.
- Price: $910
Abbey Bike Tools suspension top cap sockets
Having the proper tools can make any job easy. If the name on your gift list is a hard-charging mountain biker, chances are the suspension fork on his or her bike could use some maintenance. Abbey Bike Tools suspension top cap sockets are precision built to make opening up a suspension fork for cleaning and/or overhauling a much less daunting task. They're the perfect gift for the handy mountain biker who likes working on their own gear.
- Price: £138 / $150 / AU$N/A
What adrenaline junkie couldn’t use some new rubber on their steed? Tires are one of those things that the better they handle, the quicker they get worn out. Soft, terrain-hugging tires feel amazing and are probably the choice for your adrenaline fiend. And chances are, the ones on their bike could stand to be replaced.
If unsure what to buy, take a photo of the tire's label, it should have the size, tire name, and compounds there.Tire prices vary, but be prepared to spend some decent money for proper road or mountain rubber.
- Prices from: £50 / $60 / AU$70
A sure fire way to dial in skills as a mountain biker is to have full confidence in your gear. Giro's unique Switchblade helmet goes a long way in that regard. It features a removable chinguard for those less burly rides. With or without the chinguard, it meets downhill helmet testing standards, plus it features venting to keep the air moving through. If the cyclist you're buying a gift for has ever uttered the word "enduro" this is will be a hit.
- Price: £225 / $250 / AU$TBC
GoPro Hero 5 Black
It almost goes without saying but GoPro's wearable action cameras have completely changed how sports are viewed. Go to any mountain resort, whether it be for skiing or biking, or any outdoor activity mecca and you can count on seeing GoPros on top of helmets, strapped to chests, and on the end of selfie sticks.
The GoPro Hero 5 Black is the latest, greatest version and lives up to the hype with improved image quality. It doesn't matter if you're gift getter is a high-speed road bike rider or a tree-dodging, gap-sending mountain bikers, GoPro cameras are the one thing every adrenaline lover uses and agrees upon.
Price: £349 / $399 / AU$569
Hoodworks Gear Gate Cycling Comp tailgate
Does the thrill-seeking cyclist you're buying for equally love their gear-hauling truck? If so, Hoodworks Gear Gate's Cycling Comp tailgate is a highly unique and specialized gift. It replaces a standard truck tailgate with one that can haul three bikes, has a built-in safe for keys, phones, etc, locks to the truck itself, features three LED lights to illuminate both the inside and outside of the truck bed, and of course includes not one, but two bottle openers. Plus, it's all made in Portland, OR.
- Buy now from US$1790 for full size trucks and US$1390 for compact trucks. UK and AU pricing and availability is to be announced.
Please note: this article has been updated for 2016 and old comments may no longer be relevant.