So, in Part 1 of our Christmas fever special we covered off Roadies, which I strongly suspect are the harder group to buy for given a higher concentration of OCD’s, sock phobias and a general pickiness when it comes to purchasing.
Jumping to the other side of the ledger, the Dirt Merchants not only have a better range of products to pick from, but chances are they’re wearing out or breaking stuff at a prolific rate, so are always appreciative of new gear coming their way. So, here are 10 of the best items that any* mountain biker would love to see poking out from underneath the Faux Christmas tree on the 25th.
* note – The term ‘any’ may not include XC Bandits, as this is slightly skewed towards radness.
Part 2. Mountain Bikers
1. Season pass to Whistler Bike Park – $669 CND
Granted, its a bit awkward when they disappear in May and come back late September, but if you really actually love them, this is the best gift you can give a Dirt Merchant at Christmas time, I mean, you want them to be actually happy right? Don’t forget to include spending money for after ride beers, replacement wheels and A&E costs, which aren’t cheap in Whistler. Yes, its the chosen land and the one place where any Dirty lovechild could spend the entire summer, and autumn, without a second thought, don’t hold your breath for a post card. You literally feel like you’re on top of the world:
2. Shimano XTR M9000 Group set
Chances are I’m mildly biased here given I have boxes of this stuff sitting around waiting to go on the Nomad 3, but that still doesn’t stop me from talking common sense. XTR isn’t just buying kit, its a fucking way of life… Those that have had it know what I mean and its a hard habit to quit once you’ve snorted its accuracy, art like construction and terminator like reliability (I basically have a marketing degree here). Yes, I know, it doesn’t have the range of XX1, but fucked if I care, its just so rad that it more than makes up for that, plus, doesn’t need to be serviced daily. Go for the Trail option, install with a competent mechanic and enjoy long term shredding radness. Just hope parts wear out around your birthday or next Christmas:
3. Flights to Queenstown
Trumpets sound! Ah… Yes, the mini Whistler of the south. If you want to hear the involuntary ejaculation sound on Christmas morning, then poke tickets to Queenstown under the tree. Be sure to include Gondie passes, spending money for Ferg burgers (hiring a homeless person to stand in the massive queue would be a bonus) and a couple of days shuttling on Coronet Peak with Queenstown Bike Taxis. If you want to go next level, perhaps a Heli biking trip is also in order?
It’s the next best thing to going to Whistler for any shredding addicted family member and a good warm up before it opens. Technically you could see your loved one disappear to qTown from September to May, then off to Whistler for the remainder of the year. If you love something then set it free blah blah:
4. Enve M70 wheels with Chris King hubs
So, money for value you can’t beat the current Mavic ENDURO range of wheels, so I usually recommend those to anyone, but I will face the facts and realise that if you really want to sink the battleship on Christmas day, then these are probably what most Dirty bastards would like to see slide out of the box. Whilst most of us will say “Fuck that, don’t need them“, what we really mean is “Fuck, I would love a pair, but the cost makes my anatomy shrivel“. Yeah, thats the down side, they cost about as much as bribing your way to the hosting rights of a Soccer World Cup, but once laced up with Chris King hubs, these things are weapons. Bonus points for color coding them to the bike:
5. Shuttle vouchers – DIY or the real deal
Ever been given a ‘Free hug’ voucher on a special occasion? You smiles and said “oh, that’s awesome…” which really meant “Da fuck, where’s the BJ voucher FFS?“, well, lets adapt that concept for Mountain Bikers at Christmas time. Now that we’re all slowly being assimilated into ENDURO, riding our bikes uphill is becoming massively uncool. As such, no one is going to say no to a free shuttle. So, get out the arts and crafts folder and make up a weekend of ‘Free Shuttle Vouchers‘ to poke under the XTR Group set you’ve got them. This means you actually have to spend a day or two driving up and down the hill, but it will bring immeasurable joy and happiness to everyone involved. Can’t be fucked with that? Find a local shuttle company and buy a voucher instead, just shows you care a little bit less.
6. Santa Cruz Nomad 3
For those of you that want to think BIG for Christmas, and fuck do I mean big, then the only solution to meet your needs is the best Mountain Bike currently available on this planet, the Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon 3. Whilst I only have limited time on my one thanks to the Tour of Cuntville, I can say that anyone who is brave enough to deliver this via Rudolph in 3 weeks time will forever go down as an epic legend of gift giving. In a rather scary concept, this bike looks even hotter in the flesh than it does on-line and rides even better than they say it does. They should have just called it Candice Swanepoel then. Consulting the sizing chart first is probably a good call:
7. A World Cup Pass
Every Mountain Biker MUST go to a World Cup round, or the World Champs, at least once in their life… So, with this absolute imperative put beyond debate, why not make it happen for them in 2015? The calendar has all the usual suspects, so my picks would be any of these ones:
- April 11-12: DHI#1, Lourdes (France)
- July 4-5: XCO#3 & DHI#4, Lenzerheide (Switzerland)… Which looks suspiciously like a Dirty Birthday weekend?
- August 22-23: XCO#6 & DHI#7 Val di Sole (Italy)
Any of these would be RAD in their own right, Especially the final in Italy on what is pretty much the scariest DH track around apparently, so worth a look. Setting someone up with this as a Christmas gift is obviously not straightforward, but its hard to top. Get involved with letting that atmosphere consume you!
8. Go PRO Hero 4
I’m slightly hesitant recommending this as a gift as its only a matter of time until A) The Go PRO Drones hit the market and B) The Go PRO Hero 4 PLUS no doubt arrives, those that got trapped in the Hero 3 killing fields will know what I mean. Still, this is still the bench mark when it comes to narcissistic action video making, so the ultimate addition for any shredder and a relatively easy purchase compared to some of the other things I have listed here. You could go for the fancy package with all the shit, but I’m not sold everyone needs the battery sucking blue tooth add ons like remote etc, so the base camera is good enough for Ho Ho Ho day. Speaking of Ho’s, also excellent for recreational POV activity after hours. Apparently.
9. Tickets to Crankworx Rotorua
Start of the EWS Season? Biggest MTB event to hit NZ since the World Champs? Some of the best riding EVER? World class athletes slaying things to death? YES X 4! The question is why wouldn’t you want to be in Rotorua at the end of March 2015? Because you prefer reviewing PowerPoint slides that no one will ever actually read? Or perhaps you just hate life… Hopefully now everyone feels emotionally manipulated into attending, but if you don’t like getting Dirty, then buy tickets for someone who does and put a mofo bow on it! Crankworx Rots is going to be massive. Best to head there prior to get some riding in, or hang around post festivities for some extra shredding. Two words: Life Experience:
10. Some fucken MINIONS
To make sure this doesn’t get fucked up, as it easily could, I’m NOT talking about the Minion on the left, easy mistake to make when you tell a non-cyclist that you just “Want a set of Minions”. To save everyone an awkward Christmas Morning, with an event that easily has the ability to RUIN Christmas, we’re talking about the item on the right – Probably the greatest all round tire that’s not for skinny people ever made. Biggest buying risk? Making sure you get the right wheel size. Sigh, the simple days are gone, so make sure you do your homework. Assuming your Christmas target isn’t an XC Bandit, then this gift is a slam dunk and won’t fist your Credit Card like pretty much everything else I’ve suggested. If you want to get a Christmas gag going, perhaps give them the minions on the left before producing the real thing. Christmas crackers for everyone. Fuck that’s lame:
So there we go… Some rather expensive and possibly impractical Christmas gift ideas for Mountain Bikers… As they say its the thought that counts, so if you manage to come through on any of these for your shredding loved one, then you’ve belted Christmas 2014 out of the fucking park and smashed a windscreen in the carpark which incites a riot and ultimately burns the stadium down. That’s how hot it would be to get any of these on Christmas day. The good news is there is still plenty of time to get organised, so don’t delay. Soon you’ll be as excited about Christmas as Porn dawg Snoopy is…