2021 MOUNTAIN BIKER’S GIFT GUIDE

OUR FAVORITE PRODUCTS THAT WOULD MAKE GREAT GIFTS

THE LOAM WOLF STAFF

We took quite a bit of time to handpick this list of affordable gifts for mountain bikers. There are tons of cool parts out there and we can’t list them all in one mountain biker gift guide, but we think this is a good selection of gear for smaller stocking stuffers to some pretty reasonably priced goods for the mountain biker in your family. Whether you’re new to riding or lifelong addicts like us, these gifts are sure to stoke any rider out. 

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Disclosure: Our team selects all of the products we review and do so with honesty and objectivity in mind. Some of the products we receive come directly from Competitive Cyclist, who also value our readers and have offered them a 15% discount (exclusions apply) on their first purchase by using LOAMWOLF15. Through this program we may also receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support, TLW.

DREW’S PICKS

TIRES, TIRES, TIRES!

There are few things that breathe a breath of fresh life into your bike like a new set of tires. If you’re looking to surprise the mountain biker in your family, you’ll probably be safe buying the same tires that are on their bike now. If you’re looking for yourself, maybe it’s worth taking a try on something new! You never know what sort of things you may learn or fun you may have.

A few of our favorites are the Maxxis Minion DHR II, Schwalbe Big Betty and the WTB Vigilantes.

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WERA T-HANDLE HEX PLUS SET

After having the same worn out set of hex wrenches for ten years, I decided to treat myself to a set of Wera tools, to see if they were worth the hefty price tag. Within my first few turns of the wrenches I was convinced they are definitely worth it for bike mechanics who value quality products and tools. The retention of the tools helps hold hardware, making assembly in tight spaces a dream. No more rounded out bolts, slipping wrenches or dropped bolts with these bad boys.

PRICE: $102.94
WEBSITE: us.wera.de/en/

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BREATHABLE FULL FACE HELMETS

If you don’t have your brain, you don’t have anything! We’re firm believers in replacing helmets regularly and thanks to brands offering more breathable and lighter full face helmets, I’ve been spending a lot more time wearing pedal-friendly full face helmets, like this Fox ProFrame. This is one of my favorites, although the Smith Mainline and 100% Trajecta are also high on my list. If you are looking for a bit more confidence on the trail, a bit more safety and protection without feeling too hot or caged-in, check these options out.

PRICE: $269.95
WEBSITE: Foxracing.com

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ROBERT’S PICKS

AFTERSHOKZ OPENMOVE HEADPHONES

Unlike traditional headphones that use speakers to transmit sound vibrations through the air, AfterShokz uses patented bone conduction technology. Transducers send vibrations through the cheekbones and deliver sound directly to the inner ear, bypassing the eardrum. The Openmove headphones are the entry level offering by Aftershokz, but still pack most of the features of their more expensive brothers. They’ll sit just fine with an open-face helmet and glasses, and let you listen to music without disrupting your balance or timing or reducing awareness of your surroundings like an in-ear alternative can.

WHY WE LIKE IT: Give the gift of music without compromising trail safety. For riders who are as music-obsessed as I am they could be a game changer – I’d resorted to all sorts of rubbish solutions like playing music out of a phone speaker tucked into my helmet strap, or a Bluetooth speaker in a backpack, but neither gave a good compromise of quality and usability without ruining other peoples rides. These bone conduction headphones by Aftershokz allow me to listen to music with an acceptable if not great quality, but crucially still hear the trail and not interrupt the peace for others. Good stuff!

PRICE: $99.95/£79.95
WEBSITE: Aftershokz.com

RIMPACT PRO TIRE INSERTS

The Rimpact Pro insert sees a dual-density design approach to offer their ideal blend of performance characteristics. ​The result is the 154g (29”, actual) Rimpact Pro insert that’s compatible with 23-35mm rims and 2.3”-2.6” tires.

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Rimpact Pro is the best insert I’ve yet to test when it comes to the compromise between weight, damping and protection. They’ve managed to undercut the price point of some competitors by a good chunk too, and have maintained a good level of durability that should outlast countless tires. They’re a great value addition to a bike to increase its descending capabilities.

PRICE: $95 (approx.)/£69.99
WEBSITE: Rimpactmtb.com

ONE-UP COMPOSITE PEDALS

The OneUp Composite Pedal brings you similar performance to their “premium” Aluminum pedal, but at less than half the price thanks to their Nylon composite bodies. DU and cartridge bearing technology delivers easy serviceability, smooth rotation, and lasting durability, while ten removable steel pins packed on each side of the platform ensure maximum grip. Its wider platform design makes for an easy footplant and increases stability, while the slightly contoured shape provides a natural and truly connected feeling underfoot.

WHY WE LIKE IT: They’re not my ultimate pedal when it comes to feel; but they’re durable, light, cheap and grippy. Few other products come close to ticking so many boxes.

PRICE: $59.00
WEBSITE: Oneupcomponents.com

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U-TURN’S PICKS

LEATT AIRFLEX PRO KNEE GUARD

Strap into the Leatt Airflex Pro Knee Guard before you head out to crush (or crash) the next local enduro. Designed to split the difference between hard-shell and barely-there pads, the Airflex Pro uses low-profile soft-shell foam to protect the front, top, and sides of your knees without restricting your pedaling prowess.

The 3D molded gel impact pad is perforated to improve cooling and moisture-wicking airflow, and it’s stuck to a sleeve made of Airmesh and Moisture Cool fabrics to keep the undersides of your knees dry. There’s also silicone printing in key areas of the sleeve, so your pads stay where they belong and not around your ankles.

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is my go-to daily knee guard. You can wear it all day without chafing or falling down your leg. It has just enough protection to shrug off falls on the trail but is low profile enough to fit under every short or pant. Don’t expect it to hang with hard shell coverage but the best pad is one you can always wear.

PRICE: $89.99
WEBSITE: Leatt.com

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CRANKBROTHERS Y16 MULTI-TOOL

The Y16 is a shop-quality y-tool, loaded with bits and more in a lightweight and compact carrying frame. The Y16 includes:
  • Hex wrenches
  • Screwdriver bits
  • Torx bits
  • CO2 Inflator
  • Chain tool
  • Spoke wrenches

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Y16 has lived in my pack for three years now because it offers the most common hex sizes in a Y tool format, which provides more leverage than your typical multitool and includes a chain tool and Co2 inflator in a compact and well thought out package. After years of daily use, I have had zero failures. The Y16 also has a large assortment of bits that have yet to leave me without the right tool on the trail.

Price: $49.99
Website: Crankbrothers.com

SMITH FOREFRONT 2 HELMET

Mountain biking protective gear is constantly being re-engineered to be lighter, stronger, and sleeker, seeing demanding trail and all-mountain riders want more comfortable helmets without sacrificing good looks. Following this evolution in design, the Smith Forefront 2 MIPS Helmet builds on the success of the original with increased aerodynamics, heightened protection, and 20 airy-cool vens in a sleek, attractive lid for trail and all-mountain disciplines.

WHY WE LIKE IT: I cannot recommend a helmet more than the Forefront 2 MIPS. After taking a few helmet crushing slams, the Forefront has kept me from major head injury in part thanks to the koroyd technology and MIPS liner. It is comfortable, has an adjustable visor that is just long enough to keep the sun out of your eyes, and holds eyewear securely in the provided channels. You can get the Forefront in nearly any color and the straps are highly adjustable to fit nearly any head shape. You can’t put a price on safety, but the Forefront is reasonably priced for the features it offers at $240usd.

Price: $240
Website: Smithoptics.com

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SOURPATCH’S PICKS

FOX DEFEND THERMO HOODIE

The Defend Thermo Hoodie has more than warmth on its mind, with breathable insulation that’ll wick away sweat while keeping you snug and protecting you from the cold. This hoodie goes the extra mile with abrasion-resistant, wind-blocking fabric that will add to the toasty times as you hit that chilly downhill.

Best of all, the form-fitting hood fits easily under your helmet to provide that next-level defense against the cold as you pedal through the rough stuff. A convenient and secure stash pocket at the hip means you can rip with your stuff held in place, no matter how rowdy you get.

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Defend Thermo Hoodie is the single most important and by favorite piece of kit in my gear bag. I’ve probably worn this polartec equipped hooded jersey more than any other piece gear I own. Ideal for colder temps, obviously, the Thermo Hoodie makes for a great base layer but can be worn as a main piece as well. It’ll keep your core running at an optimal temp with making you over heat…depending on how hard your working on the climb. Fox’s Defend Thermo Hoodie uses Polartec Power Grid technology offering channeled insulation that provides enhanced lightweight, moisture wicking insulation.

PRICE: $159.95
WEBSITE: Foxracing.com

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RACEFACE T2 TAILGATE PAD

Bring along the crew’s bikes without damaging the bikes or your truck with the RaceFace T2 Tailgate Pad. This updated pad offers secure closure to keep bikes from shifting into each other on windy or rough roads, while an adjustable rear-camera panel offers proper fitment on nearly any truck.

WHY WE LIKE IT: While tailgate pads obviously aren’t for everyone, those with rigs looking for pad should look no further than the RaceFace T2. Out of the five or six tailgate pads I’ve tested in the last year or so, the RaceFace T2 is still number one on the list. It is available in two size, one for full-size trucks (6 bikes) and the other for mid-size trucks (5 bikes) and it is available in two different styles. Install is a piece of cakes and the top adjustment straps allow for a snug and secure fit on the wide array of tailgates out today. Some of the features include an adjustable backup-camera panel to help accomodate the different camera locations on all the different trucks on the market. The Micro-brushed lining is a must have to help prevent scratches to your tailgate. Padded blocks and the tried and true hook-and-loop downtube straps secure your frame to help keep bikes in place.

PRICE: $219
WEBSITE: RaceFace.com

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SMITH LOW-DOWN GLASSES

The cool cousin of our Lowdown 2. The Lowdown Steel sunglasses have the classic looks that run through the family, but with a metal edge. The lightweight frames have soft rubber nose pads, so they don’t slide down when you break a sweat. Smith ChromaPop™ lenses dial up the detail and color, so you see as sharp as you look.

WHY WE LIKE IT: Smith’s Low Down glasses are some of favorites here at the Loam Wolf, particularly the Low Down Steel model. The Low Down might be meant more casual use however can still be worn out on the trail if your not a fan of sun goggles. If the Low Downs aren’t your preferred style of sunglasses, that’s okay too, Smith has tons of other styles to choose from in their vast catalog. After all, the real treat are the Chromapop lenses found in just about every model available, Chromapop is the gift that keeps giving.

PRICE: $179 – $209
WEBSITE: Smithoptics.com

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COLE’S PICKS

SPECIALIZED TRAIL-SERIES THERMAL GLOVES

The Trail Thermal Gloves from Specialized stave-off chilly weather. Featuring a wind-resistant 3-layer softshell upper, these gloves are perfect for long trail rides when the mercury drops. And while they excel in warmth, they keep bulk at a minimum to ensure a confident and comfortable grip on the bars.

WHY WE LIKE IT: My number one suggestion for a gift to either yourself or your friend is the Specialized Trail-Series Thermal Gloves. Earlier this year on our EMTB Shootout we had some super cold days out in St. George Utah. While I am generally a glove free rider these things came in clutch on those 27-degree days. They are thick enough to fight off windchill but at the same time not bulky at all! There were times at 35 degrees when my hands were actually too warm! If you like those dawn patrol winter riders this is a perfect glove to manage the cold air on the descents. No more painfully cold fingers on long climbs and fast winter decents! This is my go to winter glove. Sourpatch also agrees.

PRICE: $40
WEBSITE: Specialized.com

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SHOWERS PASS LIGHTWEIGHT WATERPROOF SOCKS

Keep your feet dry while cycling, running, hiking, hunting, and just about any other activity in the rain with the Showers Pass Lightweight Waterproof Socks. Fully waterproof, these socks feature an Artex membrane that keeps moisture at bay while also maintaining high levels of breathability, along with a CoolMax FX lining that wicks sweat and fights odors for all-day freshness.

WHY WE LIKE IT: Socks are often one of those things that you just “run what ya brung” type of things. It is not until you get a great pair that things really change. Both in hot and cold weather, or pretty much any conditions I avoid cotton at all costs. Now when the weather gets wet it is even more important to have a solid pair of socks. For me my go to pair are the Showers Pass Lightweight Waterproof socks. These things will undoubtably change your life. Like seriously if you do not have these and ride in the rain you are missing out! It does not matter how many puddles you ride through or how long your ride is your feet will be DRY! No nonsense waterproof socks, not to bulky in pretty much any shoes. You forget they are there!

PRICE: $37
WEBSITE: Showerspass.com

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ORGANIFI VANILLA PROTEIN

Over the years I have tried all sorts of plant-based protein’s and have never really been impressed. Most of them are grainy or have so little protein you need to double up the scoops. As someone that is lactose intolerant finding quick on the go ways to stay fed is difficult. A few years back I discovered the brand Organifi, this is a complete plant-based protein that is also Organic. What sets them apart from the rest is they use a blend of Pea, Flax, Quinoa and Pumpkin seed protein. The result is an absolutely delicious tasting drink with 3g of sugar and 26g of protein. They also include a digestive enzyme blend to help your body better absorb the nutrients.

WHY WE LIKE IT: Nutrition for me is a big part of my life and I think one of the most important things to keep riding into my 90’s haha. Having a bottle of this in my truck keeps me out of the drive through line after those long rides. Sure it is more expensive than other brands but you get what you pay for. This is not something I use on a daily basis but when there are little to no other options available. Seriously give this stuff a try!

PRICE: $79.95
WEB: Organifishop.com

ALEX’S PICKS

RIDEWRAP TAILORED KIT

RideWrap is a self-healing vinyl that is installed to bike frames and forks to protect from rocks, roost, and general wear-n-tear. A rider owned company out of Whistler, RideWrap mainly makes frame protection that is essential, covered, or tailored as they call it. RideWrap takes some patience and time to install (just follow their instructions) but a few hours of work has proved to be well worth it over the year.

WHY WE LIKE IT: I installed the tailored RideWrap on my DH rig in early spring to help protect from the regular abuse at the bike park and summer shuttle laps. The tailored kit which is completely specific to my bike protects nearly 95% of the frame. I have seen no cracking or peeling after the install, and the finish looks as good as it did 8 months ago. Overall Ridewrap looks polished, cleans easily, and has done an excellent job in protecting my bike!

PRICE: $105 (Tailored)
WEBSITE: www.ridewrap.ca

SMITH OPTICS WILDCAT GLASSES

Smith Optics is no stranger to the bike scene with a wide collection of eyewear, helmets and apparel fit for the trail. The WildCat shades feature Smiths Chromapop lens, complete with 100% UV protection, and an extra-large fit.

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Wildcat shades have joined me for every ride this season. Whether using the matte black lens for summer sun or the clear lens for the overcast cloudy days, the extra-large, goggle style frame offers lightweight and stylish eye protection. The Chromapop lens brightens the trails to allowsnatural color and definition to shine through. The Wildcat shades have proven to be quite durable and they will surely be my go to lens going into next season.

PRICE: $209
WEB: smithoptics.com

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RIDE CONCEPTS TRANSITION SHOES

Ride Concepts has been in the footwear game for a few years now with a lineup of shoes for men, women, and groms. The Transition Clipless shoe has been my go-to for the last 3 years. The shoes are packed with features. From the Rubber Kinetics outsole, to the D30 integrated insoles that absorb vibration underfoot, or the beefy velcro strap which adds stability, retention, and keeps laces from getting untied midride, they do not skimp anywhere.

WHY WE LIKE IT: Two important things I look for in footwear; durability and comfort. Ride Concepts easily checked both of these boxes with the Transition Clipless Shoes. Whether you are pedaling, hike-a-biking, or doing some quick maintenance while out on the trail the RC Rubber is incredibly durable and will last months on end. If you are looking for a tough, rugged, and waterproof shoe that holds up to gravity and alpine riding, we’d recommended getting your feet in a pair of Ride Concepts.

PRICE: $160
WEBSITE: rideconcepts.com

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