Editor's Note: Check back for more TGR gift guides in the coming days, covering everything you need to please the gearhead in your life.
The snow may be falling and those first turns of the season are here for most of us, but don’t forget about that special person in your life (let’s be real, that can include yourself) who just won’t give up hunting tacky singletrack. Whether they’ve just gotten into the sport and are newly obsessed, or are a seasoned veteran searching out all-day epics and hitting the biggest jumps, the following selection of everything mountain bike-related will surely keep them happy.
Men's Bike: Evil The Offering $5700
Evil Bikes does things differently. The Seattle-based brand is constantly redefining what mountain bikes can do, creating bikes that punch well above their weight class. Simply put, the all-new and long-awaited Offering is a 140mm 29er that does not ride like one. Designed with adventure in mind, the bike’s unique suspension offers some of the best support and pop, while giving it’s shred-minded pilot bottomless suspension feel. It climbs, it jumps, it pedals, and it might be one of the most impressive bikes of the year. Have fun trying to hide this thing in the closet without that special someone noticing.
Women's Bike: Canyon Spectral WMN CF 9.0 SL $5999
Canyon only started selling bikes in North America a few years ago, but they've proven their point. Why pay more for a premium bike when you really don't have to? When it comes to consumer-direct sales and service, Canyon has it right. Every single bike in their range is drool worthy, especially considering they are significantly less expensive than the competition. The best part? Since trail bikes are all the rage these days, they just released a women's version of their new Spectral. It's not a lighter shock and special components, Canyon actually offers a completely different frame for lady shredders. The Spectral is a 27.5"-wheeled 140mm-travel trail and enduro weapon that comes with several impressive build options. Our favorite is the highest-end 9.0 SL option that comes includes carbon wheels, a Fox Factory 34 fork, a Sram XO1 Eagle Drivetrain, and plenty of other delicious details.
Suspension: Marzocchi Bomber Z1 $699
Face it, your current bike’s fork is trashed, and you really wanted an upgrade all along. Forget getting it serviced, just get a new one! Looking for something a little beefier? Marzocchi’s Bomber Z1 fork is the answer. Available for both 27.5- and 29-inch wheels up to 180mm of travel, and on par with anything from Fox and Rockshox, this freeride-ready fork is also significantly cheaper than its competitors. It actually has the exact same FIT GRIP damper internals as the Fox 36. Get one of these, and maybe sneak in a little warm-weather riding vacation before hitting it hard again next season.
Wheels: NEXT Huck Carbon Wheels $1500
When we first rode these wheels on an epic singletrack week in Vermont, it became pretty clear that proper wheels might be single best upgrade to a mountain bike. If you’ve already shelled out the cash for a high-end trail weapon, why skimp on the wheels? NEXT’s carbon wheels take that performance a step above anyone else, thanks to owner and wheelbuilding god Jerry Chabot’s obsession with precision. The Marine-turned-engineer set up shop in the attic of his Vermont house, building some of the highest-quality wheels in the world, held to much higher standards and tighter tolerances than even ENVE or other competitors. Bolt a pair of these onto any bike and immediately feel the difference.
Tires: Schwalbe Magic Mary & Hans Dampf $70
Next to wheels, the second-best thing to making your already-awesome bike feel even better is new tires. Schwalbe has been on the forefront of the tire game for decades, constantly innovating with new tread patterns and rubber compounds. For aggressive trail riders, enduro-bros, and even pure downhillers, check out the updated Magic Mary and Hans Dampf tires with the new Addix rubber compound. The Magic Mary might be the best front tire ever made, now perfectly complemented by the new Hans Dampf. For ripping laps on the rocky and rooty Teton Pass trails, we love Schwalbe’s Super Gravity casing, which offers just the right balance of soft grip and durability. Different casing options are available for both tires to better suit your local needs.
Pedals: Crankbrothers Stamp 11 Flat Pedals $300
Now that the trails are sloppy, it’s time to switch to flats, right? Well yeah, but once you hop on Crankbrothers’ Stamp 11 flats, you’ll likely never go back to riding clipped in. When I broke a pair of clipless pedals in Moab last spring, I threw these on my bike out necessity. A full season later, I realized I never once took them off the bike, and my bike handling skill has noticeably improved. These bling-y platforms have a slightly concave shape and strategically placed pins, which prevent your feet from slipping even while bouncing through the roughest rock gardens at high speed. $300 for a pair of flat pedals, though? Well, considering every part on the pedal is serviceable, these might be the last pedal you ever buy. They come in two sizes to fit all foot shapes and come with different length pins to fine-tune the grip.
Tools: Crankbrothers M19 Multitool $35
It happens to everyone: you’re just riding along, when all of a sudden something on your bike feels loose. Instead of fretting about it, pull out the Crankbrothers M19 multitool, and fix the damn thing yourself. Smaller than a Clif Bar, the M19 packs just about every tool you’d ever need to fix your bike trailside, including a chain breaker, hexes, screwdrivers, torx heads, open wrenches, and spoke wrenches.
This little guy makes the perfect stocking stuffer for a friend, but go ahead and buy yourself one too, you deserve it.
Shoes: Etnies Jameson Mid Crank Brandon Semenuk Edition $100
Wait, doesn’t Etnies make skate shoes? Yup, but after teaming up with mountain bike legend Brandon Semenuk, the brand now caters to the mountain bike world. The Jameson Mid Crank shoe brings the skate style to the dirt. Semenuk’s signature shoe is designed to provide advanced footwear housed in a super clean silhouette, offering mountain bike-grade stiffness with free-ride functionality and durability. Basically, it’s a mountain bike shoe that doesn’t look dorky, because Brandon Semenuk would never stand for that. The sole features exceptionally grippy rubber, the sole has some built in cushion for when you try to go as big as Semenuk, and the upper is stylish leather, available in three colors.
Bike Bling: Ground Keeper Fenders $24
Lightweight mud fenders might the single best invention in mountain biking. Whether you’re riding muddy trails, loose dirt, or just about any trail surface, these things will keep flying bits out of your face. Okay cool, but you want to add a little character to your bike too? Ground Keeper has you covered on that front too, with several dozen colorful designs available, and the option for custom prints. There’s everything from “Pizza is Bae” to a personal favorite, “Donut Kill My Vibe,” you get the idea. Give your bike some character, you’ll be that much cooler on the trail.
Bike Jersey: Patagonia Nine Trails Jersey $59
Patagonia makes comfy and highly functional clothes, that’s not new. But when they took that same approach to creating men’s and women’s mountain bike apparel, we were impressed by their efforts. The Nine Trails jersey combines the feel of soft merino wool with the tech benefits of synthetic fabric. We like the super-simple design, and quickly came to appreciate the three-quarter length sleeves, which add some extra warmth when ripping downhill, but are not too hot when pedaling back up in the blazing sun. A tiny zipper pocket on the back is perfect to stash a snack bar or a set of keys, and doesn’t interfere with a hip- or backpack.
Bike Shorts: Women’s Wild Rye Freel Short $72
Wild Rye makes cool shorts. You definitely didn't realize you needed a pair bike shorts with dinosaurs and pineapples on them until now. Beyond their playful yet minimal patterns, there's a lot to love about the Wild Rye Freel short: breathable, durable, and most importantly designed with a woman's fit in mind. So if you’re a girl, get yourself a pair of these pronto. If you’re a dude with a shred-minded significant other get her a pair, and maybe you’ll be able to keep sight of her as you’re trying to keep up on your favorite descent.
Cold Weather Gear: Fox Racing Attack Pro Kit $350
We get it, winter is here, but you don’t want to stop riding you bike just because it’s cold outside. Of course, that’s where cold-weather riding gear comes in, Fox Racing has a full kit just for you. The Attack Pro kit, made up the Attack Fire Softshell pants and the Attack Fire jacket, will keep you warm and dry no matter how gross the conditions get this winter. The Attack Fire pant features a fuzzy fleece liner for warmth and DWR coating. The jacket is extremely breathable and ready for high-output cold weather missions, but will keep you warm during those catch-your-breath breaks. If that special someone is a little bummed about bike season being over, get them a set of these to extend that season and put that singletrack-induced grin back on their face.
It’s hard not to wince while watching Sam Reynolds crash on this behemoth of a trick jump for the 2019 DarkFEST. Apparently, the lip on this thing is about 16-feet tall with an almost 50-foot gap. Just looking at it will make your stomach flip upside down. RELATED: Backflips on a Trail Bike are Fun Reynolds was the first to guinea pig the jump, which is always risky. Trying to gauge the speed, he hit the lip too high and was forced to bail. Unfortunately, his left hand and wrist took the
When you’re hitting some of the biggest MTB jumps in the world, there really is absolutely no room for error. Darkfest, the next event of the infamous FEST series has quietly been taking place in South Africa, and riders have been sessioning booters better suited for motocross. How about this line from Adolf Silva following Nicholi Rogatkin? RELATED: SRAM Releases Wireless Drivetrain and Dropper Post A casual road gap leads into a f***ed-up-big step up, and then into a bit of a scare as Silva
KEY QUALIFICATIONS: - Knowing how to make a decent snowplow turn - Being an expert at falling in the lift line and/or in the lift and on the slope - In the snow park, your only trick is an unintentional "eagle" - You should have no idea what "pow", "ripper", "glades", or "poaching" means - Every time you rent ski boots you tend to change them 2-3 times claiming there must be something wrong with them (since your feet hurt so bad) Gear testing is an essential part of the R&D process for all