The holiday shopping season is here and time is ticking. Stoke out the mountain biker in your life (or yourself 😉) with the gift of shred. Check out this list of our latest top picks.
Fresh tread is always appreciated, and after a busy riding season, it's probably needed. We are very impressed by Specialized T9 compound tires. Grippy, durable, and confidence-inspiring. A Butcher front and Eliminator rear combo are the go-to for a trail or enduro bike. Or go Butcher all around for aggressive terrain. Downhillers, e-bikers, and enduro riders looking for something more downhill-specific, keep an eye out for the new Cannibal tire. A perfect option for riders wanting an aggressive tire that excels on various terrain and thrives on steep trails.
Also worth consideration are the new Goodyear Newton MTF and MTR tires. An excellent combination for rougher and steeper trails. Confidence-inspiring and surefooted, these new tires surprised us with a near-optimal mix of comfort and support.
A good pair of grips can make a trail feel smoother and keep a rider going longer with happier hands at the end of the day. Balanced vibration damping, comfort, and traction make a winning trifecta. We recommend DEITY's Knuckleduster, Supracush, and Lockjaw grips, highly-rated options that also come in a plethora of colors to suit.
Heading into colder weather, the Fox Racing Defend Fire Pant is an awesome option for cold weather and winter riding. The Defend product line is designed to take a beating while being stretchy and comfortable for pedaling. Polartec lined thighs help insulate and cut the wind. The Defend Fire pant also comes in a women's version.
Grab a jersey to go with those pants. Check out the Fox Racing Ranger drirelease® lineup with options for men, women, and youths. drirelease® fabrics wick sweat and dry quickly, so you don't feel damp even when thoroughly sweaty. A feature that's ideal for warm and cold weather alike.
A perfect addition to any bike is a conveniently located, quality tool in a hassle-free, easily-accessed storage design. The Granite Design Stash Tool is a new item to consider this year. Similar to the OneUp EDC tools, it puts the most common hex keys for solving trail-side problems at the ready in the steer tube. For riders who want extra tool leverage and the addition of an 8mm hex key, you'll want the Stash Ratchet Tool Kit.
For the tool collection at home, we recommend the Wera Hex-Plus Hex Wrench Set. It covers nearly every bolt on most mountain bikes with its 1.5mm to 10mm L-keys sizes. The long arm's ballpoint end is money when accessing bolts at odd angles. Plus, grabbing the right size is easy with the color-coded, easy-to-grip plastic sleeves.
As trail and enduro bikes evolve, the speed riders can carry down trails has increased significantly. Matching these demands, Specialized introduced the new trail-focused Ambush 2. This helmet earned the highest 5-Star Virginia Tech® Helmet Rating™ from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and offers multiple fitment adjustments, eyewear storage, and optimal ventilation. It's the perfect option for riders demanding the latest and greatest helmet technology.
For full-faced all-mountain and enduro protection, check out the new lightweight Fox Racing Proframe RS with Mips® Integra Split protection system. Exceptional breathability, comfort, and class-leading safety for tackling the rowdiest trails with an unmatched field of view.
PNW Components wanted to design a pedal for the everyday trail rider, and we feel they delivered on their goal. The new Loam pedal is comfortable under the foot, produces quite a bit of grip, and still allows for quick foot adjustments if needed.
Time for a fresh pair of riding shoes; consider the new Ride Concepts Tallac. A Cordura® mesh upper makes for a more relaxed, flexible, and breathable yet durable fit. It also touts Ride Concepts' stickiest MAX GRIP rubber and D3O® insoles to absorb impact energy, reducing fatigue. Slightly more compliant and very comfortable, the Tallac provides grip and control for all kinds of riding. Clipless models are also available if that's how you roll. For women, the Flume is Ride Concepts' equivalent shoe.
For some, wearing knee pads is as second nature as wearing socks – we'd simply feel naked without them. There are numerous options available, all comfortable, pedal-able, and bringing different features to the party. From our experience testing some of the latest offerings, we have recommendations to share.
The ION K-Lite Zip Knee Pad provides medium-level protection with an easy zippered on/off design. This is one of the pads we reach for more often than not when heading out for a ride.
The POC Oseus VPD Knee Pad has a slim profile and high comfort factor. A great choice for anybody pedaling their bike a lot but still wanting the peace of mind that comes with proper level-2 certified protection. They also easily fit under riding pants.
The 7iDP Transition Knee Shin Pad offers light, breathable mid-level protection with 5 inches of additional shin coverage. While riding, it all but disappeared from thought.
Hip packs, waist packs, bum bags, whatever you call them, free the back and check out the EVOC Hip Pack Pro. The Hip Pack Pro carries the necessary snacks and tools for most rides. A wide elasticized waistband comfortably hugs your middle and keeps the pack stable through rough terrain. Available with or without a 1.5L bladder, you pay for what you'll use. It can also carry 2 water bottles, making it a very versatile item suitable for a wide range of ride lengths.