Ashley’s pick: Bontrager Ion 800 R
Don’t get caught in the dark! See and be seen with Bontrager’s Ion 800(lumens!) R front light! This sleek and compact design features 5 different modes accommodating day and night. These awesome lights hold up to 20 hours of running time, and a LED indicator lets you know when they need a charge. They are USB rechargeable, by the way! On top of that, these lights mount easily with a silicone strap that secures it nicely to any handlebars. As a bonus, it can also be mounted to the centre on the Bontrager Lithos MIPS helmet. $134.99
Pair it with a Bontrager Flare Tail light and ride safely into the night, sunset and sunrise.
Rob’s pick: XT 11 speed group set
After running the Shimano XT 11 speed group set for the last year I can safely say it’s been the most reliable and hard wearing drivetrain I’ve used. Through a mucky west coast winter and dry dusty summer it’s handled all the climbs, techy descents and a few ghost rides down the trail without an issue. Add on the newly available 11-46 tooth cassette and you have a Squamish climb trail friendly granny gear! The XT group is a great upgrade for anybody looking to go to a wide range one-by drivetrain, an affordable and complete set up that simply works. Chain, cassette, shifter and derailleur for $426
Chris’ pick: Endura MT500 Spray Shorts
Leah’s pick: MIPS helmets
Mips is a patented technology backed up by empirical testing. Traditional helmet impact testing is done straight on. Mips also test helmets the way they are most likely to happen out on the trail; on an angle. Mips features a low friction layer that on impact, allows the helmet to slide relative to the head, reducing concussions. Mips partners with several companies increasing their overall comfort. Come get fitted for a helmet, as this study shows, most head injuries are a result of ill-fitting helmets.
Helmets with Mips include Scott, Giro, Bell, and Lazer starting at $95.
Josh’s pick: Transition Klunker
Evan’s pick: Direct-Mount Chainrings
Shaking-up my drivetrain paradigm two years ago with a move to one chainring brought new challenge and fun to my mountain biking. Although there are a lot of options for making the switch to a “one by” setup, all of the best ones involve a DM chainring from Chromag, Raceface, NSB, or SRAM. The idea of these rings is simple: attach the chainring directly to the crank sipindle for a lighter, cleaner, stronger setup. My favourite is the Chromag Sequence X-Sync: it comes in a wide range of sizes and DM standards and features the chain-retaining tooth profile that SRAM developed for the original XX1 system. Stop by the store with your bike for a chat about this ride-changing upgrade!
DM Chainrings start at $55.
Nathanael’s pick: Syncros Silicone Grips
I’ve always liked silicon grips. They’re light, fit tightly to your bars and most of all they are especially comfortable. Thick silicon under your palms softens vibrations like nothing else. Also, I find that some grips put too much pressure on my thumb joint but not so with silicon grips. I’ve broken both my wrists in the past so I take all the comfort I can get! Syncros’ Silicone grips accomplish all the lightness and comfort for $31