Serious fat tire riders have some just as serious wants on their wish lists. The experienced mountain bike rider will often want far different things than the casual dirt rider. Below is a collection of 5 popular “serious” mtb items for the serious dirt rider in your life. You’ll find a trend to more expensive items, but I’ve dug up a few less expensive ones as well.
1. Fork Rebuild Kit. Many serious bikers are also serious do-it-yourself riders. Approximately every 100 hours of riding time, the front shock should be taken apart and rebuilt. Kits are hard to come by and most bike stores would rather make the money charging you to rebuild it or sending back to the factory. Such kits can be found online at various bike sites. One place that still actively carries kits and shock parts is pricepoint.com. Make sure you know the brand and make. Not all forks are made alike. (You can find tool kits for rebuiliding there as well…) Prices vary considerably, but plan for this to run $50 to $100.
2. Lizard skins. Lizard skins are a wonderful brand name for a variety of bike and protection items. They have excellent teflon coated (not like the pans but more like the bullet proof vest type) shin guards for those occasional spills. For the bike fanatics, they have stick on guards for the chain stays. In non-biker terms, they protect the frame from getting scratched when the chain hits it (called chainslap). These again vary in price from about $20 on up. Some retail stores offer lizard skins. The protective gear can also be found at some motorcycle shops that cater to the dirt motorcycle riders.
3. Hydration Pack. These wear out, get disgustingly green looking inside, and then the water tastes horrible. Not to mention, after a year or two, the seals start to leak and then you’re pack is peeing on you while you’re riding. So these are always a good gift to receive whether you currently have one or not. But don’t go cheap on this item. Spend the money for a higher range one — you get what you pay for. For hard core women riders, the women specific packs do fit better through the shoulders by offering a narrower cut. And the strap rides in a better place than on the men’s packs…
4. Season pass (or even a few day passes) to a nearby downhill park. Basically, a ski resort turned to bike heaven! Downhill goes extreme with free sky lifts back up the top. What mountain biker wouldn’t enjoy a day of not having to bike UP hill. These can be pricy but are worth it. For those who have never ripped down a hill at 30 or more mph, you’re missing out. (Most also offer equipment rentals -both bike and protection!)
5. A weekend getaway to different mtb territory. For those of you on the coast, check out the trails on the other side of the country. For those in the middle, plan a trip to the coast. There are many organized groups that offer tours, but keep in mind, they are usually geared to less extreme riders. For true hard core mtb’ing, you’ll have to consult your gift recipient. Moab, Utah is certainly extreme mecca for those not used to slick rock. Consider that if no other options come to mind. Plan on this costing you many many pennies. But memories will last longer than any other item on any list.