Nathanael’s pick: A Christmas combo
Let’s imagine for a second that one of your close friends is a cyclist. It’s a pretty likely scenario; it is Sea to Sky country after all. With Christmas coming you’d like to get this person a killer gift, but cyclists are so hard to buy for aren’t they?! No worries! We’ve put together a list of our top picks for gifts any cyclist would appreciate.
Chain Lube – it’s not a glamorous gift but it’s extremely practical and makes a great stocking stuffer. It’s a necessity for every rider. Cleaning and lubing your chain is the key to getting the most life out of it. And if they already have a bottle, it’s ok, they’re bound to run out sometime!
Socks – they don’t have the ‘boring gift’ stigma any more. In fact, socks are the new form of self expression! A single pair will usually fit a range of foot sizes which is a plus.
OneUp EDC tool – your friend in question may already have a multi tool but this new product is just too darn cool not to mention. It is a multi tool that is stored neatly inside the fork steerer tube! All the trail side tools you’d ever need always with you and right at your fingertips. Beware, bike geeks everywhere will come flocking when you pull this tool out.
Water Bottle – another gift that is ok having two of; one always seems to be in the dishwasher or on the other bike. Another great stocking stuffer if your stocking is big enough!
Service Voucher – last but definitely not least, every cyclist will inevitably need a bike service at some point in the season. Give them a gift card to use on their next routine service. It shows you care that they are having a great ride on a well maintained bike.
Sean’s pick: Dynaplug Tubeless Tire Repair Kit
Running Tubeless? Here is a no-brainer must have tool, for a trail side quick fix, The Dynaplug; This fast, easy to use permanent fix to most tire punctures. Designed for use on any type of tire (car, truck, motorcycle or bike). Simply push the brass tip containing a rubber plug though the puncture, and watch as the tool works its magic sealing the hole. Available in both carbon version at $36 and the ultimate lightweight version which is a beautiful sealed CNC’d aluminium enclosure at $72. Both options come with four plugs, and are in stock now at Republic Bicycles.
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