Notorious for loving gear and gadgets that complement their dirt-loving ways, mountain bikers are always on the hunt for robust and practical items to make their next trail jaunt a breeze. We’ve scoured Australia’s number one cycling marketplace and selected a host of goodies that no mountain biker will ever have ‘too much’ of.
So if you’re after a Christmas gift for that trail loving mountain biker in your life that is practical, sure to be well received and won’t break the bank, the selections below are the perfect place to start your search.
- Related Reading: Mountain Bike Accessories: What You Need to Get Started
Put simply, a dropper seatpost is a height-adjustable seatpost that allows a rider to quickly and easily lower the seat height when riding along. A dropper seatpost operates via the use of a handlebar, or seatpost located remote lever. There are a number of benefits to using a dropper seatpost, chief among is the ability to lower the seatpost down, and out of the way to allow you to lower your centre of gravity to dip, carve, pop and shred to your heart's content when attacking technical sections of trail.
If you’re looking to spoil yourself, or your giftee, look for a durable option that suits their mountain (or gravel) bikes cabling, has a smooth level action, and enough travel to suit their riding style. For more information, check out our Ultimate Dropper Post Buyer’s Guide
Tubeless Tyre Plugs
While tubeless tyre repair kits can come in many different shapes and sizes, the Stans NoTubes Dart pictured above is neat option favoured by trail riders around the country. The Dart is a bullet-shaped repair solution comprised of a barbed plastic tip with a woven rubber plug. This efficient and effective trailside puncture repair tool works to seal larger gaping holes that tubeless sealant alone couldn’t possibly fill.
The kits themselves are available in options ranging from small pill-shaped units holding a couple of plugs, to more complicated kits that incorporate a C02 canister for an all-in-one repair and inflation solution.
Mountain bikers would be lying if they said they had never ended up with just one glove and no clue where the other had escaped to. Much like odd socks, just about any riders can relate to the odd-glove scenario occurring all too often.
Top up their kit drawer with a fresh pair of riding gloves. Mountain bike specific gloves will typically be a full-fingered design and have a thin, breathable fabric with protection on the knuckles for increased overall hand protection.
Gloves on your hit list should feature a palm and thumb guard, breathable construction and additional silicone grip at the fingertips. Available in all the colours of the rainbow, a new set of gloves are sure to be a welcome addition to any cycling wardrobe.
Tubeless Floor Pump
Tubeless tyres are just about the norm in mountain biking these days, allowing riders to run lower pressures, reduce weight and prevent pinch flats. However, setting up a tubeless tyre can prove to be a bit of a challenge. Tubeless floor pumps allow the user to pump air into a chamber or ‘tank’ and release it quickly into the tyre, causing the tyre to seat onto the rim evenly and rapidly.
A good pump will typically be built robust from either steel or aluminium, fit both Presta and Schrader valves, feature a large and easy to read gauge and feature a durable handle. Also, look for a pump with a durable lever for releasing the charged air chamber. Tubeless pumps such as this remove the need for a loud air compressor and have a rightful place in any home workshop!
A workstand is a great investment for any budding DIY cycling mechanic, however, it also makes cleaning and general maintenance tasks far easier.
There are a number of different options on the market. Compact stands and permanent work stands are the two most commonly found options available, the latter making a great centrepiece to any dedicated bike workspace.
A quality workstand will be solidly built, capable of holding your bike stable when tackling tougher jobs like helping free a seized seatpost or loosening tight pedals and ideally be easy to fold when not in use.
A hydration pack is essentially a backpack that is light, compact and resistant to the elements...but has the added benefit of also carrying water! A well-used item amongst many outdoor enthusiasts, mountain bikers will appreciate a fresh hydration pack that can carry ride essentials such as tubes, tools, and snacks, as well as ferry an adequate amount of hydration for a day out on the trails.
Mountain Bike Shorts
Unlike their road-going cousins, MTB shorts are more of a casual affair, a little baggier whilst still retaining that all-important flexibility and breathability needed out on the trail.
Whilst unassuming to look at, there is more than meets the eye. MTB shorts are often reinforced around the inside chamois pad, are made of a tougher material to prevent ripping should you come off, as well as being stretchy so you can move around the bike.
Quality mountain bike shorts will feature a subtle design, an adjustable waistband and a detachable chamois liner. Meet these standards and your giftee will surely appreciate the update.
A trendy alternative to the hydration pack is a hip pack. No longer thought of like an 80’s throwback, mountain bike hip packs are definitely having a renaissance of sorts. Whilst they have never really fallen completely off the radar altogether, their resurgence is thanks to the minimalistic storage solution they provide.
The majority of quality options should feature a usefully large hydration bladder and ample space for all the necessities riders require, such as a spray jacket, multi-tool, tyre repair kits and so on.
Ever useful, Multi-tools contain endless combinations of common tools for a fix on the go. A strong, reliable and compact multi-tool is a gift that will last well beyond the unwrapping day.
Look for options with quality bits and fastening hardware for extra strength and a robust contoured frame for rigidity and ergonomics. Modern mountain bikes don’t often feature nuts and bolts that require spanners, so look for a minimalist tool with hex keys, Torx keys (usually T25 and ideally T30) and a chain breaker.
A minimalistic front mudguard is a cheap and effective aftermarket modification that just about any mountain biker will appreciate. Typically positioned under the crown or on the downtube, these fenders stay out of the way of your suspension and sit at a perfect position to keep your vision clear from trail debris. Popular options include the widely-copied Marsh guard which is favoured due to it robust, minimal and lightweight design.
If there is one thing that is sure to happen when mountain biking, it’s to crash. Part and parcel of our beloved sport, applying some damage control with some knee protection means the fun can continue on the trail. Out on the singletrack, body armour and knee pads are more commonly seen on all types of riders and are available in comfortable, minimal ergonomic designs ensuring pedalling is still a breeze.
When sizing up the pads, make sure they are snug but flexible to allow for an unimpeded pedal motion. When it comes to retention, the majority of pads will simply be elasticized, however, velcro or even BOA wires are also found to secure them comfortably.
Pads with hard plastic exteriors are designed to slide on impact and are great for adrenaline-based mountain biking. While softer pads are better for general trail riding, and allow easier pedalling and better ventilation.
Bike Cleaning Kit
Upon return from a muddy or dusty day out on trails, a quick hose off is often as far as many will go with cleaning the steed before kicking back with an "I’ll do it later attitude". However, having all the tools to do the job thoroughly might inspire more immediate action!
Cleaning kits will include the right chemicals for a bicycle that won’t damage your parts and specially shaped brushes to ensure a shiny, smooth running bike.
A complete bicycle cleaning kit that includes cleaning liquid, sponge, washing brushes and a storage tub is sure to keep any bike looking nice and tidy, making this a great Christmas gift for your bicycle obsessed friends and family.