2019 Gift Guide: Week 5

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Every Thursday through December 19th, we're presenting a new list of ideas for gifts for the mountain biker in your life. If that mountain biker is you, this is gear we stand behind as ideas to upgrade your ride, or deals on some other sweet stuff we're digging right now. Here's another idea: get something nice for that under appreciated trail builder or trail association volunteer in your life. From a 1/2 pound of coffee to a stealthy 6-pack or anything on this list, I promise you it'll be one of the best gifts you'll give all year, and they'll really appreciate the thought.

In case you missed the first three weeks of the NSMB Gift Guide, here they are:

e*thirteen Race Carbon handlebar and Plus 35 Stem

Remember last week, when we shared the story about e*thirteen's awesome new A/T Enduro tire with super slow/super sticky MoPo rubber compound? Let me remind you that MoPo stands for 'MotionPotion'. Let's just admire that once again. In my opinion it's right up there with Transtion's SBG (officially 'Speed-Based Geometry' but they joke that it stands for Some Bullshit Gimmick). In an industry full of confusing and too-serious acronyms, we need more SBG and MoPo in our daily lives.

So, from the brand that brought you MoPo comes the Race Carbon Handlebar and Plus 35 Stem. They'll plant your hands in the right places while you MoPo your way down the trail.

e thirteen cockpit.jpg

e*thirteen brings unique design and a solid mix of performance and reliability to their lineup. The Race Carbon handlebar and Plus 35 Stem are the latest additions to their ever expanding lineup.

e*thirteen's Race Carbon bar has an engineered carbon layup and a 35mm clamp for stiffness and tuned ride feel. A swarthy 9 degrees of backsweep and 5 degrees upsweep is standard, with two rise options: 20 and 35mm.

The graphics on this bar feature a full-wrap water decal for maximum visibility in POV footage, and a unique aesthetic.

Width: 800mm
20mm, 35mm
Sweep: 9 degrees back, 5 degrees up
Weight: 20mm Rise: 225g // 35mm Rise: 230g

Race Handlebar
$139 USD
Buy: e*thirteen website / on sale for 30% off at Competitive Cyclist

Plus 35 Stem
Price: $81.99 USD (reg. $95.95)
Buy: e*thirteen website (sold out!) / 15% off at Competitive Cyclist

Stanley Growler Gift Set

I asked for one of these a couple of years ago as a part of my Dear Santa list (which doubles as thinly disguised wish lists for those around me). And it worked! There, under the tree, was a Stanley Growler in classic Hammertone Green. And boy, has it been great. I get lots of compliments on it from otherwise semi-staid craft brewery counter staff who must respect the fact that it weighs less than a glass growler, looks rad, keeps beer cold and fresh for way longer, and won't make an enormous mess if I drop it on my way out the door.


You had me at double-walled stainless steel Growler...

Classic_Growler_Gift_Set_HmmtGRN-exploded copy.jpg

...but add four tumblers and it's a trailside tailgate.

In my opinion the Hammertone Green is the must-buy colour, but the black is pretty slick and I understand that some people only buy or wear black things. Whichever colour you choose, the Stanley Growler Gift Set comes with four stackable 12 oz. stainless steel tumblers to the mix. Color-coded so that one buddy we all have will stop stealing your beer already and pretending it's his. I've given these Growlers to three or four people over the last two years and they become highly coveted and appreciated by all who get them. For the beer lover in your life, these are highly recommended.

Price: $80 USD
Buy: Stanley-PMI.com

Tubolito S-Tubo-MTB

We first heard about these funky little orange tubes two years ago at Interbike. Before we checked them out we were thinking to ourselves: "it's all about tubeless now, why would anyone dump dev money into tubes?" Well, pay a little attention to Tubolito's specs and you'll probably see why - likely faster than our Interbike day 5 brains were able to figure it out, too.

No matter how good tubeless is, flats still happen. And even though we carry tire repair tools like the new one from Stan's that came recommended in our Gift Guide last week (and seems to be sold out everywhere), some holes can't be plugged. That's why, whether you're racing XC or Enduro, or just riding, you still must carry a tube. You may carry it for a year or more before it's ever needed, which is why it makes sense for that required deadweight to be light and not bulky. Enter Tubolito.


The regular Tubolito MTB weighs a paltry 85g, and is 2x tougher than a regular inner tube, and half the size (not to mention 100g lighter).


The S-Tubo-MTB weighs 45g - virtually half the weight of the 1.8-2.4" Tubolito - and isn't as tough (similar to a regular tube) but is even smaller again. Plus, the black valve is removable making it even more compact for whatever method you use to carry it.


Here's a good look at the compact Tubolito lineup.

Available in road and mountain versions, with the latter split by width (1.8-2.4" and 2.5-3.0" versions) in a regular version that will save 100g per wheel over regular tubes, and an ultralight version, featured here, called the S-Tubo-MTB, which weighs half that of the regular Tubolito. Whichever way you go, you're saving a lot of weight and bulk - I mean, it'll take up less room in a stocking than a chocolate orange.

Price: $37.90 USD
Buy: Order direct or search for a dealer orhere for North American orders may be slightly cheaper.

ENVE M7 Mountain Stem 35mm

ENVE's M7 Mountain stem is a little unusual and that makes it a unique gift idea for a discerning enthusiast, or a finishing touch for special builds. In a world full of exotic cockpit options, the M7 stands as one of the only carbon-bodied stems intended for aggressive riding. It has burly proportions intended to look at home while gracing the front of a modern Enduro / All-Mountain bike. Designed to complement the look and ride feel of ENVE M7 handlebars, the M7 stem is extremely strong, light, and expensive, making it exclusive in the figurative and literal senses.


There aren't a lot of carbon MTB stems out there. The Enve M7 practically stands alone.


Carbon body, alloy faceplate, and titanium bolts all contribute to a sub-100g weight for the M7 stem's three lengths. The 35mm stem is shockingly light for an All-Mountain/Enduro rated stem at 85 grams.

Crafted from carbon fiber, the M7 is available in three lengths: 35mm, 50mm, and 65mm.

Rise: +/- 0 degrees
Clamp Diameter: 35mm
Faceplate Material: Aluminum
Hardware Material: Titanium
Stack Height: 40mm
Weight: 85g (35mm), 92g (50mm), 99g (65mm)

Price: $280 USD
Buy: ENVE.com

Smith Wildcat Chromapop Sunglasses

It's only in recent years that we even started wearing glasses while riding on the North Shore. Our dark canopy and slow riding speeds on janky trails meant it was hard to find something that allowed us to see that also kept from fogging up every time we stopped to session another teeter-totter. Better bikes and trails led to higher speeds. Better riding designs and tech meant it was easier to find eye protection that stayed clear of fog. I've always been partial to Smith's laid-back brand and casual styling, and I love Sun Valley, where the brand originated, so there was always a natural affinity. In recent years I've worn their Attack line of shades while riding way more than any other, but since I got my hands on a pair of Smith Wildcats, they're the ones I reach for the most.

Designed for riding of all sorts as well as running, the Wildcats certainly look like a hybrid between glasses and goggles. Inspired by Pit Vipers? Maybe. Way better looking? Definitely. Plus, Smith lens tech is much more advanced than the new Gaper Day Goon Wear of choice - Pit Vipers may be good for playing dress-up but they're not serious eyewear in my opinion. And riding is very serious business - especially when it's #flaskfriday.

You can get 'em with a variety of tints but they also come with a clear lens and that's what I wear the most for riding on the Shore. I love Chromapop for riding in the sun or mixed conditions, and certainly for driving or patio time, but we need clear lenses when it's darker than the underside of a saloon bar - even at high noon. The best part, though, is the fit and coverage, which isn't so tight that they can't let enough air in to stay clear of fog when you're working hard, but covers the whole upper equator of your face and protects from roost, splatter, and wayward branches. A Hydroleophobic coating resists water, oil, and smudges. All I know is that they're my favourite ever set of riding shades. I thought I lost them a little while ago and was ready to pull the trigger on a new pair until they turned up inside the truck console. Turns out I'd left them on after a ride and only took them off when I caught a look at myself and realized I was about to wear them into the cold beer and wine store. They're not quite that cool.

Price: $199 USD / $210 CAD (sweet exchange rate deal alert!)
Buy: Competitive Cyclist (most available selection) or via the Smith website (limited colours available)

Fine Art Photographic Prints from Sterling Lorence

If you really want to win Xmas for the mountain biker in your life, you can stop right here. The rider on your list, unless he or she is some sort of philistine, will be blown away by a print of one of Sterling Lorence's breathtaking and evocative photographs. Just choose your photo, select a size and order it up. Prices start at 150 CAD and go up for larger sizes. That's less than a pair of tires for a print from the master of mountain bike photography. Prints are produced with archival ink and Below you'll find three examples from the galleries you can choose from, and choosing will certainly be the hard part.


I've never seen that last photo but it makes me want to put in an order myself.

Enjoy being a Christmas hero. And you're welcome. CM

Price: 150 CAD and up plus shipping
Buy: sterlinglorence.com

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+7 AJ Barlas Mammal Niels van Kampenhout Velocipedestrian Saša Stojanovic twk Dan

Did ethirteen really just use this as a selling feature? 

"The graphics on this bar feature a full-wrap water decal for maximum visibility in POV footage, and a unique aesthetic."



+1 twk

A selling feature... for e13.


+6 goose8 Pete Roggeman Cr4w JVP Sandy James Oates Dan

If you are like me and rarely get a tubeless flat that you can't plug you can carry a spare tube that is much smaller than the wheel/tire size it's a spare for. It will save you bulk/weight and be cheap. A tube will expand a great deal so a 700x 38mm tube is fine for a 29er MTB as a spare or a 26er x 2.1" tube for a 29er.

I have given away my spare tube several times over the last few years, but never needed to install it on my bike. That's a lot nicer with a $5CAD tube than it would with a $50CAD bling tube.


+2 Jerry Willows Dan

The 'giveaway' factor definitely occurred to me, and it's hard to get around that one, unless you get one for all your friends, although then there's still the stranger factor.

Regarding packing a much smaller tube...that might work in a pinch, but just two weeks ago Trevor flatted while running 29, but was only carrying 27.5 because he had been running a 27.5 rear. That smaller tube (only one size smaller, mind you) wasn't going in. So...YMMV on carrying a really small tube. As for a road tube - that'll only work if you're really desperate. The tube walls of a road tube are thinner, and the puny volume of air it can hold without getting wretchedly thin will mean you'll be limping out of there at best, should you need to use it. I realize you prefaced the whole thing with 'rarely get a tubeless flat you can't plug' but...that's the whole reason why Tubolito makes sense in my mind. Just different strokes.


+2 twk Dan

I've done 26er/275er tube to 29er several times with no issues. Tubes stretch so much I just can't see how that didn't work??


+1 Cooper Quinn Dan satn

Likewise. It seems strange that the 275 wouldn't fit in the 29er wheel. But it is only to get you out and not to continue ripping. I've found the stretch thins the tube, which can result in easy flats.



For sure in this case, the big culprit was the tire bead/rim fit, which wouldn't always be a problem, but as soon as we switched to a 29er tube, 20 mins of frustration with the 27.5 tube turned into a 10-second swap. So all I'm saying is that that problem can happen - and did, to us.



What's the routine if one is using cushcore or some other insert ? I'm assuming a much smaller tube should be used anyway ?


+3 DanL Metacomet Dan

happened to me using different inserts.  With Cushcore it's just easiest to ride it out as is.  Taking a CC out on the trail is not fun.  Another one, I just left it trailside and picked it up later or run it around your neck.


+2 Pete Roggeman AJ Barlas

I'd caution against using too narrow a tube. Did that once with a road tube in a commuter tire. The valve separated from the tire because it got stretched too thin around the stem.



I don't know if anyone else has had much luck with stainless growlers, but the one I won at my staff party last year foams up the beer like crazy. Same as other stainless receptacles I've tried (cups, mugs etc.), I think the texture of the steel is so porous that it promotes the liquid to de-carbonate instantly upon contact. The opposite of good.



I haven't had luck with any growler, beer goes dead way too fast! xD


+2 JVP Niels van Kampenhout

You have to drink it faster, Niels.


+3 Merwinn joeyrotundo Dan

I've never experienced that, and many years' worth of stainless steel keg interiors used around the world (to the tune of 60 million gallons worth per year) should provide enough counter-evidence that something else is afoot. 

Check the temperature of the steel walls when the beer is poured. If they're warm, that's your culprit - even room temperature isn't great. Just like tempering a travel mug with hot water will allow it to keep your drink hot for much longer, pre-cooling your growler's walls will also help keep it cooler for longer, and cold beer = fresh beer*. This is the principal benefit of an insulated growler vs a glass one. Colder beer will also be less foamy. Several of my favourite local craft breweries have great counter staff who will pre-rinse my growler with cold water before filling for that reason, as well as to give it a quick clean.

Hopefully that helps, sir Mammal.

Cleaning: I've been told not to use soap to clean a growler. Instead, a few blasts of hot water should get everything necessary out of there.

> *The warmer a beer gets, the faster it goes flat. That's because heat causes the carbon bubbles to expand and pop out of the beer more rapidly. This is especially bad news for highly carbonated lagers like Coors or Molson. In bars where the kegs are kept far from the taps, the beer must travel through long lines to the tap. To keep the beer from warming up as it travels, a glycol system keeps the lines safely insulated and cooled. -How Stuff Works


+2 Pete Roggeman Dan

you seem to have experience in this?


+3 Jerry Willows Merwinn Dan

Lots and lots of research.



I've tried matching temperature, and found it hasn't helped a lot , but I certainly agree that a large temp diff will cause that or make it worse with any receptacle. That's why I think it's more related to the brushed finish that's given to most stainless cups/mugs/growlers. Too many places for oxygen bubbles to collect during fill, and screw with the carbonation.


+1 Pete Roggeman

You can try a quick water-rinse first and fill while it's still wet. A dry, brushed SS surface does create a lot of spots for bubbles to nucleate (similar to micro-scratches in a champagne flute) but the residual water smooths things out.
You could also check out Stanley's GO growler with a "ceramic" internal coating; easier to clean, less residuals, and smoother surface for smoother fills.


+2 Mammal Dan

Yes, rinse lightly with water first to reduce nucleation sites. 

Same reason any good bartender will rinse a beer glass first.


+2 Pete Roggeman Dan

Now that's great advice, and not something I thought of when filling my stainless growler. That said, I'll take a smooth inner surface any day, if I'm filling up a to-go for outside enjoyment.



And here I thought I knew all there was to know about putting beer into (and out of) glasses! Ha! Great thread.



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I have best results if I put the Stanley in the fridge with cold water (or ice) in it the night before. Right before the fill they dump the water and replace with the beer.


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