Missed Part 1? Catch-up here
Looking for a Vermont-centric last minute gift idea for your favorite mountain biker? Here is an assortment of options that we own and love, or definitely would love to own. We’ll each be posting our top 5 picks for must haves this week, just in case you need to make a last minute trip to the bike shop to pick up some gear for the rider on your list.
Strength In Numbers Movie
From The Collective, the crew that redefined mountain bike film making with The Collective, Roam, and Seasons, comes their second work of art under their new name “Anthill Films”. Premiered this past spring, Strength in Numbers tells the story of several of the world’s established and up and coming mountain bike communities. This story is of course told largely by watching some of the world’s best riders shred trails and hit jumps at iconic locations, all with the stunning cinematography that Anthill/The Collective has come to be known for.
We’ve spent countless rainy afternoons, and late nights after returning from the bar, watching this movie in its entirety or just choosing a favorite section to get amped on. Whether you’re into dirt jumping, epic enduro rides in the Himalayas, or British Columbia’s spectacular jump trails, watch this flick and get stoked on a whole ‘nother level yet again. Anthill Films
Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 3C Tire
Tires tend to come down to personal preference for many folks, however sometimes raw performance needs to be acknowledged. The Maxxis Minion DHF tire will simply allow you to ride faster and more aggressively, yet with more control than ever before. When pushed hard the DHF is responsive and predictable, biting into almost any terrain, dry or damp. This tire can hammer out the turns too, just lean your bike over and find it’s edges like you’re skiing or boarding, and it’s nearly as predictable.
It’s not a new tread design, but it’s well proven, and the single-ply folding version with Maxxis’ 3C rubber compound and EXO casing is pretty darn nifty. 3C keeps the tires rolling fast while still gripping like flies on… well you know, and the EXO casing keeps your sidewalls intact here in VT or on your next big trip out west where the rocks are sharp and nasty. With the single-ply 2.5 version at about 900g they’re not the lightest tire around, but the ramped leading edges of the center tread make sure you won’t fall too far behind the lycra clad dudes ahead of you on the Perry Hill climb. Tires are the only direct connection between you and the ground, and a component where compromising pure performance for weight just ain’t worth it in my mind. I’ve been running these for a few years and gotten great tread life, and good durability. Among the tires out there aimed at aggressive riders, this is one of the best. Now go pick up a pair and stuff ’em under the tree, because all riders should put on a new set of rubbers every once in a while! Maxxis Minion DHF
Dakine Ventilator Glove
Over the years I’ve worn a lot of gloves, I mean, a lot. Each year no matter what I seem to buy at least two new pairs, either because I wear them until they fall apart or because I simply misplace one after taking it off for a little more dexterity. Because of this I try not to become to attached to any particular pair, and have never really had any favorites. They were all usually a little too big, a little too tight, had a few rips or tears, or were so “aromatic” and caked with sweat that they were downright unpleasant to be around. This last characteristic is where this glove shines. If like me your hands sweat like crazy during Vermont’s humid summer months, this glove is a game-changer. It’s named the “Ventilator”, and appropriately. These gloves actually ventilate and keep your hands at a reasonable temperature during the midseason heat, allowing you to hang onto your bike’s grips without having to wring-out your sweaty mits every time you stop to take a break. Best of all their minimalist construction with some palm-padding keeps them from wadding up into bricks that need to be heated up before they will stretch again after a sweaty day gripping the bars. Dakine
Pedros Tire Irons
Tire irons/levers are one of those tools that should just work no questions asked. Usually they’re needed in a pinch (pun intended) when you’ve got a flat on the trail, or when you find out you’ve got one upon taking your bike out from storage (from the back of your truck)… These levers from Pedros do just that, work, and with little fuss, flex, or chance of breaking in half. I’ve been using my trusty orange pair for at least 5 years now on forgiving folding beads as well as wire beaded DH tires. Yea, they come in lots of cool colors too, find them at your local shop for a few bucks in yellow, green, red, purple, pink, and orange. Stuff them in your stockings this year, it will be the best $5 you ever spent. PEDROS
Darn Tough Wool Socks
The best and last brand of socks you will ever buy, period. Yup, they’re that good. So good in fact that they’re unconditionally guaranteed for life. The Darn Tough brand is part of Cabot Hosiery Mills, based here in Northfield, VT since 1978. What does 30yrs in the sock business mean for us mountain bikers? Some of the most comfortable, durable, and stretch-free socks you can find, and they look pretty good to boot. Tune in to MTBVT.com or find us on Facebook on Tuesdays for a chance to win a pair during our weekly “Trail ID Tuesday” contest.
For me two things really stand out about these socks, their merino wool blend construction, and their stretch-free-ness. Wool is a favorite material among most Vermonters, and it’s no different here. Sheep fur is odor resistant, looks good when colored, and is pretty darn cozy even when wet. Socks that stretch under use and leave those two awkward little sacks hanging down by your toes and heels are downright annoying. These socks do no such thing. I’ve worn these bad boys to work, gone for a hike at lunch, then comfortably worn them on a ride that evening, and not taken them off until bed. Treat your toes right this holiday season with one of the many designs Darn Tough offers, made for Hiking, Biking, Skiing, and more. Darn Tough Vermont