Buying Christmas presents for mountain bikers might seem even more daunting and confusing than ever this year. But fear not – there are still loads of great things that fans of off-road riding will love unwrapping come the big day.
What makes a good Christmas present for a mountain biker though? Some riders like technical products to geek-out with, some like to decorate their house or garage with photos, and others just like to get some fresh air and covered in mud.
Short on ideas? This guide should help you find the best MTB Christmas presents for 2020.
1. MTBStrapon spares strap
Ignoring its eyebrow-raising name, the MTBStrapon is an incredibly useful accessory for any mountain biker who goes out pedalling on long rides. Like many of the world’s handiest inventions, its beauty is in its simplicity.
The MTBStrapon is just that: a strap that wraps around a tube of your mountain bike frame. Riders often use it to store a spare inner tube and tools, but it’ll hold pretty much any small spares and/or a jacket in place.
2. Alpkit bikepacking bag
It has rarely been more important to get outside and enjoy the fresh air – and the allure of escaping to someplace wild has never more enticing. Bikepacking – essentially strapping camping equipment to oneself and bike and heading out on a very long ride – has been gaining popularity for years, with some fantastic products made by companies across the world.
Alpkit is a British manufacturer and one of the leading bikepacking product makers. It makes a range of bags and accessories for short or long trips into the wilderness, from small handlebar- or top tube-mounted bags to ones that fit inside the frame’s front triangle.
3. Zwift subscription
Zwift is training-meets computer game. It is an application that links to a cyclist’s stationary home turbo trainer and allows them to join global ‘rides’ with thousands of other people who are stuck indoors in other parts of the world. It reacts to a rider’s input, so pedalling harder will put you nearer the front of the virtual ride. Plus, you can chat with other riders while you are at it – just like in reality, except, er, it’s via an online text chat.
The good news for mountain bikers is there’s even a dedicated mountain bike loop on Zwift and, by attaching a phone to the handlebars, the rider can even control the bike through turns (Zwift uses the phone’s accelerometer to determine input). With a long winter ahead, this could be the subscription that everyone needs.
It does take quite a bit of reading to understand what hardware is needed – smart trainers are best, but a standard home trainer plus a speed or cadence sensor will also work. Best to check out this handy guide to getting started with Zwift if you’re unsure.
4. Trail Maps art print
If your favourite mountain biker just can’t get enough of riding bikes, cleaning bikes, fixing bikes and talking about bikes, get them a nice print of their favourite trail or destination.
Trail Maps make rides into a stylised graphic art print. For a little more money you can even customise a print using a saved Strava route. So, whether it’s BikePark Wales, Morzine or the local woods, there will soon be no escaping the endless stories of on-trail heroics every time a visitor enquires what it is they are looking at.
5. 2021 Mountain Bike Calendar by Misspent Summers
The maker of the downhill World Cup and Enduro World Series yearbooks, Misspent Summers, has put together this ace 2021 mountain bike calendar with 12 months of iconic images from a selection of the sport’s best photographers. If you are looking for something even more special, check out its print shop for high quality photo prints.
And for fans of World Cup racing, keep an eye on the Misspent Summers website – a year book combining the DH and XC World Cups and Championships plus the Enduro World Series races is coming soon.
6. Red Bull Rampage Flyhigh Flat Cap
Red Bull Rampage is an iconic event that is rightly regarded as the Super Bowl of the mountain bike world. Held every October in the desolate deserts of Utah, it sees the best freeride riders in the world tackle some of the gnarliest ridge lines ever traversed on two wheels, pulling adrenaline-fuelled tricks as they make their way down the hill.
Landing a ticket is like securing a spot at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, but getting your hands on some merch from Rampage is (thankfully) much easier. While you could opt for the distinctive straw hat that you see freeriders and fans alike wearing during the Red Bull TV broadcast, this Rampage flat cap won't look out of place far from the sun-baked stretches of Utah.
7. Dyedbro frame protection kit
Enduro World Series racer Iago Garay’s company, Dyedbro, makes custom frame protection kits for a range of bikes. That means adhesive-backed transparent plastic that sticks to the frame of a bike and invisibly (or visibly – there are loads of really cool designs to choose from) protects it from scratches, scuffs and knocks.
Unlike some similar frame protection kits, Dyedbro’s products fit all bikes, meaning you don’t need to worry about identifying the make and model before ordering – handy if you can’t keep up with the person receiving the gift’s ever-growing collection of bikes.
8. OneUp Components EDC tool
OneUp’s EDC (Everyday Carry) tool is the original hidden multitool. It is concealed neatly within the steerer tube of the bike’s fork and manages to stash an array of important tools, including a range of Allen key sizes, T25 Torx, chain tool, tyre levers and plenty more.
Note that a specific tool is required for installation, so either check with your local bike shop before purchasing or be prepared for a little extra home mechanics and the additional cost of the EDC installation tool.
9. DMR V11 pedals
DMR’s Vault pedals have been a rider favourite for aeons, and the brands latest release – the V11 – takes the classic Vault shape and moulds it from a composite reinforced nylon structure. This makes the pedals durable, helps them slide over obstacles they come into contact with, and keeps the price down.
10. Dirtlej Dirtsuit Core Edition
When it’s seriously wet and muddy out on the trails, perhaps the ultimate treat is to go for a ride and stay completely dry. How is that possible? With Dirtlej’s Dirtsuit, mud and water are totally sealed out – think of it as a onesie for winter mountain biking. The lower legs on the Core Edition suit can be removed too, so it’s practical for warmer weather riding.
11. GoPro Hero 9 Black
Recording and sharing one’s ride experience has become as natural and essential as the ride itself. Whether it is for uploading to social media, sending to friends or simply watching back at home, pretty much every rider has a use for a personal camera.
GoPro remains one of the best and most popular small action camera manufacturers and it’s hard to go wrong with its products. The latest Hero 9 Black has 5K resolution, detachable lens, extra battery life, front and rear screens and it accepts accessories like a directional mic and lights. Basically, it’s a recording studio in your pocket.