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8 Best Gifts for MTB Riders

By Martin Atanasov

This article is for those on the receiving end of our Christmas list. Those who have a hard time figuring out what to buy their MTB-loving friend, significant other or relative. While not all gifts must be related to cycling, I know it’s hard to think of anything besides when all we ever talk about is that awesome jump we made or that terrifying drop we finally conquered. So, to make it easy for you, here are eight great gifts any MTB rider would love.

1. A bike park 12-month pass

This would be like a Christmas morning for any MTB rider. Typically, bike park passes are quite expensive and one can rarely afford an annual pass. But if you are ready to open your wallet and your heart, we will gladly receive this remarkable gift. You might want to consider two things before you order mine right now. Firstly, you need to make sure the bike park is open throughout the year. Many European bike parks are open only in the active months, from late spring to mid-autumn. So, in this case, getting just a 6-month pass will be great.

Secondly, make sure the bike park is close by. It would be awesome if I receive a 12-month pass for Livigno but I can actually go a maximum of once or twice there in the entire year, so having a 12-month pass is entirely pointless.

So, long story short – a definite yes on the bike park pass but make sure to get a useful one.

2. Camelbak hydration pack

The Camelbak Hydration Pack is something that the God of bikes made so that MTB riders can live a better life, I’m sure of it. Once you go to this solution, there is no going back. Most MTB riders, however, are still using a regular old backpack. Of course, backpacks are not entirely useless as they are a must for longer rides. But a Camelbak hydration pack is a beyond awesome solution for downhill or riding in a bike park when you are back to your car every hour or so.

Naturally, this one is presuming we don’t already have one. That’s easily establishable by simply asking to see some photos or asking for a piece of advice about what backpack to take for yourself. Just steer the conversation toward MTB riding as we are not very hard to be convinced to converse on this topic.

3. GPS smartwatch

If you love us and are ready to spend a bit more on our Christmas gift, a GPS smartwatch is the perfect gift. This goes double for bikepackers and enduro enthusiasts who often have to check their phones for guidance. With a good GPS smartwatch, we can navigate through new terrain faster without getting our mobile phone out every 5 minutes. This will make our rides immensely more pleasurable. Moreover, we could follow our time and compare it with others on Strava. And we all know the saying, “If it ain’t on Strava, it didn’t happen.”

Cyclist checking his smartwatch
A smartwatch is a perfect gift for an avid mountain biker. © Profimedia

If you decide on this incredible gift, make sure to take a GPS watch that actually shows you a map or navigates you. Otherwise, it would still be cool but definitely not optimal.

4. Portable washer

A portable washer is something that rarely anyone thinks of but it’s quite handy if you ride on a muddy trail and don’t want to destroy your bike completely. Typically, bike parks have some pressure washers at the parking but when you are out in the wild, in the mountains, there are no such luxuries. Still, when you’re done with your ride, removing all the mud and dirt from your bike before it hardens is for the best.

The best thing about a portable bike washer is that almost no one has it so while, in general, it’s not a good idea to give bike cleaning accessories as a gift, this washer is the obvious exception to the rule. The market is full of various models and you can get a pretty decent one for under 80 euros.

5. Waterproof car seat covers

That’s the other thing that not everyone thinks about when going MTB riding. As a rule, this sport is very messy. You can’t always expect nice, sunny, and dry weather. Even if you skip all weekends with volatile weather, you can’t dry up the entire track. So, ultimately, you get back to your car more soaked than if you were actually swimming in these clothes. Of course, you will have a change set of clothes but you can’t change everything. Your hair, arms, and legs will still be wet. If you don’t want your entire car to get this awful wet dog smell, waterproof car seats are perfect.

This is a fantastic gift, as rarely does an MTB rider think all that much about what happens after the ride. So this gift will make the rider’s entire post-ride experience much nicer.

6. Mountain bike lessons

We can all learn some new tricks, especially since most MTB enthusiasts are nowhere near professionals. So, a mountain bike lesson with a professional is one gift all MTB riders would appreciate highly. Moreover, it’s quite hard to mess this one up, as all you need to know is the level of the rider. Some MTB lessons can be with open scheduling and even open to change skill levels, so if you find such, you can even go a step further and let the rider choose the best group for themselves.

7. A new cool buff

If you are fresh out of ideas and the previous ones don’t seem like something your friend, partner or relative would enjoy (although I doubt it), you can go with the classics. A new buff is always good to have. It’s one thing most riders don’t ever go without, as keeping your neck warm can prevent some severe trauma in the long run. Moreover, a buff can double as a headband, a hat, or anything in between.

So, if you are not close to the gift receiver at all, it’s best to go with this one. You can still make an extra effort to find out the rider’s colour preferences or the colour of their bike, so you are not going completely blind. On the other hand, you can customize one for your friend so they can remember you every time they go bike riding.

8. Bike-mounted sunglasses holder

If I had a penny for each time I lost or broke my sunglasses while on the bike, I’d probably be able to buy new ones. That’s why I’ve put a bike-mounted sunglasses holder on my Christmas list this year. It’s an awesome accessory that looks a bit weird but is practical and weightless, which is one of the most essential things for an accessory. In addition, it won’t take up much space, and when I don’t need it (for example, when I’m going downhill), it’s easily dismountable. What more can a rider wish for?

Don’t be too creative

Finally, one general piece of advice – don’t get too creative. Getting something useful for a cyclist is truly a form of art, so don’t try to improvise. If you’re not ready to learn a bit more about our culture, needs, and dislikes, you might as well just go for something else, completely non-bike related. After all, we are more than cyclists. We are your friends, family, or co-workers. Surely, we are more than some random person on two wheels.